Memorial Parkway Program Lead Artist Info Session Online

Grant Announcement Categories: Public Art Program

Info session online graphic for Announcement pages

Memorial Parkway Program Lead Artist Info Session Online

Applying for the Memorial Parkway Program Lead Artist? You can find more information and advice in this online and on-demand information session.

Calgary Arts Development is seeking professional artists to join The City of Calgary’s design team for the Memorial Parkway Program.

The lead artist(s) will develop a public art program for this lively outdoor space throughout the infrastructural redevelopment of the area. The mandate of this initiative is to deliver expansive placemaking opportunities for multiple public spaces.

Being brought into the design team at this stage of the project could facilitate the integration of artworks into the flood barrier or nearby pathway system, or the development of art concepts for multiple unique opportunities anchoring a public art program that stretches along the north bank of the Bow River, between Centre St. and 14 St. NW.

The lead artist(s) will be expected to begin work with the design team in mid-March 2024. This is a multi-year project – installations or programming may continue into 2027.

This project takes place in Calgary, AB, Canada and is open to international applicants.

Be sure to read the full guidelines and apply by 4:30pm MT on January 26, 2024.

Alex Lingnau: Okay. So, before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that the land we gather on, Mohkinsstsis, is the ancestral territory of the Siksikaitsitapi — the Blackfoot people — comprising the Siksika, Kainai and Piikani Nations, as well as Treaty 7 signatories, the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Îyârhe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney First Nations. Today this land is home to Métis Nation Districts 5 and 6 as well as many First Nations and Inuit from across Turtle Island.

We acknowledge that there has been art, music, dance, storytelling and ceremony on this land since time immemorial. And it’s in the spirit of this land and its people that we do our work.

Here is just quickly my contact information. You can screenshot this if you want, and you can always reach out to me with any questions about this program or CADA’s public art program throughout your application process. This will be up again at the end for your guys’ reference, or if you want to screenshot it then.

Okay. So, who are Calgary Arts Development Authority? CADA or Calgary Arts Development has created a strategic framework that supports and nurtures diverse art and artist-led city building to foster not only a resilient and sustainable arts ecosystem, but to achieve a truly equitable, inclusive and accessible city where everyone belongs.

Our overarching vision is a creative, connected Calgary through the arts where everyone is empowered to live a creative life. And our mission is that the arts have the power to create a vibrant, to create vibrant communities and bring together diverse voices and perspectives. We support artists in the development of their skills and the expression of their creativity. Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. As the city’s designated Arts Development Authority, we invest and allocate municipal funding for the arts provided by the City of Calgary and leverage these funds to provide additional resources to the arts sector. Our programs support hundreds of arts organizations, including individual artists and artist collectives in Calgary. As of 2021, Calgary Arts Development is engaged in a multi-year transition with the City of Calgary to take over as operator of the public art program. We are creating a public art program that is engaging, relevant and accountable.

This program must reflect the rich diversity of the city, including connecting with Indigenous voices to tell past, current and future stories of Mohkinsstsis. Our intent is to foster meaningful connections and dialog between artists and communities, utilizing art in the public realm to reflect Calgary’s diverse stories and values. So, Calgary Arts Development’s role is in commissioning new artworks through open competition, such as the Memorial Parkway Program, Lead Artist Call, programing, for example, youth programs, artist development and temporary exhibitions and building public art awareness and activating the civic collection.

Sorry, just trying to let a couple people into the room. The City is still responsible for the civic collection, conservation and maintenance and activation of that civic collection. Calgary Arts Development is committed to working with communities that have historically been underserved. We are guided by the core principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, or EDIA. We are committed to the process of eliminating institutional racism, ableism and barriers in our programs, policies and practices by centring the creativity and leadership of those communities most impacted by structural inequities.

