Wade Comer, Waiting on a Friend, from the series Isolation, 2020
Wade Comer, Waiting on a Friend, from the series Isolation, 2020

Platforms: We Are Here, Live artist call

Covid-19 has magnified and deepened all of the social, health, and economic inequities of our society, and art-making is an important way to respond creatively to this moment. Platforms: We Are Here, Live seeks to commission and make public the work of artists who are engaged in and grappling with the issues revealed by a still-unfolding global pandemic.

What's happeningWe're seeking to commission up to 20 new public artworks

Platforms: We Are Here, Live will commission up to twenty artists working in video and two-dimensional media. We are most interested in proposals that present strong ideas that reflect the complexities of our current circumstances and encourage critical dialogue and engagement. Emerging artists and those new to working in the public realm are encouraged to apply.

Contact staff to determine eligibility by noon on June 3, 2021.

Submission deadline is 10am on Wednesday June 9, 2021.

Artwork details

Commissions are for new work. Selected artworks will be displayed on one of the platforms listed below beginning in November 2021:

  • Billboard (number and location to be determined)
  • Light box at šxʷƛ̓ exən Xwtl’a7shn Plaza 
  • Banners at Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch 
  • Glass wall at City Centre Canada Line Station 
  • Transit shelter posters 
  • VanLive! video screen, Georgia St and Granville St
  • Digital display boards

Artists will be paid an artist fee of $5,000 in phased payments, inclusive of all expenses for creation, editing, and design of the artwork and delivery of high quality digital files according to specifications for the platform.


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
  • For the purposes of this call, the definition of a Vancouver-based artist is a practitioner who:
    • Lives in the city of Vancouver, or
    • Has a studio in Vancouver, or
    • Has a history of producing work in the city


Proposals will be evaluated by a diverse panel of artists and art professionals including those from xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ Nations. Panelists will be selected based on previous experience with public art. 

As the City of Reconciliation we recognize that we are on the unceded homelands of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ and that all proposed artworks will be situated on these traditional territories. Proposals do not have to be led by Indigenous artists or address Indigenous art and culture however, proposals should be mindful of this ongoing colonial context.

Artist selection will be based on the following criteria: 

  • Relevance of proposal to this opportunity
  • Strength and creativity of proposal and past work
  • Demonstrated ability to produce and present work
  • Proposal is respectful of the unceded homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ Nations and the continuation of their living culture in the life of this region

How to apply

Read the complete call (460 KB)

Determine eligibility by contacting Public Art Program staff, Faith Moosang, at 604-829-9557 before Thursday June 3, 2021, noon. If staff are unable to answer the phone, your call will be returned in the order that it is received. Allow up to 48 hours for a return call.

Be prepared to talk about the list of items identified under the Eligibility section. 

You will receive access to the online application form once eligibility is determined.

Applicants may only submit one concept proposal, whether applying individually or as part of a team, and must choose one preferred platform. The panel may choose to recommend a work for other platforms. 

Application support

Applicants who are Deaf, hard of hearing, live with a disability, or might not be able to access the online system and need support to complete their applications may be able to receive funding to cover the costs of assistance from service providers. Indicate your need for support when you contact Public Art staff to determine your eligibility.

Key dates

Call open Monday, April 12, 2021
Deadline to determine eligibility Thursday, June 3, at noon
Submission deadline Wednesday, June 9 at 10am
Awarded artists notified Week of July 19
Artwork presented Between November 2021 and November 2022

These dates subject to change.