Public Art Program
The Region of Waterloo Public Art Program was approved in 2002 following discussions during the construction of several major Regional buildings. Regional Council agreed that public art enhances the positive perception of a community and raises its cultural profile.
A Public Art Reserve Fund was created. Money is allocated annually at the discretion of Regional Council. There is also a budgeted allocation from designated capital projects.
Public art considered for purchase and display must meet these criteria:
- esthetic, historic or commemorative objects
- high quality and unique
- paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs, sculptures, carvings, metalwork, murals, crests, quilts, tapestries, special architectural and landscaping features
Note: Public art does not include plaques, or museum or archival collections which may be displayed in public places from time to time.
Public art is being commissioned for the Former Country Courthouse Building (20 Weber St., Kitchener). The theme selected for the artwork is evolution - of the site and of Regional municipal government - from its origins as the historic County seat (responsible for roads, bridges, jails and courtrooms) to the current role of the Regional Municipality (public health, social services, transit, transportation, water, waste, museums, airport, archives, crime prevention, etc.). The location of the artwork, on the Queen Street side of the building near the Ontario Heritage Trust plaques, has the potential to act as a gathering or resting place for the public. Artists were encouraged to incorporate functional seating into the artwork.
The first round of submissions for the proposed public artwork have been received by the jury and the following artists have been shortlisted: Ernest Daetwyler, Sandra Dunn and Michaela MacLeod.
Details on the three shortlisted proposals will be posted on this page from July 30 to August 20, 2014. In addition, 3-D models and artists' statements will be on display at the Region of Waterloo Administrative Headquarters (150 Frederick St., Kitchener - lobby) from July 30 to August 8, and at the Kitchener Public Library Central Branch (85 Queen St. N., Kitchener) from August 11-18.
Public comments are requested on the three proposed artworks and will be provided as input to the jury.
Please submit your comments by August 20, 2014.
How Public Art is Selected
The Public Art Advisory Committee appoints a jury to solicit proposals from the art community for a particular Regional site. Jury members, keeping in mind the unique characteristics of that site, judge submissions, choose the most appropriate and recommend it to the advisory committee.
The advisory committee, in turn, recommends an allocation of money from the Region's Public Art Reserve Fund for the art. The final decision is made by Regional Council.
The Public Art Advisory Committee comprises:
- One (or two) Regional Councillors
- Four community representatives representing the arts, education and the general public
- A Community Service's Division representative
- A Facilities Management Division representative
Maintenance of public artwork is financed by the facility where it is displayed. One-time costs for restoration or refurbishment of artwork are covered by the Public Art Reserve Fund.
Public Art on Display
Discover Extraordinary Spaces, a series of brochures that outline public art and locations across Waterloo Region:
The map below shows where Region of Waterloo public artwork is located. You can also view this information in the Regional public art summary (PDF). View Region of Waterloo Public Art in a larger map
Online Interactive Public Art
The solar Collector public art installation celebrates the Region's commitment to energy efficiency. The sculpture contains 12 shimmering metal shafts that rise from different angles on the grassy hill in front of the Region's Operations Centre. The solar-powered and interactive installation gathers energy from the sun during the day to light up at night. Members of the public can view and even choreograph nightly light performances online at solarcollector.ca.
For more information, contact:
Kate Hagerman, Cultural Heritage Specialist