Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project
About the O-Train Public Art Program The O-Train Public Art Program offers a platform for artists’ teams to...

About the O-Train Public Art Program

The O-Train Public Art Program offers a platform for artists’ teams to create public art that will position Ottawa as a leading city for innovative and engaging contemporary art in light rail projects. This Program will inspire and create dialogue about the role of art in our city, and enhance the transit experience across Ottawa.

The O-Train Public Art Program is made possible due to the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Policy(link is external) which designates 1% of capital project budgets for public art.

Stage 2: Confederation Line and Trillium

Request for proposal: Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project


Project Site Area: Cleary Station, Byron Linear Park and existing surrounding community


Release Date: October 1, 2020

Deadline for Submissions: November 30, 2020 – 4 pm Eastern Standard Time

Budget: $700,000 Canadian Dollars plus Harmonized Sales Tax

Project Contact: Katherine Ingrey, Public Art Officer, sends e-mail)

Online application form

1.0 Introduction

1.1. Honouring Statement

Ottawa is built on unceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory.

The peoples of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation have lived on this territory for millennia.

Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land.

The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and land of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation.

The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

1.2. Project Overview

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program is issuing this Request for Proposals to select a professional, qualified and experienced artist team or artist studio/consulting firm to develop and implement a comprehensive civic arts strategy. The civic arts strategy will respond to local community change taking place in the Byron Linear Park and Richmond Road area of Ottawa.

The Byron Linear Park and Richmond Road community is being heavily impacted by the construction of the O-Train, a new light rail transit system that will replace bus services in transitways across the city. The green space (Byron Linear Park) will be upturned, trees removed, station and rail developed underground, and a new park laid back on top. In addition, retail has been removed and streetscapes are being redesigned along Richmond Road. Transit routes are changing, and new retail and condo development will be built. The neighbourhood and the transit experience will be altered for residents. This disruption and change will have an effect on the community including residents, and visitors for the next 2 to 3 years.

The Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project offers the selected artist team/studio the space and time required to implement a civic arts strategy with City of Ottawa financial and resource support. This project is based on a set of minimum specifications that can be expanded upon and shall remain flexible and responsive to the ongoing outcomes of the project and current worldwide social issues.

This project is made possible through the City of Ottawa’s public art policy and is funded through the 1% for the O-Train Public Art Program budget and managed by the City’s Public Art Program. The Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art and values the importance of fostering relationships between artists, cultural workers and change-makers.

1.2.1. Project Vision

The O-Train Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project will take a global approach to build community connections, and resilience and foster wellbeing. The Project will reflect the racial, cultural, gender, artistic, and geographic diversity of the Byron-Richmond community, and its stories and perspectives.

1.2.2. Project Values
  1. Grounded in place and all its characteristics
  2. Authentic and ongoing community engagement
  3. Respect for cultural integrity and right relations
  4. Collaboration and co-creation with community
  5. Exploration of diverse and broad cultural expression
  6. Open, and responsive process
  7. Accountable to community and City
  8. Build meaningful capacity and knowledge sharing in the Ottawa Arts Community
1.2.3. Curatorial Theme: Communities in Transition

The O-Train Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project will take a local and global approach to explore the transition of the site community. This will include, but not be limited to: investigating and demonstrating, through cultural expression how a community moves within a changing environment; how people respond to disruption through new connections and new ways of being. The Project will demonstrate how relationships are affected or strengthened by moving in changing landscapes – from one land to another land; what stories/memories emerge from community movement, and how connections are maintained, changed or built.

1.2.4. Project Governance and Management

The Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project will be governed by a Project Advisory Committee composed of artists, site-area community leaders, and community arts professionals, City of Ottawa content experts and is supported by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program staff. Successful proponents will meet with the Project Advisory Committee and staff regularly throughout the term of the project.

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program will manage the Project and the contract between the artist team or artist studio/firm. Public Art Program staff will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the project on an ongoing basis and will act as the liaison between the successful proponent and the Project Advisory Committee and the community.

1.2.5. Project Opportunity and Deliverables

The City of Ottawa requires the development and implementation of a civic arts strategy that includes an overarching vision and approach, a robust community engagement plan, a high-level workplan and budget that demonstrates how the vision will unfold over a two-year time period.

