Here, you will find all Public Art & Placemaking Call to Artists announcements.

Call to Artists - Expression of Interest

Public Art Commission for Kingston Road and Whites Road, Pickering

Deadline: October 30, 2023 at 4 pm EDT.

The total budget for the project, including artist fees, materials, and installation is $80,000 (including HST).
*Subject to council approval.

Kingston Rd. Artwork Location

Photo from the North-West corner of Kingston Road and Whites Road where the artwork is to be located. 


Artist Opportunity

The City of Pickering invites artists or artist teams to respond to this Call for Artists to create a permanent outdoor public artwork to be installed at the North-West corner of Kingston Road and Whites Road, Pickering.


As per the City of Pickering’s Public Art Policy (CUL 130) an artist is defined as the designer/creator of an artistic work and can include, but is not limited to, a professional artist, graphic designer, collaborative team, architect, or landscape designer.


The total budget for the project, including artist fees, materials, and installation is $80,000 (including HST). 


The successful artist/ artist team will be selected through a two-stage process.


One (1) artist/ artist team will be awarded the opportunity*.

*This project and budget is subject to Council approval in 2024.

Site Background 

The City of Pickering resides on land within the Treaty and traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Williams Treaties signatories of the Mississauga and Chippewa Nations.


Kingston Road, also known as Highway 2, holds significant historical importance as one of the oldest travel and trade routes connecting Toronto to eastern Ontario.


Before Kingston Road became a colonial route under John Graves Simcoe, it existed as a trail used by Indigenous peoples, likely for thousands of years. The trail played a vital role in connecting Indigenous communities and was used as a significant travel route by First Nations peoples long before European settlement.


The trail served as a crucial link between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe, enabling Indigenous peoples to access important resources, such as fish, game, and plants, in different seasons. It also facilitated trade networks, allowing for the exchange of goods, knowledge, and cultural practices between Indigenous communities.


In the late 18th century, John Graves Simcoe incorporated the existing trail when establishing a colonial route between Toronto and Kingston in order to foster trade, settlement, and military connections within Upper Canada.


Today, Kingston Road continues to connect people and facilitate trade across Ontario.

Project Brief

The City of Pickering’s Cultural Strategic Plan (2014) outlines the City’s commitment to collaborate with the community to celebrate our cultural diversity, heritage and the arts; to sustain our natural environment; to foster a creative economy; and to strengthen our vibrant neighborhoods.


The artwork will be located at the North-West corner of Kingston Road and Whites Road, Pickering. The City has already designated the location and has installed the surface onto which the work can be secured. Detailed Terms of Reference will be provided to the shortlisted artist/ artists teams to help them prepare their concept. 


$80,000 CAD including HST (maximum)*. This is the total amount available for all related expenses of this public art project including, but not limited to: artist fees, all applicable taxes, detailed renderings, materials, technical consultations and approvals or other expertise as required, fabrication, installation, insurance, equipment, travel to meetings and to the site, and an artist statement for completed work.

*Subject to Council approval.


The selected artist will enter into a written agreement with the City of Pickering following the approval of the acquisition of the public art outlined in the City’s Public Art Policy.


This agreement will address the artist's obligations, which include, but are not limited to:

• Materials

• Timelines

• Installation

• Maintenance and/or conservation plans

• Warranty

• Copyright, Intellectual Property and Moral Rights

• Payments to sub-contractors

Selection Process

Stage 1: Call to Artists – Expression of Interest (EOI) 


A public art jury comprised of city staff, practicing arts professionals, and community members will be established for the evaluation of the Stage 1 submissions.




Artists/ Artist teams are invited to respond to this EOI by submitting a single pdf document including:

  • CV:  Professional resume (3-pages max). If submitting as a team, an individual resume should be submitted for each team member.
  • Artist statement: describe your interest in this project and share your experience in the field. You can submit a written document (1-page max) or record an audio or video message (MP3 or MP4 file, max 20 MB).
  • Portfolio of past work: Examples of relevant work. You may include multiple images per project on 1 page of a maximum to 10 projects (10-pages). Add tittle, year, scope, budget and a short description.
  • References: A list of at least two professional references familiar with your work and working methods. The list must include name, title, complete e-mail addresses and telephone numbers.


Submissions must be sent by email to:

Subject: LastName_EOI:KingstonRD

Deadline: October 30, 2023 at 4 pm EDT.


If the submissions exceed 20 MB, artists should contact Stoyan Barakov, Coordinator, Public Art who will provide a link to an external file share program.


Incomplete submissions or submissions received after the deadline will not be juried.


Stage 2: Request for Proposal (RFP)


The Public Art Jury will review all submissions and identify a short-list based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.


The Jury will select a short-list of three (3) artists/artist teams for Stage 2 – Request for Proposal (RFP). Each of the three (3) artists/artist teams will be compensated $1,500 CAD plus HST for their time and the creation of concept for Stage 2.


The short-listed artists will be notified by Week of November 6, 2023 and invited to submit a conceptual design proposal to the Public Art Jury and City of Pickering staff. As part of the process, short-listed artists must attend an in-person interview and present their proposals (online presentations may be accommodated) to the public art jury during the week of December 18, 2023.


A detailed Terms of Reference project document will be provided to help short-listed artists prepare their proposals.


When evaluating specific artwork proposals, the Public Art Jury will consider the vision, mandate and objectives of the Public Art Program and the objectives listed in the Public Art Opportunity outlined on Page 1 of this Call to Artists. The Public Art Jury (as per section 07.02 of the City of Pickering Public Art Policy (CUL 130) will also consider the artist's:

  • Artistic excellence of previous work;
  • Ability to achieve the highest quality of contemporary artistic excellence and innovation;
  • Professional qualifications and relevant working experience as related to the public art project brief;
  • Ability to manage a project and experience working with a design team, project team and/or community group, as appropriate;
  • Potential to comprehend, access and interpret relevant technical requirements; and,
  • Interest in and understanding of the public art opportunity and the context.


The proposals may be used by the city of Pickering in meetings with stakeholders and staff.

Anticipated Schedule

It is expected that the commissioned artist(s) will comply with the project’s general timeline dates, as stated below:


September 25, 2023

Issue Call to Artists: EOI

October 30, 2023

Call to Artists: EOI Submissions due

Week of November 6, 2023

Shortlisted Artists notified

Week of December 4, 2023

Conceptual Proposals due

Week of December 18, 2023

Artists presentations

February, 2024

Deadline to notify selected Artist

March, 2024

Technical Review with project staff. This meeting will provide the selected Artist with further technical specifications and feedback on the submitted conceptual artwork from lead project staff from the City

March, 2024

Project Contract signed and executed for project deliverables*.

*Subject to Council approval of the project

September 2024

Anticipated installation date

*Schedule is subject to change

Additional Information


The City will provide accommodations throughout the selection process to applicants with disabilities. Please notify Stoyan Barakov, Coordinator, Public Art at 289.200.7829 or of the nature of any accommodation(s) that you may require in respect of any materials or processes used to ensure your equal participation.


Reserved Rights of the City of Pickering

The City of Pickering, at its sole discretion, may request clarification or request additional information, as deemed necessary to evaluate the submissions. The City retains the sole discretion to determine whether a submission is responsive and if the prospective Artist or Artist Team is capable of performing the Work. The City reserves the right, at it sole discretion, to determine the number of pre-qualified Artists or Artist Teams. The City reserve the right to not proceed with awarding a contract.


Publication of Information

The City of Pickering shall have the exclusive rights to issue all public announcements regarding the competition.

For any additional information or questions please contact: Stoyan Barakov, Coordinator, Public Art at 289.200.7829 or