Change Makers Artist Residency 2023-2024

children playing on splashpad

Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge that the City of Peterborough is on the treaty and traditional territory of the Mississauga Anishinaabeg. We offer our gratitude to the First Peoples for their care for, and teachings about, our earth and our relations. May we honour those teachings.


The City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program invites professional artists from all disciplines to submit applications to be an artist-in-residence in the City’s Asset Management and Capital Planning Division (AMCP Division). During this 3-month program up to three artists will be provided an artist fee as they research and develop a public art project proposal. Applicants should have an established practice, an interest in research driven artmaking, and comfort with public engagement. 

Background and Vision

The City of Peterborough Public Art Program produces contemporary artwork to enhance and animate public spaces throughout the city, create landmarks and gathering places, and to commemorate events and sites of historical significance.

The goal of the Change Makers Artist Residency Program is to create opportunities for artists to innovate and contribute to municipal projects. Throughout their residency, artists will be embedded within the AMCP Division to explore the work being done there, and to develop project proposals for artworks that will interact with and inform ideas and practices of city planning, in particular Climate Change Awareness Adaptation and Sustainability-related Initiatives. 

About Climate Change Awareness and Sustainability Initiatives and Public Art

The Asset Management and Capital Planning Division is tasked, in part, with developing community mitigation and adaptation plans and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare for extreme weather events induced by climate change in Peterborough. At the core, this work is about resilience and about people.

In 2004, Peterborough experienced an extreme rainfall event that released 240 mm of rain in a 24-hour period which exceeded the capacity of the stormwater sewer system. For many, the 2004 Peterborough Flood is a lived experience forever etched in community memory. Many extreme weather events, such as the 2013 ice storm and 2022 windstorm, have occurred since 2004, and are expected to continue.

New programs are continually being developed to limit the exposure of community-wide flooding events and damage resulting from extreme weather.   

“An Artist Residency Program is envisioned to amplify communication around climate related vulnerabilities especially those due to flooding, but also to begin earnest conversations about climate change risks in general. Artists help us to think, to remember, and to see things in different ways. What changes can we make by facing challenges together?”

 – James Byrne, Climate Change Specialist

Residency Details

Artist Fees: 

These are paid research residencies. Artists-in-residence will each receive an honorarium of $4,500 split into three stages.

Artists will benefit from:
  • Access to resources within the Asset Management and Capital Planning Division.
  • Participation in ongoing community conversation around climate change and sustainability-related topics.
  • Opportunities to attend workshops led by stakeholders, researchers, and design professionals.
  • Opportunities to work with or alongside other established artists.
  • A sustained and supported period to nurture curiosity, conduct research and expand their art practice.

N.B. This is not a live-in residency. Artists will not be provided with studio space.

Artists will be required to:
  • Work closely throughout the project with the Public Art Program staff as well as other stakeholders
  • Regularly meet with Asset Management and Capital Planning staff to develop a good understanding of current sustainability and climate-related projects and objectives.
  • Engage with members of the community and other stakeholders.
  • Produce a public engagement component, such as regular social media or blog posts, to create awareness of your residency goals and progress. 
  • Provide bi-weekly update reports on progress, including activities, photos, and any measurements or public feedback.
  • Develop a project proposal for an artwork that, if commissioned, can be completed and unveiled in July 2024 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 2004 Peterborough Flood. 

N.B. Proposals may include, but are not limited to, visual arts, performative works, literary works, projections, site specific works and urban interventions. They may be permanent, temporary, or ephemeral. If the proposed artwork is temporary or ephemeral, artists must include a permanent feature in their proposal. 

Residency Support:  

To assist each artist-in-residence achieve their goals Public Art Program staff will:

  • Coordinate meetings with relevant staff on projects of interest to each artist (i.e., engineering, watershed, flood protection and mitigation, urban infrastructure, climate change, sustainability, innovation and, adaptation projects).
  • Facilitate meetings with local business, residents, and community associations.
  • Assist artists in locating project sites and any required permits.
  • Create opportunities for artists to meet and discuss their work with each other.
Culminating Activity and Creation Stage: 

In January 2024, upon completion of their residencies, artists will be required to present their final project proposals to a selection committee. More than one project may be selected to move forward into the artwork creation stage.  

Commissioned Artworks: 

The estimated budget for the creation stage is up to $75,000. Should more than one commission be awarded this amount will be shared. 

