Renaissance on Hunter - Artists' Garden Project

full bike rack

This project is now closed. The Public Art Program thanks everyone who sent in a proposal.

The Artists’ Garden Project 2022

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 local artists to submit proposals for a series of themed gardens and art interventions to be installed this spring in downtown Peterborough. This call is open to individual artists (emerging to established), artist teams or collectives.

Project 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.

 Now in its second year, Renaissance on Hunter comprises two distinct but related public art projects that align with the temporary downtown-built environment changes.

The changes will reduce Hunter Street to one-lane, one-way westbound traffic to expand pedestrian space and patio areas. A combination of portable planters and barricades in four areas will be installed along the streetscape to de-mark the pedestrian spaces and provide physical separation from the traffic lanes.

The Artists’ Garden Project call seeks local artists to propose garden designs and art interventions for the planters dotting Hunter Street and to transform that corridor into a living gallery for the warm weather season.

Each cycle of seasons offers an opportunity to reboot, to start over. The Renaissance on Hunter Artists’ Garden Project is an invitation for artists to expand their art practices and to propose meaningful gestures in public spaces today.

 The Artists’ Garden Project will support thoughtful, dynamic, and innovative proposals from artists, ad hoc artist teams or collectives working in a range of disciplines and media. This broadly defined call is intended to welcome a range of responses.

Submission Deadline: Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 4 p.m.

The Public Art Program is committed to supporting artists in the creation of these new works by providing resources and staff support through the course of project development and realization. Please note this is a call for proposals and a final design is required. More information about the project parameters and tips to assist with the application process can be found in the Application Help Guide. Please read the full call and Application Help Guide before submitting your proposal.

Project Details   Application Help Guide - Artists' Garden Project 

Project details


The four garden sites will be in the temporary sidewalk spaces created by lane closures on a stretch of Hunter Street West between Aylmer and Chambers streets. Planters will be provided for each site.   

Located on either side of the entrance to the parking garage on the south side of Hunter, Sites I and II measure approximately 2592 square feet and 816 square feet respectively. There will be eight to nine planters allotted to Site I and four to five planters allotted to Site II.

Sites III and IV are located on either side of the entrance to the Chambers Street parking lot, on the north side of Hunter, and measure approximately 1092 and 148 square feet respectively. Five to six planters will be allotted to both Site III and Site IV.

The planter dimensions are 54” L x 26” W x 21” H. 

map indicating areas of Hunter street where gardens will be located, between Aylmer Street and George Street. Two locations on north side of Hunter, two locations on south side



Commission Value 

Commission values are determined by the number of planters per site and will be finalized as the streetscape is reconfigured. The expected range by site is as follows.      

Site I:  $6,400 to $7,200

Site II:  $3,200 to $4,000

Site III: $4000 to $4,800

Site IV: $4000 to $4,800


The planters and soil required for each project will be supplied and delivered by the City. The City will also be responsible for site prep and permits. The costs of all other materials required for each project will be the artists’ responsibility. Designs, artwork, and plantings are subject to final approval by the City. If your proposal includes working with other artists, artist fees must be paid. 

Who Can Apply?

This opportunity is open to artists of all disciplines living in Peterborough City or Peterborough County. Applications are welcome from emerging to established artists, artist teams, artist collectives, or ad hoc groups. Partnerships and collaborations are encouraged to create opportunities for a variety of creatives to contribute to the design and installation. Artists and cultural practitioners from the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations are especially encouraged to apply.

Applicants must be Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, or people upon whom refugee protection has been conferred.

Applicants or project teams may only apply for one project. We will only accept one application per applicant, and one application per project.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. 

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 two days 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.

Submission Guidelines

You will be asked to include the following:

  1. Project Proposal & Work Plan: Project proposals should illustrate your intentions, conceptual approach, preferred site, and a work plan.
  2. Garden/Installation Design: The garden design should clearly illustrate the applicant’s intentions and preferred site. Change order on submittable
  3. Biography: (250 words max) One for each team member, if applicable
  4. Current Artist CV: No more than 3 pages. One for each team member, if applicable. 
  5. Visual Support Material with Support Material List: (15 images max)
  •  Please select all support material that reveals your experience and expertise as related to your proposal.
  •  Visual Support Material 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, and dimensions.
  • 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. 


 The Application Help Guide below contains additional information to assist with the application process.

Application Help Guide - Artists' Garden Project


How to Apply 

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

Apply now: Artists' Garden Project 

Submission Deadline: Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 4 p.m.

We thank all artists contributing their time and professional work for this call for proposals. Applications that do not adhere to these criteria, are late or incomplete will be disqualified. All applicants will be notified with the selection committee’s decision by early June.

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 two members of the City’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee (ACHAC), and three members from the community at large, and non-voting advisors as required.

The selection committee will select four designs considering artistic merit, relevance, and feasibility. Gardening experience and a history of public art projects will be considered an asset.

The City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee (ACHAC) will receive the selection committee’s findings. 

Project Timeline

Proposal Deadline: Thursday May 26, 2022, at 4pm.

Artist Notification: Early June

Project Installation: Mid-June

Project Close: Late October 2022

About this Opportunity

The Renaissance on Hunter public art projects were developed in consultation with the Planning and Transportation Divisions and Accessibility Office and will be presented in partnership with the Downtown Business Improvement Area and Green Up. They are being administered and funded through the City’s Public Art Program.

Please direct questions to:

Wendy Trusler

Public Art Facilitator

City of Peterborough

Facebook / Twitter

Application Help Guide

The Artists' Garden Project Application Help Guide 

The Artists’ Garden Project is one of two temporary public art projects undertaken by the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program to revitalize Hunter Street during the pandemic recovery.

