The majority of the City's competitions are administered via open calls to artists. Responses are then juried by a panel comprised of representatives from the Public Art Committee, City administration, artists, art professionals and project stakeholders. Final selection of artists is determined by the jury. The completed works then become part of the City art collection.

The Collaboration Project - Canada Day on the Waterfront Opportunity

The Collaboration Project encourages artists and performers to exchange ideas and develop a unique and engaging performance for the main stage as part of Canada Day on the Waterfront event.  This call is open until May 29, 2024. Learn more and apply now: The Collaboration Project

For more information, contact 

For future opportunities and updates, please check out and and follow our Thunder Bay Culture & Events Facebook Page

Previous Calls to Artists
2024 Calls (closed)
Be a part of our events! We need people with special skills and talents to come out and help us deliver quality events to our community!Apply now to be a part of the 2024 season!  Calls close February 29, 2024. 
  • Are you an artist or artisan looking to sell at one of our events? 2024 Call to Artists/Artisans
  • Do you belong to a community group that would like to participate in our events? Call to Community Groups
  • Would you like to enhance our events with a product or service? 2024 Call to Event Vendors
  • Food vendors are always popular at our events! 2024 Call to Food Vendors
  • Are you a musician? Part of a band that would like to play on a bigger stage? 2024 Call to Talent
  • Do you have talent but aren't a band? Dance/theatre groups, buskers, comedians, master of ceremonies, etc, we need you too! 2024 Call to Talent - Other  
SnowDay on the Waterfront 2024 Snow Sculpture Competition (closed)

Invitation to Artists
This competition is open to professional artists and artist-led teams. Teams local to Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario are strongly encouraged to apply! 

Invitation to Community Groups
This snow sculpting opportunity is open to community members, groups and organizations interested in designing and carving a small block snow sculpture. These groups do not have to be professional artists or artist led. 

Womens History Art Bus Project (closed)

Artists and artist teams were invited to submit a proposal for visual artwork to be applied to the exterior of a City transit bus. Artwork chosen will be printed on adhesive-backed vinyl and applied to the exterior of a transit bus. The completed Women’s History Art Bus will travel on various routes throughout the city as a visual celebration of the impact women have had and continue to have in our community. The art bus will bring colour, art, history, and heritage to the streets of Thunder Bay creatively engaging pedestrians, commuters, and onlookers alike. 

Traffic Box Art Project 2023 (closed)

Artists and artist teams were invited to submit a proposal for visual artwork to be applied to the exterior of traffic signal boxes located in high pedestrian traffic areas throughout the City. Artwork chosen was printed on adhesive-backed vinyl and applied to the exterior of select traffic signal boxes, bringing colour and art to existing infrastructure and creatively engaging pedestrians, commuters, and onlookers alike.

SnowDay on the Waterfront 2023 Snow Sculpture Competition (closed)

2023 competition theme: Local Landmarks & Landscapes allows artists to submit concepts ranging from iconic architecture to natural formations that are reflective of our community, fun-focused, and family-friendly. Professional artists, professional artist-led teams, organizations and community groups across the region and beyond were encouraged to apply. 

How we Acquire Art

We engage artists and acquire works of art through a variety of established processes, including Calls to Artists, purchase of finished works, and donations by artists. In recent years, we have broadened the collection to include contemporary works by Canadian artists that reflect the growth, change and sense of renewal in our city. The City is proud to support these projects and to offer opportunities to the local art community. 

Artwork purchase

There are occasions when a City Department, Commission or Board under the mandate of City Council desires to purchase a finished work of art from an individual artist, a corporation, an organization or through a commercial gallery. The artwork may be purchased to develop the City's permanent art collection or to beautify a specific civic space. As with commissioned works, all purchases of finished art works are subject to the City's Policy for Art in Public Spaces and collection mandate. Any opportunities for artists to submit portfolios for jury consideration will be listed in the Open Competitions section of this page.


A sub-committee of the Public Art Committee is formed to consider each potential purchase. Recommendations may be based on advice from outside individuals or organizations relevant for the art being considered. For example: A curator or director from a local art gallery or heritage organization; a representative of the site for the artwork; a professional in a relevant discipline.

Donating an artwork

If you would like to donate an artwork to the City's Public Art Collection please fill out the Artwork Donation Form and submit it to 


The City of Thunder Bay also forms partnerships with local individual artists and organizations to produce and/or purchase public art projects. For more information contact 

Artist Guidebook

Public art can significantly change an artist's career. The Artist Guidebook was created as a resource for emerging and experienced public artists, and outlines the City's competition and commissioning process from start to finish. It includes perspectives from local artists and covers a variety of topics such as:

  • How to find competitions
  • How the City acquires public art
  • How to provide a submission
  • The artist contract
  • Insurance, contractor safety, and WSIB
  • Working with subcontractors

If you require a PDF in an accessible format, please email our Municipal Accessibility Specialist.

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