Call for Expressions of Interest: Public Artworks for Eglinton Way BIA, Toronto


Image courtesy of the Eglinton Way BIA


Value of the Awarded Commission: Approximately $50,000 CAD (inclusive) per artwork
Deadline for Submissions: March 17, 2021 by 11:59 pm EST.

STEPS Public Art, the Eglinton Way Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the City of Toronto invite Ontario-based professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for public artwork(s) that will be installed at one (1) of five (5) locations along Eglinton Avenue West in 2021 and 2022.

The sculptures will be selected through an open, two-stage competition, with a total budget of approximately $50,000 (inclusive) per artwork. The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: including fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

For the full details regarding this opportunity please click here.

Situated at a nine-block stretch at the north end of Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood, the Eglinton Way BIA is a picturesque and pedestrian-friendly area that is considered to be one of Toronto’s most fashionable shopping districts.

Like many other BIAs along Eglinton Avenue West, the BIA has been impacted over the years by the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. By partnering with the City of Toronto to commission these public artworks, the Eglinton Way BIA hopes to create a truly unique art and shopping experience outdoors, unlike anything the city has ever seen.

The BIA’s goal over the next five (5) years is to bring twenty-five (25) of these sculptures into the neighbourhood.

Following a competitive Selection Panel process, shortlisted artists will be asked to develop a design concept for one (1) site. The sites will be assigned to each of the shortlisted artists. The five (5) sites within the Eglinton Way BIA catchment area will be described in detail in the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the short-listed artists.

This is a two-stage, open, Ontario-wide competition for professional artists.

Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions);
  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition);
  • has a history of public exhibitions; and/ or
  • has produced an independent body of work

A specially convened Selection Panel, composed of practicing arts professionals, BIA and community members, will be established for this competition.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: March 17th – May 1st, 2021

The Selection Panel will review all submissions and meet in early April 2021 to identify a short-list of ten (10) artists, based on artistic excellence, relevant experience and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.

Stage 2: Request for Concepts: May 3rd – June 30th, 2021

The short-listed artists will be notified after the selection panel’s first meeting and invited to participate in a four (4) week concept development period, which will result in a final concept design proposal and budget. A detailed TOR document will be provided to short-listed artists, with all of the information required to prepare and submit their full proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $1000.00 (inclusive) for this stage.

Each proposal will first undergo a technical review by City staff, in order to assess them for safety and maintenance concerns. Each artist will receive their technical feedback notes and have time to incorporate them into their proposals, if necessary. Proposals that are deemed not technically viable will not advance to the interview stage.

Following the technical review, shortlisted artists will attend a community Open House (virtual or in-person, depending on current Public Health Recommendations) and present their proposals to the community in late-May 2021 (date TBC). The community will provide feedback that will be consolidated and shared with the shortlisted artists and the selection panel. Each artist will have time to incorporate them into their proposals.

Shortlisted artists will attend an interview (virtual or in-person) and present their proposals to the Selection Panel in June 2021 (date TBC). The panel will choose five (5) artists whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope and intent of this project, and has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and realize a public artwork on this site.

The selected artists will be notified in early July 2021. Three (3) works will be fabricated and installed by November 2021. Two (2) works to be fabricated and installed in early 2022. Artists selected to install works in 2022 will be asked to sign a Letter of Intent.

Project Timeline:

February 18, 2020: EOI issued
March 17, 2021: EOI submissions due
Early-April 2021: Selection panel meeting
Mid-April 2021: Short-listed artists notified
Mid-May 2021: Proposal deadline
Late-May 2021: Technical Review
Late-May 2021: Open House
End of June 2021: Artist interviews and selection

Professional artists and artistic teams are invited to respond to this EOI by submitting a single pdf document.

This pdf document must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name_First Name_EWBIA) and include:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Artistic Statement
  3. Artistic Support Material
  4. Support Material List
  5. References

Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm, March 17, 2021.
Late submissions will not be accepted.

Email submissions to:
Please use the subject line: Eglinton Way BIA EOI Submission
Submissions must not exceed 20 MB total size

Questions and requests for clarification will be received by email until Sunday, March 14, 2020. Responses to all questions received will be available here.

Alexandra Lambropoulos
Placemaking Assistant
416-366-6565 x 1