We engage artists and acquires 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 such opportunities to the local art community. 

Calls to artists

The majority of the City's competitions are administered via Open Call to Artists. Artists are invited to respond to an Expression of Interest (EOI) document, which is juried by a panel comprised of representatives from the Public Art Committee, City administration, artists, art professionals and stakeholders. Short-listed artists are invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP). Final selection is determined by jury.

Open competitions

Culture Days 2018 - 48 Hour Film Challenge Call to Filmmakers

How we acquire art

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 culture@thunderbay.ca

Partnerships

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 culture@thunderbay.ca

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 or call 807-625-2240.

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