Commute: A Bus Shelter Art Exhibition

Commute Call to Artists

The City of Victoria is looking for artists, craftspeople and artisans who live in the Capital Regional District, including the Gulf Islands, to submit works of art for consideration for Commute: A Bus Shelter-Based Art Exhibition.  Emerging, Indigenous and multicultural artists are encouraged to apply.  Selected artists will provide images of their art or craft work in any visual medium that can be reproduced for display on transit posters.  Artworks must be able to be translated in to the appropriate poster format and must be submitted using required scaling and formatting. 

Commute will display works on bus shelter transit posters throughout the City of Victoria.  Up to 18 artists will be selected for this exhibition, and their artwork will be shown on six bus shelter transit posters in three round of four months each from June 2019 to May 2020. 

Selection Criteria

Artists will be chosen through a one-stage jury process.  Artists who meet the following criteria may be considered for commission:

  • Quality of overall work submitted;
  • Appropriateness of proposal for the context;
  • Suitability of final artwork for the poster format and/or ability to be formatted to the poster format


This competition is open to artists, craftspeople and artisans residing in the Capital Regional District, including the Gulf Islands.  The following disciplines will be accepted: digital media, ceramics, photography, watercolour, acrylic, drawing and fine craft. Emerging, Indigenous and multicultural artists are encouraged to apply.

Artist Fee

 $500 CAD per image (artists may submit up to five artworks).


 The deadline for submissions is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. 

Submissions must be uploaded electronically at Hard copies and emailed submissions will not be accepted.

For detailed submission requirements and further background information, please carefully read the Call to Artists. Additionally, information about the current round of Commute can be seen below.

Drop-in Info Sessions

Three informal drop-in information sessions will be offered to provide artists/artist teams an opportunity to meet with City staff to learn more and ask questions about the three public art opportunities.  Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Friday, March 22
2.30 - 5.30 p.m.
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (Boardroom)
930 Balmoral Road

Tuesday, March 26
4 - 7 p.m.
Victoria City Hall (Esquimalt Nation Room)

Friday, March 29
9 a.m. - noon
Songhees Wellness Centre (Boardroom) 
1100 Admirals Road

Questions/Answers from the Drop-In Sessions

  • Q: Can I apply for more than one Art Call?  A: Yes
  • Q: Can I supply low-res images in the application package, and submit high-res images if selected?  A: Yes
  • Q: Where are the bus shelters for Commute? A: Along Yates Street, from Broad Street to Fernwood Road.
  • Q: Will the Selection Panel pick more than one image from artists for Commute? A: Possibly.  It will depend on the art submitted and the Selection Panel's preferences.  They have the optio to choose a suite of images or as individuals.
  • Q: For Commute, should the submitted images be landscape or portrait orientation? A: Portrait
  • Q: For Commercial Alley, will the coating applied to the boards affect or limit the materials used to create the art? A: Likely not, but the coating may cause the colours to shift.
  • Q: For Commute, can I submit digital images of 3D objects, such as sculpture or jewellery?  A: Yes. 
  • Q: What happens if I'm submitting and the 4:00 pm deadline passes? Will I be able to complete my submission? A: No.  The portal will automatically close at 4:00 pm. 

 For information, please email

Artwork Showcased in Victoria's Commute

Six downtown bus shelters now showcase art in Victoria’s Commute exhibit, a series of original artworks by local, emerging artists.

A pilot project in partnership with PATTISON Outdoor Advertising, Commute will exhibit up to 18 artworks on downtown bus shelters from now until the end of June 2019.

The Commute bus shelter exhibit provides emerging artists the opportunity to participate in public art and exhibit their artworks in Victoria. The temporary installation is designed to encourage dialogue and new ways of thinking about neighbourhoods and public spaces, inspire local artists, and cultivate future public artists and audiences.

Featured artists will include: Margaret Briere, Dan Eastabrook, Alysha Farling, Kerri Flannigan, Emily Geen, Christoph James, Mike Lathrop, Amber Lomax, Renée Nault, Libby Oliver, Peruzzo, Shawn Pomeroy, Gillian Staples, Austin Willis, and Eriq Wong.

The artworks will rotate every four months. The first set will be displayed from July to October 2018; the second set from November 2018 to February 2019, and the third set from March – June 2019.

Check Out the Art!

