Public Art

children playing on splashpad

The City of Peterborough's Public Art Program produces contemporary artwork to enhance and animate public spaces throughout the City. Our growing public art collection encompasses a variety of artforms including performances in a park, projections on the side of a building, sculptures, murals, monuments, or the design of city infrastructure such as street furniture.

Many projects have been developed in collaboration with arts or community organizations or with local businesses. With these partnerships, we have been able to keep up with current trends in art making, respond to the needs of the community and engage with people of all ages.

Our Public Art Interactive map will help you find public art installations across the City.

Current Opportunities and Recent Projects

Current projects and opportunities are listed below. Calls-to-Artists for public art opportunities will be made available here.

Renaissance on Hunter - Call for Artists

The City of Peterborough Public Art Program invites artists to submit proposals for two distinct but related public art projects to be installed along Hunter Street this spring: the Road Mural Project and the Artists’ Garden Project.

The project calls are open to both emerging and established professional artists, ad hoc artist teams or collectives working in a range of disciplines and media. Partnerships and collaborations are encouraged to create opportunities for a variety of creatives to contribute. 

The proposal deadline for both projects is May 28, 2021 at 5 p.m. The expected completion of the projects is late June. 

Visit our project pages to find the call for proposals, link to submit an application, more information about the project parameters and tips to assist with the application process.

Road Mural Project page   Artists' Garden Project page 

Nogojiwanong Project

The Nogojiwanong Project is a two-phase collaboration undertaken in the spirit of kinship with local First Nations Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Treaty No. 20.

In 2019 a series of interpretive panels highlighting the evolution of local treaties and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples was unveiled at a new gathering space in Millennium Park next to the Trans CanadaTrail. Plans for the second phase of the project include a Public Art installation synchronized with landscaping. The expected completion is late 2021.

Library Commons

"Your Story"the 4-metre-tall wooden sculpture now installed in the Library Commons was designed by architect-artist Patrick Li to evoke the cover of a book twisting in the wind. For Li the sense of movement created by the undulating fin like columns serves to make the sculpture feel alive, such that “each person who walks inside will have a chance to experience this fluidity and discover their own journey.” The sculpture was installed in 2019. 


rendered image of wooden sculpture 

UN Peacekeepers Monument 

The UN Peacekeepers Monument will be installed as part of the construction of the Louis Street Urban Park. The monument, designed by Studio F Minus, honours the men and women who have served overseas in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. 

rendering of mirrored sculpture

"The United Nations Peacekeepers Monument asks viewers to consider the borders and boundaries that define the world around us… A blue dotted line appears to float in the air, representing a border stretching all around the world…In Canada we experience borders like this one in an privileged way. We move freely through most boundaries—physical, political, and social—that we encounter in our lives. This freedom cannot be taken for granted. It is preserved for all Canadians by a small group of brave men and women who stand on guard in areas where these boundaries are tense, dangerous, and delicate.”   —Studio F Minus 

Public Art Proposal Guidelines

The following are guidelines meant to prompt an awareness of the areas of responsibility and other considerations to be addressed by artists who have the opportunity to create public art projects.

Considerations for public art proposals

Depending on the scope of the project, artists should be prepared to work with professionals, (including engineers, architects, landscape architects, fabricators, and others), and respond to technical questions about design, materials, structural integrity, finishes, dimension, weight, and maintenance. In most cases, these consultations will have budget implications over and above the costs of material and labour.

Budget and work plan

The project budget must cover all expenses related to the project, including (but not limited to) artist's fee(s); site preparation; technical considerations or consultation; engineering approval; materials; labour; fabrication; installation; insurance; permit fees; travel and accommodation; and all applicable taxes. Budgets that exceed the commission value will not be considered. A sample worksheet can be used as a general guide to preparing a proposal. Each project is unique and must be considered according to its own needs. Artists are responsible for ensuring that budgets are comprehensive and accurate. Artists-led teams must share the total commission.

A work plan will demonstrate how the project will be completed on time, within budget, and in compliance with applicable health and safety regulations.


Public safety is a primary concern for the finished work. Proposals with structural elements must include an engineering review to ensure that the safety, structural integrity, longevity, and maintenance plans will meet performance standards.


A maintenance plan is required for all public art works. The plan should be developed with drawings and particulars on materials, suppliers, fabricators, etc. Specify which party, the City or the Artist, will be responsible for which aspects of ongoing maintenance, including the removal of any graffiti vandalism, as well as any additional costs for maintenance completed by the artist.