The installations will adhere to COVID-19 Ontario Health and Safety Guidelines and contribute to making the area feel safer while supporting business activity, public health, and mental well-being

The Renaissance on Hunter public art projects were developed in consultation with the Planning and Transportation Divisions and Accessibility Office and will be presented in partnership with the DBIA and Green Up. They are being administered and funded through the City’s Public Art Program.

The following guidelines identify areas of responsibility to be addressed by applicants and other considerations that may help you with your application. 

What is an artist team and how do I form one or be part of one?

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.   

Among the things we are also trying to achieve by encouraging partnerships and collaborations is to create opportunities for more artists in these difficult times, and to present public art projects that reflect a cross-pollination of ideas and represent the whole of our vibrant arts community. In effect this means, that irrespective of the dominant medium, a multitude of creatives, including but not limited to, musicians, choreographers, poets, visual artists, and community members may come together to design and produce an artwork.

There are no restrictions to team size, but the commission value must be shared as agreed upon by the team members.

The Call to Artists states that artworks are temporary. When will they be installed and for how long?

Installation is to take place as soon as possible after the artists are notified in mid-June. Artists should be prepared to go into production soon after notification.  

Installation will take place as weather permits over one to three days.

Pedestrian access to shops and restaurants must be maintained throughout the installation. 

The project close is scheduled for mid-October when the barricades and planters will be removed, and two-way traffic will resume on Hunter Street. At that time, any perennials will either be removed to overwinter or donated. Any other installation items will be returned to the artists.  

Are there any important design considerations? Which site should I chose?

The planters that will be provided for each site measure 54” L x 26” W x 21” with a soil capacity of 0.3 cubic yards and 55 U.S. gallon water reservoir.

The planter facades may not be painted or otherwise embellished.

Nothing can be directly affixed to the planter sides. The planter walls are supported by two metal crossbars at approximately 1/3 intervals. These bars can be used to anchor installation elements, if required. Applicants should plan alternate anchoring systems should the cross bars not be sufficient. This information should be included in the applicant’s project description.   

The face of the planters adjacent to the Hunter Street should not have any component that projects over the roadway. 

To ensure that people (especially those with low or no vision) can move safely and don’t accidently bump into things, the face of the planters adjacent to the walkway should not have any component that projects over the walkway zone from the ground surface to around head height (approximately 6 ft 11” overhead clearance is the technical requirement.)

To ensure that people will not be physically harmed by touching or accidently falling onto any part of the gardens/artworks, installation components should be free of pointy or sharp edges or small openings where children may get their fingers stuck. 

Beyond these restrictions there are no design limitations, however feasibility will be considered.


We are looking for creative responses to the physical space. Consider the following:

  • Gardens delight, sustain, nurture, and provide shelter. Think beyond the traditional gardening container and approach to gardens.
  • The interplay of artists and gardens has a long tradition, and gardens designed by artists are as worthy of attention as artwork in a gallery
  • These gardens may take the form of a sculpture. Think about the area and how your planters will relate to one another as whole and/or how they relate to the community or site history.
  • Can you think of the garden, not just as the backdrop for artwork, but as the artwork itself?
  • What can your choice of plantings and installation elements offer the community or bring to the urban environment? What can we move toward and how can we get there together?

Artists should make their site selections based on their ability to accomplish the installation within the time allotted. Please identify your site choice in your proposal and indicate if your design can be adapted to another site. Designs and completed artworks are subject to final approval by the City.


What type of plantings should I use?  

The planters and soil required for each project will be supplied and delivered to site by the City. The costs of all plantings and materials required for each project will be the artists’ responsibility.

The following resources have been provided by Green Up to help with your selections.

Sustainable Planting Guide 

Pollinator-friendly Plants

Plant Finder Guide

Green Up Catalogue 

Green Up’s Ecology Park mainly stocks perennials. Visit local greenhouses for annuals. 

 What information do I need to include in my proposal?

Your primary goal for the proposal is to convince the selection committee that your project is viable, relevant, and interesting.

In crafting your proposal explain why you are interested in this opportunity.

  • What aspect of the public art commission inspires or interests you?
  • What connects you and your previous work to the vision for this project? 
  • Describe your art practice and how you would approach this opportunity.
  • Describe any other public art projects or large-scale productions you have completed.
  • If you are applying as an artist team, tell us who was involved in the design process and how your ideas coalesced.
  • Who will be responsible for production/ installation and how do you plan to work together?
  • How will the work unfold and how long do you anticipate it will take?

For this project, artist teams should identify a gardener in the group to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and ability to successfully plant the gardens or provide proof a gardener has been consulted. 

 What is the difference between a resume and an artist CV?

A CV is very different from a resume one would use to apply for a job. A CV or curriculum vitae is an overview of your artistic professional history and achievements. Although it looks similar to a resume, it contains different elements that are related only to your artistic professional practice.

 How do I write a bio?

Artist Bios are different from artist statements. They are an opportunity for you to position yourself as a professional artist with experience. An artist bio often includes highlights from your CV, e.g., where you went to school, where your work has been shown, if you are in any important collections, and where you are based.

General Rules:

Artist Bios are written in the third person

Appropriate length is 100 – 250 words.

Keep it professional.

 What is an image list?
Image lists correspond to digital documentation and give necessary information to help adjudicators understand what they are looking at. Image lists will contain the title, medium, year and dimensions. They can also contain additional information if needed, however this is not the place to include artist statements. It should never be more than a few sentences, and only included if necessary.
Additional Information 
Selected artists will receive an honorarium distributed as two cheques, as per the budget for the site detailed in their proposal or otherwise agreed upon. Artists will be required to sign a Waiver & Release with respect to personal injury, death, and dismemberment, and must work with the Public Art Facilitator and representatives from the DBIA and/or Green Up to ensure all details relating to the production and installation of their work are attended to.