Call to Artists Q&A

To ensure a fair process, all questions and answers are noted below.

Questions about the Johnson Street Parkade public art project can be emailed to

Q1. What is the purpose of the Johnson Street Parkade public art project?
A. The purpose of the Johnson Street Parkade public art project is to beautify, enliven and activate spaces within and around the parkade. This project is in response to recent Council and citizen input on how to improve the parking experience in City parkades.

Q2. What types of artwork can be proposed for this project?
A. The call is open to artists from a broad range of media. This includes but is not limited to, two-dimensional images, relief and sculptural forms, temporary work, multimedia, light and sound installations and urban infrastructure. Sustainable design, procurement, and fabrication practices are encouraged. The artwork should also have a presence both day and night at all times of the year.

Q3. Can the rooftop of the parkade be included in a submission?
A. Currently the rooftop is reserved for monthly parkers and is not fully accessible to the public. This may change in the future, however, this is not a high priority location for artwork in the parkade.

Q4. Can artwork be incorporated into the parkade’s signage?
A. Vehicle and pedestrian safety must be maintained and cannot obstruct drivers, cyclists or pedestrians from moving throughout the parkade safely. Artwork cannot interfere with any signage in the facility.

Q5. Is there a maximum number of artists who can be involved in one submission?
A. No, it is up to the applicant or applicants to choose who they wish to work with on the project. Please submit a resume and previous visual documentation for all artists involved with the proposal.

Q6. Where is the parkade located in terms of downtown Victoria?
A. The parkade facility is located on Johnson Street between Blanshard and Douglas Streets, two busy downtown streets. The parkade is in the heart of the Central Business District and is surrounded by restaurants, cafés, convenience stores, office supply stores, retail stores, hair salons and other personal service businesses, the back of a movie theatre, as well as major banks and other financial institutions.

Q7. What areas of the parkade will artists have access to?
A. The artist will have access to all areas of the parkade that are currently accessible to the public.

Q8. What is the age of the Johnson Street Parkade?
A. The Johnson Street Parkade is 44 years old. It was built in 1970 and opened in September 1971.

Q9. What is the height and square footage of wall space both inside and outside the parkade? Are there blueprints available?
A. The size is 240 feet by 120 feet by 45 feet high for the entire parkade facility. Please review this blueprint for additional square footage information throughout the parkade.

Q10. What is the Johnson Street Parkade constructed of?
A. The external surface of the building is constructed of concrete. Beams divide wide, open rectangular spaces.

Q11. Are there any structural drawings or blueprints that can be provided?
A. The blueprints for the parkade can be found at the bottom of the frequently asked questions page of the website. 

Q12. What utility services (e.g., water and power) are provided in the parkade? Will artists be able to access these services?
A. Power and water are accessible. Depending on the amount and type of power needed and water requirements, artists may have access to these services after approval and confirmation from the City’s Engineering Department. 

Q13. Who is responsible for the installation costs of the artwork?
A. Artists are responsible for all costs associated with the design, fabrication and installation of the artwork.

Q14. Who is responsible for applying for City permits once the artwork project has been awarded?
A. Artists are responsible for applying for all City permits and approvals once the artwork project has been awarded. City staff will assist an artist in ensuring all necessary permits have been applied for.  

Q15. Is it possible that the budget for the project will be divided among more than one artist’s submission? For example, could one submission be awarded for the façade of the parkade, and other submission be awarded for an interior section of the parkade?
A. Yes the Selection Panel may choose two proposals from two different artists.If the artist(s) is selected to proceed to Stage Two of the competition, the proposal or proposals submitted must provide a budget for each artwork proposed. For example, a mural on the external façade may have a budget of $100,000 and a second proposal by the same artist for artwork in the stairwell may be $25,000. The budgets must be realistic and achievable. The Selection Panel will be assessing the merit and feasibility of each proposal. 

Q16. What are the safety and transportation concerns in and around the parkade to consider when developing a public art submission?
A. Vehicular and pedestrian safety is of utmost importance and must be maintained throughout the parkade. The artwork should not impede access or obstruct sightlines for vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians. One of the objectives of the project is to contribute a sense of welcome to encourage the public to park in this City parkade. Proposals will be evaluated on meeting this objective. 

Q17. What type of security is in place at the Johnson Street Parkade?
Enhancing security and safety in parkades have been a focus for the City over the past seven years. All recommendations outlined in a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design study that was completed in 2007 have been acted on.

Improvements at City parkades have focused on:

  • providing 24/7 on-site security
  • increasing visibility in the City’s five parkades by removing hidden areas and installing windows in stairwell doors
  • providing new paint and installing lighting to make parkades brighter
  • introducing new way-finding signage

As a result of these improvements and focused efforts to improve security and the perception of safety, Victoria Police Department statistics show an overall decrease of 75% in calls for service since 2007, in the form of property crime, vandalism and disorderly people.

