Oak Bay Arts Alive Call for Artists 2024

December 20, 2023 - February 06, 2024


Arts Alive Public Art Program
Arts Alive is Oak Bay Parks, Recreation & Culture’s annual temporary public art program. This exhibition of sculpture is displayed for 10 months at outdoor sites in our municipality. Now in its ninth year, this Oak Bay Public Arts Program is an expression of our municipality’s commitment to a flourishing arts environment for the economic, social and personal benefit of our entire community. It is also an important attraction for visitors and tourists.

The municipality has installed outdoor sculptures in a variety of locations around Oak Bay. The permanent collection of Arts Alive sculptures frames views, animates parks, streetscapes and gathering areas. The sculptures have been greatly appreciated for their artistic merit and have encouraged viewers to pause and reflect about living in and visiting this special seaside community. They include realistic and abstract pieces, both kinetic and static. They are made of a variety of materials including metal, stone, mixed media and mosaic and express each sculptor’s personal style and interpretation of the yearly theme.

The annual exhibition of sculpture is chosen by a jury from works submitted by artists from the region. Selected sculptures are on temporary loan by each sculptor, sponsored by local business and community groups.

About Oak Bay
The municipality of Oak Bay is part of Greater Victoria and is located on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It lies in the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən people, known today as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Surrounded by beaches and parkland, its scenery includes splendid views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea. This geologically fascinating area is also home to the unique and rare Garry Oak meadow ecosystem.

Our 18,000 residents have a deep attachment to our natural and built environment. This municipality is legendary for its fine domestic architecture, its picturesque, luxuriant gardens, its parks. Its compact and charming village heart is the home of several art galleries enjoyed by local artists and art enthusiasts.

Theme for 2024
Artists are encouraged to submit sculptural work responding to the theme ‘Beyond the Surface.’

When reflecting on the volatile times we face globally, locally, and personally, we may find ourselves clinging to an identity or cadre for comfort, support and familiarity. We seek works that require courage to look deeper at our shared but often hidden histories, that question easy tolerance and seek, with bravery and curiosity, to regard the unseen or overlooked. We seek works which inspire the viewer to move beyond their known boundaries, routine speeches and the obvious, to weave together abstruse ideas to reveal our core connections and commonality.

Information for Artists
– This is an excellent opportunity for both mid-career and emerging artists to showcase their work.
– Artists are invited to reflect on and interpret the yearly theme.
– Artist’s work will have exposure to thousands of residents and visitors in this high-profile program. The municipality, local media and Oak Bay Tourism will promote this show throughout the year. Related arts events like art walks, paint-ins, concerts, and celebrations will be organized, generating excitement and building community.
– Artists based in Western Canada are invited to apply for our 2024-2025 outdoor public art program (due to shipping/importing logistics of artwork, we cannot accept sculptures shipped from outside of the region at this time).
– Work will be displayed for approximately 1 year.
– Proposals will be reviewed by a volunteer jury.
– Depending on community sponsorships, up to 10 works may be selected.
– Selected works will be installed in highly visible outdoor locations open to the public.
– This year only sculptural works will be selected for inclusion in the program.

Financial Support
Successful submissions will be provided with an honorarium of $1,600 inclusive of travel and delivery/retrieval.
All artwork is available for public purchase.

Jury Process
– Submissions will be reviewed by the Arts Alive jury.
– Incomplete applications will not be considered by the jury.
– Shortlisted entries will be reviewed by Municipal staff to ensure technical feasibility and public safety.

Jury Criteria
– Originality and artistic merit. (50%)
– Expression of the theme. (30%)
– Quality of previous work (mid-career artists) / quality of the application information, photographs/sketches (emerging artists) (20%)
– Overall feasibility, appropriate size, practicality, durability.
– Appropriate for outdoor seaside environment, structural integrity, public safety, and level of maintenance required.
– Content must be appropriate for community members of all ages.

Arts Alive 2024-2025 Key Dates
February 6, 2024 ~ Application deadline – (9AM Pacific Time)
February 29, 2024 ~ Successful applicants will be notified.
May 13, 2024 ~ New artwork delivered to Oak Bay Public Works Yard.
June 14, 2024 ~ Installation of 2024 Arts Alive artwork complete.
July 11, 2024 ~ Arts Alive opening celebration and tour
April/May 2025 ~ De-Installation of 2024-2025 Arts Alive artwork complete.

How to Apply
We invite your submission by completing an application form with all supporting documentation outlined on the document checklist, by 9AM – February 6, 2024.


Applications can be made online using the webform or emailed to apass@oakbay.ca.
(If emailing, place the artwork title in the subject line and attach application form and supporting documents in one email)

Please direct accessibility and accommodation requests or general questions prior to January 25 to:
Andrea Pass, Arts and Culture Programmer

Submissions Deadline
February 6, 2024

December 20, 2023 - February 06, 2024
5:00 pm - 2:00 am