Request for Qualifications: Public Art for the new BMO Convention Centre in Calgary


Courtesy Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Public Art Competition
Request for Qualifications

Created and owned by the City of Calgary, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation is the master developer behind the dramatic transformation of East Village – a 49-acre brownfield site on the edge of Calgary’s downtown core within the Rivers District. Since 2007, CMLC has been helping achieve the City’s objectives for urban densification and community renewal, infrastructure investment and place making. Far beyond simply enabling the new residential offerings and retail spaces, CMLC has created the kinds of places that attract a diverse range of people, architecture, art and public spaces that have elevated the urban experience in Calgary.

CMLC has successfully partnered, developed, attracted investment, project-managed, planned and enabled the revitalization of East Village including notable and award-winning project like Calgary’s Central Library, RiverWalk and National Music Centre. Today, CMLC is bringing its team of experienced placemakers to the southern portion of the Rivers District in the creation of Calgary’s Culture & Entertainment District.

To guide the planning, development and creation of the C&E District, CMLC partnered with Calgary Stampede in the creation of the Rivers District Master Plan (RDMP), a 20-year vision document that defines the area as a hub of the arts, sports and business. Already home to the colour and community spirit of the Calgary Stampede for over 100 years, it will offer an expanded BMO Centre, a new Event Centre, proximity to arts and culture institutions and new hotels, restaurants and retail.

The Calgary Stampede is a world-class, year-round gathering place in the heart of Calgary. As a not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates western heritage, culture and community spirit, they are driven by the core values of western hospitality, integrity, pride of place and commitment to the community.

In May 2019, CMLC and the Calgary Stampede announced the $500 million expansion of the BMO Convention Centre located in Stampede Park at the southern end of the Rivers District. The project team and budget were similarly described.

CMLC seeks an artist or artists’ team to create an artwork or artworks for the new BMO Convention Centre in Calgary, Alberta. CMLC encourages all locally, nationally and internationally qualified artists and artists’ teams to apply. This is an unencumbered call open to all qualified artists. The public art design will beautify, activate and enliven the BMO Convention Centre. The successful artist/artists’ team will work with CMLC, CS and the design firm Stantec/Populous/S2 Architecture (SPS) to determine the best location(s) for public art at the convention centre complex.

Budget: $2.50 million
$2.25 million – Exterior
$250,000.00 – Interior

Closing date RFQ: March 30, 2021, 17:00 MST.

Project Budget

The total project budget is $2.5 million. The budget is inclusive of all artist and artists’ team fees, and any associated expenses for design, fabrication, shipping, insurance, site preparation, and installation cost.

Required Submission Materials

  • A statement about your interest in public art and how it should engage or respond to its environment and the viewer.
  • Annotated image list – twelve (12) images with: date, title, media and dimensions of past work including current work. If the images reflect public work include the location of the project and the commissioning agency. Multi-media items (videos or sound clips that describe your work may be included as part of the annotated image list but not exclusively so. Links to web-based portfolios are encouraged.
  • A selected biography (CV) including current contact information.
  • If working as part of a team, brief resumes of each team member and a description of past experiences working together.
  • Two (2) to three (3) reviews or news articles about past projects (optional).
  • Two (2) professional letters of reference.

Selection Criteria

  • Creativity.
  • Originality expressed in past work.
  • Have a strong understand of scale.
  • Practical understanding of public art, implementation process and the ability to see the project to completion.
  • Proven track record: public art, museum and gallery work.
  • National and international profile though reviews of exhibitions literature and other peer assessments.
  • Interested in addressing the challenges of the site, the building and a willingness to work with the design team Populous/S2 Architecture and Stantec in the early stages of the project.
  • Ability to produce a high-quality work of art(s) within the project budget.
  • Highly professional.

Schedule (Subject to Change)

  • Deadline for the RFQ: March 30, 2021
  • RFQ Evaluation: April 5-23, 2021
  • Notification of Potential Candidates: April/May 2021
  • RFP Request: June 10, 2021
  • Deadline for RFP: August 10, 2021
  • Adjudication: August/September 2021
  • Finalist Selected: September 2021

Format and Address

All documents in your submission must be PDF only and contained in a folder titled with name of Artist or Artists’ Team.

Documents may contain support material i.e. links to videos and websites.

Please keep submissions to 50 MB.

One submission per Artist or Artists’ Team only; multiple submissions will not be considered.

CMLC Public Art Request for Qualifications
C/O Art to Public at:
Please click here to upload submissions.


Proposals will be accepted until March 30, 2021 at 17:00 MST. Responses that do not fully meet the criteria above will not be considered at the sole discretion of the CMLC. Late submissions will not be accepted. Submissions will not be returned.

It is the respondent’s responsibility to request clarification of any item that is unclear or uncertain within the context of the RFQ package by contacting:

Art to Public/CMLC Public Art Manager: