The Waterfront BIA and Waterfront Toronto are seeking applications for an exciting Artist Residency opportunity. The 12-month residency will start in December 2021 with a period of community integration and research, and will culminate with the implementation of projects during 2022, which will coincide with ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art. Artists will have the opportunity to engage with current projects led by the BIA and Waterfront Toronto, as well as connect with members of the local community, in order to develop innovative and compelling art projects that are relevant to Toronto’s waterfront. This opportunity is open to all professional artists or artist teams in the Greater Toronto Area who have experience in art presented in the public realm and community-engaged art.

The aim of this residency is to create meaningful, experiential encounters with the community, to activate multiple underutilized spaces along the lakefront, and draw new audiences to the waterfront. It will also develop thinking around the 2022 residency focus on climate change. Projects may include workshops, performances, events, urban interventions, and temporary or ephemeral installations. Interactive and participatory projects will be encouraged, as will projects that invite collaborations with artists from different disciplines. This residency will create an opportunity for artists to expand their practice and develop innovative ways to integrate art into the fabric of the city. It will also contribute towards the ongoing dialogue on public art and civic space.

Climate change – a code red threat to humanity, according to the recent United Nations report – requires us to think differently. It challenges us to imagine alternative futures. Highlighting the urgency around the loss of biodiversity and ecological collapse, as well as intersectional equity issues related to the unevenly distributed impacts of nature, is critical. However, just as important is a call-to-action that offers solutions. Public art can help us reckon with the crisis and provoke creative responses, helping us push the boundaries of what can be possible. This artist residency will address climate change through thematics, and will focus on sustainability and the environment by exploring practices, processes, materials, and reuse as important mitigation solutions towards impacts on nature.

COVID-19 has resulted in a constantly evolving present and an unforeseeable future. The approach to this Artist Residency will be rooted in the current times and must therefore involve flexibility, a willingness to improvise, and an ability to think of new ways of engaging the public and using our public spaces. If restrictions are still in place, artists must explore creative ways to engage with communities in ways that are exciting and safe for everyone. These processes must take into consideration public health guidelines.

This project is an equal partnership between Waterfront Toronto and The Waterfront BIA. Funding and artist support will be provided by both organizations.

General Submission Requirements

  1. Artist Statement
  2. Images of previous work
  3. Artist CV
  4. References


The total commissioning amount for this project is $85,000 CAD, split into five phases over the residency.


Issue Call to Artists (Stage 1): September 22, 2021
Submission Deadline: October 27, 2021
Shortlist Interviews (Stage 2): November 8-12, 2021
Proponent Selection: Mid-November 2021
Contract issued: December 2021
Residency Start: December 2021
Research and planning period: December 2021-March 2022
Project implementation: April 2022-December 2022

For more information about the opportunity, including detailed submissions requirements, download the complete call (PDF)

Submission Deadline: October 27, 2021, at 4:00pm EST.
Submissions sent after the deadline will be disqualified.

For questions, please contact Katherine Hebb at [email protected]

This page is a letter of introduction only. Please read in full the Call to Artists, which contains instructions, evaluation criteria, submission requirements, and residency scope.

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