Guidelines: Memorial Parkway Program Lead Artist

Guidelines: Memorial Parkway Program Lead Artist

Updated January 17, 2024: The deadline for this program has been extended to January 31, 2024. The original deadline was January 26, 2024.

December 18, 2023: Applications Open
January 31, 2024 (updated): Application deadline (no applications accepted after 4:30pm MT)
February 2024: Evaluation of applications
Late February 2024: Notification of results
Download the Guidelines as a PDF

Applications must be submitted by 4:30pm MT on the deadline date. We encourage submitting your application as early as possible. Please see the Deadline Extension Policy for information about extensions.

Need help applying?

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 & 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.

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

Being brought into the design team at this stage of the project could facilitate the development of artworks to be integrated into the flood barrier or pathway adjacent system, or developing 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) drives the implementation of the Memorial Parkway public art project and is responsible to lead delivery of the creative vision.
  • The lead artist(s) may also develop concepts that involve or incorporate collaborations with other artists.
  • The lead artist(s) works in conjunction with the Calgary Arts Development Public Art Project Lead, the Memorial Parkway Program team and others with internal and external relationships to the project.

The Memorial Parkway Program Lead Artist opportunity is tied to the City of Calgary’s Memorial Parkway Program. The mandate of this initiative is to deliver expansive placemaking opportunities for the living memorial, the Sunnyside Flood Barrier project and Memorial Drive.

Memorial Parkway refers to the entire corridor along Memorial Drive, between Centre St. and 14 St. NW. This includes the roadway, the adjacent green space and walking and cycling infrastructure as well as the living memorial and the Sunnyside Flood Barrier.

The Memorial Parkway Program will create a universally accessible, vibrant and sustainable public realm. We will prioritize placemaking and experience; incorporating a flood barrier and providing multi-modal movement while preserving the living memorial and providing new spaces to gather and celebrate the natural setting. Inclusivity for all ages and abilities is an integral piece of the parkway while developing adaptable opportunities for the future needs of Calgarians.

Through public engagement, the Memorial Parkway Program has identified special sites along the Bow River to include opportunities for the provision of public art.

Background Resources

Latest update on the Sunnyside Flood Barrier

Memorial Parkway Program (MPP) Background information

MPP Engagement Background

MPP Engagement Reports Phase I

MPP Engagement Reports Phase II

We 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 is in the spirit of this land and its people that we do our work.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to the process of eliminating institutional racism, ableism and barriers in our programs, policies and practices by centering the creativity and leadership of those communities most impacted by structural inequities. Read our full Commitment to Equity statement on our website.

We recognize that barriers within the arts community exist, particularly for equity seeking communities, and that there are many unique entry points into an artistic practice and career in the arts. If you are unsure about eligibility, please reach out to discuss this with the program specialist before applying. You’ll also find answers to some common questions in our Investment Program FAQ.

There are two policies available for potential applicants who may need accommodations or assistance to apply to this program, such as translating program guidelines and applications. These policies are available to potential applicants even if they decide not to apply to the program.

  • An Accommodation & Accessibility Policy for potential applicants who experience barriers to access, to develop accommodations that suit their abilities and situations.
  • The Application Assistance Policy for eligible applicants to alleviate some of the financial costs associated with preparing and submitting an application.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair and transparent processes. If you have any questions, want help with feedback on your application or if it’s your first time applying, please don’t hesitate to contact the program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible. Staff can provide feedback on your application up to 10 days before application deadlines.

If you have any questions or need help completing an application, please contact Alex Lingnau, Project Lead, at or 403.264.5330.

This opportunity is open to local, national and international professional artists.

We encourage submissions from artists who are typically underrepresented, including: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour), LGBTQIA2S+ identifying individuals, d/Deaf persons and persons with disabilities.

There are multiple opportunities for public art to become integrated into the architectural framework, as well as smaller-scale initiatives such as murals, portable artworks, research projects or social practice installations.

Numerous avenues exist for artwork to be embedded within future infrastructure on site: murals incorporated into sections of floodwall, artwork embedded within site elements, or standalone artworks and amenities.

We are receptive to exploring a range of possibilities.

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 that will inform context and approach to public art:

1. Placemaking

Commemorate and honour the living memorial

The stretch along Memorial Drive from 14 St. NW to the Centre St. Bridge is of unique importance on a local, provincial and national level as it honours our veterans and fallen soldiers. The vision of the Memorial Parkway must take into account the living memorial and protect existing memorial trees where possible.

Public Realm

Creation of a space that will enhance the vibrancy of the area and highlight the north bank as a cultural, natural and historical destination.

