Public art has the power to energize and enhance our public spaces. It makes us think and transforms where we live, work and play. It can be several stories high or bring attention to the pavement beneath our feet. It can inspire conversation and help calm our hurried lifestyles. It can also be controversial.
Public Art Inventory
The City of Victoria has partnered with the Capital Regional District (CRD), the District of Saanich and the Township of Esquimalt to create a searchable online tool, known as the Public Art Inventory.
Users can search by municipality, neighbourhood, artist or art type (e.g., First Nations, monument, mosaic, sculpture). The web-based database displays three main types of public art in Victoria:
- civic or municipal
- community art
- private/developer public art
The art policies for participating municipalities are also available.
Opportunities for Artists
Check out the public art opportunities below.
Sign up for our Create Victoria newsletter to stay informed of new artistic opportunities and initiatives at the City of Victoria.
Mural Roster and Mural Toolkit
The City of Victoria has a Mural and Community Art Roster. The roster is a list of pre-qualified, local artists for mural and community art opportunities. The Mural Toolkit is a step-by-step guide for artists and businesses interested in the mural-making process in Victoria.
The city banner program sees up to 400 banners installed in the downtown core and in James Bay. The program was established in 1970 and is meant to enhance the City’s streets and create a vibrant downtown core.
There are two seasonal programs run in the summer and the winter. Artists and designers are invited to submit proposals for a design. These proposals are reviewed by a committee of artists, design professionals, community members and an Art in Public Places Committee representative.
The call to artists for the summer program closed on January 26, 2023.
Public Art Policy
In 2018, Victoria City Council approved a new policy to maintain funding for art in public spaces. The policy aims to expand opportunities for artists and members of the public to take part in the process. The new Art in Public Places Policy was the result of a review of the City's 2010 policy.
- Read the Public Art Policy [PDF/1.5MB]
Under the Policy, annual funding for public art totals $150,000. This includes $135,000 for new artworks and $15,000 for the maintenance of existing pieces.
The City can contribute up to one per cent of the total construction costs for exceptional, significant civic projects. The City can use funding to add public art into a project's design elements, to create a stand-alone piece onsite or for public art at another location.
An interdepartmental staff team meets to identify projects and decide locations for new artworks.
Art in Public Places Committee
A seven-member Art in Public Places Committee provides more opportunities for community participation.
The City of Victoria’s Public Art Policy and program shall:
- value the role of artists and creativity in our society
- respond to the natural, social and built environment of Victoria
- support artistic excellence, innovation and diversity
- ensure that accessibility (in terms of both physical and sensory interaction) of projects is considered at the first stage of project conception through to delivery
- ensure that the Indigenous heritage of this territory is considered at the first stage of project conception through to delivery
- ensure that once a work is installed on public space, the public shall have free and unobstructed access
- ensure that the implementation process follows established guidelines and procedures, and is inclusive and transparent to the public
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