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Lumen 2020: 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 26, 2020 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 art and technology and should include an interactive, collaborative, or hands-on component.


About Lumen

Lumen is a festival that brings together art and tech through captivating interdisciplinary art 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. 


Call to Artists

The festival will take place in 25+ locations in uptown Waterloo over one evening, September 26, 2020 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. The festival blends a mix of indoor and outdoor installations.

There are several locations that are available for site specific work. However, some restrictions do apply to meet safety and compliance standards.  Staff will work with selected artists to ensure these standards are met. These include:

  • Brewmeister Green (parkette on South side of King St. and William St. intersection)
  • Heritage Green (parkette on North side of King St. and William St. intersection)
  • Waterloo City Centre - interior 
  • Waterloo City Centre - exterior (multiple spaces available) 
  • Alleyway between Uptown Parkade and Button Factory
  • Waterloo Public Square – upper terrace (no sound)
  • Waterloo Public Square – main square (no sound)
  • Memorial Park (parkette on Erb St. between Albert St. and Caroline St.)
  • Park behind Manulife Tower
  • The Gathering Space - Waterloo Park Central Promenade (Erb St. and Caroline St. entrance)
  • Visitor and Heritage Information Centre – interior
  • Visitor and Heritage Information Centre – South facade
  • Visitor and Heritage Information Centre – covered seating area

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

Five artists will be selected as part of this open call. Selected artists will receive a fee of $1,000 (inclusive of artist fees, supplies, etc) for their participation in the festival. Additional resources like volunteers, tech support, or event set-up can be requested. However, these resources are limited so please include details in your proposal.

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

Program Information:

  • Artists working in any medium may apply
  • Applications will be reviewed by a City of Waterloo appointed review team
  • The review team will assess the quality of the application based on artistic merit, innovation, use of space, connection to the festival themes (light, art, and technology), and the artist’s ability to carry out the proposed project
  • Proposed projects can be new or existing and includes work that has already been exhibited 

Schedule and Compensation:

  • Funds will be dispersed in two installments (July and September)
  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Result Announcements: Friday, March 27, 2020 
  • Festival showcase: September 26, 2020 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



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Allowed extensions pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, jpg, jpeg, gif, png, tif