The Victoria Avenue Business Improvement Association (VCBIA) seeking an Indigenous artist to create a painted mural in the alleyway connecting Ellen Avenue and Victoria Avenue. This initiative aims to enrich the visitor and public experience in this tourist area.

The VCBIA is excited to announce its collaboration with the accomplished artist on a grant application to the Ontario Arts Council. As part of our partnership, we will work closely with the finalist to navigate through the granting process. Our goal is to kickstart this project in September, providing sufficient time for the grant application procedure. Regardless of the grant outcome, be it awarded or not, the VCBIA will ensure payment to the successful candidate.


The purpose of this project is to enhance the visitor and public experience with an educational or historical mural in the alleyway, providing a visually engaging pathway between Ellen Avenue and Victoria Avenue.


The mural will be located on the west side wall of the building between 5691 Victoria Avenue (Always Antique Photo) and 5693 Victoria Avenue, transforming the alleyway into a vibrant and culturally significant space.


The VCBIA seeks to commission an artist to paint a mural that will enrich the public experience for pedestrians walking from the parking lot to the tourist area. We are seeking an inspiring artist who will collaborate with the BIA to bring this vision to life. The BIA, in partnership with the building owner, is prepared to cover all costs associated with the project, including wall preparation, lighting, and the artist's time and labor.


  • 40 feet long
  • Two level heights.
    • 20 feet long 8 feet high
    • 20 feet long 20 feet high


  • Stage one submission application is due by 5pm, March 11th, 2024
  • Stage one artist short list notification by 5pm, Wednesday March 13th, 2024
  • Stage two artist creative draft submission is due by 5pm, March 25th, 2024
  • On March 29th, 2024, the chosen artist will receive a notification by 5 p.m.
  • The finalist enters into an agreement with the VCBIA, April 1st, 2024.
  • Approximate start date will be in the month of September


The mural should draw inspiration from one of the following themes:

  1. Historic: reflecting significant aspects of the community's past, such as the former train station or coal delivery to buildings in the area.
  2. Indigenous: celebrating the heritage and culture of Indigenous peoples, paying homage to their contributions to the region.
  3. Floral: Incorporating vibrant floral motifs and imagery inspired by the local flora, enhances the aesthetic appeal of the alleyway.
  4. Fantasy: imaginative and whimsical elements, create a mural that sparks wonder and excitement for viewers


Additionally, the mural should incorporate elements that encourage engagement from viewers, inviting them to interact with the artwork and take photos. This may include opportunities for viewers to position themselves within the mural or interact with specific elements, creating memorable photo opportunities and enhancing the overall experience of the space.

With these themes and the focus on viewer engagement, the mural will not only beautify the alleyway but also serve as a source of inspiration, education, and community pride.


The maximum budget for this commission is $8,500.

The total budget for all expenses related to this project is $8,500. Please note that this will include up to 2 possible revisions to the final artwork submitted if necessary.

Related expenses must include artist fees, design and fabrication, technical consultation, including engineering approval or permits (if required), installation, travel, attendance at VCBIA meetings, insurance, taxes, and all other related costs. The budget for the preparation of the site shall not be borne by the artist. All fees are in Canadian dollars.


  • A professional artist who self-identifies as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit and is an Ontario resident. Please note that the Ontario Arts Council defines a professional artist or arts professional as someone who has developed skills through training or practice, is recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work, and actively practices their art.
  • Individual applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply.
  • Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or have an application pending for permanent resident status, and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.


• Artists are invited to submit their stage one applications by the closing date of March 11th, 2024

• A maximum of three artists will be chosen to proceed to stage 2. Only those selected will be notified.


A two-stage competition will be implemented.


Request for Pre-Qualification. The Victora Centre Business Association will review all submissions of credentials. Artists will then be shortlisted based on relevant professional credentials, including demonstrated public art experience, as referred to in the artist background below.


Request for Proposal. The VCBIA will review the shortlist and invite a maximum of three artists to respond to a Request for Proposal. Artists will be asked to include coloured concept drawings and an artist statement, to be further considered in the selection process. An honorarium of $500 will be paid to each of the three respondents who made the short-list. At the final stage of the selection process, the Art Committee will review the proposals and recommend an artist for the award of the commission.