The design and implementation of the civic arts strategy will:

  • Establish the artist team/studio or firm’s vibrant presence in the neighbourhood through a robust and innovative community engagement plan to interact with the community
  • Design public education and workshops to enhance communication and celebration
  • Develop and co-create a variety of temporary and/or permanent micro projects with the community that engage and support local artists. Projects will be in accessible forms, modes, locations and spaces throughout the community and be scheduled over the entire course of the project
  • Develop a partnership strategy to connect with community groups, businesses, cultural organizations and local artists in order to implement the strategy
  • Produce an imaginative, viable and high-level work plan (timeline) and budget forecast that can be completed for the specified project budget and within the timeline
  • Establish a documentation and reporting format for the project and its components
  • Produce one (or additional) permanent public art as a result of the interactions and developments of the project
  • A maintenance plan will be required for permanent public art and is considered a project deliverable
1.2.6. Project Outcomes

When developing the proposal for the civic arts strategy, proponents should consider the following outcomes that have been developed for the Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project:

  • Community assets, issues, and local histories are identified, explored and expressed through cultural expression
  • Relationships between and among people, and people and place are strengthened
  • New possibilities for cultural expression are established in the neighbourhood
  • The presence of public art is increased
  • Barriers to participation in culture-making are reduced
  • New processes are established and documented for engaging equity-seeking communities
  • Local artists increase their capacity to carry out civic arts practice.
1.2.7. Project Phases

Phase 1: Refine the Civic Arts Strategy and Develop an Implementation Plan

The successful proponent will enter into a Phase 1 contract with the City of Ottawa to further refine the Civic Arts Strategy concluding the initial Request for Proposals competition. This will include but not be limited to setting up and establishing a presence within the site area in Ottawa, establishing community partnerships and engaging with the cultural community and residents and businesses of the site area. Throughout this period, the successful artists team/studio or firm will gather information, develop ideas and further define the number and type of projects, the number of sites, the legacy project and detailed budget and timelines – all to be included in the Implementation Plan.

Phase 1: Evaluation

Following this civic strategy refinement period, the artist team or artist studio/firm will be required to prepare and present a detailed Implementation Plan of the civic arts strategy to the Project Advisory Committee and the Public Art Program staff. A review and possible recommendations will be provided to the artist team/studio or firm for consideration. A dialogue period between the artist and the Project Advisory Committee team will result in finalizing the plan.

Phase 2: Implementation

Upon final approval of the implementation plan, the artist team/studio or firm will enter into a Phase 2 agreement with the City of Ottawa Public Art Program for Implementation and Completion of the Civic Arts Strategy.

1.3. Project Background

The City of Ottawa O-Train Public Art Program has completed Stage 1 of the light rail project with two lines in operation, the Confederation Line(link is external) and the Trillium Line(link is external), for a total of 17 stations. Public art was commissioned for thirteen of the Stage 1 stations. Stage 2 is a package of three extensions that will extend the O-Train network farther south, east and west. In the next five years, Stage 2 will add 44 kilometres of rail and 24 new stations.

The Stage 2 public art projects built on the success of Stage 1 and commenced in 2018 and will be completed in 2023. One artist team has been commissioned for digital media public art at three stations on the Trillium Line. Three (3) additional artists’ teams have been selected to create work for the three station clusters along the Confederation Line East/West extensions totaling 16 stations as follows:

  1. Confederation Line East: One artist team is working to integrate works of art and transform a cluster of five station sites – Montreal Road, Jeanne D’arc, Place d’Orléans, Trim, Orleans Blvd and the surrounding landscape;
  2. Confederation Line West #1: One artist team is working to transform a cluster of five station sites – Westboro, Dominion, Cleary, New Orchard and Lincoln Fields;
  3. Confederation Line West #2: One artist team is working to integrate works of art and transform a cluster of six station sites – Moodie, Bayshore, Pinecrest, Queensview, Iris, and Baseline.

The Inflection/Reflection Project is a stand-alone project within the Stage 2 public art for the Confederation Line West #1 extension.

