Call for Proposals: Toronto Sculpture Garden
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: TORONTO SCULPTURE GARDEN In Partnership with the Toronto Biennial of Art 115 King Street East,...

In Partnership with the Toronto Biennial of Art
115 King Street East, Toronto

Deadline for proposals: April 15, 2019
Exhibition Dates: September 2019 – April 2020

From its opening in 1981, the Toronto Sculpture Garden (TSG) commissioned temporary artworks by over 80 artists, in a small City of Toronto park opposite St. James Cathedral on King Street east. Until 2014, it was operated as a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Louis L. Odette family, whose non-profit L.L.O. Sculpture Garden Foundation funded and administered the exhibitions. Under the direction of Rina Greer, the TSG provided artists with the opportunity to work experimentally in public space, explore issues of scale and materials, and engage with the local community as well as visitors to the neighbourhood. For some, the expansion of their practice beyond the studio led to major public artworks elsewhere.

Now managed by the City of Toronto’s Economic Development & Culture Division, the TSG hosts two projects per year.

The Fall 2019 Sculpture Garden project will be presented in partnership with the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art, which will take place along the waterfront and in other parts of the city from September 21 to December 1, 2019. The work for the Sculpture Garden will be connected thematically and practically with other artworks in the Biennial exhibitions.

The Biennial will feature works by Canadian and international artists in public spaces and unexpected locations. Many projects will be presented in collaboration with not-for-profit galleries, museums, community organizations, and educational institutions across the city.

For more information, please visit

Curatorial Direction

The curators for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art ask artists to consider “how can we be in relation?” This question is intended to decenter the individual in place of a multiplicity. What is our role when we imagine our position amidst an infinite constellation of beings, human and non-human, animate and inanimate? And might this be a future? The future’s future? By focusing on relations, kinships, and interdependencies, we open ourselves up to ancient ideas, alternative histories, sacred belief systems, and ways of knowing. We also look further back, towards a deeper, geological sense of time. Measured in eons, not centuries. And by recalibrating the compass by which we view the past, we also direct our gaze to a multiplicity of futures: Indigenous futurisms, Black futurisms, migrant futurisms, animal futurisms.

The Biennial will take place primarily within an area framed by the original boundaries of the so-called Toronto Purchase (1805), which ran from Ashbridges Bay to Etobicoke Creek. For the First Peoples, who have maintained a presence here for over 15,000 years, this is a site of spiritual healing, trade, treaty, and gathering. In the current era, it has been deeply inscribed by much newer settler, slave and immigrant narratives, just as it has also been physically transformed by industrial, military and civilian use. In years to come, this line will be redrawn again by radical development and re-naturalization. Existing on the edge of Lake Ontario, part of the largest freshwater system on Earth, we view it in relation. And at each new magnification we get a different view of our role in a multitude of ecosystems: collaborative and destructive, ecological and capitalistic, civic and colonial.

Competition Process

The successful proposal will be selected by the TSG Selection Panel, which will include a member of the Biennial curatorial team. Preference will be given to new work that responds to the site and the curatorial direction; only in exceptional cases will existing work be considered.

Budget: $30,000.00 CAD (+HST), which includes all artists’ fees, materials, installation and removal, transportation, insurance, and permits.


February 15, 2019: Call to artists for Expression of Interest
April 15, 2019: Deadline for submissions
Week of April 22, 2019: Selection panel meeting
September 11 – 18, 2019: Installation
September 19 – 21, 2019: Opening events
April 2020: De-Installation

General Proposal Requirements:

  • Project description.
  • Drawing(s) showing dimensions and materials
  • Plan showing the location of the work on the site.
  • Budget outline showing critical costs.
  • Annotated images of the proposal and any relevant previous work.
  • CV / Biography

For detailed information about proposal and submission requirements, please visit


Catherine Dean
Public Art Officer

Economic Development & Culture | City of Toronto
City Hall, 9th Floor, East Tower
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2

Image Credit: Tony Romano, Pigro (2018), currently installed in the Toronto Sculpture Garden. Photograph by Jimmy Limit