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.

Public Art Refresh Survey

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

This survey follows 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.

Current projects and opportunities

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

 Nogojiwanong Project 
 A call for expressions of interest will be available this spring.
Library Commons 

"Your Story"a 20-foot-tall wooden sculpture will be installed in the Library Commons in spring 2019. It was designed by architect-artist Patrick Li to evoke the cover of a book twisting in the wind. 


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


Considerations for public art proposals

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

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 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.