Public Art Commission for Downtown Fredericton

Downtown Fredericton.
Downtown Fredericton.

The City of Fredericton and Downtown Fredericton (DFI) have announced a project to establish an exciting new public art installation in the heart of the City. The City and DFI are co-funding the project and are calling on artists Canada-wide to submit expressions of interest for what will be the first public art commission in the City’s history.

A high-profile, high traffic public space fronting Queen Street between the Fredericton Convention Centre and The Playhouse has been identified for the commission.

“We are one of Canada’s most culturally-dynamic communities. A rich cultural life is something we value here. It’s part of what makes Fredericton a great place to live and a great place to visit. This project will add a public cultural asset to our community for all to enjoy,” said Mayor Brad Woodside.

“Even as the Convention Centre was being designed we always envisioned this space as a great potential location for public art,” said Mayor Woodside. “It will be right there on Canada’s Great Street. You’ve got a lot of people who will see it as they attend events at the Playhouse and the Convention Centre. And I expect the piece will nicely compliment the nearby sculpture garden at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Green and the grounds of the Legislature. It’s an excellent location for our first commission.”

The City is leveraging its investment with a equal contribution from Downtown Fredericton.

“Downtown Fredericton believes public art is an important part of a dynamic downtown landscape and Fredericton is fortunate to have one of the most vibrant and liveable downtowns anywhere,” says Bruce McCormack, General Manager of Downtown Fredericton. “Our Board and membership are thrilled to partner with the City to invest in public art in this way.”

The City’s Cultural Development Officer, Angela Watson, says the City is looking to set a high standard.

“As this is our first civic art commission, we are excited to be opening the competition Canada-wide. It means we can present the best available public art. We expect to receive interest from experienced public artists locally, regionally and nationally.”

A Steering Committee will manage the project and is charged with ensuring the art selected is something that will be embraced by the community as well as visitors to the Fredericton Convention Centre and The Playhouse. The city’s intent is that the art will have some form of relationship to the culture, vitality, history or geography of Fredericton, but the Committee is open to artist interpretation.

The public art commission will be awarded through a two-stage jury process, led by arts professionals. Stage one will short list artists (based on qualifications) invited to submit design proposals. Stage two will involve a jury review of proposals and make a recommendation to the steering committee.

The budget for the project, co-funded by the City and Downtown Fredericton is $60,000, inclusive of all expenses including taxes, materials, fabrication, delivery, artist fees and installation. It is anticipated that the application, selection and creation process will take approximately 10 months with installation close to the end of the year.

Professional artists are invited by submit a CV/Resume, a portfolio of similar work such as contacts, and an artist statement. Expressions of Interest will be accepted until midnight AST March 4. Full Request details are available on the City’s website: