Architect's rendering of the library interior with the sliding door entrance at centre left

About the artist call and site at nə́c'aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch Library

Vancouver Public Library

  • Provides a free and open environment for all visitors
  • Dedicated to ensuring that every community member – regardless of their economic situation, technological competence, age, or other demographic characteristics – has access to the information, knowledge, and cultural expression they need to enrich their lives
  • Encourages lifelong learning and the pursuit of knowledge, whether the knowledge be physically published or produced (books, film, and music), community-based knowledge (story and expertise sharing), or online

The nə́c'aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch Library is the first public facility in Vancouver with a Coast Salish name. nə́c'aʔmat ct means “We are one” in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm (Musqueam) language.

The public artwork should reflect the character of this neighbourhood which is rich in cultural histories and diverse populations, including Indigenous peoples and early Japanese, Chinese, and European immigrants.

A welcome and inviting entrance to the library

The opportunity is to provide a welcoming and inviting entrance through the design of a sliding door just inside the entrance to the library.

The selected artist may also have an opportunity to extend the design elements onto the surface of the inset wall into which the door slides and onto the translucent glass curtain wall that delineates the second floor. The project should include consideration of lighting.


The sliding door is 8 feet wide by 9 feet 6 inches tall and hangs from an overhead track. It is initially conceived as a "barn door" wood panel that could lend itself to a carved, overlaid, or painted design.

The existing door design is 2.5 inches thick and solid core wood. The type of wood is not yet specified, but layered plywood or other stable core wood with a more finished outer layer (like cedar) is being considered. Materials will be confirmed based on the selected artist’s approach to the surface. The panel could in theory have a finished treatment on both sides; however, only one side is visible when the library is open as the door slides into a cove wall.

There is also an opportunity for the door to be another material, such as glass, which could be etched or have an overlay or image sandwiched between sheets of glass.

The door design and art treatment must be robust and able to withstand wear and use.


Lighting should be considered in relation to the artwork. When the door is closed at night, it will be visible from the street through the large double-height aluminum-framed windows that define the front of the library, and through the front lobby doors.

Adjacent space

The artist should also give some consideration to the spaces adjacent to the door. The inset wall beside the door provides a cove the same size as the door. This area will be covered by the door whenever the library is open to the public but visible from the street when the library is closed.

Glass wall above the door

Above the door, a translucent glass wall provides privacy for second floor meeting rooms. An LED strip along the bottom frame of the glass wall provides a low glow.

A treatment on this 8-foot-high wall that carries through from the design of the door may be possible if budget and time allow. The treatment would be limited to an application on the surface of the glass.

Download the design documents PDF file (2 MB)


Eligibility, budget, submission requirements, and timeline

See if you are eligible for this artist call and learn how to prepare your submission.