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Downtown Mural Project at YES

The City of Peterborough invites artists or artist teams residing in Ontario to submit their credentials, examples of prior experience and a conceptual approach for an outdoor mural to be installed in Peterborough, Ontario.

Project Details

This call follows a two-stage selection process.

Deadline for Artist EOI: Friday, April 27, 2018 at Midnight

Call to Artists—Expressions of Interest (EOI) Downtown Mural Project is now available.

Project FAQs

Our response to questions raised this far and by those who attended the project information session on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

What is a Call to Artists for Expressions of Interest?

A Call to Artists is a document that describes a public art opportunity and invites artists to apply. A request for Expressions of Interest means that a full proposal is not required at this stage. An Expression of Interest enables artists to write a short narrative about why a site or project is important or interesting to them and to provide context to their preliminary ideas through examples of previous work.

What is an artist team?

It is not expected that you will have knowledge of all processes and materials necessary to realize your artwork. It is common practice to supplement any shortcomings by assembling a team of artists or by hiring professionals to help create the work.

Why does the competition follow a two-stage selection process?

Creating a full proposal without a deep knowledge of the site is counterproductive. A two-stage process builds time into the selection process, enabling artists invited to Stage II to better understand, respect and respond to the site and the community and use that knowledge in the development of a detailed proposal and maquette.

The Call to Artists states that artworks may be created directly on or affixed to panels to be mounted on the building (Site Inspection Dependent). Can I paint directly on the wall?

No, we are looking for design solutions that are either painted on panels or affixed to panels that will then be mounted on the wall. The brickwork behind the panels cannot be painted.

Should the mural cover the entire façade?

The value of this commission will not support a mural covering the entire façade. We are looking for creative responses to the physical space. There are no limitations on the size, shape or number of panels.

What is meant by site inspection dependant? What is the load bearing capacity of the wall?

An engineer has conducted a preliminary review of the site and determined “there are no structural concerns with mounting a lightweight mural provided panels are anchored properly with epoxy style anchors.” 

Load bearing capacity varies depending on how the load is applied, which is to say it is specific to each proposal. In Stage II of the review process a site inspection specific to the artist’s proposal will be needed to determine the design’s feasibility.

What is meant by demonstrate an understanding of the host site and consider the community in which it will be installed?

By this we mean to impress upon artists that they should consider all the stakeholders and underscore the need to create an artwork that respects and responds to the site and overall design of the building. 
The YES clients and staff are the key stakeholders. In discussions with YES, we determined some of their design requirements. The Artwork should:

  • Be welcoming and safe
  • Reflect the diversity of the individuals YES serves i.e. be inviting to viewers of all backgrounds
  • Engage a wide audience
  • Nurture a sense of belonging
  • Connect to the larger community
  • Avoid subject matter that may be an emotional trigger for clients

Crafting your Expression of Interest

In crafting your Expression of Interest explain why you are interested in this opportunity. What aspect of the public art commission inspires you? What connects you and your work to the vision for this project.  Describe your art practice and how you would approach this opportunity. Describe any other public art projects you have completed. If you are applying as an artist team or will make use of a subcontractor for aspects of the project, tell us how you plan to work together.

More About YES

  • YES is “a soft place to fall".  The goal of the shelter is to provide housing and stability as clients transition to self-sufficiency and independent living.
  • The shelter is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The shelter curfew is 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The maximum stay is 42 days after initial intake, however exceptions are made.
  • There are 30 beds available in the shelter, 15 are reserved for young families, the other 15 are for individuals ranging from age 16-24.
  • Family units are apartment-like, located in a separate part of the building to provide more autonomy and privacy for the families. Accommodations for individuals are single, double or triple occupancy bedrooms.
  • All residents eat together.
  • There is an expectation for residents to be out of the residence during the day, either attending school or looking for employment.
  • Youth residents can also attend school at an onsite facility. Children of family residents typically attend local schools.
  • Clients come to YES for a variety of reasons, such as a breakdown in their family relationships.  An emotional trigger is something that reminds a client about the reason they are in the shelter.

Additional Resources

The Shelter is located adjacent to a municipal parking lot that also includes an Indigenous Burial Site. For more information about the Brock Street Burial see:

Historically Brock Street was also known as Doctor’s Alley because of the high concentration of doctors who made their homes and had their practices there. For more information on the history of these homes, see their respective Heritage Designation Briefs:

YES Shelter for Youth and Families