Learn more about the Confederation Line extension(link is external)

1.3.1. Site Area

The selected community for this Project is the Kitchissippi/Bay wards of Ottawa as part of the Byron Linear Park Complete Streets Project. The Kitchissippi and Bay municipal wards are currently undergoing vast disruption and land transformation during the construction of 44 additional kilometers of light rail and 24 new stations in addition to the stations that opened in September 2019.

Learn more about the Byron Linear Park Complete Streets Project

Byron Linear Park Renewal and Cleary New Orchard Planning Study Presentation [PDF – 6.26 mb]PDF opens in a new tab or window

1.3.2. Area Map

A map showing the site area and cultural asset mapping is available in the report and on Google maps(link is external).

2.0 Request for proposals process

2.1. Overview

This open public art commission will be awarded following a competitive process as follows:

  1. Proposals will be circulated to the Project Advisory Committee. This committee will review and evaluate submissions from artists in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria.
  2. Following the submission of proposals, a short-list of proposals will be completed and approved by the Project Advisory Committee.
  3. Shortlisted proponents will be required to attend an interview (virtually) to further present their proposals to the Project Advisory Committee and to provide further clarification of their application.
  4. The successful proponent(s) will be expected to undertake and pass Police or Criminal Records Check due to the nature of the expected work as part of the Project.

Learn more about obtaining a Police or Criminal Records Check(link is external)

2.1.1. Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this Request for Proposals must be directed to sends e-mail) using the subject line: “Inflection/Reflection project inquiry”

2.1.2. Budget

The budget for the Inflection/Reflection Project is $700,000 Canadian Dollars plus Harmonized Sales Tax. The budget must include all costs associated with the Project and as outlined in the scope of work.

2.1.3. Request for Proposals Schedule

The following dates could be subject to change at the City’s sole discretion.

Anticipated Date
Request for proposals release date October 1, 2020
Deadline to submit questions to Request for proposals October 15, 2020
Request for proposals closing date November 30, 2020
Interviews with shortlisted proponents December 2020
Final selection notification January 2020
Letter of award and negotiation period February 2021
Contract signed March 2021

2.2. Submission Information

2.2.1. Eligibility

This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to local, national and international interdisciplinary artists, creative teams, studios/consulting firms, organizations and community agencies (for-profit and non-profit).

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activities that are inclusive of Ottawa’s diverse communities including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages (English and French) as having the same rights, status and privileges.

2.2.2. Submission Preparation

The proposal should be clear, concise, and should include sufficient detail for effective evaluation and for substantiating the validity of stated claims. The proposal should not simply rephrase or restate the requirement but rather should provide convincing rationale to address how the Proponent intends to meet the stated requirements.

Proponents shall assume that the evaluation team has no prior knowledge of their experience and will base its evaluation on the information presented in the proposal. Proposals should be submitted in a word or pdf format and be PC compatible, including a table of contents. Proposals should address the Request for Proposals using the same numbering system as set forth in this Request for Proposals.

2.2.3. Application Process

This is a paperless application process. Applications will only be accepted via the online application form. All other forms of application delivery will not be accepted.

Proposals must be received not later than 4 pm Eastern Daylight Time on November 30, 2020.

Submissions received after the above due date and time will not be considered.

It is the Proponent’s responsibility to request clarification of any item that is unclear or uncertain within the content of the proposal package no later than five working days prior to close, by contacting Katherine Ingrey, as above. The City of Ottawa may in its sole discretion disqualify responses that do not meet the formatting and other criteria set out in the submission requirements.

Responses will be accepted in English or French.

Pricing submissions shall be stated in Canadian dollars with Harmonized Sales Tax extra.

Each Proponent is solely responsible for ensuring that its response is received by the Public Art Program by the specified closing date and time. Strict adherence to the closing date and time will be maintained, and unless the deadline date is extended by issue of Addendum, all responses received after this time and date will not be considered.

This Request for Proposals is not a tender and the City of Ottawa does not intend for the laws of competitive bidding to apply.

