Indigenous Placemaking

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Indigenous Placemaking

Submissions Due: October 5, 2020

The Calgary Public Library invites Indigenous artists from the vast and beautiful nations and communities who reside within Treaty 7 territory, including individual artists who are not originally from this traditional territory, to work on and design artwork or installations that will activate Indigenous placemaking in Calgary Public Library locations.

Partnerships and collaborations are encouraged, including between established and emerging artists. This opportunity is designed to include both traditional Indigenous methods of making and contemporary art practices.

Project Objectives

The Calgary Public Library is excited to provide permanent Indigenous art installation opportunities in the following locations: Seton Library, Shawnessy Library, Crowfoot Library, and Saddletowne Library. This call is for artists or artist teams to create a concept or artwork as a finished final installation.

The main objectives for the Calgary Public Library Indigenous Placemaking commissions are:

  • Develop artworks that will promote an educational understanding of the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations, Stoney Nakoda Nations, and Métis Nation Region 3’s history, both past, present, and future using visual and oral storytelling, through various mediums including live performance, animation, and digital media for library permanent online resources.
  • Create a safe and inclusive place for all Indigenous people within Treaty 7 area, including underrepresented and marginalized groups, to gather, share and learn together and to encourage education and communication about Indigenous arts and culture.
  • Promote traditional and contemporary education and cultural connection among artists of all disciplines, backgrounds, and stages of careers.
  • Promote collaboration among artists of all disciplines, backgrounds, and stages of careers.

The commissioned artists or artist teams will be required to design, fabricate, and install a public art feature that will create a strong and recognizable link to themes of tradition, diversity, inclusion, storytelling, identity, and education. Artists 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. All Indigenous artists with a connection to Calgary, including the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations, Stoney Nations, and Métis Nation Region 3 and other urban Indigenous people are encouraged to apply.

Artists may apply individually or as part of a team, however, only one application per artist/team will be accepted. The parameters of this project ensure that the public art and workshops featured in the library should remain diverse with regards to artistic mediums, disciplines, and methods and that a varied group of artists are engaged. Artists should be knowledgeable about Indigenous traditional and contemporary practices and protocols.

In addition, to ensure that the Placemaking initiative is an inclusive and supportive opportunity for all Indigenous artists, this Call is particularly seeking people from traditionally underrepresented and marginalized groups, specifically female, individuals self-identifying as women, LGBTQ2+ and non-binary community members, to ensure diverse community representation.

Information Sessions

Four, two-hour presentations will be held for those interested in applying to the call for artists. These sessions will provide a review of the first two phases of the Indigenous Placemaking initiative (2018/19 and 2019/2020), information about the locations and spaces for this placemaking initiative (2020/21), review of the submission guidelines, and a question period.

In light of COVID-19 public health restrictions and guidelines, all Information sessions will be held online using Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Please visit for up to date details regarding the workshop dates.

Proposed dates are as follows:

  • September 10, 2020
  • September 17, 2020
  • September 24, 2020
  • October 1, 2020

Benefits for Artist/Artist Teams

Identified below are responsibilities of the Indigenous Placemaking Program coordinator to uphold for the artist or artist team:

  • Guidance and support of artwork creation from the Elders’ guidance council and the Indigenous Placemaking Program coordinator.
  • Promotion through library advertising streams (website, publications, programming).
  • A permanent installation in a recognized community public space.


An artist selection committee comprising of members from the TsuuT’ina Nation, the Blackfoot Nations, Stoney Nation, Métis Nation Region 3, urban Indigenous communities, and members of the library’s Elders guidance circle will be established. The artist selection committee will be comprised of up to eight (8) members who reside in the greater Calgary region as well as members of the library staff and one (1) Program Coordinator will guide this process.

Artist or artist teams will have the following timeline to work from once the art commissions are awarded:

  • Art Production: October 19, 2020 – March 19, 2021
  • Art Installation: March 12 – March 19, 2021
  • Opening/Artist Talks (Central): April 1, 2021

Artists will also receive a preliminary tour of the designated library locations during the art production phase to offer a clear understanding of the environment which will aid artwork ideation.

The installation deadline for all projects is March 19, 2021.

Due to ongoing public health measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, timelines are subject to change and can be negotiated at the discretion of the library and artist as required.

Details on Space and Budget

Library locations for Phase III of Indigenous Placemaking include:

  • Seton Library (free-standing/furnishings/mural)
  • Crowfoot Library (free-standing/furnishings/interactive installation/mural)
  • ShawnessyLibrary (free-standing/furnishings/interactive installation/mural)
  • SaddletowneLibrary (free-standing/furnishings/interactive installation/mural)

To view photos of the proposed spaces, visit

Below are the proposed budgets for the identified opportunities for immediate commissioned installation within the four identified Calgary Public Library locations.

Crowfoot Library
Up to $20,000
March 19, 2021

Saddletowne Library
Up to $20,000
March 19, 2021

Seton Library
Up to $20,000
March 19, 2021

Shawnessy Library
Up to $20,000
March 19, 2021

Note, deadlines for completion may be negotiated at the discretion of the Calgary Public Library in consultation with the program coordinator and artist or artist team.

Application Process

Artists interested in being part of Indigenous Placemaking at the library 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 ideas for the artwork or art installation, a summary of your experience as an artist and why you want to participate as an artist with the Placemaking Initiative (this can be an audio/video recording).
  • A brief concept proposal or description of the artwork you will develop and deliver (this can be an audio/video recording). Please include anticipated budget breakdown and project timelines to complete, as well as 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.
  • Current Resume (Curriculum Vitae): If applying as an artist team please provide one for each artist.
  • Support Images: Up to five images of past work including art styles 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 email addresses and telephone numbers.

The selection committee, including Elders from the community, will meet as a group to select the final artists or artist teams and designate placement of art installations in the library through a process of thoughtful and collaborative review and discussion of submitted proposals. The final decision by the Calgary Public Library regarding the artist selection should reflect the recommendations made by the artist selection committee. 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 Placemaking project or the application process can be directed to:

Jared Tailfeathers
Program Coordinator, Indigenous Placemaking
Calgary Public Library
Call 403.221.4103 or email

To apply please send the submission package digital copy to: or

Deadline for Applications: October 5, 2020

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