Artists selected in Stage 1 will be notified via email that they’ve been selected to move on to Stage 2. The artists selected to submit coloured drawings for Stage 2 will receive a $500 honorarium upon submission of a complete, submission, as outlined below.

STAGE ONE (Initial Application)


  1. Résumé: send a two-page summary of your most recent qualifications and artistic activities. Please include the address of your website or any social media accounts that show off your art. Please keep in mind that our attention will be on the composition and execution of the mural.
  2. Samples of Your Work: Include three pictures of past work that you think best show off your best work. Keep in mind that all photos have to be in JPEG format.
  3. Image List: Include the title of the piece of art, the size, when it was made, and location.
  4. Budget: Please note that transportation, incidentals, and additional costs per diem are not applicable to this project.
  5. The proposed timeline should include revisions, preparation of mural space, installation of mural, and any additional work needed.
  6. Artist References: Provide three names of references that would be able to generally speak to your experience related to public art projects or other related projects.


Submissions should be sent to toni(at) by no later than the end of day March 11th, 2024.

STAGE TWO (Short List Selection)


• A maximum of three artists will be chosen to proceed to stage 2. Only those selected will be notified.


All stage two submissions must adhere to the following specifications:

  1. Please submit a preliminary-coloured drawing. Please note, this is intended to be a rough sketch only and shall not be larger than 11”x17” in page size.
  2. Artwork Concept Statement: Please write down an outline of the idea for the mural. This should be approximately a 500-word statement about the artist's approach to the project and how they want the public to understand and interpret the proposed artwork.
  3. Only paint medium will be used for the mural.
  4. Artwork may not include logos, company names, etc.
  5. The artwork must be suitable for presentation in a public space, for all ages (i.e., the artwork may not contain profanity, hate speech, graphic imagery, etc.).
  6. Artists are encouraged to consider graffiti deterrence measures when developing their design. Please avoid large areas of solid colours and/or white space.
  7. The mural application must take into consideration being exposed to the elements and be treated to obtain longevity.
  8. Price to allow up to 2 revisions to the artwork submitted

Selection Process

The Selection Committee reserves the right to not recommend any proposal or finalist and/or to terminate or re-advertise this project.

Scoring Criteria

  1. The artist's submission fits with the public art opportunity's goals and themes.
  2. The submission gives confidence that the work will be done on time, on budget, and in a way that will allow it to survive in its new location.
  3. The idea and proposed work clearly show the artist's one-of-a-kind point of view, demonstrating their skill in creating murals.
  4. The artist's submission gives confidence that they can do the work that is being proposed.


  • Submissions are due by 5pm, on Monday March 29th, and to be emailed to toni(at)


The successful artist will be awarded 60% payment upon commencement of project and another 40% upon completion and final clean up.


Insurance and WSIB

The Successful Artist is required to provide a General Liability Insurance Certificate, adding the Victoria Centre BIA as additionally insured up to $2 million and a WSIB Clearance Certificate or letter of exemption from the Workplace Safety Insurance Board before any work begins. If these cannot be provided, we may award the commission to the second highest scoring artist or cancel and re-issue the call.

Artist Agreement

The successful artist will be required to sign an agreement with the VCIBA. Upon notification of winning the commission, the successful artist will have a 30-day time period in which to work with the VCBIA to finalize and sign the agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached within the 30-day period, we may award the commission to the second highest scoring artist and allow 30 days for that artist to finalize and sign the agreement, or cancel and re-issue the call.


Artwork must be original and cannot infringe on the copyright of any other individual/company


The successful artist will be notified of their selection by March 29th, 2024, and will be expected to commence work on the mural project in September, pending weather conditions.


The VCBIA eagerly awaits proposals from talented artists who share our commitment to enhancing the public realm through vibrant and culturally significant artwork. We look forward to collaborating with the selected artist to realize this exciting mural project and create an unforgettable experience for residents and visitors alike.

We eagerly anticipate your creative submissions.