  • Creation of nodes that will activate the use of area through new social gathering spaces and opportunities for deeper connections to the natural environment.
  • Creation of linear spaces (east-west).
  • Creation of alternative interfaces (Memorial Drive to the flood barrier).
  • Definition of public art opportunities that can be implemented within this program.

2. Flood Mitigation

Flood mitigation through innovative engineering

We remain committed to delivering the council approved 1:100 level of service flood barrier for the protection of the communities of Sunnyside and Hillhurst with limited delay.

This commitment will address community exposure to flood risk by reducing expected average annual damages by $2.7 million. Expressed differently, 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 Government of Alberta’s Flood Hazard Mapping. Once the flood barrier is constructed, the province will review the request to revise flood hazard mapping for protected areas. This could benefit citizens through possible increased development potential and/or a reduction of cost for flood insurance.

3. Protection of Natural Environment

Protection of the existing trees

It is recognized that the construction of a new flood barrier will result in a significant tree canopy loss. Through the design and construction of the barrier, the program team will continue to evaluate the barrier footprint to preserve and replace memorial tress and other healthy trees.

Enhance connection to the natural environment

Maintain and/or enhance the riparian health and biodiversity in the program area.

4. Connectivity

Multi-modal mobility

Align with the 5A Network (Always Available for All Ages & Abilities) 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
  • Make it easy to use

Enhancement of pedestrian connectivity with the north bank

We have been working closely with the community and heard the importance of flood protection, but also the importance of creating spaces that enhance our connection to the north bank of the Bow River, while providing safe access to the river from the barrier.

Main construction of the Memorial Drive Flood Barrier will begin in 2024.

Public art (the development, design and installation) will be incorporated on site between 2024 and 2027. Smaller initiatives or categories (i.e., murals, portable, research or social practice) may begin earlier within the schedule.

The project budget for the integrated artwork is $850,000 (including GST and any withholding taxes for international artists).

This budget includes: research, community engagement, fabrication, installation, delivery and all artists fees and associated travel.

Successful applicants will be selected by a committee made up of artists and/or arts professionals, community representatives and subject matter experts.

Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria (rated out of a 100 points):

  • Letter of Interest (50 points)
    1. Why does this opportunity appeal to you?
    2. How would this opportunity benefit your artistic practice?
    3. What would your approach be to working as a lead artist on an infrastructure design team?
    4. How will your previous experiences lend to this opportunity?
    5. In your opinion, what is the benefit of integrating an artist into a design team?
  • Curriculum Vitae (30 points)
    1. Demonstrated, relevant experience in completing public art projects.
    2. Experience participating on a design team for public infrastructure.
  • Images (20 points)
    1. Demonstrated artistic excellence in contemporary art practice.

Two references (letters are not required at this time, only names and contact information).

Scoring Process

Committee members will review applications and rate the level to which they agree or disagree with each of the program considerations listed in the section above, based on the information provided in the application.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

This will be a two-stage process where the assessment committee will identify a short list of three to five artists to be interviewed.

Applications to the program will be reviewed by an independent assessment committee made up of artist peers, community members and subject matter experts. The membership of the peer assessment committee will be chosen through public nominations and staff expertise.

Anyone can ask to participate on a Calgary Arts Development assessment committee by completing the Assessor Nomination Form or by emailing

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.

Conflicts of Interest: Calgary Arts Development defines conflicts of interest as close family members, people who are involved in the activity being applied for or where there is a real or perceived financial benefit. If in doubt, assessors are encouraged to talk with Calgary Arts Development staff.

If a committee member has applied to the program or declared a conflict of interest, they will not assess those specific applications or be present for any discussions of those applications.

Anyone can ask to participate on a Calgary Arts Development assessment committee by emailing

Applications are accepted through our online application interface. The application form will be available on the date the program opens. Applicants must create a profile in order to apply.

If you need support with creating your organization profile and/or need help applying due to accessibility concerns, please contact

Applicants will be notified of their results by email.

We use electronic fund transfers to make grant payments. If your application is approved, you will be required to provide a void cheque or direct deposit form with your banking information. Please let us know if you need any help with this.

The City of Calgary will continue to fund public art by setting aside one per cent of eligible capital project budgets. This model remains responsive to upturns and downturns in the economy.

Both Calgary Arts Development and The City adhere to the Public Art Policy which directs how taxpayer dollars are used to commission new artworks, acquire existing artworks, deliver public art activities and events, provide access to the public art collection and maintain and conserve the collection.

If you have any questions or need help completing an application, please contact Alex Lingnau, Project Lead, at or 403.264.5330.

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