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Lumen 2024: Call for Artist Proposals  


City of Waterloo is inviting artists to submit a proposal to be part of Lumen, Waterloo’s festival of light, art, and technology-based installations. Lumen will take place on September 21, 2024 from 6 -11 p.m. in spaces throughout uptown Waterloo. Installations will be placed in public spaces to animate the uptown core. All work will feature the interplay between light, art, and technology and should include an interactive, collaborative, or participatory component.


About Lumen

Lumen is an aunual art festival that brings together art and tech through captivating interdisciplinary installations.  Installations should feature the work of artists while also testing the limits or functions of technological platforms. Platforms can be high-tech, low-tech, or somewhere in-between – the idea is that there is an artful and explorative exchange between technology and creativity. The goal of the festival is to celebrate the great community spaces, places, and parks that are available for use by the community and to animate public space through creative temporary installations. Audiences for the one night event are expected to exceed 40,000 attendees. 


Call to Artists

The festival will take place in 30 locations in uptown Waterloo over one evening, September 21, 2024 from 6 to 11 p.m.  

Artists are invited to submit proposals for their installation to be placed in one or more locations in uptown Waterloo. Work can be site specific; however, that is not a requirement. 

There are several locations that are available for site specific work. However, some restrictions do apply to meet safety compliance.  Staff will work with selected artists to ensure these standards are met. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Waterloo Park East
  • Memorial Park (parkette on Erb St. between Albert St. and Caroline St.)
  • Park behind Manulife Tower
  • Visitor Information Centre – South facade
  • Visitor Information Centre – covered seating area
  • Waterloo Public Library - exterior only
  • Waterloo City Hall - interior and exterior


All proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Installations will be inclusive, engaging, and showcase the interplay between light, art, and technology
  • Successful applications will include an interactive component that allows participants to engage in discussion or engage directly with the art
  • Proposals must consider the limitations of a one day festival including installation and removal of the artwork after the festival (storage is available, but is very limited)
  • Outdoor installations must be weather resistant- in the event of bad weather, we will do our best to accommodate all artists, but cannot guarantee indoor spaces unless specified by the artist
  • Installations and presented work must comply with safety and accessibility standards
  • Artist(s) must be available to set-up, dismantle, or provide clear, concise, and simple instructions for staff to install projects


Fees and Budget

Up to ten (10) artists will be selected as part of this open call. Selected artists will receive a fee of $2,000 (inclusive of all artist fees, transportation, supplies, etc) for their participation in the festival. Additional resources like volunteers or event set-up can be requested. However, these resources cannot be guaranteed.

Artists are free to pursue additional project funding or sponsorship to aid in the development, exhibition, and display of their proposal.  Public recognition of any additional support/funding/sponsorship will be the responsibility of the artist and if recognition is required, artists must negotiate with City of Waterloo staff in advance of the festival.


Selection Criteria

Artists working in all mediums are encouraged to apply. Demonstrated experience working with the public will be considered an asset.

A successful project will include:

  • Opportunities for the public to engage through hand-on, participatory, or creative exchanges with the art
  • Strong connection to the project themes including the interplay between light, art, and technology
  • Viable and realistic project proposal
  • Innovative and creative use of the spaces available
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver quality art/opportunities/programs on time and in accordance with project proposals
  • Artistic merit of the proposed project 


Additional Information

Schedule and Compensation:

  • Funds will be dispersed in two installments (July and September)
  • Application Deadline: May 4, 2024 by 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Festival showcase: Saturday, September 21, 2024 from 6 – 11 p.m.


Terms and Conditions:

  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered
  • Successful applicants must be available to set-up, dismantle, or provide clear, concise, and simple instructions for staff to install projects
  • Storage space may be offered to the accepted artists - this space is very limited and storage needs must be specified in advance of the festival
  • All installation offered by the artist as part of this program must be free and open to the public (ie. no admission charges)
  • Artists are required to communicate needs and specifics with City of Waterloo staff in advance of the festival
  • Artists must be on-site, or arrange representation, for the duration of the festival
  • Members of City of Waterloo council appointed committees and City of Waterloo staff are inelibible for this opportunity


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