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Call to Indigenous Artists
Expressions of Interest (EOI) The Nogojiwanong Project

Figure 1 Otonabee River Rapids

The Nogojiwanong Project Committee invites Indigenous artists or artist teams residing in Ontario to submit their credentials, examples of prior experience and a conceptual approach for a site-specific public artwork to be installed at Nogojiwanong—the Place at the Foot of the Rapids on the territories of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe Peoples.

Oversight of this project is being provided by a steering committee comprised of representatives from Alderville First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, the Niijkiwendidaa Anishnabekwag Services Circle and City staff.

Project Background and Intent

The Nogojiwanong Project is a major capital collaboration undertaken in the spirit of kinship with local First Nations Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Treaty No. 20. As a Public Art Project it is being developed and administered through the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program and funded by the City.

The 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.

The Public Art Policy adopted in 2009 identifies processes for creating and selecting projects and commits an annual Public Art fund to maintain existing artworks and to commission new projects by artists from across the country.

Nogojiwanong is an Anishinaabe word meaning “place at the foot of the rapids” and the name given to the gathering place, at the bottom of a turbulent stretch of the Otonabee River, renamed Peterborough by European settlers.

Millennium Park forms the present-day landfall and eddy along that western shoreline. It is also the site of the trailhead to the Chemong Portage – a six or seven-mile historic footpath between the Otonabee River and Chemong Lake.

The Nogojiwanong Project acknowledges these ancestral lands and the thousands of years the Michi Saagiig navigated this route between their winter camps and traditional fishing grounds at the mouth of the Ganaraska River on Lake Ontario.

The Nogojiwanong Project will support innovative proposals from both emerging and established artists working in a range of disciplines and media. Contemporary and traditional disciplines will be considered. Artworks should, in some manner, consider the setting and stories from this land, and bring attention to the evolution of local treaties and inherent treaty rights, in particular Treaty No. 20—the agreement between the Michi Saagiig peoples and the British Crown that made it possible for Europeans to settle in this region.

“Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Everyone might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation…This fear of the Nation’s censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social honorable compact.”
—George Copway Kahgegagahbowh Michi Saagiig

Deadline for Artists Expressions of Interest: June 8th, 2018, Midnight

This Call to Artists follows a two-stage selection process. The full call, project FAQ and more information about the project parameters, treaties, and treaty relationships can be found on the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program site.


Figure 2 Otonabee River Shoreline Between Simcoe and King Streets, Circa 1830

The artwork will be installed at a site as yet to be determined, overlooking the Otonabee River within Millennium Park.

Millennium Park means the Waterfront Park and Otonabee River Trail area extending north from the railway bridge to Simcoe Street and bounded to the west by Water Street, the MNR Property, and Charlotte Street.

The final location will be established through the artwork selection process and by the artists’ response to site. We encourage artists to familiarize themselves with, but not be limited by the two sites in Millennium Park identified in the call.

The City is exploring a community de-pave initiative of Site 2 as part of this project. Asphalt and concrete curbs as well as sub-surface granules will be removed, replaced with soil, and seeded. There may be an opportunity for the commissioned artist to work with the park planners.

Total Project Budget: $45,000


This is a two-stage call open to Indigenous artists or artist teams residing in Ontario. The design team leader must be an accomplished artist or designer partnered, as needed, with a professional architect or landscape architect, engineer fabricators and constructors able to complete the installation. The term Indigenous, in this context, includes those who identify as status or non-status First Nations and who are affiliated with an Indigenous organization.

An Indigenous artist team, group or collective is one whose leadership is made up of a majority of Indigenous peoples, who control and direct the artistic and financial decisions.

Peterborough’s 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 and production of art in public places

Submissions Guidelines

All expressions of interest must be submitted online through

Stage II (By Invitation)

In the second stage, a short-list of three (3) finalists from Stage I will be paid $1500 to further develop and present their proposals to the selection committee. Finalists will be reimbursed for travel expenses to Peterborough including meals and accommodation up to a maximum of $1000. Receipts and a summary of expenses will be required.

Project Timeline

Expression of Interest Deadline: June 8, 2018, Midnight
Short List Announced: Mid-June
Stage II Selection Process: July 2018
Finalist Notification: Late July
Project Completion: November 2018

About this Opportunity

This Call to Artists is being administered through the City of Peterborough’s Public Art Program and funded by the City.

Please direct questions to:

Wendy Trusler
Public Art Coordinator
City of Peterborough
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