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Public Art Competition Finalists Announced

February 10, 2009 – Proposals by six artists for significant pieces of public art in both of the City’s cores were unveiled at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The successful propents are the finalists in competitions to create artwork for the exterior of the renovated City Hall and the Skateboard/BMX Plaza at Prince Arthur’s Landing. 

Finalists for City Hall are John Books & Chris Stones, Luc Després and Attilio Pedri. In the Skate Plaza competition, the finalists are Ingrid Koivukangas, Kimberly McKee and Jacqueline Metz & Nancy Chew.

“The Committee is very pleased with the response to these competitions,” said Sharon Godwin, Member of the City’s Public Art Committee. “High quality submissions were received from local artists and some as far away as, the East and West Coasts.”

The successful artists will be determined by public art juries that have been appointed for the competitions along with input from the public. 

“Given the profile of these two competitions, we have decided to involve the public in the process,” said Supervisor of Cultural Services, Leah Bayly. “Allowing the community to comment on the finalists will give the juries a chance to guage public reaction to the individual proposals and see them from other perspectives. It’s not a public voting process, but a way for the community to provide feedback on all of the works – to tell us what they like and don’t like about each proposal.” 

The finalists’ proposals can be viewed from Wednesday to Friday of this week at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery during regular hours (12-8pm Wednesday/Thursday, 12-5pm Friday) and at the Downtown Artisan & Farmers Market at 509 East Victoria Ave. on Saturday from 10am-3pm.  Comments received are confidential and will be reviewed by the juries as they make their final selections.

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Contacts: Beverly Ball, Manager – Recreation & Culture Division 625-2368 or 
                Leah Bayly, Supervisor Cultural Services, 625-2416



Public Art Competition Finalists

City Hall Exterior Finalists
John Books & Chris Stones - Thunder Bay
Luc Després - Thunder Bay
Attilio Pedri - Thunder Bay

Marina Park Skate Plaza Finalists
Ingrid Koivukangas - North Vancouver
Kimberly McKee - Thunder Bay
Jacqueline Metz & Nancy Chew - Vancouver

How Public Art is Chosen
1. An open invitation is extended to artists to express their interest in creating artwork for a specific location.
2. A jury led by the City of Thunder Bay’s Public Art Committee reviews the submissions received and selects up to three finalists.
3. Finalists develop detailed proposals of their artwork, including 3D models.
4. The jury reviews the detailed proposals using criteria such as artistic merit, compliance to requirements and feasibility to make their final selection.

Jury Composition
City Hall – Two Public Art Committee Members, one Clean, Green & Beautiful Committee Member, one Cultural Services Representative, one Construction & Renovation Services Representative.
Skate Plaza – Two Public Art Committee Members, one Skateboard Coalition Member, one Waterfront Development Committee Member, one Arts Community Member.

Budget and Funding
1% of the City’s annual capital budget is allocated towards initiatives that contribute to making Thunder Bay cleaner, greener, more beautiful and proud.  Both of these projects are included in this 1% of the capital budget.
Artwork competition budgets include all aspects of the creation and installation of the works, including artist fees, labour, materials, insurance, fabrication, installation, taxes and contingency.
Budget for City Hall artwork is $40,000
Budget for Skate Plaza artwork is $75,000

Call to Artists to Express Interest: Sept. 26, 2008
Artist Workshop and Meeting: Oct. 2, 2008
Submission Deadline:  Nov. 10, 2008
Selection of Finalists:  Nov. 24, 2008
Finalist Proposals Received: Feb. 2-6, 2009
Public Comment Period:  Feb. 11-14, 2009
Final selection:  Feb. 27, 2009
Installation:   Skate Plaza, Spring/Summer 2009 & City Hall, October 2009

Background Information

What is Public Art?
Public Art is artwork that is located in spaces that are accessible to the public and is created and/or displayed for the benefit of the community. 

Why is Public Art Important?
Public art beautifies our city, enriches our everyday lives, brings light to social issues and political events, creates an appreciation of culture and heritage, teaches about surroundings and much more.  Public art is an investment in our culture and community.

As stated in the City of Thunder Bay’s Cultural Policy:
“The City recognizes that Public Art is a vital component in visually articulating our area’s heritage and past traditions, evolving community identity and hopes.”

What Is the City’s Role?
The City of Thunder Bay owns a permanent collection of over 400 works of art ranging from paintings and pottery to large outdoor sculptures. This collection traces the history of the City from before the incorporation of the former cities of Port Arthur and Fort William, to the present City of Thunder Bay. It records the City’s mayors and officers, marks the visits of dignitaries and royalty, and records a continuum of the City’s art history. The collection also commemorates historical events and honours the men and women who fought in the major wars of the previous century.

The City of Thunder Bay supports local artists in a variety of ways, including:
• Grants for arts organization and individual artists – Community & Cultural Funding Program
• Exhibition opportunities at civic spaces and events
• Purchase of finished works of art
• Commission of works of art for specific locations and purposes
• Capacity building workshops and activities

The City of Thunder Bay Public Art Program is managed by the Cultural Service Section, Recreation & Culture Division with advice from the Public Art Committee. This committee includes Corporate, Arts Organizations and Community representatives. 
Additional information on the Public Art Program is available at

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Contact: Leah Bayly, Supervisor Cultural Services, 625-2416