2.2.4. Minimum Requirements
  1. Cultural Practice – The successful group/team will have an established practice in and a demonstrated understanding of one or more of the following cultural practice areas:
    1. Art and social practice
    2. Civic arts
    3. Arts-based placemaking
    4. Creative placemaking and community planning
    5. Indigenous Placemaking
    6. Community arts
    7. Inclusive and meaningful community engagement
  2. Experience – The proponent’s team lead will have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience specifically with:
    1. leading, managing and implementing innovative arts, and cultural projects that transform communities (in line with cultural practices listed above)
    2. engaging diverse community organizations, businesses and stakeholders via a range of engagement platforms using non-traditional approaches
  3. Availability – The successful group/team must be available for the duration of the Project. Indicate availability of all team members.

2.3. Submission Format

Proponents are requested to submit a proposal containing the following:

  1. Letter of Introduction – One page (250 words), introducing the artist team/studio or firm and the submission. The introduction should be an overview of the submission and reflect the Proponent’s understanding of the requested services. The letter of introduction must also include a statement identifying if any potential Conflict of Interest issues may arise through the performance of the requested services.
  2. Project Understanding – Provide an outline of your understanding of and approach to the Project Opportunity and Deliverables (as outlined in Section 1.2.5.).
    1. The following questions are to be used as a guide for your application. Please do not provide direct responses to the questions:
      1. What will be different in this community when this project is completed?
      2. How will our community engagement plan demonstrate that we can design for the new realities our community faces with COVID19, and social distancing and healthy connections?
      3. How do we design with and for all people, regardless of age, ability/disability, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, sexuality, and geographic location?
      4. What is our strategy to ensure our community partners will have equal input in co-creating, a plan for decision-making, and clear, readily accessible paths to participation?
      5. How will this Project change people’s experience and perception of their interaction with each other, and their community’s physical and social space and place?
      6. How will we identify existing resources, articulate a collective response and discuss, recommend, and prioritize projects to build upon the work completed in the community research report?
      7. How do we design for the inclusion of local Ottawa artists/creatives and makers, that increases their capacity to develop projects with community and enables us to share and document our knowledge-exchange?
  3. Experience and Qualifications of Lead and Key Team Members
    1. Provide a brief profile of the individuals, group or organization outlining the history and the approach. Assign a Team Lead.
    2. Include a complete listing of key personnel who will be assigned to this project. This will include the Team Lead’s relevant experience and qualifications, as well as team members. Outline key roles and responsibilities. Team make-up should follow the recommendations outlined in the City of Ottawa Equity and Diversity Policy
    3. Include brief résumés of all proposed team members.
  4. Relevant Project Samples – Upload ten digital image files or ten minutes total of time-based media content (or a combination of both) of three past projects that support your understanding of the requirements and that demonstrate the required experience using the guidelines listed below.
    1. All images should pertain to past projects. You may use all your allotted image slots to show multiple images from the 3 past projects you are showcasing in this submission or use your image slots to show other past projects. You must show at least one image from the 3 past projects you are showcasing in this submission.
    2. Ten files maximum.
    3. Applicants who wish to include a combination of digital images and media files: send ten files maximum with no more than ten minutes of content total. For each minute of video/audio content, remove one digital image (i.e. send 6 jpg images and one video file that is 4 minutes long or send 6 jpgs and 2 video files that are 2 minutes long each).
    4. Strict adherence to the naming convention outlined below is necessary for images to be uploaded into our database and successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee meeting.
  5. Image/Media list – Compile and submit a list with detailed information on the submitted digital images or video of previous projects, using the name assigned to the file as per the examples above. Include the title, date, budget, location, process and other pertinent information on the submitted samples. This list should not exceed two pages.
    1. Image files must be:
      1. Saved as JPG at 72 dpi and no larger than 1 MB each.
      2. Named with the corresponding image list number, title, date, medium and dimensions, each separated by an underscore. Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. File names must not exceed 150 characters.
      3. Format for naming image files: 01_Artwork Title_year_medium_dimensions.jpg
      4. Examples: 01_The Mountain_2014_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 inches.jpg02_Untitled 3 detail_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.jpg03_Untitled in situ_2005_mixed media_variable dimensions.jpg
    2. Time-based media files must be:
      1. Shared using a web link to each video or audio file. If the web link does not work, the content will not be viewed.
      2. Cued to the excerpt you want presented to the committee (or provide detailed cue instructions in the description field).
  6. References – References should be submitted for each of the three projects in this submission. This is limited to three references (1 reference per project). The City reserves the right to contact project references to verify information provided.
  7. Budget – Provide a budget forecast for the design and implementation of your civic arts strategy according to the Project Opportunity and Deliverables section 1.2.5. Provide a table with a breakdown fees and rates for any individuals that will be working on the project, and all project costs including disbursements. Costs shall be stated in Canadian dollars with applicable taxes (Harmonized Sales Tax)

