City taking a research approach to developing culture - looking for an artist to help define cultural nodes.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 18th, 2016


The City of Burlington public art program is inviting professional artists and artist teams to submit expressions of interest for an Artist-in-Residence program.
Working with the city’s Arts and Culture staff, the selected artist(s) will conduct a 6-month residency to research the existence of ‘cultural nodes’ in Burlington.

In addition to attending planning meetings and consulting with key stakeholders, the selected artist will create temporary public art interventions to engage and interact with the community.

This is a non-live-in residency however the selected artist is expected to visit Burlington frequently and must live within easy travel distance.

The city’s public art program, funded for the most part from Planning Act Section 37 funds (these are monies developers give the city for additional height and density among other things). The city puts $50,000 of its own money into the public art plan.

The opportunity is made up of a $10,800 artist fee and up to $10,000 materials

Culture - Mapping-cultural-hotspots

Early in the creation of the Cultural Action Plan people were asked to indicate where they saw culture taking place in th city. The next step is to build on the knowledge gathered.

The city has a Cultural Action Plan as well as a Culture manager and of course there is the robust arts collective that leans on city council every opportunity it gets.

Burlington hired Hamilton resident Jeremy Freiburger to craft the Cultural Action Plan. The work leading up to that document included asking people to map out where they “do” culture and how they define culture. Links below on those new stories as well.

The focus appears to be looking for ways to better define cultural nods. We are not sure that research actually makes that kind of thing happen – when people find a place they want to be they gather at that place and it just becomes a node. The approach this call is using sounds and feels a little like “social engineering” – and we know where that kind of effort gets us.

The project goals include:

The integration of an artist’s perspective into planning cultural nodes
Create opportunities for street-level cultural engagement through unique public engagement activities and temporary public art installations
Make recommendations on ways to link identified cultural nodes
Make recommendations on future permanent public art installation(s) related to cultural nodes

The deadline for this opportunity is Monday, June 20, 4:00 p.m. Artists wishing to learn more about this project are invited to an optional information session on Wednesday, June 1 (7:00 to 8:00 p.m.). The presentation will be followed by an open Q&A session with the public art manager.


From the left – three people heavily involved in the cultural community: Deb Tymstra, Teresa Seaton and Donna Grandin.

Artists interested in learning more about this project are invited to an optional information session at the Halton Hive, 901 Guelph Line, Burlington. Loads of parking. The Hive is just south of Harvester Road . A brief presentation will be followed by an open Q&A with the public art manager.

Those wishing to attend must RSVP by Monday May 30th at

For more information contact:
Kim Selman, the Public Art Manager over at Cobalt Connexts is the lead on this. You can reach her at or at 905-548-0111



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