National Call for Artists: CreateSpace Public Art Forum


Source of Life by Bruno Canadien. Photo: Jeremy Pavka

National Call for Artists: CreateSpace Public Art Forum

Application deadline: Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST
CreateSpace Forum programming begins: January 10-30, 2022

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 public art practices, build the capacity of underrepresented artists, and demonstrate how public art can help reimagine equitably designed cities.

We are thrilled to launch CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a digital forum that will virtually convene 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. CreateSpace Public Art Forum runs from January 10-30, 2022. This forum will foster connections, build understanding across geographies and cultures, as well as provide emerging equity-seeking artists with the skills, relationships and support needed to develop public art practices.

This opportunity is open to those who:

  • identify 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 Métis), racialized, rural, and/or youth with disabilities;
  • are between the ages of 18-25;
  • are a Canadian citizen, or Permanent Resident

CreateSpace Public Art Forum participating artists will gain:

  • Skills: A variety of virtual workshops, tailored to encourage participants to grow their understanding of Community, Identity, Accessibility, and Land, and apply these understandings to their public art practice;
  • Relationships: Opportunities to connect with/access mentorship from established public art practitioners across the country, as well as build relationships for peer mentorship within a closed cohort Slack channel;
  • Practical Experience: Artists in the program will have 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 ongoing access to a Public Art toolkit tailored to resource sharing for early-career artists;
  • Public Audiences: Artists will have their bio, artist statement, as well as artistic work created for this program featured on the STEPS Public Art website. Artists and events will also be profiled throughout the program;
  • Financial Support: Artists will each receive an honorarium of $600 CAD for their full participation in the program;
  • Proof of Participation: A Certificate of Completion.

As part of their participation in the CreateSpace Public Art Forum, participants will:

  • View and engage with at least 3 of the 10 Podcast/Video lectures (15-20 minutes each). These lectures will be pre-recorded, and will be in audio or video formats, with ASL options for accessibility;
  • Create an artistic response (drawing, sculpture, photography, multimedia, text, etc.) related to one or more of the talks/workshops. Participants are NOT expected to have plans for an artistic work at the time of their application;
  • Engage with peers work and provide feedback through the community Slack page, and through a final virtual participant gathering;
  • Attend a one-on-one studio visit with an established public artist to gather feedback on artistic work;
  • Respect the time and knowledge of CreateSpace Public Art Forum artists, fellow participating artists and STEPS staff, by committing to cultivate a safe, inclusive, supportive and respectful space for learning, exploration and growth;
  • Complete an evaluation survey about Forum experience for STEPS and program funders


Source of Life by Bruno Canadien. Photo: Jeremy Pavka

Program components will be offered primarily in English, with translation and ASL services available as needed to support participation of a diverse community of artists.

Please review the full posting available on our website here (English and French translations available).

Interested applicants must submit their expressions of interest by Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST (application is available in English and French). Those living outside of the Pacific time zone are encouraged to use a timezone converter to ensure your application is received by the deadline.

We encourage all applicants to visit the STEPS website prior to preparing this application to have a better understanding of the organization that will be facilitating this residency. Applicants who are Deaf, have a disability, or who need support applying for this opportunity are encouraged to contact Sanaa Humayun, Artist Programs Coordinator at or call 416.366.6565 ex. 2 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.

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 applicant’s arts practice.

Additional STEPS opportunities:

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