Our commitment outlines a vision for a city where Calgarians of all backgrounds can access, create and participate in art as part of their everyday lives. The four pillars of this vision are Equity – so creating equitable access for Calgarians, who have had less opportunity for philanthropic and governmental support due to systemic barriers that exist in our communities; Diversity – supporting artistic endeavours that reflect our diverse community and in supporting the work of artists of diverse backgrounds. Inclusion – engaging a wide variety of voices and perspectives in shaping and furthering the work we do. And Accessibility – eliminating systemic barriers that prevent people who encounter physical, mental or cultural barriers to spaces, programs and services from participating in the arts.

In order to honour lived experience and the intersectional and unique experiences of different people and communities, we follow a nothing about us without us policy. So, if you are creating work about a specific community, that community needs to be actively engaged and consulted and there needs to be a clear, intentional and reciprocal relationship there. Aligning with our commitment to EDIA we will strive to work with applicants in a one-size-fits-one way.

If you have any concerns about how your practice or concept fits into our application process, please reach out. And of course, there are things we will not tolerate, such as hate speech, cultural appropriation and active exclusionary behaviour. So please be aware of that and be aware that applications containing these concepts will not be accepted.

As for application assistance, if you do need help, Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair and transparent processes. There are two policies available for anyone who may need support to apply to this program. The Accommodation and Accessibility Policy and the Application Assistance Policy. We will work one on one with applicants who experience barriers to access to develop accommodations that suit their unique abilities and situations, and continually seek to learn and address inequities in our programs and processes.

We can provide funds to support application assistance. For example, we can help cover the cost of translations of written materials into other languages, including ASL, transcription of verbal meetings or audio and video recordings into a written document, language interpretation for meetings and grant writing assistance. If you’re looking for assistance or have any questions about eligibility, please reach out to us before applying.

You can email the public art team at, or you can reach out to me directly. Please reach out as early as possible so we can provide the appropriate support. Something like booking translators, for example, can take up to a week or more. Our application assistance program requires a one-time approval, so if you are granted an accommodation for this application, you will be pre-approved for any future applications with CADA.

If you’re facing any barriers to complete or submit an application, please reach out to us and we will help you out.

Here is a quick overview of the public art, or the timeline for the Memorial Parkway Program application. So, our, this call opened on December 18 and it will close on January 26, 2024 at 4:30pm MST. We really encourage submitting your application as early as possible and late submissions are not accepted. All applications will be reviewed and evaluated in February.

We will shortlist up to five applicants for an interview with the Assessment Committee and Stakeholders and that will be conducted during the last week of February. The successful applicant will be notified in early March and unsuccessful applicants will also be notified by email in March. And the lead artist will be expected to begin working with the design team in mid-March 2024.

Our program outlook for this will continue through 2027, depending on the proposed artworks. So, it is a multi-year commitment. And we will go over the program in general. So, Calgary Arts Development is seeking professional artists to join the City’s Design Team for the Memorial Parkway program. What does that mean? The mandate of the infrastructure program is to deliver expansive placemaking opportunities for the Living Memorial, the Sunnyside Flood Barrier Project and Memorial Drive.

All parts of the Memorial Parkway Program. Embedding a lead artist in the design team for this program can change perspectives and create multiple opportunities and a variety of implementations for public art. Being brought on to the design team at this stage of the project could facilitate the development of artworks to be integrated into the flood barrier and into the adjacent pathway system or could involve developing art concepts or multiple unique opportunities anchoring a public art program that stretches along the north bank of the river. The section of the riverbank affected by this program is about three kilometers long, running between Centre Street and 14 Street NW. This includes the roadway, the adjacent green space and walking and cycling infrastructure, the living memorial trees and the Sunnyside flood barrier. The greenspace varies in width along this pathway, with some areas being open and park like and others being transitory and secluded.

A similar integrated approach was used in Eau Claire on the river’s south bank. Multiple, multiple disciplines were brought in to solve the challenge of enhancing the beauty and usability while seamlessly integrating a flood barrier into the space. I will share a link to this project at the end of the session and I recommend looking it over to learn more about the City’s history of working this way to develop functional, contextual and community focused design with an embedded artist. The lead artist’s role in this project is to drive the implementation of the Memorial Parkway Public Art Project and they are responsible to lead the delivery of the creative vision. They may also develop concepts that involve or incorporate collaborations with other artists, and they will work in conjunction with the CADA Public Art Project Lead, the Memorial Parkway Program Project Team and those with internal and external relationships to the project.

