Call to Indigenous Artists: Public Artwork for Town of Whitby Sports Complex

Image credit: Town of Whitby

National Call for New Landmark Public Artwork in the Town of Whitby

Submission Deadline Extended: January 21, 2024

The Town of Whitby is seeking to commission a landmark public artwork from a professional Indigenous artist or artist team from currently called Canada to be placed within and adjacent to the forthcoming Whitby Sports Complex. This major public art project builds on the Town of Whitby’s commitment to create awareness of the Indigenous cultures, peoples and heritages.

Please visit the website for the full breakdown of the two-stage selection process, community background, site location, and artwork location.

Community Background

Whitby, Ontario is located on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, which is covered under the Williams Treaties, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, which includes Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi.


The Town of Whitby is seeking expressions of interest and qualifications which will see an Indigenous artist/artist team selected through an open, two-stage process, with a total budget of approximately $150,000 CAD. 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.

Up to three (3) artists or artist teams will be shortlisted and paid $3000 CAD each to create detailed proposals. Community engagement will be a requirement for the selected artist/artist team.

Selection Process

This Call is open to all professional Indigenous artists and artist teams residing in what is currently called Canada. While this is a national public art call; local and regional Indigenous artists will be encouraged to apply. All applying artists are required to draft a letter stating their relationships to the local communities of the Great Mississauga Nations. Artist teams are welcome to apply but must share the total commission. Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions);
  • is critically 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.

The Selection Panel will be composed of Town officials, Indigenous community members and professional practicing Indigenous arts professionals. There will be two stages in the selection process:

  • Stage 1: Request for Qualifications
  • Stage 2: Shortlisted Proposal Development and Presentation

Visit the website for the full breakdown of the two-stage selection process, community background, site location, and artwork location.

Submission Requirements

Professional Indigenous artists/artist teams are invited to respond to this RFQ by submitting a single pdf document. This pdf document must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Name_WSC). Each single PDF document must include the following:

Contact Information: Please include your name, current mailing address, phone number and email address. If applying as a team, please include team members and designate a main contact.

Letter of Intent: 2-page maximum (11 point font). Outline of artistic experience, ability, approach and interest in this project, site and community, highlighting relevant experience. Also please provide your interest in working with the local Whitby communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, including youth. Proposals are not accepted at this stage.

Connection to Local Communities: 1-page maximum (11 point font). Include detailed and specific ways outlining how you are connected to the local communities of the Great Mississauga Nations.

Curriculum Vitae (CV): 3-page maximum. Detail professional experience as an artist, past public art experience, and other information relevant to this Expression of Interest (EOI). If applying as a team, provide one CV per team member.

Artistic Support Material: Maximum of ten (10) images of work. For each image a title and image number should be provided. If applying as a team, please only submit a total of ten (10) images.

Support Material List: A written list that clearly outlines the Artistic Support Material (above) with corresponding titles and numbers. Include the following details in order of: Title, date, location, commissioning agent (if applicable), budget, dimensions, medium/ materials and a brief description of the works (maximum 50 words each).

References: Names and contact information (current email and phone number) for two (2) references (preferably from recent public art projects and community engaged projects) with their role and affiliation listed. Reference letters are not required.

How To Submit

Visit the website for full information about this opportunity. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be accepted. Applications must be sent via email – faxed or mailed applications will not be accepted.

Email submissions to Please use the subject line Whitby Sports Complex RFQ Submission. Submissions must not exceed 20 MB in total size. All applicants will receive a notice by email that their application has been received. If you have submitted an application and do not receive notification within two weeks of the deadline date, please contact STEPS.

Questions and requests for clarification will be received by email until Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 4 pm ET. Applicants who have a disability, or who need support applying for this opportunity are encouraged to contact Collin Zipp at least 10 business days before the application deadline to allow STEPS to appropriately accommodate your needs and to discuss alternate formats for submitting your application.

Submission Deadline Extended: January 21, 2024, 11:59 pm ET

For additional information or questions, please contact:
Collin Zipp, Public Art Manager
1-888-783-7780 ext. 704

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