The second set of six artworks (in five locations) is now installed on bus shelters in downtown Victoria:

  • Batch Transfer (20170203) by Emily Geen –Yates and Broad Streets
  • Batch Transfer (20171022) by Emily Geen – Yates and Broad Streets
  • Misplaced Values - 005 by Eriq Wong – Yates Street between Blanshard and Quadra Streets
  • The Existence Project: Overcoming Obstacles / Courage Vulnerability Compassion by Gillian Staples – Johnson and Quadra Streets
  • Small Moments by Renée Nault – Yates and Ormond Streets
  • Untitled (Doorway) by Austin Willis – Yates Street between Camosun Street and Fernwood Road

Artist Bios

Emily Geen (ABOVE: Batch Transfer (20170203) RIGHT: Batch Transfer (20171022))
Emily Geen is an emerging artist working with photography, sculpture, installation and video.  Her recent work explores our constant filtering of lived experience through the camera, windows and urban structures.  Originally from Lake Country, BC, Emily completed her BFA at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (2012), followed by her MFA at the University of Victoria (2015).  Her work has recently been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in BC, Alberta and Ontario.  She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre (2016) and at MOMENTUM Worldwide in Berlin (2017).  Emily also teaches photography sessionally at the University of Victoria. 

Eriq Wong (Misplaced Values - 005)
Eriq Wong is a half-caste Chinese Polynesian, born and raised in North Vancouver, BC.  He is an emerging artist graduating with a BFA from UVic in 2019.  Inspired by the beauty of a living, breathing urban landscape, Eriq's current practice explores the relationship between contemporary vandalism and the vandalized.  From graffiti removal ro preserving street art behind glass, his work questions the concept of value in art.  Eriq's paintings feature non-traditional surfaces such as Plexiglas, draped fabric and other tactile surfaces, exploring the relationship paint has to material and space within the urban environment.  Eriq's latest pieces will be featured in Good Grief, the 2018 UVic BFA graduating exhibition.

Gillian Staples (The Existence Project: Overcoming Obstacles / Courage Vulnerability Compassion)
From working the fashion industry in New York City to homesteading in Clayoquot Sound, Gillian has a way of finding community wherever she goes. Motivated by the diversity of the human experience, and possessing the belief that every person’s story holds power and knowledge, her inquisitive nature is fuelled by the openness of others. Passionate about cultivating creativity and mindful activity, Gillian challenges the false beliefs fed to us through the general media, instead celebrating the imperfections that make us human.

Renée Nault (Small Moments)
Renée is best known for her vivid watercolour dreamscapes, where folklore and pop culture come together to create imagined narratives that are both appealing and disquieting.  Renée was born in Vancouver, BC and grew up in Victoria.  She attended Sheridan College for applied arts and then for illustration.  Since then, her illustrations have appeared in books, magazines and advertising in Canada and abroad.  In recent years, Renée's focus has shifted to sequential and narrative works, where her love of storytelling can flourish.  She writes and illustrates the ongoing comic book series Witchling, which she paints entirely in watercolour.

Renée has been collaborating with famed novelist Margaret Atwood to adapt her classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, into a fully-painted graphic novel.  The book is anticipated to be released in the spring of 2019.

Austin Clay Willis (Untitled (Doorway))
Originally from Piedmont, California, Austin moved here to attend the University of Victoria’s Visual Arts Program in 2015. He tends to focus on bright colors and bold lines in pursuit of energetic positivity, love, and happiness. Currently Austin is working in a more abstract fashion, using shape, space, colour and line in order to play with spatial illusions and the pictorial shifts between foreground and background.


The Commute public art exhibit was developed in response to input the City received during engagement on its Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan last year, when emerging artists asked for more opportunities to participate in and exhibit their art in Victoria.

The Commute call to artists invited emerging, Indigenous, and multicultural artists in the Capital Region to submit up to five suitable existing artworks, or create new artwork for consideration. Artworks were selected by jury. Artists will be paid a fee of $500 per image displayed.                                                                   

Selection Process
Artists were chosen through a one-stage jury process. The Selection Committee included artists, design professionals, community members, and a representative of the Art in Public Places Committee. The Selection Committee was facilitated by City staff but the final decision was that of the Selection Committee.

Proposals were to be emailed to by 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, April 9, 2018.

For More Information