Call for Participants: 2023 CreateSpace Public Art Forum

Cedar Cone Rain Catcher (2022) by artist Laara Cerman. Photo Credit: Trevor Jacobson.

Call for Participants: 2023 CreateSpace Public Art Forum

Are you, or an artist you know, interested in gaining experience, building networks and professional skills needed to launch or expand a public art practice?

STEPS Public Art believes public art has the ability to challenge the systemic inequities that exist in public space. In support of this important work, we facilitate programs that foster inclusive community engaged public art practices, build the capacity of underrepresented artists, and demonstrate how public art can help reimagine equitably designed cities.

We are thrilled to launch the 2023 CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a digital forum that will virtually convene 50 participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. CreateSpace Public Art Forum runs from January 9-29, 2023. This forum will foster connections, build understanding across geographies and cultures, as well as provide emerging equity-seeking participants with the skills, relationships and support needed to develop public art practices.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum will see the presentation of 10 pre-recorded talks/workshops created by professional public artists and cultural workers. These talks/workshops will be available in both video and audio versions for accessibility, with ASL translations. Each talk/workshop will be themed around various ideas and concepts of public art practices. Participants will engage with these talks/workshops and create an artistic response, with feedback from peers, as well as one on one feedback from established public artists. Their participation will culminate in a profile on the STEPS Public Art website with a virtual exhibition featuring their public artwork concepts created during the forum. This online exhibition will be featured in our newsletter and social media channels to further showcase and celebrate the participants’ creations.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum participants will gain:

  • Skills: A variety of virtual workshops, tailored to encourage participants to grow their understanding of various topics including Community engagement, Identity, Accessibility, and Land, and apply these understandings to their public art practice;
  • Relationships: Opportunities to virtually connect with/access mentorship from established public art practitioners across the country, as well as build relationships for peer mentorship within a closed cohort virtual online chat channel (Discord/Pumble);
  • Practical Experience: Participants in the forum will have the opportunity to create an artistic response to the themes that resonate with them within the talks/workshops, with feedback from peers to strengthen their work. They will also have ongoing access to a Public Art toolkit tailored to resource sharing for early-career artists that focus on integrating meaningful community engagement strategies into their practice;
  • Public Audiences: Participants will have their bio, artist statement, as well as artistic work created for this forum featured on the STEPS Public Art website. Artists and events will also be profiled throughout the forum;
  • Financial Support: Participants will each receive an honorarium of $600 CAD for their full participation in the forum;
  • Proof of Participation: A Certificate of Completion.

Up to 50 participants will be selected for this opportunity. This opportunity is open to those who:

  • Identity as early-career Canadian-based visual and/or media artists interested in building or growing their public art practice;
  • Identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural, and/or youth with disabilities;
  • Are between the ages of 18-25;
  • Are a Canadian citizen, or Permanent Resident.

Forum content will be offered primarily in English, with translation and ASL services available as needed to support participation of a diverse community of artists. Interested applicants must submit their expressions of interest by Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 11:59 PM PST. Those living outside of the Pacific time zone are encouraged to use a timezone converter to ensure your application is received by the deadline. Visit the Call for Participants for full details.

Key Forum Dates

  • Online Information Session: Tuesday, November 8, 2022
  • Submission Deadline: Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 11:59 PM PST
  • CreateSpace Forum Programming: January 09-29, 2023

How to Apply

To apply, please see the program page for full details and submit the application by Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 11:59 PM PST. You can also view program details in French and access the application in French.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants cannot save the form and return to complete it at a later time. We strongly recommend downloading the following form and saving your answers on a separate document prior to filling out the online form.

We encourage all applicants to visit the STEPS website prior to preparing this application to have a better understanding of the organization that will be facilitating this forum. Applicants who are Deaf, have a disability, or who need support applying for this opportunity are encouraged to contact Belinda Uwase, Artist Programs Coordinator at or call 416.366.6565 (extension 2) at least two weeks before the submission deadline to allow STEPS to appropriately accommodate your needs and to discuss alternate formats for submitting your application.

Participants will be selected on a competitive basis by a review committee of public art practitioners from across Canada. Review committee members have been selected on the basis of their familiarity with a broad spectrum of public art practices, specialized expertise, fair-mindedness, and self and regional representation. The committee will assess submissions based on clarity of learning objectives, alignment with needs and forum supports, and merit of the applicant’s art practice.

Information Session on November 8

STEPS is hosting a free online information session on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 to answer questions and share more about the program. Save your spot by registering today!

CreateSpace Public Art Forum is supported by Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts.

Additional Opportunities

Subscribe to the STEPS Newsletter and follow @STEPSPublicArt on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for more announcements!