Girl in the City digital animation
Diyan Achjadi, Girl in the City, 2011, digital animation

Platforms 2020: Public Works artist call

While the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has led to the rapid closure of cultural institutions and forced the cancellation of arts programming internationally, public art has a crucial role to play.

We've already seen that despite the isolation and uncertainty of these times, artists are creating work that resonates with people from their living rooms and bedrooms, and from the near-empty streets of the city.

What's happening

We're seeking to commission up to 20 new public artworks

We're looking for artworks that have not been exhibited before and that respond to the current circumstances.

Selected artworks will be presented as temporary projects on existing platforms throughout the city that the public can access under physical distancing measures.

  Submission deadline is July 7 at 4pm.

Artwork details

Artwork needs to be two-dimensional art and can include works made during the current lockdown, or pieces made prior to COVID-19 that are all the more relevant and necessary today.

Platforms include:

  • Billboard (20 feet x 10 feet, horizontal orientation)
  • Transit shelter posters (47.25” x 68.25”, vertical orientation)
  • VanLive! Video Screen at Granville St and Robson St (612 x 900 pixels, 3 minute maximum, vertical orientation)
  • Digital advertising spaces (2160 x 3840 pixels, vertical orientation, 4 x 8 second slots)

There are a number of locations for the transit shelter posters and digital advertising spaces, one billboard, and the singular VanLive! Video Screen. 

Artists will be paid an artist fee of $2000 in two separate installments for commissioned works, and will need to provide a digital file of their work. All print and installation costs associated with the work will be covered by the City.


This call is open to all Vancouver-based artists and artists from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations.  

For the purposes of this call, the definition of an artist is a regular practitioner who:  

  • Has completed basic academic training in art or an apprenticeship with an accomplished practitioner in the field, or
  • Maintains an artistic practice and has publicly shared an independent body of their work for at least two years, or
  • Is recognized as an artist by peers within their community


Proposals will be evaluated by a group of external advisors that typically include artists, curators, and members of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations.

Artist selection will be based on:

  • Strength and creativity of past work
  • Demonstrated ability to produce and present work
  • Relevance to current circumstances
  • Consistency with the recognition of Vancouver as the unceded homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations  

How to apply 

  1. Read the full specifications (234 KB)
  2. Prepare your submission. The following materials must be provided as a single pdf no larger than 10 MB:
    • Brief summary of your proposed work (250 word maximum)
    • 1 image or 1 video of proposed work 
    • Up to 3 images which can include a maximum of 1 video of previous work
    • Image list
    • Resume

  All videos should be submitted as links.

  1. Submit proposals to by Tuesday, July 7, 4pm. Only one submission will be accepted per artist.

Key dates

Call open May 13
Submission deadline July 7
Selection Week of July 27
Artwork presented September to December
(4 weeks each)

  These dates subject to change.