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Public Art FAQ

Here are some answers to likely questions about public art in Wood Buffalo.

What is public art?

Public art is works of art created by an artist located in the public realm that are free and accessible for all to experience. It can take on any shape or size and can be built, assembled, performed, painted and/or cast. Public art can be permanent or temporary and is integrated into our everyday environment.

What are the benefits of public art?

Public art contributes to a sense of place and belonging for residents while attracting and creating lasting memories for visitors. It is essential to the cultural identity of a community, making it distinct and unique. It energizes public spaces, enlivens streetscapes, humanizes environments and creates a legacy for future generations. Public art works can sometimes become iconic landmarks that can drive economic and neighbourhood revitalization. People can enjoy and be challenged by the creative expression of public art in their everyday lives.

How is the artwork acquired?

The acquisition process is dynamic and unique to each project. Public art policies and guidelines are in place to ensure that the procurement process is fair, open and equitable. Once a site is selected, the scope of a project can then be defined. Depending on the desired outcome of the project, the Municipality will post a request for proposal (RFP) or a request for qualifications (RFQ). Artworks can also be acquired by direct commission or by donation.

Who selects the artwork?

The Public Art Committee advises Community Services on a list of potential jurors in the community. Community Services, as delegated by the CAO, will then develop the public art selection panel consisting of five to seven jurors based on the scope of the project. Community Services will also review qualifying proposals to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest with the public art selection panel. The panel then reviews each proposal and selects an artwork based on specific criteria developed for each project.

What is the funding model?

Commissions that are acquired for the Municipal Public Art Collection are funded through a per cent for art program outlined within the Municipal Public Art Policy. The current policy stipulates that 0.5 per cent of all eligible capital projects budgeted over 1 million dollars will be allocated to a public art reserve fund. Once monies are allocated to the reserve fund, they can be pooled over several fiscal years and are not affected by any change in the capital project budgets. The benefit of this is that it allows the municipality to acquire significant pieces to include in the public art collection.

If you have your own questions about Public Art in Wood Buffalo, contact:

Community Services Department
Community Strategies Branch
9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray
Phone: 780-743-7966

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