3.0 Evaluation process

3.1. Evaluation Team

An evaluation team comprised of the Project Advisory Committee members will review all submissions received for eligibility and score the submissions using a consensus approach. The City reserves the right to engage professional external or internal consultants to assist it with the evaluation process. In accordance to the City’s Public Art Policy – the Project Advisory Committee is considered a peer assessment committee.

3.2. Conduct of Evaluation

3.2.1. Overview

In conducting its evaluation of Proponents’ submissions, the City of Ottawa may, but will have no obligation to do the following:

  • Seek clarification or verification from Proponents regarding any or all information provided by them with respect to the solicitation;
  • Request, before awarding Proponent an opportunity to go to the next stage, specific information with respect to Proponent’s qualifications.

Proponents will have the number of days specified in the request by the City of Ottawa to comply with any request related to any of the above items. Failure to comply with the request may result in the submission being declared non-responsive.

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project. The decision of the Project Advisory Committee is final.

3.2.2. Due Diligence

The City, at its sole discretion, may conduct a due diligence phase to review the certainty, reasonableness and comprehensiveness of a submission. The City may seek clarification of any of the elements contained in the submission and contact the people named as references in order to confirm the information provided. Respondents are expected to cooperate in providing clarification on any of the components of their submission. Submissions that fail to satisfy the due diligence phase will not be given any further consideration.

Respondents may be required and shall diligently do so if requested by the City, to furnish supplemental information concerning their submissions. Generally, diligently shall mean within forty-eight hours of such notice being given by the City.

By submitting a proposal, the Proponent agrees to be bound by the process set out in this solicitation regarding the conduct of this solicitation and the evaluation of submissions.

3.2.3. Evaluation Criteria

Selection of the successful Proponent pursuant to this Request for Proposals will be made on the basis of the Proponent’s written response. Submissions will be evaluated in accordance with the rated requirements identified below. Proponents are required to address these requirements in sufficient depth in their submissions to permit a full evaluation of their qualifications.

Additional information not considered part of the minimum requirements (such as website addresses where additional information can be found, references outside of the 3 past projects), will not be considered in the evaluation of the submission. Assessment of submissions will commence after the Request for Proposals closing date.

The responses shall be evaluated based on the matrix shown below.

Evaluation Criteria Evaluation
A. Project Understanding 40%
B. Experience and Qualifications of Lead and Key Team Members 25%
C. Past Work 15%
D. Budget 20%
Total 100%
3.2.4. Rating

Proposals will be rated according to the outline below for each of the criteria listed above.

Rating Description
10 Exceeds expectations; Proponent clearly understands the requirement, excellent probability of success.
8 Somewhat exceeds expectations; Proponent has a very good understanding of the requirement, very good probability of success.
6 Meets expectations; Proponent has good understanding of requirement, good probability of success.
2 Does not meet expectations or demonstrate understanding of the requirements, low probability of success.
0 Lack of response or complete misunderstanding of the requirements, no probability of success.

The score of each criterion will be determined by multiplying the criteria weight by the rating. The sum of all scores will be the total score.

3.2.5. Proponent Shortlist

Up to three Proponents may be shortlisted based on the evaluation of submissions for the criteria outlined in section 3.2.3. The City of Ottawa reserves the right to shortlist any number of Proponents. Short-listed proponents may be invited to a virtual interview with the Evaluation Team.