National Call for Artists: Williams Lake Regional Airport Public Art Opportunity

Photo credit: City of Williams Lake

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2024 at 11:59 PM PST

Xatśūll First Nation and Williams Lake First Nation, working in partnership with the City of Williams Lake and STEPS Public Art, invite professional artists or artist teams based in Canada to submit expressions of interest and qualifications to create a permanent public artwork to be placed within the Williams Lake Regional Airport.

Visit the website for the full Call for Artists.

Community Background

Williams Lake First Nation, or the T’exelcemc, have belonged to the Secwépemc (or Shuswap) Nation for over 6500 years. They are one of 17 Secwepemc Nations, forming Secwepemcúl’ecw, the greater stewardship land area that extends from Shuswap Lake in the south, to Quesnel Lake in the north, and from Columbia-Kootenay Range in the east, to the Alexis Creek area in the west.

Xatśūll First Nation (formerly known as Soda Creek Indian Band) is the northernmost Nation within Secwepemcúl’ecw. Xatśūll First Nation has two reserves north of the City of Williams Lake: Deep Creek IR#2 and Soda Creek IR#1.

The City of Williams Lake, named after Secwépemc Chief William, lies within the Secwépemc traditional territory and is within the Stewardship Area of both Xatśūll First Nation and Williams Lake First Nation. The City of Williams Lake was established in 1860 during the Cariboo Gold Rush. It sits at the junction of two trails that lead to the goldfields, one from the Douglas Road and another through the Fraser Canyon. Later, with the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (now CN Rail), Williams Lake became a hub of Forestry, Mining and Transportation. The city was incorporated in 1929 and today it has a population of 11,000.

Artwork Location

The location for the artwork is within the Williams Lake Regional Airport, proximate to the arrival gate. The footprint for the installation is approximately 7 feet by 7 feet, with a maximum height of 12 feet.

Photo credit: Williams Lake First Nation

Selection Process

Artwork proposals are not requested at this time. This Call for Artists is open to all professional artists and artist/design teams residing in Canada. While this is a national competition, local and regional artists are encouraged to apply. Artist teams are welcome to apply but must share the total project award. Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

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

The Selection Panel will be composed of project stakeholders. There will be two stages in the selection process:

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

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates that represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, class, gender, race and sexual orientation. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from Indigenous Artists and other equity-deserving communities.


The $70,000 CAD project award covers ALL costs (pre-approved by the Selection Panel) directly associated with the artwork including; fees, 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 $750 CAD each to create detailed proposals.

Application Requirements

Professional artists/artist teams are invited to respond to this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) by submitting a single PDF document. This PDF document must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Name_Williams Lake Regional Airport). Each single PDF document must include the following:

1. 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. While proposals are not accepted at this stage of the competition, we encourage artists to speak to the artwork themes in this letter.

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

3. 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.

4. 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).

5. References: Names and contact information (current email and phone number) for two (2) references (preferably from recent public art projects) with their role and affiliation listed. Reference letters are not required at this stage of the competition.

*If applying as a team, please list team members and submit required credentials for each. Please also only provide the contact information for the designated contact person.

How to Apply

Visit the website for the full Call for Artists.

Submissions must be received by March 31, 2024 at 11:59 PM PST. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted via Google Forms – emailed, faxed or mailed applications will not be accepted.

Applicants who need additional support applying for this opportunity are encouraged to contact Collin Zipp (Public Art Manager, STEPS Public Art) by March 15, 2024 at 12:00 PM PST to appropriately accommodate your needs and to discuss alternate formats for submitting your application.

For additional information or questions, please contact:
Collin Zipp (Public Art Manager)
P: 1-888-783-7780 (extension 704)