Request for Qualifications: Indigenous Public Art Curator, Waterfront Toronto
Overview Waterfront Toronto is seeking a professional Indigenous public art curator to assist with the commission of two...


Waterfront Toronto is seeking a professional Indigenous public art curator to assist with the commission of two significant, site-specific, permanent public art opportunities for Indigenous artists. The first site for artwork is located on the grounds of the future Indigenous Hub in Block 10, in Toronto’s West Don Lands. The second site is on the triangle of land formed by the intersection of King, Queen and River Streets, also in West Don Lands. The artworks will celebrate historical and contemporary Indigenous cultural expression as city placemaking.

The total budget for the Indigenous Public Art Curator is $81,250.00 CAD

This RFQ process is open to First Nations, Métis or Inuit curators with strong ties to the GTA.

Project Description

The Don River, like all bodies of water, is essential to the culture, teachings, and life of Indigenous people in Toronto. The proximity of both sites to the river, and their proximity to the ancient Indigenous trail network connecting Lake Ontario to the upper great lakes, suggests a curatorial approach that encompasses both sites.

The recent naming of the large network of interconnected parks and trails of the Lower Don Valley to the Wonscotonach Parklands indicates a shift towards encompassing a broader history of the land and a questioning of the city’s relationship to the Lower Don.

A centralized, state-of-the-art Indigenous health facility on lands purchased by Anishnawbe Health Toronto from the Province for a nominal fee (which were part of the 2015 PanAm/ParaPanAm Games Athlete’s Village), will be the first project on the site of a new Indigenous Community Hub for the city—for the moment called Block 10 in the West Don Lands. The public art project will consist of designing a gathering space at the southwest corner of the Hub.

The King/Queen triangle has been earmarked for public realm improvements. Part of this vision is to transform an undefined, transitory site wedged between transportation corridors, into a welcoming gathering space for nearby communities and the public at large.

General Submission Requirements

Waterfront Toronto is inviting practicing professional Indigenous curators to include in their submission:

  • Submission Form
  • Statement of Intent
  • CV
  • Maximum 8 Images of Previous Curatorial Projects (with descriptions)
  • Proposed Schedule for Deliverables
  • References

Submissions will be reviewed by an evaluation committee comprised of arts professionals and will include an Indigenous artist or knowledge keeper, a representative of Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT), and one local community member. The evaluation committee will then select an applicant shortlist of approximately three (3) for interviews.


The total budget for the curator is CDN $81,250.00. This budget is inclusive of all work performed, including curator fees, attendance at meetings, presentations, site visits, travel to the sites, travel to outreach and engagement sessions, site research, preparation of curatorial statements, research and preparation of public art plans and procurement documents (RFQ/RFPs), art concept review, and insurance as required by Waterfront Toronto. Due to COVID-19, meetings, presentations, and outreach and engagement may need to be done virtually and arrangements will be made if required.

The approximate overall combined budget for artwork on both sites is $ 1,625,000.00 CAD. This artwork budget is separate to the Indigenous Public Art Curator budget.

RFQ Timeline

Issue RFQ – October 5, 2020
Deadline for Questions – November 2, 2020
Submission Deadline – November 9, 2020 at 2p.m. EST
Shortlist Interviews – Week of November 23, 2020
Anticipated Start Date – December 14, 2020

For more information about the opportunity, including project and site context, and detailed submission requirements, visit our website at:

Scroll down to Login/Register for Bonfire, and if required, create a New Vendor Account. The RFQ and Submission Form can be downloaded from the site.

Submission deadline is Monday November 9, 2020 at 2:00pm EST

Please direct all enquiries regarding this RFQ through the messaging function within Waterfront Toronto’s Bonfire Portal website, at the link above (under the Opportunity Q&A tab), no later than the date set out above as the Recommended Deadline for Questions. Responses to enquiries will be posted on Waterfront Toronto’s Bonfire Portal website and proponents will receive notification of the posting.

This page is a letter of introduction only. Please read in full the Waterfront Toronto Request for Qualifications document RFQ #2020-28, which contains instructions, evaluation criteria, submission requirements, project and site details, and terms and conditions.