When choosing materials and structural elements, consider UV, pollution, wind resistance, and other factors in the environment. Anti-graffiti coating may be required.


Permits are generally required for building onsite, electrical and water connections, and street occupancy (for installation) unless City staff do the work. Permit costs need to be anticipated and included in the budget.

Drawings and certifications

Licensed architectural and engineering certifications are required on drawing and plans for projects with structural elements. It is best to obtain drawing specifications and quotations from an engineering firm for the initial budget. Any potential certification required should be reviewed with the City to determine who is responsible.


Multiple parties are involved in producing public art projects. To protect these individuals, Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance of $5,000,000 must be obtained for the duration of the work. This includes liability for injury of the public and employees working on the project. The cost of this insurance could be up to $1,000 per year unless you already have insurance in place which can be upgraded to cover the project. Insurance should be included as part of the costs of the project. In particular circumstances, the insurance requirement may be waived and covered by the City or a contractor. If the artist is unable to secure insurance with their broker, the City may be able to assist through their provider. The artist will be responsible for the premium.

Proof of automobile insurance for vehicles used on the project is also a requirement.

If volunteer labour is used in the production of the artwork, a volunteer waiver form must be signed by all parties.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

As a contractor, you are required to have Workplace Safety and Insurance Board coverage for anyone who is working for you to fabricate or install the work. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board will help cover wage loss and medical expenses for anyone hurt while working on the project. You can also obtain coverage for yourself on the project. These costs can be included in the budget.


Artists and all personnel working on scaffolding or lifts must have or obtain appropriate heights training and fall arrest certification.

There must be a fall protection system in place when artists work from an elevation greater than 3 m (10ft) or where a fall from a lesser height involves unusual risk of injury. Fall protection systems may include: guardrails; fall restraint systems; fall arrest systems; or control zones.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

If applicable, a valid HST number must be provided and HST included in budget amounts.


Administrative expenses may include phone/fax, printing, studio rental (over and above your normal work place), travel and accommodations etc. related to the project. If submitting from outside the city, county or province, increase the budget for site visits.

Additional information

Artists should take into consideration the following information when submitting a proposal:

  1. The jury and the City are not compelled to award the project based on the applications received.
  2. All submissions to Calls for Proposals become the property of the City of Peterborough. The artist shall retain copyright in the concept proposal. While every precaution will be taken to prevent the loss or damage of submissions, the City and its agents shall not be liable for any loss or damage, however caused.
  3. The Public Art Facilitator, in conjunction with participating City departments, will ensure all recommended proposals are reviewed prior to final selection for safety and liability compliance with City by-laws and requirements, technical feasibility, environmental impact, cost, maintenance, and other aspects as needed. If the recommended proposal raises any concerns, the Facilitator will contact the artist for more details. The Technical Review Committee looks at feasibility, maintenance, and other logistical details and does not make any final decisions nor do they review the work on an aesthetic basis. Final selection will not be made or announced until any question on these issues in resolved. If the City decides against selecting a proposal, City staff will notify the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Advisory Committee.
  4. The artists selected for the final commission will be required to enter into an agreement with the City of Peterborough, which will contain provisions including, but not limited to, rights of ownership, copyright, use, warranty, and insurance. The completed artwork will be the property of the City of Peterborough, but the moral and copyright remain with the artist. The selected artist will also be required to create a maintenance plan for the final artwork.
  5. Any amendments to the contract that deviate from what was agreed to must be requested in writing and submitted to the City for consideration. This includes requests for deadline extensions, additional funds, and design changes. Requests must state the effect on the budget and timeline. If approved, both parties sign and append a Change Notice to the service contract which updates the contract.

Public Art Refresh Survey

We completed a public art refresh survey in fall 2019. Feedback from the survey will help to create recommendations for improving our Public Art program and policy.

The survey followed an earlier engagement that targeted input from members of the Public Art Advisory Committee, the Arts Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee, relevant city staff and stakeholders in the arts community. Their feedback was used to create the survey.

Public Art Policy

The Public Art Policy, adopted in 2009, recognizes the role public art plays in creating culturally vibrant cities, identifies processes for generating and selecting projects and committees and commits an annual Public Art fund to maintain existing artworks and to commission new projects from artists across the country.