Call for Submissions: Indigenous Public Art for New MCCD Building, McMaster University

The new MCCD Building at McMaster University Main Campus, Hamilton.

Expression of Interest for Indigenous Public Art
DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University

EOI Submission Due on January 5, 2024 at 4 p.m.

The DeGroote School of Business (DSB) has a new building currently under construction on McMaster University’s Main Campus in Hamilton. The premise of the new 10-storey MCCD building is to bring together the diverse range of students and faculty from the entire University community to build on cross-disciplinary thinking. DSB embraces the collective purpose of positively impacting business and societ, with Inclusive Excellence as a tenet of the strategic plan.

It is in this light that an MCCD Art Committee has been assembled, which will oversee and support the entire art commissioning process for the new MCCD facility. The goal of the committee is to secure Indigenous art which will resonate with the students, faculty, and staff. This document outlines the specific call for this public art and the associated details.

We give honour and thanks to the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe nations as the traditional inhabitants of the lands where McMaster sits. To say that is to acknowledge a debt to those who were here before us and to recognize our responsibility, as guests, to respect and honour the intimate relationship Indigenous peoples have to this land.

Project Requirements

The goals of this project are to:

  • Meaningfully integrate the public art.
  • Support the celebration of Indigenous spirit, culture, and place.
  • Embody the DSB and McMaster commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, especially as it relates to the Indigenous members of the McMaster community and beyond.
  • Specifically capture and reflect Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe worldviews; respect and embrace the heritage and cultural identity of the Indigenous people of this land. It is important that the art reflects the heritage of the land that it sits on.

For detailed submission information, please carefully review the full MCCD Art Commissioning document (PDF).


This call is open to professional artists with an interest in public art. However, due to the nature of this project, and our desire to honour and respect the Indigenous peoples of this land, artists or artist teams must have demonstrated connections to Haudenosaunee or Anishinaabe Nations (this shall require verification at subsequent project stages). Artists who fulfill such criteria with limited experience in creating public art can apply if they are appropriately supported by professionals with such experience.


Project Budget: Up to $ 150,000.00 CAD

Gathering space at the new MCCD building.

Selection Process

The MCCD Art Committee is proposing a three-stage selection process.

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI)

This stage is an open call to provide an expression of interest related to this Indigenous public art initiative.

How to Apply

  • Artist statement: describe your interest in this project and share your experience in the field and general artistic approach (300 words). Please do not include a full proposal at this stage.
  • Artist(s) CV(s): one for each team member, if applicable.
  • Artist biography.
  • Portfolio of past work: provide samples of relevant work. You may include multiple images per project on 1 page to a maximum of 10 projects (10 pages). Add title, year, scope, and budget, and a brief description of each.

Submissions must be sent, in PDF file format, by email to:

Subject: LastName_EOI-MCCDArt

Deadline: January 5, 2024, at 4 p.m.

Incomplete submissions or submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

Stage 2 – Formal Proposal Submission from Shortlisted Artists

Up to five shortlisted artists will be selected from the EOI stage and shall be invited to submit a comprehensive art proposal. A fee of $ 5,000.00 (+ HST, if applicable) will be paid to shortlisted artists upon successful completion of Phase 2.

How to Apply

Proposal Requirements:

  • Project Proposal – Written statement of artistic concept, maximum 1,000 words.

Supporting Materials:

  • Production of a maquette, or concept sketches, renderings, design details, and a plan that indicates the proposed location with corresponding imagery. (This is not a final detailed submission, but a clear indication of concept.)
  • Technical specifications on proposed materials and / or feasibility study describing the nature of materials, fabrication process and methods.
  • Detailed budget, itemized as follows:
    ◦  Artist fees
    ◦  Material costs
    ◦  Production/manufacturing costs
    ◦  Sub-contractor fee(s)
    ◦  Installation costs
    ◦  Expenses
    ◦  Insurance costs
  • Suggested critical path outlining timing from conceptual design to installation.
  • Documentation to support Indigenous identity or ancestry, for example:
    ◦  Certificate of Indian Status card (or Temporary confirmation of registered document).
    ◦  Official First Nations issued identification document.
    ◦  Documentation that shows a parent or grand-parent’s name has been entered in the Indian Registrar according to the Indian Act, or on the band list of an individual band (grandparent).
    ◦  Please contact us for further details regarding acceptable verification documents.

Submissions must be sent, in PDF file format, by email to:

Subject: LastName_EOI-MCCDArtFinal

Deadline: March 19, 2024, at 4 p.m.

Stage 3 – Technical Review and In-Person Meetings

Proposals will undergo a technical review that will take approximately two months. Within this period, the MCCD Art Committee will arrange in-person meetings such that artists and artist teams will have the opportunity to present their proposals. Additionally, the MCCD Art Committee will also ask for any clarifications on the respective proposals during such meetings.

Stage 3 Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the proposed art in that it captures and reflects Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe worldviews, respecting and embracing the heritage and cultural identity of the Indigenous people of this land.
  • Originality, imagination, and artistic merit of submission.
  • Artist or artist team qualifications and ability to produce site-specific art.
  • The artistic impact of the proposed concept to enhance or activate public space.
  • Appropriateness of the scale, visibility, and / or presence of the art to the site.
  • Appropriateness of proposal to the budget, scope, and anticipated project timeline.
  • Suitability and sustainability of material and maintenance requirements.
  • General technical feasibility (durability, assembly, safety, accessibility).
  • Compliance with submission requirements.

Feature stairwell and building interior at new MCCD building.

Submission Deadlines:

EOI Submissions are due: January 5, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.

Formal Submissions from shortlisted artists / artists teams shall be due: March 19, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.

For additional information or questions, please contact:
Jessica Colangelo

DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton ON L8S 4M4

DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University is fully accessible.