The context of this work, the city, our history and our communities, is important to consider while working with the design team. We believe that conducting meaningful engagement with community members will benefit the outcome of the project and there is an expectation that the lead artist will develop opportunities for community engagement.

The Project Description. So, there are multiple opportunities for public art to become integrated into the architectural framework, as well as the smaller scale initiatives such as murals, portable artworks, research projects or social practice installations. Numerous avenues exist for artwork to be embedded within the future infrastructure on site, so murals could be incorporated into sections of the flood wall, artwork can be embedded within sight elements or standalone artworks, and amenities could be included. We are receptive to exploring really a huge range of possibilities and anything our applicants want to approach us with. Additionally, there are several segments along the project site that are well suited for either a single lead artist overseeing multiple projects or the collaboration of multiple artists within our project site.

In addition to offering multiple sites as public art opportunities, the Memorial Parkway Program highlights four design principles which will inform context and approach to public art. Those are placemaking, flood mitigation, protection of natural environment and connectivity. I’m going to go through each of these in a little bit more detail. So, placemaking, in the context of the public realm, is the creation of a space that will enhance the vibrancy of the area and highlight the north bank as a cultural, natural and historic destination.

So this can involve the creation of nodes that will activate the use of an area through new social gathering spaces and opportunities for deeper connections to the natural environment, creation of linear spaces on the corridor, creation of alternative interfaces between Memorial Drive and the flood barrier in the river, or a definition of public art opportunities that can be implemented within this program.

We also want to commemorate and honour the Living Memorial, the stretch along Memorial Drive from 14 Street NW to the Centre Street Bridge is of unique importance on a local, provincial and national level as it honours our veterans and fallen soldiers. Among the many commemorative works along Memorial Drive is the Living Memorial. From 1922 to 1928, poplar trees were planted along Memorial Drive, one for each soldier from southern Alberta who died in the Great War.

The Living Memorial, The Soldiers Memorial. Poppy Plaza, the field of crosses and the red dresses and ribbons representing awareness for missing, murdered and exploited Indigenous people and the Peace Bridge are all found along Memorial Drive. All of these focus on the themes of remembrance, legacy and history and what they mean to Calgarians. When the lead artist is selected, we’ll go into this in more detail, but it’s important for the artist to consider that, to consider the historical and memorial elements of this space. The standards and guidelines for the conservation of historic places in Canada will be used to guide the lead artist and design team in regard to the Living Memorial in specific and to protect existing memorial trees where possible. Again, there’s a lot to go into here and this will be something that we will talk a lot more in detail when the artist is selected, but as far as context goes, this is another place where there’s a lot of research you can do before you’re applying to kind of understand this landscape a bit better. Flood mitigation. So, flood mitigation through innovative engineering. The City remains committed to delivering the council-approved one in 100-year level of service flood barrier for the protection of the communities of Sunnyside and Hillhurst with limited delay.

This commitment will address the community exposure to flood risk by reducing expected average annual damages by $2.7 million. This is the estimated monetary value of flood damages that will be averted every year the barrier is in place. This commitment will also support amendments to land use regulations in Sunnyside and Hillhurst associated with the province’s flood hazard mapping. This could benefit citizens through possible increased development potential and or a reduction of cost for flood insurance.

The protection of the natural environment. So, we are protecting the existing trees, part of that is the Living Memorial that I just mentioned, but this is also about just the natural habitat in general of the space and the ecology of the riverbank. So, through the design and construction of the barrier, the program team will continue to evaluate the barrier footprint to preserve and replace memorial trees and other healthy trees, which is also going to be used to enhance the connection to the natural environment. We want to maintain and or enhance the riparian health and biodiversity in the program area.

Connectivity. So, we are trying, with this program, we’re trying to increase multimodal mobility in alignment with the 5A Network policy principles which will improve safety and create a reliable experience for all users. The principles within the 5A Network policy are separate people by their speed, improve visibility, make it reliable, be accessible for everyone, and make it easy to use.

