Request for Qualifications: Call to Indigenous Artists for Collaborations at the Etobicoke Civic Centre
RELEASE: March 16, 2021 DEADLINE: 5pm EST, April 16, 2021 1. ETOBICOKE CIVIC CENTRE: PROJECT OVERVIEW The Etobicoke Civic...

RELEASE: March 16, 2021
DEADLINE: 5pm EST, April 16, 2021


The Etobicoke Civic Centre (ECC) is a new civic centre in the former suburb of Etobicoke is located on a 13.8 acre property bounded by Kipling Avenue to the west, Bloor and Dundas Streets to the north and the TTC/CPR rail corridor to the southeast. The ECC is situated on the Ancestral territory and gathering place of the Anishnaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Tionontati (Petun), the Wendat, and the treaty territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Locally known as the Westwood Theatre Lands and “spaghetti junction,” the notoriously complicated “Six Point Interchange” where Kipling Avenue, Bloor Street and Dundas Street intersect is currently undergoing a major reconfiguration. Situated at the heart of the new community being built, the ECC will replace the existing municipal buildings at 399 The West Mall and incorporate a new civic hub and a civic square.

Following an international design competition, design of the civic centre was awarded to internationally acclaimed architect, Henning Larsen and Adamson and Associate Architects and PMA Landscape Architects (the “Design Team”). Completion is expected for the summer of 2025.


Civic Square: Etobicoke Civic Centre
Rendering courtesy Henning Larsen / Adamson & Associate Architects

Conceived as an “integrated civic hub” this mixed-use development will feature municipal offices, a Council Chamber, civic offices and a citizen services centre, multi-purpose meeting rooms, a daycare centre, a community recreation centre with a pool and running track, a Toronto Public Library District Branch, an art gallery, and a large outdoor civic square surrounded by ample new sustainable landscaping. CreateTO, in collaboration with the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division (EDC) and the Indigenous Affairs Office are advancing the Public Art Program as an integral component in the design and development of the new ECC.

More information about the site and the development is available at the CreateTO website at:


CreateTO, in collaboration with the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division (EDC) and the Indigenous Affairs Office (IAO), is inviting Indigenous artists (that is, Indigenous artists born or living in Canada) to submit their qualifications as the first stage in a two-stage process to commission public art through collaborations with members of the project Design Team for the forthcoming Etobicoke Civic Centre (ECC). This call also includes opportunities for interested Indigenous artists to participate in a paid mentorship program.

Art can visually express the range of human experience and reflect the cultural and demographic diversity of the community. Art is a powerful form of story‐telling – sharing, learning, giving pleasure, passing on memories – an instinct and practice as old as humanity.

There are three opportunities for commissioned Indigenous artists born or living in Canada to collaborate and work with select members of the distinguished, international design team in developing design concepts for these specific commissions. These are exceptional opportunities for the commissioned artists. Two paid Mentorships that enable artists to learn more about public art are also offered.

Design fees payable to the Commissioned Artist will encompass the collaboration process with the Design Team Member with the result being a comprehensive Art Plan (including the Concept, materials and production methods and precise locations) and a detailed Execution Budget.

Separate budgets are assigned to each opportunity to cover costs for production, materials, labour engineering, fabrication, insurance and delivery to the Site and necessary coordination activities. Finalists for each opportunity will be provided with the maximum amount available for execution.

The project Public Art Consultant Team will be available to assist Commissioned Artists with navigating the process through to completion of the Art Plan and execution Budget.

Opportunity 1: Stone Carving
Design Fee: $25,000.

The opportunity consists of the development of a program of bas-relief (low carved) Indigenous imagery relevant to this territory, to be inscribed into boulders and large stone elements that are placed in key locations around the ECC. The choice of stone materials and placement within the Site will require collaboration with the Project Landscape Architect.

This opportunity will comprise a collaboration between the Commissioned Artist and the Landscape Architect resulting in an Art Plan and execution Budget. Upon approval of the Art Plan and execution Budget, the Artist will be offered a contract to supply and fabricate the Artwork. This collaboration will entail working with the Landscape Architect, with periodic review by an Elder.

Opportunity 2: Sculpture Program for the Sacred Fire Vessel and East Garden
Design Fee: $50,000.

2.a. Sacred Fire Vessel: This opportunity consists of the design of the cover for a Sacred Fire Vessel to be placed in an exterior location. (The mechanical components will be commercially supplied to meet safety requirements.)
2.b. East Garden: This opportunity consists of designing small scale sculptural elements to be integrated into the East Garden at the ECC.

Opportunities 1 & 2 will be a collaboration with the Landscape Architect and will also entail periodic review by an Elder. Upon approval of the Art Plan and execution Budget, the Artist will be offered a contract to supply and fabricate the Artworks. Ultimately, the Commissioned Artist will be sculpting or directing the sculpting/production of the Artworks.

