Call for Youth Participants: 2024 CreateSpace Public Art Forum

A national program by STEPS Public Art to gain experience, build networks, and develop professional skills to launch or expand your public art practice.

Guardiana by RAZA. Photo credit: May Shi.

Submission Deadline: November 26, 2023

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 reimagine equitably designed cities.

The 2024 CreateSpace Public Art Forum is a digital forum supported by Canadian Heritage that virtually convenes 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. This forum fosters connections, builds understanding across geographies and cultures, and provides emerging equity-deserving participants with the skills, relationships, and support needed to develop public art practices. Program information is also available in French.

The forum will see the presentation of 10 pre-recorded talks/workshops 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 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 website with a virtual exhibition.

Program Requirements

Participants are expected to:

  • View and engage with at least 5 of the 10 workshops (15-20 minutes each). These will be pre-recorded and available in video and audio formats online with ASL options for accessibility;
  • Create a visual public art response (drawing, collage, sculpture, photography, multimedia, etc.) related to one of the provided site photos. Site context and detailed information will be provided. Participants are NOT expected to have plans for an artistic work at the time of their application;
  • Engage with peers‚Äô work and provide feedback through the community Discord and a final virtual participant gathering;
  • Attend a one-on-one studio visit with an established public artist to gather feedback on completed public art response;
  • Respect the time and knowledge of CreateSpace Public Art Forum artists, fellow participants, and STEPS staff by committing to cultivating a safe, inclusive, supportive, and respectful space for learning, exploration, and growth;
  • Complete evaluation surveys about Forum experience and takeaways for STEPS and forum funders.


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 M√©tis), racialized, living in a rural location, and/or youth with disabilities;
  • Are between the ages of 18-25;
  • Are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.

Public art proposal and mural rendering by 2023 CreateSpace Public Art Forum participant Flanzella.


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 online channel (Discord);
  • Practical Experience: 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 on-going 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, and artistic work created for this forum featured on the STEPS 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.

Selection Process

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 applicants’ arts practice.

Public art proposal and installation rendering by 2023 CreateSpace Public Art Forum participant JJ An.

How To Submit

Complete the application form by Sunday, November 26, 2023 at 11:59 pm PT. The application form is also available 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.

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 least two weeks before the submission deadline to allow STEPS to appropriately accommodate your needs and to discuss alternate formats for submitting your application.

Submission Deadline:
November 26, 2023, 11:59 pm PT

For additional information or questions, please contact:

Belinda Uwase
1-888-783-7780 (ext. 2)

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