Also working to enhance pedestrian connectivity with the north bank by creating spaces that enhance our connection to the north bank of the river while providing safe access to the river from the barrier. Here’s a little bit of background and timeline on the project. So, the Landscape of Memory Project aimed to develop a vision for Memorial Drive by focusing on the themes of remembrance, legacy and history and what they mean to Calgarians.

Focusing on the theme of the landscape of Memory, the project explored new and traditional ideas about memorialization within the context of the urban setting. Honouring the lost sons and daughters of our community, we have multiple installations, artworks and memorials, all situated along the Memorial Parkway program’s work area and further along Memorial Drive. In 2017 as part of Calgary’s flood resilience plan, the Sunnyside flood barrier was identified as a community level flood barrier and preliminary design work began. In 2022 the Sunnyside Flood Barrier Project transitions into the Memorial Parkway program focused on developing flood protection and future public realm improvements. The City held multiple community engagement events that year, in phase one of the project, in Phase one, the project team updated the landscape of memory, mission and principles, in Phase two, the team collected feedback to help develop concepts for public realm improvements one, one of which was a call for more public art in the area. In 2023, design work for the underground infrastructure pathway and flood barrier was reviewed and refined. And this year, 2024, site mobilization and flood barrier construction will begin. In 2025, we anticipate that the functional flood barrier will be substantially completed, and public realm improvement works will continue to be delivered, including pathway improvements, landscaping and public art installations.

So, what is the City doing and why? We’ve gone over a lot of this, it relates greatly to why we’re doing the public art portion of this project. The Memorial Parkway program will create a universally accessible, vibrant and sustainable public realm. The City will prioritize placemaking and experience for all Calgarians and visitors by creating more unique spaces that bring us together to connect with each other, our history into nature. The City will integrate flood mitigation through the incorporation of a flood barrier, while providing more and safer access to access points for people to get to the river. They’re providing multi-modal movement with a focus on improving how people move around the area, whether it’s by foot, bus, bike or car for safer and easier passage.

The City is working to preserve the Living Memorial and introducing new ways to enhance the vibrancy of the natural environment while preserving as many trees as possible. And they’re focusing on inclusivity for all ages and abilities and developing adaptable opportunities for the future needs of Calgarians. To get an idea of the landscape and the size of the Memorial Park program, I would highly suggest taking a look at the City’s website where you will find some area maps as well as some early design concepts. I will add links to all of these at the end of our presentation, but they’re also available in the application guidelines. This here is just an overview of the length of the program area. So, running from 14 Street in the west all the way over to Centre Street in the east.

Here we have this is hard to see in this image because it’s quite small, but online you can zoom in to these early design concepts and get a better idea of the infrastructure being developed and the geography of the parkway. So, there’s the west alignment and the east alignment, both are available on the City’s website. So, the project budget. We have an $850,000 budget for this program.

So that budget is for the integrated artwork, which includes research, community engagement, fabrication, installation, delivery and all artist fees and associated travel. For a typical capital project, artist fees are around 10 to 15%, but once the lead artist is selected, we will develop a full scope of work based on project milestones on the projects that we want to move forward with. Eligibility.

So, this is open to local, national and international professional artists or artist teams. We encourage submissions from artists who are typically underrepresented, including Black, Indigenous and people of colour, LGBTQ to us and d/Deaf person or persons with disabilities. Again, if you have any questions about eligibility or accessibility accommodations, please reach out to me directly and as soon as possible.

The Selection Process. Applications to the program will be reviewed by an independent assessment committee made up of artist peers, community members and some subject matter experts. The membership of the Peer Assessment Committee will be chosen through public nominations and staff expertise. Assessment committees are chosen to represent the broad diversity of Calgary and its artistic communities, including but not limited to artistic discipline, gender, sexuality, age, religion, beliefs, nation, physical and neurological identities, etc.

