Call for Indigenous Artist/Artist Team

Submissions Due: June 19, 2018

Calgary Public Library invites Artists from the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations (Piikani, Kainai and Siksika), Stoney Nations (Chiniki, Wesley and Bearspaw), and Métis Nation Region (MNA) 3 who reside within Treaty 7 territory (this includes the Calgary area) to work on and design artwork/installations that will activate Indigenous Place Making in Central Library. This project is in partnership with the Indigenous Place Making Council of Canada (IPMC).

Project Objectives

In January 2018 IPMC with the Library visited the Stoney Nation, Siksika Nation, Tsuut’ina Nation, MNA and the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. These meetings were advertised with an open invitation to receive input and guidance on the Place Making process. From these meetings the communities advised the Library that artwork should be collaborative pieces that include the vast cultures and communities in Treaty 7 territory.

The main objectives for the Library's Indigenous Place Making Commissions are:

  • To develop artworks that will promote an educational understanding of the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations, Stoney Nations, and Métis Nation Region 3’s history, both past, present, and future through the use of visual and oral storytelling;
  • To create a safe and inclusive place for sharing and gathering of all Nations and communities within the Treaty 7 area;
  • Promote collaboration amongst artists of all disciplines, backgrounds and stages of careers.

The commissioned Artist or Artist Team will be required to design, fabricate and install a public art feature that will create a strong and recognizable link to themes of diversity, inclusion and identity. Artists and/or Artist Teams must source their own working studios, materials, and fabrication companies in this creative process.

Upon completion, the Library will assume ownership of the artwork. The artist retains intellectual property rights to the artwork including, without limitation, copyright. The Library shall have the right to use images of the artwork for any non-commercial promotional use (example: social media, website, pamphlets, etc.). Images of the artwork will not be used for purposes of commercial or monetary profit by the Library without prior consent by the artist.

Who is eligible?

The Library seeks to commission qualified Indigenous artists, or Indigenous collaborative teams, to create permanent installations in Central Library. Partnerships and collaborations are encouraged, including between established and emerging artists. Artists should be knowledgeable about Indigenous contemporary practices. All Indigenous artists with connection to Calgary, including the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations, Stoney Nations, and Métis Nation Region 3 are encouraged to apply. Only one application per artist or team will be accepted, however an artist may apply individually and also as part of a team. The parameters of this project ensure that the public art featured in the Library should remain diverse with regards to artistic mediums, disciplines and methods, and that a varied group of artists are engaged.

Benefits for Artist / Artist Teams

Identified below are responsibilities of the Indigenous Service Design Lead and Artist Consultant to uphold for the Artist/Artist Team:

  • Support and guidance of artwork creation from Elders Council and Artist Consultant;
  • Promotion through the Library's advertising streams (website, publications, programming).


A Selection Committee comprising of members from the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations, Stoney Nation, Métis Nation Region 3 and Urban Indigenous communities — a total of eight (8) committee members — who reside in the greater Calgary region as well as members of the Library staff and one (1) art consultant will guide this process.

Artist / Artist Teams will have the following timeline to work from once the Art Commissions are Awarded to the approved Artists by the Selection Committee on June 30, 2018.

Art Production July 1 – October 1, 2018
Art Installation October 1 – October 20, 2018
Grand Opening of Central Library November 1, 2018

Artists will also receive a preliminary tour of Central Library during the Art Production phase to offer a clear understanding of the environment which will aid artwork creation.

Details on Space and Budget

The three primary spaces for the immediate installation commission within Central Library are outlined below for the October 20, 2018 deadline to install. These pieces should be inclusive of the eight communities within Treaty 7:

  • Level 1: Area A Main Entrance Gathering Space (Wall Installation)
  • Level 1M: Area B Civic Concourse (Free Standing/Furnishings)
  • Level 4: Area G Elders Guidance Circle (Wall Installation)

Further details about these spaces are included in Appendix A.

In addition to these primary spaces, a preliminary identification of installation opportunities have also been identified for future Indigenous Place Making opportunities at Central Library. These spaces include the identified locations in Central Library as follows:

  • Level 1M: Area C Program Room (Wall Installation)
  • Level 1M: Area D Toddler Enclosure (Wall Installation/Furnishings)
  • Level 2: Area E Fiction Collection (Free- Standing/Furnishings)
  • Level 3: Area F Teens Centre (Free-Standing/Furnishings)

Further information about these spaces will be included in a future call for Indigenous Place Making commissions.

Below are the proposed budgets for the three identified opportunities for immediate commissioned installation opportunity within Central Library.

Location Target Budget Completion Date
Main Entrance Gathering Space (Wall Installation) 65-75 K October 20, 2018
Civic Concourse (Free Standing / Furnishings) 75-85 K October 20, 2018
Elders Guidance Circle (Wall Installation) 35 K October 20, 2018
Remaining Installations 4 x 35 K TBD

Note: Deadlines for completion may be negotiated at the discretion of the Library in consultation with the Art Consultant and Artist / Artist Team.

Application Process

Artist or Artist teams interested in this project must prepare and submit the following Submission Package in their Request for Proposal (RFP):

Please include one digital copy of the following in the proposal:

  • A Letter of Interest – (no more than one page) identifying the public art opportunity proposed including a summary of the idea you are interested in developing for the artwork.
  • Current resume – if applying as an artist team please provide one for each artist.
  • Images – up to five images of past work and a brief description (50 words max) of the artwork, title of artwork, medium, date of artwork, dimensions, budget. Submit only quality images.
  • Two professional references – from people you have worked with on past commission projects and are familiar with your art and practice. Include complete addresses and telephone numbers.
  • A brief concept proposal drawing or description of initial thoughts – include anticipated budget breakdown and project timeline complete.
  • A brief explanation of how the artwork will be collaborative, reflective and inclusive with the eight communities in Treaty 7 (TsuuT’ina Nation, Piikani, Kainai, Siksika, Chiniki, Wesley, Bearspaw and Métis Nation Region 3)

The selection committee will meet as a group to select the final artist/artist team. After thoughtful review and discussion of the proposals submitted, the final artist(s)/artist team(s) will be selected. The final artist or artist team selected will enter a Contract Agreement with the Library to complete the proposed artwork on time and budget.

Questions about the Indigenous Place Making project and/or the Application process can be directed to:

Teneya Gwin
Indigenous Services Design Lead
Calgary Public Library

To Apply

Please send the Submission Package hard copy to:

Central Library Indigenous Service Design Lead
CC: Artist Consultant
616 Macleod Trail SE,
Calgary, AB T2G 2M2

and the digital copy to: