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World Poetry Day Call for Artists


City of Waterloo is inviting artists to respond to an open call to participate in World Poetry Day. This social media project will feature the work of 5 literary artists and their poems throughout the week of March 20, 2023. Artists are invited to submit up to two (2) poems for consideration to be promoted on the City of Waterloo’s arts and culture team’s social media pages, Create Waterloo. Poems can be new, existing, or previously published or performed. Selected poems will be promoted along with an ‘Artist Spotlight’ where artists will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their work in video format.


Project Background Information

Create Waterloo’s social media platforms consist of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Each platform has a high following and engagement level and attracts arts and culture lovers from the Waterloo Region and beyond.

Literature can often be overshadowed by other arts. This program will allow local writers to share their work and to reach new audiences.

Create Waterloo social media handles:

Facebook – Create Waterloo

Instagram – @create_waterloo

Twitter – @CreateWaterloo

Youtube - Create Waterloo

A total of 5 artists will be invited to showcase their poetry and their practice as part of this opportunity. The project will begin on Monday, March 20 and end on Friday, March 24 with 1 artist and their poem promoted each day. Each artist will be paid $150 for the use of one poem and their involvement in an ‘Artist Spotlight’.

The goals/expectations for the project:

  • Uncover and build community capacity for creativity, expression and engagement
  • Bring attention to the literary arts sector
  • Create spaces to appreciate art and our arts community
  • Enhance opportunities for local literary artists
  • Tell unique stories of artists whose work is featured in the program

Applicants are encouraged to respond to the call with a concept that explores one or more of the following themes:

  • Stories and collective memories of Waterloo’s past, present, or future
  • Personal stories, experiences and journeys
  • People, places, things
  • Nature (plants, animals, landscapes)
  • Artistic expressions – (creativity, imagination, ideas, feelings, or concepts)


Scope of Work

Artists can submit up to two (2) poems in pdf format for consideration. These will be reviewed and selected based on their connection to the project.

Length for the final poem is as follows:

  • No longer than 2 pages (12pt, single-spaced)

Artist spotlight:

  • Selected artists will be asked to answer a few questions about themselves and their work. They will be required to either submit a video taken by themselves answering the questions or have a remote Zoom call set-up with a City of Waterloo staff member to record the artist answering the questions. Camera is asked to be on. Videos may be edited to fit the format/length desired. Artist Spotlight videos will be used on Create Waterloo’s social media to highlight the artist and their work to the Waterloo Region.

Each artist will be paid $150. No artist will have more than 1 poem selected. A total of 5 artists/poems will be invited to showcase their work as part of this opportunity.


Proposal Requirements

Artists are invited to submit up to two (2) poems in pdf format for consideration. Deadline for submission is Wednesday, February 8, 2023 by 5 p.m. Artists must submit all of the following supporting documentation with their application:

  1. One copy of the completed application form.
  2. Up to two (2) poems for consideration (pdfs). Please include the following information: name of artist(s), title of work, date, and length.

The submissions will not be returned. The selected artist will be paid in full for the use of their poem/work. The selected artists will retain all rights to the final poem, but will allow the City of Waterloo to reproduce the artist spotlight video for promotion of the project.


Selection Process

City of Waterloo recognizes historic, systemic, and physical barriers have affected access to opportunities and resources for many people. While this opportunity is open to all, priority will be given to racialized individuals including those who identify as Indigenous, Black, and/or people of colour, 2SLGBTQ+, newcomers, Deaf persons, persons with disabilities, and/or Francophone.

Images/work will be scored on the following criteria:

  • Creativity, style and originality
  • Connection to project themes
  • Clarity of language (grammar and punctuation)
  • Coherence of form and structure (presentation, harmony of words)


Tentative Project Schedule:

February 8, 2023 by 5 p.m. / Deadline to submit poem(s)

February 13 – February 17, 2023 / Selection Jury review

February 22, 2023 / Selected artists contacted (latest)

March 8, 2023 by 10 a.m. / Selected artists - deadline to submit video


Additional reference materials:

City of Waterloo Culture Plan


All artists are encouraged to sign up to find out about more opportunities including other artist calls, workshops and professional development offerings, events, resources, and more by joining the Create Waterloo Artist Roster. To find out more, visit:



Allowed extensions pdf

To the extent that the foregoing information constitutes personal information as defined in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, chapter M.56 as amended, the information is subject to provisions of that Act and will be used for the purposes of this project. Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to the City Clerk, Waterloo City Centre, 100 Regina Street South, Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 4A8, telephone (519) 886-1550.