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Call to Artists!
in(transit)ion

By the end of 2019, the last of Toronto’s fleet of CLRV streetcars will be taken off our streets. For over 40 years, we’ve relied on these unique-to-Toronto streetcars to not only get us from here to there, but to add character to our urban landscape and a public setting for millions of private moments, personal interactions, stories, memories and reflections.

in(transit)ion is a temporary public art project, financed by CityFund and implemented with the help of the TTC, that will send a 501 Queen CLRV off with a lively celebration of urban life.

An artistic takeover of a well-travelled urban public space, this first project for CityFund looks at the beloved and unique-to-Toronto 80s era CLRV streetcars as a transitional space in a city whose form is constantly shifting. It asks the question: “What do these vehicles mean to us and what will we have lost once they’re gone?”

in(transit)ion asks artists to consider the individual and collective experiences we have in the in-between but essential spaces of a living city: a transit vehicle is a non-place that is experienced while getting from here to there but it plays a critical role in our individual and shared experience of the city.

While there are past examples of public art being incorporated into wraps, fit into the existing advertising format, the decommissioning of CLRVs offers a once-in-a-generation chance to go much further, taking advantage of every aspect of this streetcar, both inside and out, to make a resounding statement on its place in our city and the space it is soon vacating, both physically and emotionally.

We are excited to invite artists to create work for the exterior and interior of a 501 Queen CLRV. The temporary artwork is to be installed by mid-September 2019 and will remain installed for approx. 6 weeks.

There are two “sites” available for proposals for in(transit)ion:

Outside (works seen by people as the streetcar moves along the street) 

1-2 artists will be selected to create work on the outside of the streetcar. Although we must respect the functionality of the streetcar and the safety features on the exterior, this can be sculptural, paint, vinyl, lighting...what have we not thought of?

Inside (works experienced by people riding on the streetcar)

1-2 artists will be selected to install work within the existing structures of the interior. For example, the lightbox sleeves typically reserved for advertisements, poster spaces, seating, aisle, the ceiling. Again, priority must be given to the functionality of the streetcar; we are looking for thoughtful integration of art works that will create a unique experience without encumbering the rider.

Artists will be awarded $10,000 - $20,000 for implementation of their proposed approach. This includes artist fees and all costs associated with production and installation for the period of exhibition.

Submissions Requirements:

Submissions are due by June 28, 2019, 5 P.M. E.S.T and successful artists will be notified by July 12, 2019. 

Please send submissions as one PDF to submissions@ourstreetcar.ca, and include subject: Proposal for in(transit)ion.

Interested artists are asked to submit the following together as one file:

  • CV

  • images of past relevant work (maximum 6)

  • Please identify preferred location (exterior/interior, lightbox sleeves, etc)

  • Statement of proposed approach (max 1 page text, 1 page visuals)

  • Confirmation of budget understanding