Artist in Residence - Keep Art in Mind

Artist in Residence

The Artist in Residence provides the opportunity for a local artist to work collaboratively with City staff to identify and develop artworks for capital projects over a two-year term, and to engage the community throughout the artistic planning process.

The Artist in Residence will create a minimum of one permanent artwork to enhance a City capital project by the end of the residency.

Luke Ramsey - Artist in Residence

Luke Ramsey was the City of Victoria Artist in Residence from October 2016 to November 2018. In October 2017, Council extended his one-year term to end in November of the following year.

The Artist in Residence program aims to 'keep art in mind', providing the opportunity for a local artist to work collaboratively with City staff and the community to identify and develop a creative artwork for one or more capital projects over a one-year term.

Ramsey’s submission was one of 40 the City received in response to a Request for Expressions of Interest, which was open to artists and artist teams who are residents of the Capital Region and included the Gulf Islands. He was one of five artist/groups shortlisted, based on his artistic merit, professional experience and understanding of the new program.

The Art in Public Places selection panel was impressed with Ramsey’s work in the realm of public art, his aesthetic approach, and his experience leading workshops and community-based projects.

Check out Luke's website with more information about his residency and the projects he worked on.

City Parks Mural Series

This summer, Luke Ramsey is collaborating with three Canadian artists to develop a mural series to enhance three City parks and reduce graffiti vandalism. The murals will be painted on a public washroom wall at Gonzales Park, Vic West Park, and Hollywood Park. Learn more in our City Blog.

View the CBC article on Ransey's recent mural projects for the City of Victoria.

2017/2018 Summer Banners

As Artist in Residence, Luke Ramsey has collaborated with a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who attend Ecole Shoreline Community Middle School to create a set of four banners that will decorate Victoria's lampposts downtown and in Beacon Hill Park over the next two summers. Learn more.

About Luke Ramsey

Luke Ramsey is an illustrator, designer, muralist and painter. In 2010, he completed a giant, collaborative outdoor mural with artist Josh Holinaty on the John Howard Society building in Edmonton, Alberta. The mural won an Award of Excellence from the City of Edmonton in 2011, and a 2012 National Urban Design Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Ramsey co-founded the Islands Fold residency, exhibits internationally and works in public art, painting, and freelance illustration. His client list includes The New York Times, The Drake Hotel, Patagonia, The BC Children’s Hospital and more. Ramsey's book Intelligent Sentient? is published by Drawn & Quarterly, and was nominated for a Doug Wright Award. Luke's work is inspired by a continuous line in time, that draws from the inside, and paints over edge.

"I want to open doors. I want to see how other people work, so I can learn different approaches in exchange for sharing my experience and insight as a visual artist," says Ramsey.

Role of Artist in Residence

By working closely with a range of City staff and engaging the community, the selected artist will research and identify opportunities to create public art that will enhance an upcoming capital project.

A capital project involves the construction, expansion, renovation, or replacement of City infrastructure. Some possible projects could include a City park/playground or street and sidewalk upgrade, or opportunities to enhance public spaces in Victoria neighbourhoods.

The Artist in Residence program embeds an artist in the City’s planning process, providing a unique creative and collaborative approach to enhance the value and aesthetic appeal of upcoming capital projects in Victoria, while broadening the community’s involvement in the arts.


During the residency, the artist will produce a creative proposal and engagement strategy to develop and complete a minimum of one permanent artwork to augment a capital project in Victoria. 

The artist will work as an independent contractor for two years, receiving $42,000 per year term. The program is funded by the City’s Art in Public Places Reserve Fund. Artwork materials, fabrication and installation may be funded by a capital project’s budget, with up to $30,000 from the Art in Public Places Reserve Fund.

Submission Guidelines

The Request for Expressions of Interest was open to artists and artist teams who are residents of the Capital Region which includes the Gulf Islands.

Expressions of Interest and accompanying documents were to be uploaded electronically by registering for a free account at Click on the "Log in" tab to set up a New Vendor Registration.

Hard copy submissions were not accepted.

The deadline for submissions was Monday, September 26, 2016 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

Selection Criteria

An artist’s Expression of Interest will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • Artistic excellence, quality of artwork and professional experience of the artist
  • Sensitivity to the context of urban planning
  • Evidence of broad thinking and conceptual clarity
  • Ability and willingness to work extensively with the community and City staff through a collaborative consultation process, including workshops and/or other engagement events
  • Ability to work well with a wide range of people including community members, planners, City staff, designers, engineers, arts professionals, and professionals in other fields
  • An expressed desire to create artwork for a public space

A selection panel will review submissions and recommend a shortlist of artists for interviews. The selected artist will be contacted in late October.

Art in Public Places Policy

The City's Art in Public Places Policy encourages the creation of new works of art for the enhancement of public spaces. The purpose of the policy is to:

  • Increase the livability and artistic richness of the municipality by making art a permanent part of our environment and a legacy for future generations.
  • Provide opportunities for the public to increase their awareness, appreciation, knowledge and education of public art.
  • Develop a sense of place, community pride and identity through the creation of new works.
  • Integrate art and artists into a variety of public settings.
  • Engender art that inspires people and is an expression of the time.
  • Enhance the attractiveness of the City, and promote cultural tourism.
  • Provide opportunities for artists at all levels and career stages.

Learn more about the City's Art in Public Places Policy.