Public Art Program
The Region of Waterloo Public Art Program (and Public Art Policy) 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 Advisory Committee
The Region's Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) was established in 2002 to administer the Region's Public Art Program. Information on PAAC membership and Committee's agendas and minutes are available online.
ION Public Art Project
The Region of Waterloo's latest public art projects will give the community a chance to help create unique and creative spaces along the ION route. Please visit regionofwaterloo.ca/rapidtransit or rideion.ca for information on the ION rapid transit project.
The Region is commissioning seven new works of public art at the Conestoga, Research and Technology, Grand River Hospital, Kitchener Market, Mill, Block Line and Fairway ION stops.
The Region needs your help to make sure that each artwork reflects the identity of its neighbourhood. What is important to you about each location? What do you like about public art? Input will be given to the artists and the jury to help to shape the theme and form of the artwork.
Tell us what you think! Fill out our online survey (coming soon) by November 5, 2015 or attend one of the Community Consultation Workshops
Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 3-5 p.m.
Rockway Centre Auditorium, 1405 King St. E. Kitchener (accessible entrance off King St.)
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 7-9 p.m.
Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre, Hauser Haus, 101 Father David Bauer Dr. Waterloo
Input on all seven stops will be gathered at both workshops. Doors will open one hour prior to the workshops for those who wish to preview the display panels.
Please register at https://IONPublicArt.eventbrite.com or by calling 519-575-4400 ext. 3572.
Public art projects are also being planned for the Cambridge Centre and Ainslie Street transit terminals. More details to follow.
Former County Courthouse Public Art
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 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