Call for Proposals: Toronto Sculpture Garden, Winter 2021


Tony Romano, Pigro (2019), as installed in the Toronto Sculpture Garden.

Part of ArtworxTO, Year of Public Art 2021
115 King Street East, Toronto

Deadline for proposals: October 26, 2020
Online Info Session: September 21, 1:30 – 2:30pm, 2020
Programming Dates: February 1 – April 30, 2021

From its opening in 1981, The Toronto Sculpture Garden (TSG) commissioned temporary artworks by over 80 artists, in a small City of Toronto park opposite St. James Cathedral on King Street east. Until 2014, it was operated as a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Louis L. Odette family, whose non-profit L.L.O. Sculpture Garden Foundation funded and administered the exhibitions. Under the direction of Rina Greer, the TSG provided artists with the opportunity to work experimentally in public space, explore issues of scale and materials, and engage with the local community as well as visitors to the neighbourhood.

The 2021 Sculpture Garden projects will be part of the ArtworxTO program, the City’s year-long celebration of public art. This will include partnership projects guest-curated by Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue (BAND), from May to September, and the Toronto Biennial of Art from October to December. To launch the year’s programming, the City of Toronto is inviting proposals from Toronto-based curatorial collectives, curators and arts organisations interested in programming the TSG from February to April, 2021.

In a unique opportunity, the Sculpture Garden is seeking proposals that embrace the outdoors and bring light and life to the cold and darkness of winter. The TSG is in the heart of the city, close to so many places where the public previously gathered; places of worship, restaurants and bars, theatres and performance spaces, all of which have been severely impacted by the pandemic. We are seeking work(s) that can speak to the multiple narratives playing out in public spaces now, historically, and in an imagined future.

As it will not be possible to install foundations, proposals are not expected to be primarily sculptural. This is an opportunity for performance- and event-based artworks (including music and other audio works, film and video projection, and ephemeral installations) which could also include a parallel online component. While the overall program should be original, existing works may be included.

Competition Process
The successful proposal will be selected by a specially convened panel, made up of ArtworxTO advisory panel members.

Budget: $30,000.00 CAD (+HST), which includes, but is not limited to, all artists’ fees, materials, project expenses, transportation, insurance, and permits.

Applicants are welcome to raise funds from other sources, and the City of Toronto has the ability to issue charitable tax receipts to potential partners.

Call for Proposals: August 27 – October 26, 2020
Online Info Session: September 21, 1:30 – 2:30pm, 2020
Deadline for proposals: October 26, 2020
Selection: Week of November 2, 2020
Program Duration: February 1 – April 30, 2021

All those interested in applying must email for complete proposal and submission requirements, and to register for the info session.
The info session is recommended but not mandatory.

The Toronto Sculpture Garden is a partially accessible site.


Catherine Dean
Public Art Officer

Economic Development & Culture | City of Toronto
City Hall, 9th Floor, East Tower
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2