In September 2014, a SafeWalk service was introduced. A security guard can be called in advance to accompany a customer to their vehicle.

Q18. Is the parkade’s façade lit up at night?
A. No, there are only street lights that light up the parkade’s façade.

Q19. Are there any capital project upgrades planned for the parkade?
A. New LED lighting is planned to replace the current lights inside the parkade. No further capital improvements have been planned in 2015.

Q20. What should a portfolio include?
A. The visual documentation required for Stage One submissions is up to 10 images on CD, USB drive or JPEG files including information indicating title, dimensions, media and date of completion.

Q21. Are digital renderings accepted?
A. Yes, digital renderings are accepted and encouraged for Stage Two submissions.

Q22. Is there onsite security?
A. Johnson Street Parkade is open 24 hours, seven days a week. A security guard is on-site 24/7. The City offers a SafeWalk service where customers can call the parkade security in advance to meet and accompany them to their vehicle.

Q23. How do I submit a question during the submission stage?
A. Questions can be emailed to and will be posted here.

Q24. What is the deadline for submissions?
A. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 2, 2015 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

Q25. Can Expressions of Interest be submitted by email?
A.  Yes. Please email Stage One applications to Please note that the file size cannot exceed 6MB. Larger submissions must be split into separate emails.

Q26. Have the businesses on Johnson Street been approached about the possibility of installation equipment ( i.e lift ) taking up space, and if so, would these business need loss of business pay, or are the businesses seeing this project as a way to attract more business to their shops? Would the city charge a fee to rent parking space on street, or would that be waived?
A. This call is for stage one of a three-stage process; stage one being the submission of Expressions of Interest. If any consultation is needed (e.g. for installation), this would be determined as a part of a later stage based on specific proposal(s).

Q27. In Stage 1 of the submission process, when describing the Artist's Intent - what level of description would you like? You mentioned that it wasn't to be in much depth, but should we include the genre of art of some loose descriptive words? Or is it more about our process as an artist without getting specific at all towards the Johnson St. Parkade in particular?
A. In stage one, we are looking for a general concept and preferred site(s). As per the Call to Artists, the Expression of Interest should be one page (maximum) and include a description outlining the intent of the proposed work(s).

Q28. You mentioned that there are three stairwells. When submitting Stage 1 of the proposal, should I include budget numbers for all three stairwells together? My concept could be used on all three together to create fluidity in the space, but could also exist independently.
A. A concept can be proposed for one location or all three.  An artist could present options but all should fall within the budget indicated.

Q29. For my proposal specific to the front facade of the Parkade, I believe that an aerial boom lift would be the most efficient way to complete the work. I have been previously trained by the City of Vancouver for their Mural Program, but my licence has since expired. Would there be training provided and/or a boom lift, or would I need to organize and get quotes for all of that separate from the City Department? 
A. This information is a part of the submission requirements for stage three of the competition which, as per the Call to Artists, includes; a timeline, the type of materials to be used, project budget, maintenance requirements, installation and fabrication details including site preparation, sustainability and safety. Proponents will be responsible for all aspects of installation.

Q30. Does the allotted budget need to cover maintenance costs, and if so, for how long?
A. The budget does not need to cover maintenance.

Q31. Will the committee give preference to projects that require less maintenance?
A. Durability, maintenance and safety requirements are evaluated as a part of the artwork selection process.

Q32. Q4 says artwork can't interfere with any signage IN the facility. Can signage on the outside of the facility be improved (made more attractive), as long as vehicle and pedestrian safety is maintained?
A. The City of Victoria has sign guidelines for its facilities. A proposal to enhance or modify an existing parkade sign or to create new signage, will require review and approval as part of the selection process.

Q33. I'm doing a submission to the project. Being new at this I am a little unsure what you're wanting with this part, a detailed description of what I would do? • Statement of Interest: One page (maximum) description outlining the intent of the proposed work(s). (PDF format).
A. In stage one, we are looking for a general concept and preferred site(s). As per the Call to Artists, the Expression of Interest should be one page (maximum) and include a description outlining the intent of the proposed work(s). The general concept would often include the genre of art and a broad description of what the artist is envisioning. All information about the Johnson Street Parkade project, including video and site drawings, is available on our web-site at

Q34. For the professional resume (CV) section of the proposal: My CV is longer than 1 page, and it mentions in the requirements for the proposal to keep it to one page for each member of an artist team. Even though I'm working alone at this point, should I downsize my CV to fit into this one page requirement, even though it all pertains to my experience in art and public art?
A. In answer to your question, the CV one page requirement is for artist teams. If your proposal is for you individually you can include your entire CV.

Q35. The samples, can they be PDF form?
A. Yes, PDF is preferred.

Q36. Can I include references, or is that too much information?
A. Please don't include references.

Q37. Who do we address the Statement of Interest to? 
A. Selection Panel Members

Q38. I was wondering if applying as a team are we only allowed to submit 10 images?
A. Please send up to 10 images per artist on the team.