Call for Proposals: 2024-2026 Programming at Workers Arts & Heritage Centre

What they hold within, Dana Prieto and Kathryn Wabegijig (2020)

Call for Submissions
Workers Arts & Heritage Centre

Deadline: July 31, 2023 at 5 pm EDT

The Workers Arts & Heritage Centre (WAHC) is a community museum dedicated to sharing and celebrating the stories of Canada’s working people through historic exhibitions, a permanent collection, digital projects, and contemporary art. Our mandate is to preserve, honour, and promote the culture and history of all working people. Through an exploration of our collective memories and experiences of labour and work, we aim to educate, inspire, and commemorate working people today. We do this from Hamilton’s Custom House, a heritage building and national historic site.

More information about WAHC can be found at

We are currently seeking proposals from artists, arts collectives, and curators for exhibitions and curatorial projects. If selected, these proposals will form our program offerings beginning with the Spring season in 2024, until 2026. We are also seeking proposals for community-engaged residencies from artists from the greater Toronto-Niagara area interested in animating our permanent collection of objects from Canada’s labour movement, the architecture of Custom House, or engaging with the communities we serve.

We are interested in proposals that activate our Main Gallery space with artistic interventions that explore themes including but not limited to the following:

  • invisible labour
  • globalized labour
  • intersections of labour, race, class, gender, and ability
  • the relationship of contemporary labour to technology (artificial intelligence, automation, deindustrialization, surveillance) and/or nature and the environment

We prioritize projects connecting underrepresented or marginalized communities in Canada with worker’s history, art and culture.

WAHC particularly supports and encourages submissions from artists who identify as IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, People of Colour) and work in all media including installation, interdisciplinary and community-engaged arts. Due to the nature of our space, large sculptural works that are not easily moved cannot be accommodated. Artists or curators from anywhere in Canada who meet the definition of professionalism as defined by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council may submit a proposal.

The Main Gallery at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre is a professional exhibition space that pays artists and curators in accordance with the fee schedule as defined by CARFAC. A floor plan of our main gallery space is available below.

To apply, please include the following in a single PDF document:

  • cover letter that includes a mailing address, phone number, and website link
  • biography (200 word maximum for each artist or artist-collective applicant)
  • 1 page (500 word) project description including concept, spatial and technical requirements
  • half page (250 word) statement on how your work relates to our mandate as described above
  • CV – 2-3 pages

Support Material:

  • A maximum of 6 images or
  • 2 video clips or audio to a maximum 3 minutes each.
  • Digital images should be in jpeg format no larger than 1024 x 768 pixels. They should be numbered 01 to 10 with last name (i.e. 01_lastname_title). Do not embed images in PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, etc.
  • Image/Support material list stating date, medium and dimensions of work

Deadline: July 31, 2023 at 5 pm EDT
Submit to:
Please ensure that this email is not listed as spam.

Additional Info:

  • Note that while we will try to answer any questions applicants may have prior to the deadline, WAHC staff will not review draft applications.
  • WAHC programs three Main Gallery exhibitions per year.
  • Decisions are final. Our ability to offer feedback on decisions is limited.

WAHC is located on the original territories of the Huron, Wendat and Neutrals, and later, the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe.

WAHC is accessible.

We are committed to ensuring a diversity of perspectives, and encourages applications from indigenous people, persons with disabilities, people from racialized or racial minority communities, immigrants and refugees, Francophones, 2SLGBTQIA+, and women.

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre logo

Workers Arts & Heritage Centre
51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, Ontario
(905) 522-3003
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm

Twitter: @WAHC
Instagram: @workersartsandheritage
Facebook: @WorkersArtsandHeritageCentre
TikTok: @wahcmuseum