Assessment committees are held to the CADA Group Agreements, a commitment to open, generous and respectful evaluations and communications. You can read through the Group Agreements through a link in our guidelines if you’d like to, and anyone can ask to participate on a Calgary Arts Development Assessment Committee by completing the assessor nomination form online or by emailing

The evaluation. So, the Assessment Committee will read and score Expression of Interest applications throughout February. This will be a two-stage process where the assessment committee will identify a shortlist of up to five artists to be interviewed. Assessors will evaluate expression of interest applications based on how the submissions respond to application questions and score them for possible total of 100 points.

The Letter of Intent has five questions for a total of 50 points. Those questions are: Why does this opportunity appeal to you? How would this opportunity benefit your artistic practice? What would your approach be to working as a lead artist on an infrastructure design team? How will your previous experiences lend to this opportunity? And in your opinion, what is the benefit of integrating an artist into a design team?

You can include as much other information as you would like about your practice, about who you are, about why you want to do this project. But please make sure you are replying directly to those five questions at some point in your Letter of Intent, or Letter of Interest, sorry. The curriculum vitae is scored out of 30 points and assessors will be looking to see if it demonstrates relevant experience in completing public art projects and experience participating on a design team for public infrastructure. The images you submit are scored out of 20 points and the assessors are looking to see how well they demonstrate artistic excellence in contemporary art practice. Two references are required, but they will not have a point value and letters are not required at this time. We only need names, relationship to the artist and contact information.

The shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in a 30-minute interview with the Assessment Committee, the CADA project lead and a representative from the City’s project team. Questions will be provided in advance. Once all the interviews are complete, the committee will make a final recommendation for the lead artist. Leadership at CADA and the City of Calgary will review the decision before confirming the selected artist.

Okay, so I am going to walk everyone through our online application process. This is through our grant portal. If you guys have done this before, you might want to follow along just because it’s a different application. The registration is the same, but there’s a couple different things in the actual EOI on the platform. To get to this application you can go to the CADA website and just jump on to the grant log in button next to the search bar. You can also go to the website I am just going to switch on over to that page. So, if you click that link, you will be brought to this page.

If you haven’t registered before, you’re going to click this register button on the bottom and you will be able to apply for this application as either an individual artist or artist collective. I’m just going to click on individual artist here. This is very straightforward. You’re going to fill out this page with your contact information. Make sure you’re not a robot and then click submit.

Once you fill out this page, you will receive an email with a password set up. Once you’ve done that step, you’ll be able to just log in with your email address and the password that you have set up. Pretty straightforward. So, this is your homepage when you log in. In the upper right corner there’s always going to be a red circle with an initial in it.

If you click on that, you’re going to be able to jump into My Profile. This is really important. You always want to start here, even if you’re coming back, you want to go into your profile and make sure everything is up to date. A lot of this information will be ported over into any application that you start. So, you want to make sure it’s up to date, and you want to make sure it’s up to date before you submit an application.

So general information, who you are, where you’re from, how we contact you. This is important so that if we do need to reach out to you, we have the correct information. Some information about your years of practice or artistic discipline. If you’re interested in being considered as an assessor, simple yes or no or unsure. Here we’re going to ask you to upload your CV.

This is a drag and drop box. You can also click the Browse Files button here and it will let you search your computer. I would update this frequently, make sure the one that you have up here is up to date and current and the one that you do want to have in your application. If you upload something and you think it’s the wrong one, you can select it down here by clicking this checkbox and then hit delete button and it will let you get rid of that file.

There’s also a text box down here to put in artistic practice statement. Again, this is something that will be ported over into your application, so go through this, make sure it’s representative of who you are and where you are in your current practice. You can also include other ways for us to contact you or other information about you down here your social media contacts, anything else you want to put in. At the bottom of this page, you can hit Save My Work to save your work while you’re actually in here. That’ll prevent any disasters if you have a power outage or if your computer fails. And once everything’s ready to go, you can submit your profile. Now this will update and all of this will be ported back into your application.

You can always update your profile just by clicking the Update Profile button at the bottom of the screen. You can also see over here any applications that you have open, but if you’re starting on a new application, we’re going to go to the home screen, and under Open Opportunities, this is a button, you will be able to see any applications that are available to you.

So here we’ll see the Memorial Parkway Program lead artist application. This View button will download the program guidelines, good to have on reference while you’re going through this, and the Apply button will let you go into the application giving you a little bit of a general instruction here and then you can click begin applications to start. There’s a lot of information textbox while you go through this application.

I’m basically going to be going over everything that those say, but they’re great to have. For reference, while you’re working through your application. There are two tabs here, Contact Information and then Submission Requirements. Contact information. This is everything that you’ve put into your profile, so make sure you go through here and just double check that everything is accurate and up to date.

You can see here I don’t have a CV upload uploaded anymore, so I deleted that file. But yeah, here you’re just going to want to make sure everything is accurate. If you see something is wrong or that you want to change again, you can just go to the upper right-hand corner, go inside your profile, make those changes, make sure you press submit and they’ll be ported over into this application. Under Submission Requirements, this is where we’re going to get into the nitty gritty. So how did you hear about this call? Let us know. This is just for our own data collection letter of interest. Again, those five questions are repeated in the information box here. There is a 1500-word count maximum for this. That is a maximum. It is not a requirement.

You do not need to fill that up. We’re not expecting you to write 1500 words. That’s just the maximum we have written. Write what you feel is correct and succinct and lets us know those answers to the questions and more about you. Images. A little bit of information here. You can upload up to ten images, there is a maximum file size of two gigabytes.

Please avoid uploading extremely large files. It’s very hard to download on the other end for our assessors sometimes, and you can upload JPEGs and MP3’s and MP4’s and MOV files. Once you have these uploaded, so I’m just going to throw one out here really fast, we’ll go through this through, once you have a file uploaded, it will show up down here in your photo library.

There is a little button underneath the image, it’s like a pencil in the box. Once you click on that, you will be able to enter all of the important metadata about that image or the file. Please make sure all of these fields are filled up before you submit the application. You will have to click save on each one and it will not let you upload any or save any information if all of the fields aren’t filled.

I’m just going to close out of that. References at the bottom. This is a really straightforward, information for two references, the name contact information. So, email and/or phone number and then your relationship to the reference. And that’s everything. While you’re working on this again, you can hit the save draft button at the bottom of the screen to make sure that you’re not losing any information.

And when you’re feeling like you’re ready to go, you can click the Save and Validate button, it will let you know if you’re missing anything. So obviously on this one, we’re missing a lot, it will give you a list of everything that you still have to do. Once you’ve completed all of those and you’re feeling good about the application, you can click submit.

If at any time me you decide you no longer want to apply to this program, you can click the withdraw button down in the bottom left corner. Other than that, that’s everything. So, I am just going to jump back over to our PowerPoint presentation. Quickly go over what is Public Art. So, we can define Public Art as art in the public realm that is initiated and led by an artist.

We also need to include the importance of context in creating art for the public realm. Public Art responds to the place where it is situated, its history, the communities that surround it and interact with it, and its landscape and natural environment. We are asking the lead artist for the Memorial Parkway Program to consider all of these elements and immerse themselves in this space.

And here again are some resources. So, for more about the history of the site and the program in general, you can read through the City of Calgary’s website. I will put all of these links in the chat or feel free to just screenshot this page right now. I’m also going to include in the chat a link to the Watershed Plus program.

This is a good resource for seeing how other large infrastructure projects in the City have developed with embedded lead artists. And generally, it’s a good reference for anyone working in public art, at a municipal level. So, I will have those up in the chat in a minute here. And once again, here’s my contact information. If you have any questions about anything, please reach out to me directly.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair and transparent processes, so if you have any questions, you want help with feedback on your application, or it’s your first time applying, please don’t hesitate to contact me as early as you can to ensure I can provide the best support possible. I can provide feedback on your application up to a week before the deadline.

If you have any questions or need any help completing an application, please reach out. And as a reminder, applications close on January 26, 2024.

If you have any questions or need help completing an application, please contact the public art team at

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