Calls for proposals

Projet Histoires retrouvées / Université Concordia

November 25, 2016

Montréal (Québec)

The Lost Stories Project 2017 Edition
Four Works of Public Art to Mark 150 Years of Canada
Deadline: 25 November 2016

The Lost Stories Project collects little-known stories about the Canadian past, transforms them into works of public art on appropriate sites, and documents the process through a series of short films available in English, French and other appropriate languages. Based at Concordia University and led by Concordia historian Ronald Rudin, in collaboration with professors from other universities and artists working in various media, the project has received support from the Canadian government's Canada 150 fund to develop four new episodes for 2017.

Each of these episodes is built around a story chosen from those submitted by the public. In each case, a story will be paired with an artist who will have the task of interpreting it to create a permanent public artwork to be located on a site related to that story. The artist's creative process will figure prominently in the documentary films that we will be producing. We are interested in allowing viewers to see the wide array of choices that an artist has to make, along the way showing both those choices that were incorporated into the artwork as well as those that were rejected. Interested artists should be comfortable in speaking on camera about their work. To get a better idea of the artist's on-camera role, see the pilot episode for the series, Thomas Widd's Lost Story, at the project website.

Lost Stories 2017 Edition
The four stories selected to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada deal with various topics from the past and are from all parts of the country. Further details about these stories are also available at the project website.

The Lepers of Sheldrake Island, New Brunswick: Leprosy was a public health challenge along sections of the eastern coast of New Brunswick. Mostly afflicting Acadians, the problem was so severe that in 1844 the New Brunswick government sent thirty lepers to Sheldrake Island, at the mouth of the Miramichi River. The lepers endured difficult conditions. Some escaped, and outrage over their situation resulted in their relocation in 1849 to a new facility, closer to their families. Artwork will be constructed on a site, on the grounds of St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church, the white church building in the photo, that overlooks the island.

From the North to Ottawa's Southway Inn: Why does a hotel in Ottawa’s south end fly the flag of Nunavut? The answer to this question is a story of family, home, and community, and one of Canada’s North and South. After opening in 1958 close to the city’s airport, the Southway Inn became a cherished place for people travelling to and from the Arctic. It was a wayfinder for new arrivals: Inuit men, women, and children seeking work, education, and healthcare. Ottawa has the largest urban Inuit population south of the Arctic, including many whose first relationship to the city began at the Southway Inn, where artwork will be installed.

Yee Clun and Regina's "White Women's Labour Law"
Yee Clun, a Regina restaurant owner, came to prominence in 1924, fighting a Saskatchewan law that required him to secure a municipal license to hire "white women" as employees. Following dramatic public hearings, his request for a license was rejected. This is a story of racial prejudice, but also one of the courage of Yee Clun (seated to the left in the front row) to challenge the law and of others who stood up for his cause. His story will be told in Regina's Art Park, not far from Yee Clun's home.

The Kidnapping of Stó:lō Boys During the Fraser River Gold Rush
The contemporary tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women makes clear the ongoing vulnerability of Indigenous youth.  But the story of the kidnapping of Indigenous boys by miners during the 1858 Fraser River gold rush has been lost.  One contemporary observer recorded, “a great many [Stó:lō] boys were stolen away” to California, most of whom “were never heard from” again, although at least two returned decades later. Families were devastated.  One Stó:lō father “searched the woods for days… [and then] died of grief.” Memorial artwork will be installed on the bank of the Fraser River near Hope BC.
The successful candidates will need to complete their artwork so that it can be installed during the summer of 2017, on dates still be established, most likely in July and August, varying from project to project. Significant public events will be staged to mark the installation of the artworks.

Call for Submissions: Deadline 25 November 2016.

We invite artists who have some connection with one of these stories to submit a dossier, no later than 25 November. Be sure to indicate the story for which you would like to create a piece of public art, and explain your ties to that story. Please apply for only one of the four commissions. Since the creative process will take place on camera, we are not asking for detailed proposals of possible artwork. However, we are interested in reviewing artist's CVs, and receiving links to works that we can view on-line. Moreover, it would be helpful to have a sense of the type of artwork that is central to your practice, together with any pertinent experience that would indicate your comfort in discussing your practice on camera.

Dossiers will be evaluated by the team directing the Lost Stories Project, which includes individuals with a wide array of experience in presenting stories about the past in public space. Short lists will be created in late November, with interviews (most likely by Skype) to follow. Final decisions will be made by mid-December.  Successful candidates will receive $2000 as exhibition rights and a $10,000 budget for supplies and materials. If travel is required to the site for installation of the artwork, a small travel budget is available.

For further information, or to submit your dossier, contact: historylost@concordia.ca, using the subject line: Lost Stories Artwork.

Your submission should contain:

•    Cover letter outlining your ties to the stories or communities involved as well as your reasons for wanting to take part in the making of a marker for that story and your experience related to speaking about your practice. Please be sure to specify which story you are applying for.
•    CV
•    Examples of previous works. Please send links to your website or other online site (such as Dropbox or Google Drive) to view examples of your previous work.

Applications must be received by midnight on 25 November 2016.



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