Call to Artists: Public Artworks for Eglinton Way BIA

Fetch by W. W. Hung. Photo credit: The Eglinton Way BIA

STEPS Public Art, The Eglinton Way Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the City of Toronto invite Canadian-based professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for public artwork(s) that will be installed at one (1) of five (5) locations along Eglinton Avenue West in 2023.

The sculptures will be selected through an open, two-stage competition, with a total budget of approximately $50,000 CAD (inclusive) per artwork. The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: including fees for design, fabrication, shipping, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, permits, travel and other incidental and production expenses.

Community Background

As the BIA is situated along Eglinton Avenue West in Toronto, like many other BIAs along this strip, it has been impacted over the past few years by the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. The objective of this project is to bring people back to The Eglinton Way BIA through a unique Artwalk. By partnering with the City of Toronto and the Federal Government to commission these public artworks, The Eglinton Way BIA hopes to create a truly unique outdoor art and shopping experience unlike any other within the city. Our goal over the next five (5) years is to bring twenty-five (25) new sculptures into the neighbourhood. As of May 2023, three (3) sculptures have been installed.

Two-Stage Competition

This is a two-stage, open, national competition for professional artists based in Canada. Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions);
  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition);
  • has a history of public exhibitions; and/or
  • has produced an independent body of work

A specially convened Selection Panel, composed of practicing arts professionals, BIA and community members, will be established for this two-stage competition.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest

The Selection Panel will review all submissions and meet in early July 2023 to identify a shortlist of up to ten (10) artists, based on artistic excellence, relevant experience and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context. Two (2) artists will be shortlisted per site and the sites will be assigned to each of the shortlisted artists by the Selection Panel.

Stage 2: Shortlisted Artist Proposal Development

The shortlisted artists will be notified shortly after the selection panel’s first meeting and invited to participate in a two (2) month concept development period, which will result in a final concept design proposal and budget. A detailed Terms of Reference document will be provided to short-listed artists, with all of the detailed information required to prepare and submit their full proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $1000 (HST inclusive) for this stage.

Each proposal will first undergo a technical review by City staff, in order to assess them for safety and maintenance concerns. Each artist will receive their technical feedback notes and have time to incorporate them into their proposals, if necessary. Proposals that are deemed not technically viable will not advance to the interview stage.

Following the technical review, shortlisted artists will attend a Community Open House (virtual or in-person – TBC) and present their proposals to the community in early August 2023 (date TBC). The community will provide feedback that will be consolidated and shared with the shortlisted artists and the selection panel. Each artist will have time to incorporate them into their proposals.

Technical reviews and community feedback will be circulated to the Selection Panel for final consideration.

Shortlisted artists will submit final proposals to the Selection Panel in late August 2023 (date TBC). The panel will choose five (5) artists whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope and intent of this project, and has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and realize a public artwork on this site. The selected artists will be notified in late August 2023. The five (5) works will be fabricated and installed by December 31, 2023.

All I Have by Soheyl Bastami. Photo credit: Kyle Jarencio

Project Timeline

  • May 10, 2023: EOI issued
  • June 29, 2023: EOI submissions due
  • Early July 2023: Shortlisted artists notified
  • Early August 2023: First draft proposals due, Technical Review, Community Open House
  • Late August 2023: Final proposals due, Final artist selection
  • Early September 2023: Agreements signed/Artwork fabrication period begins
  • December 2023: Completed artworks installed


Professional artists and artistic teams are invited to respond to this EOI by submitting a single PDF document. This PDF document must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name_First Name_EWBIA) and include:

  1. Artistic Statement (1-page maximum)
  2. Curriculum Vitae (3-page maximum)
  3. Artistic Support Material (Maximum of ten (10) images of work)
  4. Support Material List
  5. References

How to Apply

Visit the EOI webpage for full details and email submissions to Please use the subject line: Eglinton Way BIA EOI Submission. Submissions must not exceed 20 MB in total size.

Late submissions will not be accepted. Submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EDT on June 29, 2023.

Questions and requests for clarification will be received by email until June 14, 2023.


Collin Zipp
Public Art Manager
1-888-783-7780 (extension 704)