Call for submissions: Indigenous artwork

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario invites Ontario-based Indigenous wood artists to submit for consideration an expression of interest to design and carve a fixed art piece for the Legislative Chamber.


As the seat of Ontario’s provincial Parliament, the Legislative Building is a physical symbol representing our province. At the heart of the building is the Legislative Chamber where members of provincial Parliament meet to debate and pass bills on behalf of Ontarians.

For 125 years, Ontario’s Legislative Chamber has brought many people with different opinions together to seek consensus. The Chamber has a rich heritage and contains a number of intricate wood carvings set in mahogany and Canadian sycamore. Inspired by medieval architecture, renderings of gargoyles and mythical creatures are intended to scare away evil spirits, while Latin mottoes inscribed on pillars promote good governance. These pieces are beautiful and historically significant, but they lack representation from the province’s First Peoples.

Artist’s assignment

The purpose of this call for submissions is to incorporate Indigenous artwork into the Chamber. The artwork will serve as a permanent reminder of the history of Indigenous peoples in Ontario and symbolize new connections, relationships, and opportunities being fostered today. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is looking for a wood artist to design and carve a fixed art piece that will represent The Seven Grandfathers Teachings.

A mahogany panel will be located above the alcove framing the doors of the Legislative Chamber (view PDF of proposed carving panel landscape). The exposed area of the panel will be approximately 14 inches in height by 118 inches in length by 1.5 inches in thickness. One artist will be selected to design and carve this wood panel into a fixed art piece representing The Seven Grandfathers Teachings.

Commission budget

The budget for this commission is $20,000.00, which must cover all costs required to design and fabricate the art piece. The wooden panel will be provided to the selected artist. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario will be responsible for the staining and installation of the panel.

The art piece will become the property of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Submission requirements

Your submission must include all of the following components:

  1. Expression of interest
    Explain why you are interested in the opportunity. Tell us about your artwork and if you have created work for any other public space. Your expression of interest may be either a written submission or a short video.
  2. Biography
    Submit a current biography or information about yourself. Include information such as your experience as an artist/wood carver, any art training you have completed, public artwork on display, and any other experience directly related to this opportunity. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
  3. Samples of previous artwork
    Submit a maximum of five (5) digital image files or photographs showing samples of wood carvings that you have completed or that are currently in progress.
  4. Concept drawing
    Provide a scale drawing or sketch of your proposed carving of the wood panel. Include an explanation/interpretation of how the proposed carving represents The Seven Grandfathers Teachings.

All submissions will become the property of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on December 31, 2019.

Any questions must be received by 11:00 a.m. (EST) on December 10, 2019.

Email submissions to (up to 10MB in attachments in .JPEG, .TIFF, or .PDF formats, links preferred) or mail to the following address:

Trevor Day | Deputy Clerk & Executive Director, Legislative Services
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A2
Telephone: 416-325-3502
Fax: 416-325-5848

Selection criteria

Submissions will be evaluated by an all-party panel. The evaluation will include assessing the artist’s experience, qualifications, previous artwork, and concept drawing and explanation. The decision of the panel is final.

The successful artist must sign a written agreement with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario transferring all rights to the artwork.

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario reserves the right to modify, amend, or withdraw this call for submissions at any time without notice or compensation.