Call for Expressions of Interest: Public Art for River District Town Centre, Vancouver

Location A – East of River District Crossing

Artist Call for River District Town Centre
Two opportunities with City of Vancouver

Deadline to Apply: Friday, March 29, 2024, 11:59pm (PST)

Project Background

Wesgroup is developing a new sustainable, complete community at River District. This is a 126-acre masterplan community on the banks of the Fraser River in Vancouver, south of Marine Way and from Kerr Street to Boundary Road. What has been developed over the past ten years is a mainly residential community with a variety of housing types and a commercial centre. From a vibrant Town Centre, a 1.5 km waterfront path, and acres of green space – River District offers everything people are looking for in a healthy, liveable community.

The development progress is divided into five areas. Over several decades, the community will be developed to include parks, a community centre, schools, childcare facilities, a riverfront walk, and other public amenities. While the site was previously home to the Canadian White Pine, Wesgroup Properties (formerly Parklane Homes) now owns the majority of the land.

For more information, visit River District – Wesgroup Properties.

Location B – East of River District Crossing

The Site

Public Art Vancouver is currently focussed on Project 1 located in the developed Area 1 section of River District, utilizing two parallel facing sites located on both the east and west side of River District Crossing (south of Sawmill Crescent, extending from the CPR Railway past East Kent N). Each location is in a retail plaza within the Town Centre. The open space available on either side measures at 50 meters x 120 meters. The surrounding retail stores include Save-On-Foods, LOCAL Public Eatery, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba, River District Physio, and Everything Wine. The Fraser River and future Community Centre are located 321 meters south.

View of Location A + B from Northside of Sawmill Crescent

The Opportunity

City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program is seeking two artists to design two permanent public artworks that will be reproduced as built form. All forms of mediums and materials are welcome for consideration, including natural materials. Artwork must be original art; no reproductions.

Artists have the opportunity to explore themes that reflect and promote the appreciation and understanding of the unique ecosystem of the River District Lands, centre Indigenous cultural land-based storytelling, support inter-cultural dialogues, and/or uplift solidarity through cultural redress. Through the exploration of contemporary artmaking, artists are encouraged to reflect on integrating community interaction and accessibility to all audiences.

Within the confined measurements for the potential of art, artists have room to experiment with their designs utilizing as much or little of the plaza spaces provided. It is important to note, however, the possibility of space limitations due to technical restraints, which will become apparent during the design proposal process with the selected artists.

Artist Eligibility Criteria

This opportunity is open to emerging, semi-established, and established artists of varying abilities, experiences, and mediums. Artists working in cultural traditional artmaking techniques and/or contemporary mediums are welcomed. No previous public art experience is required.

Artists who identify as Indigenous Host Nations (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ), Urban Indigenous, Two-Spirit, Black, racialized, LGBTQIA+ and/or disabled are encouraged to apply.

Selection Process

All submissions that meet the criteria will be assessed by an adjudication panel comprised of visual arts and culture practitioners, curators, artists, and a representative from Wesgroup. City of Vancouver Public Art staff will be in attendance.

Priority assessment will be given to artists whose identity, art practice and/or any additional social intersections coincide with the City of Vancouver’s commitments outlined in Culture|Shift; Vancouver’s 10-year culture plan.

Submission Requirements

Artists may apply for consideration as an individual or in collaboration with another artist as a duo. Artists applying as a duo must submit one single application in unison.

All artists interested will submit an Expression of Interest that includes the following:

  • Contact information: full name, pronouns, email and phone number
  • Submission Type: Individual or Collaborative
  • Artist Bio: a short synopsis of you and your art practice.
  • Sample Artwork: 4-6 photographs with clear descriptions
  • Identity Statement: a brief statement that includes intersectional identities such as racial, cultural, Nation affiliation, gender, disability, etc. Applicants are only required to share to the extent of their comfort levels.
  • Concept Statement OR Statement of Interest:
    ◦  Concept statement can be in the form of a sketch or written description (max 300 words) outlining your preliminary ideas including theme, and if possible, materials, or;
    ◦  Statement of Interest (max 300 words) describing what excites you about the project, your interest in public art, and how the opportunity can have significant impact on communities.

Project Timeline (Subject to Change)

  • Application Deadline: March 29, 2024
  • Artist Selection: May 3, 2024
  • Draft Design Proposal: September 30, 2024
  • Artwork Fabrication + Installation: Mid-Late 2025


The budget range for this project is $1M. Public Art Vancouver practices compensating artists at competitive rates, and a set percentage of the overall public art budget to be allocated to artist fees. Selected artists will have the opportunity to integrate their desired artist fees into the overall budget established in Phase 2.

Send Submissions To / Contact for Questions

By Email:
Subject Line: Artist Application for River District

Accessibility Needs

If you require assistance with submitting your application, and/or accommodations for physically accessing the site, or have questions regarding Artist Eligibility Criteria and Submission Requirements, please contact Krystal Paraboo by email or by phone at 604-707-5375 (Monday-Friday between 10:00am-3:00pm).

Land Acknowledgement

The City of Vancouver acknowledges that it is situated on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

This place is the unceded and ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and has been stewarded by them since time immemorial.

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