Who Can Apply?

This opportunity is open to professional artists of all disciplines. Artists and cultural practitioners from the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations are especially encouraged to apply.

A professional artist is defined as a person who has specialized training in their artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions); is recognized as a professional by their peers; is committed to their art practice; and has a history of public presentation or publication. Artists do not need to be working professionally in the arts full-time.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or people upon whom refugee protection has been conferred.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

N.B. This is not a live-in residency. Artists will not be provided with studio space. As such, preference may be given to artists who reside in the region or have strong ties to the Peterborough community.

Equity and Inclusion

The Public Art Program seeks to embody the values, policies and practices that ensure that all people — including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geography, or religion — are represented in the planning, selection, and production of art in public places.

Special attention to the importance of artwork created by Black, Indigenous, and racialized artists, as well as other Equity-deserving Groups is appropriate and essential to the future of the arts sector.

Accommodation & Accessibility

The Public Art Program is committed to open, fair, and transparent processes. Staff are available to assist applicants, answer questions and provide feedback on your drafted application, up to one week before the deadline. Please contact us as early as you can to ensure we can provide the best support possible. We are available to provide support through email, over the phone, or the use of audio and video platforms. To book an appointment please contact Public Art Facilitator, Wendy Trusler.

Application Guidelines  

You will be asked to include the following:
  1. Expression of Interest:                                                                                                                                                                          Maximum two-page Artist Statement describing the artist’s interest in the Residency Program, and why they are drawn to working within Asset Management and Capital Planning Division. Artists should broadly give insight into how they plan to research, engage the community, what kind of projects they envision undertaking, what their focus might be in terms of theme, how they will interact with the broader public, and create awareness of their work (website, social media, blog, etc.) Further information about Submission Requirements can be found in the application form found on Note: Artwork concepts or detailed project outlines are not required at this stage.

  2. Biography: (250 words max)

  3. Current Artist CV: No more than 4 pages.

  4. Support Material: Please select all support material that reveals your experience and expertise.  

  • Visual Support Material and Support Material List (if applicable): Up to 15 images should be labeled numerically with the applicant’s name (01_name.jpg, 02_name.jpg, etc.). The Support Material List should include title of work, date created, medium, dimensions, and short description, if necessary. If you wish to include video documentation it should be uploaded to a site, such as YouTube or Vimeo and linked in the application. Regardless of duration, please include full videos. Due to time constraints, the Selection Committee may only view up to five minutes of each video. Please note the clip you would prefer the selection committee view by including time marks in the documentation list.

  • Literary Works (if applicable): Please provide two short samples of writing representative of your work. Please include your name, title of work, and publication date.
  • Music/Audio Recordings (if applicable): Please provide up to three samples of your work. Please include your name., title of work, and publication/recording date.

How to Apply

Applications for the Residency Program will be accepted online through the Submittable platform. To use Submittable, you will need to register for a free account.

Apply for the Change Makers Artist Residency Program

Application Deadline: Wednesday September 20, 2023 at 4 p.m.

We thank all artists contributing their time and professional work for this call. Late submissions, or submissions that do not comply with the requirements and format will not be accepted.

All applicants will be notified with the selection committee’s decision by the end of September.

Selection Process & Criteria

A selection committee composed of five voting members will review all submissions. The selection committee will represent a diversity of artistic, cultural practices and expertise, and include members of the City’s Arts, and Culture Advisory Committee (ACAC), three members from the community at large, and non-voting advisors as required.

The selection committee will discuss each application and select up to three artists considering artistic merit, relevance, and feasibility.

The City’s Arts, and Culture Advisory Committee (ACAC) will receive the selection committee’s findings.


Call to Artists issued: August 9, 2023.

Application Deadline: Wednesday September 20, 2023 at 4 p.m.

Selection Committee Meeting: Late September 2023

Artist Notifications: Late September 2023

Contracts/Letters of Agreement Issued: Mid-October 2023

Artist Residencies: Late October 2023 to early February 2024

About this Opportunity

The Change Makers Artists Residency Program is being developed in partnership with the Asset Management and Capital Planning Division. It is being administered and funded through the City’s Public Art Program. Artworks commissioned in the creation stage will be funded through the Asset Management and Capital Planning Division. 

Please direct questions to:

Wendy Trusler

Public Art Facilitator

City of Peterborough

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram