The Kitchener Market, with the support of generous funding from the Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Area (BIA) and our arts and creative industries team, has released this call for proposals for murals around the market property, for installation in 2022 and 2023.

On this page:

  1. About the call for proposals
  2. Thematic and site considerations
  3. Eligibility and submission requirements
  4. Selection process
  5. Schedule of selection process and mural installations
  6. Submit your proposal

About the call for proposals

We’re inviting artists and/or artist teams to submit a proposal for a mural concept to be considered for installation on a Kitchener Market location in 2022 or 2023.

The competition is open to emerging or established artists or artist teams with experience creating murals or façade-scale art projects. We will give preference to submissions from those with Indigenous, immigrant and/or other equity-deserving backgrounds.

In supporting public art initiatives, we recognize that visible and accessible art makes Kitchener a lively and engaging place to live. This opportunity is offered in partnership with the Downtown Kitchener BIA, aiming to enrich the Kitchener Market facility with murals to create vibrancy in the space and to improve the visitor experience. The artworks will be included as an expansion to the DTK Art Walk aimed at encouraging visitors to the East End.

These murals will also support the creation of an accessible, welcoming and equity-affirming space that can be enjoyed by people from any cultural background, ethnicity, class or social disposition. 

This call for proposals process is managed by our economic development division. If you have any questions about this call for proposals, please send us an email or call 519-741-2200, ext. 5223.

Land acknowledgement

Kitchener is located on the traditional territory of Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinabek (Mississaugas of the Credit) and Haudenosaunee (Six Nations of the Grand River) peoples. The Haldimand Tract, an area that includes six miles on either side of the Grand River from its mouth to its source, was promised to Six Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga and Tuscarora) and other Aboriginal allies in 1784 as compensation for their loss of land during the American Revolution. Before the 1780s, Haudenosaunee and Anishinabek people shared this area for fishing, hunting, trapping and living, sharing in a philosophy known as the “Dish with One Spoon” treaty.

Kitchener continues to be the home of a variety of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples from across Turtle Island. The treaty people who live in this area include Indigenous peoples, new immigrants and immigrants from past generations including those brought here involuntarily during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and settlers.


Thematic and site considerations

We want to facilitate temporary artworks that are responsive to the public use and spaces in which they are located. The Kitchener Market is a well-loved, year-round regional food destination and a hub for events and cultural programming for all members of the community to come together in the heart of our city.

This call for proposals is open to designs that celebrate the Saturday farmers’ market, but we are not specifically looking for market-themed art or food-specific imagery. Mural designs should create a sense of vibrancy, promoting engagement with each space and exploration of the whole market. Designs may include text but should not include text specific to market wayfinding.

Thematic concepts or questions that artists or artist teams can consider responding to in their proposals include these options:

  • the fluidity and evolution of markets as public spaces
  • links between food and culture (local, regional and/or global)
  • rituals associated with food, community and gatherings
  • what makes markets meaningful to different people?
  • what visual characteristics could represent the East End? 
  • what can the Kitchener Market become as our community changes?

The proposals should be for artwork that:

  • creates an environment in which persons of all ages and backgrounds can feel like they belong and are valued for their experiences and perspectives, no matter the context or timing of sharing or using the space
  • is compatible with the context and role of a public food market, in this case one committed to an inclusive and diverse environment in which behaviours and actions reflect the values of trust, mutual respect and dignity for all individuals
  • acts as a welcoming presence to all and any market customers, business proprietors or staff, aiming to provide a safe experience that reflects them and the people who live in their community

Site location details for potential murals

Open the accordions below to find information about each potential mural site.

Alongside the ramp down from Eby Street

Low, rectangular wall along a paved ramp. The wall is concrete and there is a black railing on top of the wall. A section of the low wall has been highlighted to indicate the location of the proposed mural. This area wraps around the corner on one end of the wall and extends the length of the wall toward the bottom of the ramp.

  • approximately 40’ in length x 3.5’ tall closest to street and 11’ tall closest to breezeway
  • amount available for artist fees, materials & equipment = $8000
  • lift equipment needs will be determined closer to installation
Entryway arch off Cedar Street

Entry way to Market from Cedar Street. A large, rectangular doorway at ground level. It is 17’ tall and 21’ wide. Red brick surrounds the entry way. A section has been highlighted to indicate the location of the proposed mural. This area includes a 2.5’ border around the entry way and the 2.5’ inner border of the entry way.

  • approximately 17’ tall (two sides) x 21’ across x 2.5’ wide (outer faces) and 15’ tall (two sides) x 16’ across x 2.5’ (inner faces)
  • amount available for artist fees, materials & equipment = $8000
  • lift equipment rental & proof of proper training to use it will be required
Four pillars on the front patio

Façade of the Kitchener Market including four red brick pillars below a large black and white sign. Two pillars flank two sets of double doors. A section has been highlighted to indicate the location of the proposed mural. This section includes the face and sides of the four brick pillars.

  • approximately 5’ wide x 9’ tall x 4 pillars (front-facing surfaces of all four pillars) and 3’ deep x 9’ tall (two side-facing surfaces closest to the main entry/exit doorways)
  • amount available for artist fees, materials & equipment = $6,000
  • ladder(s) supplied by the artist will be required
Condo stair/parking garage entrance and wall above

Low concrete stairs and concrete retaining wall containing a garden bed. These are adjacent to the entry point into a below ground parking garage. A section has been highlighted to indicate the location of the proposed mural. This section includes the surface of the retaining wall and a rectangular portion of the surface of the parking garage to the side of the entry ramp. The selected area also includes a square of space on the brick wall of the parking garage.

  • approximately 13’ x 4’ sidewalk-facing surface and approximately 50 square feet of surface area across other faces of bed structure, with option for mural to sprawl onto wall above
  • estimated amount available = $3,500
  • no lift equipment required

Eligibility and submission requirements

The competition is open to artists or artist teams with experience creating murals or other large-format artworks.

The winning artist or artist team must carry liability insurance for two million dollars, be prepared to enter into a legal agreement with the City of Kitchener and, if applicable, provide a GST/HST registration number.

To be eligible for consideration by the jury, proposals must include:

  • letter of interest (maximum two pages) highlighting your relevant art-creation experience and a brief description of the mural idea you propose to produce
    • in your letter of interest, please specify the identified location(s) for which your proposal is intended
  • current contact information (email and phone, plus website or social media)
  • a mood board to help visually explain the style or concept of your mural idea.
  • no more than five high-resolution image files (jpg, pdf, video) that illustrate past mural projects or artworks
  • if possible, use a PowerPoint presentation format and include details for each image (title, size, medium, location, year created)
  • if you don’t use a PowerPoint presentation or other method of titling images, please include these details for each submitted image.
  • please use the online submission form to apply if possible
  • if not submitting online, please submit two unbound copies of your package (page size 8 ½” x 11”)

Selection process

The selection and commissioning of murals at Kitchener Market will be a one-stage process.

After the call for proposals are received, a jury of market stakeholders will choose qualified artists or teams and invite them to produce ideas.

Once selected, we will prepare and enter into a temporary artwork contract with each artist or artist team. The artist or artist team must carry third-person liability insurance for two million dollars and, if applicable, give us a GST/HST registration number.

Kitchener Market staff will work with the selected artists or teams to schedule their various installations to achieve a successful transformation of each mural location.

Please note that we reserve the right to end the competition at any stage. In such a case, we will contact the appropriate parties as necessary.

Jury composition

A temporary art jury ensures a fair process through balanced participation and discussion of all eligible submissions. The jury’s responsibility is to assess submissions and select based on artistic merit, project practicality and other identified criteria.

The jury will include:

  • one member of our Public Art Working Group or one member of our Arts and Culture Advisory Committee
  • ward councillor
  • one professional muralist
  • one representative of Kitchener Market vendors
  • two representatives of Kitchener Market customers
  • one representative of Kitchener Market staff

Jury evaluation criteria

Jury members will independently evaluate proposals received from artists or artist teams against the criteria outlined below using a three-colour rating system (green for yes, yellow for maybe, red for no) and other rating inputs (including jurists’ commentary). Jury members will then discuss proposals identified as preferred potential options by that initial evaluation in further detail at a meeting designed to select the most suitable, practical and intriguing group of proposals.

Evaluation categories include:

  • artist or team qualifications and ability to produce high-quality artworks.
  • artist or team capacity to successfully complete and install their proposal.
  • artistic merit of the proposed concept to enhance Kitchener Market goals.
  • relevance of the proposed artwork to the facility and local culture.
  • appropriateness of the scale, visibility and/or presence of the artwork.
  • appropriateness of proposal to the budget, scope and timelines available.

The jury may determine that none of the submissions fulfill the project criteria. In this case, we may reopen the selection process.


Schedule of selection process and mural installations

We expect that two of the four murals will be installed in September or October 2022, and the remaining two murals will be installed in April or May 2023. Installations must be scheduled to take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, when Market staff are available on site. An installation during a Saturday farmers’ market is not possible for safety and logistical reasons.

The selection process will follow this schedule:

  • July 19, 2022: open call for proposals released
  • August 19, 2022: deadline for receipt of artist proposals
  • August 24, 2022: selection of artists or artist teams to produce murals
  • starting in late August 2022: selected artists contacted, and contracts issued
  • September and October 2022: installation dates for selected murals determined in collaboration with Kitchener Market staff
  • April and May 2023: installation dates for selected murals determined in collaboration with Kitchener Market staff

Submit your proposal

Applications for this call for proposals are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022. We will not consider incomplete or late submissions.

You can apply:

If you have any questions, please send us an email or call 519-741-2200, ext. 5223.

Online

To apply online, please complete our application form.

Apply online

By delivery or mail

To apply by delivery or mail, please submit your package before the final deadline to:

Kitchener Market Mural Artworks Competition
c/o Economic Development, 6th Floor, City Hall
200 King Street West
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada
N2G 4G7
Attention: Cameron Dale, Kitchener Market Manager

We are not responsible for damage to, or loss of, support materials. We will not return support materials.