Call to Artists: Public Art for Esplanade Park Phase 2, Pickering

Call to Artists: Pickering Public Art
Esplanade Park Phase 2

Deadline: Friday April 1, 2022 by 4 p.m.

Artist Opportunity

The City of Pickering invites artists to respond to the Call to Artists to create a permanent outdoor public artwork for Esplanade Park. A public art jury comprised of city staff, practicing arts professionals, and community members will be established for this two-stage competition.

Public Art Opportunity

The artwork will be located in Esplanade Park, right in Pickering’s City Centre. The enhancement of Esplanade Park provides a public site for an art work at One the Esplanade on the North East corner of Esplanade North and Valley Farm Road. This public art piece is intended to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on our community and our resilience. This public art piece will be featured as part of a new Meditation, Mindfulness and Music Park.

Community Background

Esplanade Park is part of a City Centre development project which will include the development of a vibrant downtown core with a Performing Arts Centre, Youth & Senior’s Centre, and new Central Library.

Pickering’s community was impacted significantly by COVID-19, families of victims, those living in long term care, first responders and front line workers. These members of our community will be recognized and remembered through the elements of this Esplanade Park project. The project will include a Meditation, Mindfulness and Music Park to provide a public space for people to practice self-care and reflection. The park will include sensory plantings, accessible seating, upgraded lighting, and playable music instruments. The permanent public art work will serve as the focal point for this space.


$80,000 CAD (maximum). This is the total amount available for all related expenses of this public art project including, but not limited to: artist fees, all applicable taxes, detailed renderings, materials, technical consultations and approvals or other expertise as required, fabrication, installation, insurance, equipment, travel to meetings and to the site, and an artist statement for completed work.

The selected artist will enter into a written agreement with the City of Pickering. This agreement will address the artist’s obligations, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Materials
  • Time lines
  • Installation
  • Maintenance and/or conservation plans
  • Warranty
  • Copyright, Intellectual Property and Moral Rights
  • Payments to sub-contractors

Stage 1: Open Call

Artists are invited to respond to this EOI by submitting a single pdf document:

This pdf document must be labeled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name First Name_ EsplanadePark) and include:

  • CV (one for each team member, if applicable)
  • Brief artist statement outlining interest in project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach. Please include your experience and intended approach to the community engaged process. Do not include proposals at this stage.
  • Maximum ten (10) images of work, with caption including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable). Audio / Video files may be provided via URL.
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).

Email submissions to:

Submissions must be received by 4PM ET, April 1, 2022.
Late submissions will not be accepted.

Stage 2: Conceptual Design

Short-listed artists will be notified in April 2022 and invited to submit a conceptual design proposal in a PowerPoint presentation. A detailed Terms of Reference project document will be provided to help short-listed artists prepare their proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $1,500.00 (+HST) for their submission of a complete conceptual design proposal. Short-listed artists must attend an interview and present their proposals (online presentations may be required) to the public art jury the week of May 30, 2022.

The Public Art Jury will consider the objectives listed in the Public Art Opportunity outlined in this Call to Artists, and in addition to:

  • Artistic excellence of previous work;
  • Ability to achieve the highest quality of contemporary artistic excellence and innovation;
  • Professional qualifications and relevant working experience as related to the public art project brief;
  • Ability to manage a project and experience working with a design team, project team and/or community group, as appropriate;
  • Potential to comprehend, access and interpret relevant technical requirements.

Community Relevance and Impact

  • Suitability for display in a public space
  • Reflects the City’s heritage, and/ or history, culture and diversity, and/or natural elements and landscapes

Overall Quality and Authenticity

  • Originality of design
  • Artist reputation, demonstrated and related experience
  • Condition of the artwork


  • Site suitability
  • Response to or complements the location’s uses and users

Economic Value

  • Short and long term costs
  • Tourism potential

Installation Maintenance & Conservation

  • City’s ability to accommodate installation requirements
  • City’s ability to safely display, maintain and conserve the work
  • Long-term maintenance cost
  • Longevity of the artwork
  • Environmental impact


  • Compliance with guidelines outlined in the Public Art Policy and accompanying “Call to Artist”
  • Quality of the approach/work plan and methodology
  • Ability to meet budgetary estimates and timelines

Project Considerations

The artwork must adhere to the following design parameters:

  • Be an exterior sculptural installation, suitable for exhibition in a public space;
  • Be appropriate for the site in scale, execution, materials and creativity;
  • Be fabricated using high quality, long-lasting materials; and
  • Not pose a risk to public safety.

The selected artist will be required to submit drawings certified by a structural engineer licensed to operate in Ontario, at their own expense.

Overall Project Timeline:

  • March 7, 2022: Stage 1: Open Call issued
  • April 1, 2022 4 pm: Stage 1: Open Call submissions due to the City
  • April 4 – 15, 2022: Application reviews and public art jury meeting
  • April 19, 2022: Deadline to notify short-listed artists. Artists will be provided with detailed Terms of Reference project document for the public artwork at this stage.
  • May 27, 2022 4 pm: Stage 2: Conceptual Design proposal deadline
  • Week of May 30, 2022: Artist interviews and selection
  • June 30, 2022: Deadline to notify selected Artist
  • Week of July 4, 2022: Technical Review with project staff. This meeting will provide the selected Artist with further technical specifications and feedback on the submitted conceptual art work from lead project staff from the City.
  • Week of July 4, 2022: Project Contract signed and executed for project deliverables.
  • November 2022: Anticipated installation date

Decisions of the public art jury are final.

Contact Information:
Laura Gibbs
Manager, Cultural Services
905.420.4660 x3709