Ends on April 23, 2018

The Nogojiwanong Project Committee invites Indigenous artists or artist teams residing in Ontario to submit their credentials, examples of prior experience and a conceptual approach for a site-specific public artwork to be installed at Nogojiwanong—the Place at the Foot of the Rapids on the territories of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe Peoples.  

Oversight of this project is being provided by a steering committee comprised of representatives from Alderville First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, the Niijkiwendidaa Anishnabekwag Services Circle and City staff. 

This call follows a two-stage selection process. 

Deadline for Artists Expressions of Interest:  April 23rd, 2018 Midnight

Project Background and Intent 

The Nogojiwanong Project is a major capital collaboration undertaken in the spirit of kinship with local First Nations Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Treaty No. 20. As a Public Art Project it is being developed and administered through the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program and funded by the City.

The Public Art Program produces contemporary artwork to enhance and animate public spaces throughout the city, create landmarks and gathering places, and to commemorate events and sites of historical significance. 

The Public Art Policy adopted in 2009 identifies processes for creating and selecting projects and commits an annual Public Art fund to maintain existing artworks and to commission new projects by artists from across the country.

The Nogojiwanong Project will support innovative proposals from both emerging and established artists working in a range of disciplines and media. Contemporary and traditional disciplines will be considered. Artworks should, in some manner, consider the setting and stories from this land, and bring attention to the evolution of local treaties and inherent treaty rights, in particular Treaty No. 20—the agreement between the Michi Saagiig peoples and the British Crown that made it possible for Europeans to settle in this region. 

More information about the project parameters, treaties, and treaty relationships can be found at on City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program site.

 “Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Everyone might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation…This fear of the Nation’s censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social honorable compact.” 
—George Copway Kahgegagahbowh Michi Saagiig


The artwork will be installed overlooking the Otonabee River within Millennium Park at Nogojiwanong, at a site as yet to be determined.

Nogojiwanong is an Anishinaabe word meaning “place at the foot of the rapids” and the name given to the gathering place, at the bottom of a turbulent stretch of the Otonabee River, renamed Peterborough by European settlers. 

Millennium Park forms the present-day landfall and eddy along that western shoreline. It is also the site of the trailhead to the Chemong Portage – a six or seven-mile historic footpath between the Otonabee River and Chemong Lake.

The Nogojiwanong Project artwork location acknowledges these ancestral lands and the thousands of years the Michi Saagiig navigated this route between their winter camps and traditional fishing grounds at the mouth of the Ganaraska River on Lake Ontario. 

The expected completion of the project is November 2018.


Total project budget: $45,000 
Note that the City will be responsible for site prep and the artwork foundation, piles or footings. 


This is a two-stage call open to Indigenous artists or artist teams residing in Ontario. The design team leader must be an accomplished artist or designer partnered, as needed, with a professional architect or landscape architect, engineer fabricators and constructors able to complete the installation.

The term Indigenous, in this context, includes those who identify as status or non-status First Nations and who are affiliated with an Indigenous organization.An Indigenous artist team, group or collective is one whose leadership is made up of a majority of Indigenous peoples, who control and direct the artistic and financial decisions.

Peterborough’s Public Art Program seeks to embody the values, policies and practices that ensure that all people — including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geography, or religion — are represented in the planning and production of art in public places   

Community Engagement

Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
The Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, 580 Cameron Street, Peterborough, ON
RSVP Wendy Trusler: wtrusler@peterborough.ca
City personnel will outline the specifics of the project and requirements.
Notes from the session will be available afterwards on City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program site.

Submissions Guidelines

You will be asked to include the following:
* Expression of Interest/Project Description (1-page max) 
* Bio (250 words max)
* Current CV (3 pages max)
* Visual Support Material with Support Material List (15 images max)

Please select all support material that reveals your experience and expertise as related to your proposal. 

A preliminary perspective drawing included in the Visual Support Material and the Project Description should clearly illustrate the applicant’s intentions and conceptual approach. 

Visual Support Material should be labeled numerically with the applicant’s name (01_name.jpg, 02_name.jpg, etc.).

The Support Material List should include title of work, date created, medium, and dimensions.

If you wish to include video documentation it should be uploaded to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo and linked in the application. Regardless of duration, please include full videos. Due to time constraints, the selections committee may only view up to five minutes of each video. Please note the clip you would prefer the committee view by including time marks in the documentation list. 

Additional information to assist with the application process can be found in the Considerations for Public Art Proposals document located on the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program site. 

We thank all artists contributing their time and professional work for this Expression of Interest. Applications that do not adhere to these criteria or are incomplete will be disqualified. All applicants will be notified with the selection committee’s Stage I decision by early May.

Applicants invited to Stage II of the competition will be expected to provide a maquette, a detailed project budget outlining expenses including but not limited to: artist fees, materials, equipment, fabrication, installation, travel and accommodation costs and all applicable taxes. More details will be provided to Stage II invitees.

Stage II (By Invitation)

In the second stage, a short-list of three (3) finalists from Stage I will be paid $1500 to further develop and present their proposals to the selection committee. Finalists will be reimbursed for travel expenses to Peterborough including meals and accommodation up to a maximum of $1000. Receipts and a summary of expenses will be required.

A selection committee composed of seven (7) voting members will review all submissions. The selection committee will represent a diversity of artistic and cultural practices and expertise, and include two members of the Public Art Advisory Committee, two members of the Nogojiwanong Project Committee and three members from the community at large. 

The successful applicant will be an artist whose work and experience best suits the scope of this project, and who has demonstrated an ability to realize a public artwork appropriate to the site. In addition to artistic merit and viability, proposals will be judged in relation to the City of Peterborough’s Municipal Cultural Plan and Public Art Initiative. For more information please see: Municipal Cultural Plan Public Art Initiatives.
The City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee (ACHAC) will receive the selection committee’s findings.

Project Timeline
Information Session: April 4th, 2018
EOI Deadline: April 23rd, 2018, Midnight 
Short List Announced: Early May
Stage II Selection Process: June 2018
Finalist Notification: Early July
Project Completion: November 2018 

About this Opportunity 
This Call to Artists is being administered through the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program and funded by the City.
Please direct questions to:
Wendy Trusler
Public Art Coordinator
City of Peterborough
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