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.
On Sept. 30, 2014, Council approved the commissioning of Past|Present|Future by Ernest Daetwyler for installation at the Former County Courthouse, 20 Weber St., Kitchener. The proposed artwork is a series of seven spheres of different materials relating to evolution and the passage of time. The piece makes a strong artistic statement in line with the project theme, which is evolution of the site and of Regional government and complements the site including the historically significant courthouse building and adjacent Governor's House and Gaol. People will be encouraged to visit the site to both engage with the artwork and to enjoy the public space. The artwork will be located on the Queen Street side of the property adjacent to the Ontario Heritage Trust historic plaques, and be installed in spring of 2015.
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