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.

Public art considered for purchase and display must be:

  • Aesthetic, historic or commemorative
  • High quality and unique
  • Paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs, sculptures, carvings, metalwork, murals, crests, quilts, tapestries, special architectural and landscaping features

Public art does not include plaques, or museum or archival collections that may be displayed in public places from time to time.

Current projects

Public Art Call for Artists - Region of Waterloo International Airport

May 6, 2022 - The Region of Waterloo is inviting local artists and artist collectives to submit proposals of existing and/or previously-exhibited work for a 12 to 24 month exhibit in the expanded terminal at The Region of Waterloo International Airport

All submissions must be received by Friday, May 20, 2022. We thank artists for their submitted proposals.    

How public art is selected and funded

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 artwork and recommend it to the advisory committee.

The advisory committee then recommends a payment from the Region's Public Art Reserve Fund for the art. The final decision is made by Regional Council. Some capital projects also have budgets for public art.

Maintenance of public art is financed by the facility where it is displayed. One-time costs for restoration or refurbishment are covered by the Public Art Reserve Fund. 

 Public Art Advisory Committee

The Region's Public Art Advisory Committee was established to administer the Region's Public Art Program.

The Public Art Advisory Committee comprises:

  • One or two Regional Councillors
  • Four community members representing the arts, education and the general public
  • A Cultural Services division representative
  • A Facilities Management division representative

Information on committee membership, agendas and minutes are available on the Committees page.

Public art on display

Discover Extraordinary Spaces, a series of brochures that outline public art and locations across Waterloo Region:

These brochures describe public art, as well as their locations, across Waterloo Region. These documents are available in alternate formats upon request.

The map below shows where Region of Waterloo public artwork is located. You can also view this information in the Regional Public Art Summary.

 

 

 

ION public art

Dotted along the ION corridor, the collection of ION public art enhances the transit experience, while improving the cultural components of our community. 

Input through a series of public consultations was key in the selection process of the 10 art installations, with an aim to express and reflect Waterloo Region's unique identity.

We invite the community to explore the collection of public art along the corridor using the ION public art passport. ION public art can be found at the following transit stations:

Conestoga Station: "Continuum" by Catherine Paleczny
Grand River Hospital Station: "Spinal Column" by Sandra Dunn
Kitchener Market Station: "Because Cats Can't Fly" by Edwin and Veronica Dam De Nogales
Mill Street Station: "Tall Tales of Mill Street" by Tara Cooper and Terry O'Neill
Block Line station: "Three Sisters" by Lindsey Lickers
Fairway Station: "Shaping Residency" by Stephen Cruise 
Pedestrian Barrier Enhancement, near the WPL McCormick Branch: "Fabric of Place" by Lilly Otasevic  
Research and Technology Station: "The Passenger" by Brandon Vickerd 
Fairway Station: "Arras" by Elana Zur and Lauren Judge  
Cambridge Centre terminal: "Pin Art" by Ken Hall  

Former County Courthouse public art

On September 30, 2014, Council approved the commissioning of Past|Present|Future by Ernest Daetwyler for installation at the Former County Courthouse at 20 Weber St. E., Kitchener. The 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. It complements the site, including the historically significant courthouse building and nearby Governor's House and Gaol. People are encouraged to visit the site to engage with the artwork and enjoy the public space. The artwork is located on the Queen Street side of the property next to the Ontario Heritage Trust plaques.

Image of past-present-future public art

 Online interactive public Art
The Solar Collector 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 at 100 Maple Grove Rd., Cambridge. 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.

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