Opportunity 3: Lead Artist: Wedding Chapel Co-Created Wallwork
Design Fee: $50,000.

3. A Co-Created, wall mounted indoor artwork is proposed for the interior Wedding Chapel. The artwork design and planning will be led by and designed by an Indigenous Artist and executed by a team of Indigenous participants (artists and craftspeople) assembled by the Lead Artist. This project will entail collaboration with a member of the Design Team.

The Lead Artist will act as the coordinator and visionary for the development of a Concept, and execution Budget, managing and leading the creative process for design, assembling and managing the team of Indigenous participants (artists and craftspeople) who will execute components of the design.

The execution Budget will be prepared as part of the Art Plan prepared by the commissioned Lead Artist. The project execution budget will include labour costs for Lead artist and Participants (artists and craftspeople), material costs, assembly and delivery costs, presentation costs (framing, including a protective cover, and installation). The Lead Artist will be responsible for all payments to be made from the execution budget including the assembly, framing and preparing the completed Artwork for installation at the Site.

Artists and Craftspeople who are interested in participating as an artwork “Maker” in this collaborative, co-created project may contact us at for details.

Opportunity 4: Mentorships

Two (2) Paid Mentorship Opportunities are available to emerging artists who have an interest in learning more about public art as a discipline. The selected artists will learn about the processes involved in collaborating with architects, engineers, project managers, fabricators, public servants, and the community. The purpose of these mentorships is to increase the skills and knowledge of Indigenous artists who seek to pursue future public art opportunities. Final details of the scope and timing of these mentorships are to be determined.


Background Information about all Opportunities and application forms will be released on March 19, 2021 and are available by email to: (Attention: Karen Mills)

To be considered, you must apply directly through

Support is available to aid in assembling the submissions or in responding to questions.

We will be hosting two “How to Apply” sessions online on March 25, 2021 at 11:00 AM EST and again on Saturday March 27, 2021 at 11:00AM EST.


3 to 5 Candidates will be selected to advance as Finalists for each Commission opportunity including the Mentorships. Selection will be made by the ECC Public Art Jury and Working Group. Finalists will be invited to participate in Juried Interviews with an honorarium paid to Finalists for their participation.

Artists and craftspeople participating in the production of Commission #3 (Wedding Chapel Co-created Artwork) will be chosen by the Commissioned “Lead Artist”.


The Artworks should:

  • Honour the ongoing Indigenous presence on Turtle Island and invoke Indigenous Peoples’ connection to Mother Earth
  • Engage the community at large, including local and regional Indigenous communities and the general public, fostering connection and dialogue
  • Serve as welcoming elements inviting exploration by visitors and staff
  • Serve as intuitive wayfinding landmarks when negotiating through the complex
  • The Artworks should be iconic, impactful, durable and require minimal maintenance

Ultimately, the Indigenous art program aims to respect and honour all Indigenous people, First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, their elders, their knowledge keepers, both young and old, their ancestors and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

The Artworks must be unique. We will not consider acquiring editioned works or versions of existing works.


We are inviting interested Indigenous artists, born or living in Canada, to submit their credentials for consideration as part of the first stage of a two-stage public art process. Recognition as an artist and Indigenous person by the Indigenous community and ability to demonstrate learnings from their own journey and teachings received are of importance.

Proponents must be Indigenous professional artists with a history of public exhibition as artists, a background including training as artists including equivalent informal or traditional training, and curator, community or peer recognition as artists.

Architects and designers / design studios are not being considered for this project.

We encourage all Indigenous artists, traditional makers and craftspeople born or living in Canada to contact us.

We have a helpful, supportive team in place, so please do not hesitate to submit your credentials even if you have not previously completed a public art commission.

Please note that these opportunities entail Indigenous Artist collaborations with the designated Design Team Member so we will not consider non-Indigenous team submissions.

To secure the “Call to Artists” package of information and submission forms, or if you have questions, please contact:

Karen Mills:


“How to Apply” sessions will be held at 11 AM EST, Thursday, March 25, 2021 and at 11 AM Saturday, March 27, 2021.

Note that an additional session may be scheduled based on need.

The time(s) to be confirmed. Please contact Karen Mills at before 8:00 AM, March 23, 2021 to receive an invitation to participate.

Closing Time for emailed RFQ Submissions is 5:00 PM EST, April 16, 2021.

Late Submissions will not be accepted for any reason.

Please note, funding for the design and construction of ECC and all Public Art is subject to City Council’s approval. In the event that the ECC does not proceed, all artists commissioned work will be concluded and artists will be compensated for all work completed up to the date work has been suspended.

You may follow our progress by checking in at!