Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SEEKING CREATIVITY – The City of Whitehorse is about to make its largest-ever request for artworks to adorn city facilities.

City poised to make major request for art

The City of Whitehorse is set to release its largest ever request for proposals (RFaP) for public artwork.

By Whitehorse Star on September 17, 2019

The City of Whitehorse is set to release its largest ever request for proposals (RFaP) for public artwork.

“This is the single largest acquisition of public artwork the city has made,” the city said in a statement Monday.

“This RFP invites artists to submit proposals for public artwork they feel will bring value to the community.”

The proposal will remain open for five months. It was developed in part by a public art working group established under the city’s Public Art Policy.

Collectively, they have more than 40 years of involvement in the Yukon art community, and all currently practise in multiple disciplines.

“I’m very excited to see the art that will result from this RFP,” said Mayor Dan Curtis.

“We have such a talented and dedicated group of artists in the Yukon, and I’m sure their art will be very well-received by the public.”

The policy states that one per cent of a new building’s capital construction budget for city-owned public buildings and facilities shall be designated for public artwork.

The capital construction budget for the new operations building leaves the city with approximately $400,000 to procure new works of public art.

While the funding is linked to that building, this request is for artwork to be displayed throughout the city.

Artists can submit proposals for anywhere they feel will bring value to the community.

The RFP is available on the city’s e-bidding platform, Bonfire, which is a secure system free to subscribers.

Artists can register at www.whitehorse.ca/procurement

Comments (18)

Up 5 Down 2

Ambroses on Oct 18, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I would be embarrassed to take one dollar of that 400 thousand from other tax payers. Shame on modern bureaucracy. This kind of ignorant conduct makes artists less liked than they already are in a society of infamous federal handouts. We already live in a manufactured arts community when everyone with recognition has done it through multiple government grants which is nothing to be proud of or boast about. Really they should be embarrassed that they have bled from fellow citizens rather than their nose in the air which I discern most of them have. 

As for the already existing Yukon Permanent Art Collection which is mostly warehoused decade after decade, I have seen it as I used to have access to where it was stored at the Arts Center working a few months as a gallery preparator, and let me tell you it is disappointing what tax dollars were spent on there as well...very little of the entire collection is worth much artistically or as an investment. Granted not all of the YPAC was purchased but most of it was. It is sad and appalling what our Government does with hard earned tax dollars which are stolen from the majority to benefit a very tiny minority.
I left the local social arts scene behind because this kind of nonsense made me so disgusted that I was nauseated to the stomach. I never applied for a government grant in my life and never will. No one is more disgusted by this horrendous amount of money being spent on 'art' than I am and I say this as a long term artist myself. Art and creativity is my own passion but I will not prostitute my work for financial gain or bleed off others n the process. If a person is a real innate artist or artisan, nothing will restrain them completely and they find a way to go on with their passion. 
It is just too practical and too fair for the City to call for loans on art which would promote the artist at the same time in public venues. This has been done before a few times and some spoiled and entitled artists complained fiercely as I recall because they 'claimed' it was not right for artists to not get paid for their work but I disagree; if an artist wants to donate or loan their work it is indeed fair and it cuts the greedy ones out. Never mind the whiners....the only practical and moral thing to do is stop paying for pseudo art with tax dollars and start allowing local artists to display their works for the exposure they could gain. No bias here....I am an artist who wants to preserve timeless artistry and not see it die out for loss of credibility and respect.
Do not ignorantly give tax dollars to art or anything else that is not essential. Art may have value but it is OBVIOUSLY not vital to our basic needs. Just be realistic everyone and keep art preserved in the right way by not playing into modern corrupt agendas.

Up 16 Down 1

Carlisle on Sep 21, 2019 at 2:39 pm

$400k for art? How about replanting all of the dead trees downtown - at least half the trees on Main St. are dead. How much does a tree cost? For the amount of time I see city Parks vehicles parked at residences and coffee shops, you would think all the work around town was done. Think again!

I heard the operations building has stained glass windows. Is that true?

Up 27 Down 1

North_of_60 on Sep 20, 2019 at 8:45 pm

Adam Smith is correct "Why not ... borrow pieces from YTG's permanent collection " ?
This is willful, irresponsible waste of our hard earned tax dollars that should go to fixing roads, upgrading infrastructure, and maybe even addressing the homeless addicts problem.
We don't need to spend nearly half a million dollars on 'art' for public buildings most of us never visit.

Up 22 Down 0

My Oppinion on Sep 20, 2019 at 6:44 pm

This is an equipment garage for crying out loud. Why would you have art? Who is going to see it? Craziness.

Up 18 Down 0

Michael Miller on Sep 20, 2019 at 4:58 pm

This is our money and it's way too generous for this building.
And I am concerned about the art they may choose. There should be no art with bullying in it or animal exploitation or portraits of the mayor.

Up 20 Down 0

HarvardYaleAndPrincetonMan on Sep 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm

YEESH - what a city government we have.

Money for this but they can't plow the downtown sidewalks in winter or
enforce basic traffic laws on Fourth Avenue all year round.

Up 32 Down 0

Adam Smith on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:03 pm

COW has had the 5 years they were planning this building to change their policy. It appears fiscal responsibility is not a priority. Why not spend anything and borrow pieces from YTG's permanent collection that are in storage because there is nowhere to display them? Too simple?

Or as a compromise, how they give the Food bank 100k, the McBride 150K to clear their debt; and spend the balance on art?

$400K is a ridiculous amount of money for the COW to be spending at this time.

Up 28 Down 0

Wren on Sep 20, 2019 at 9:20 am

Perhaps they should focus on a policy of artistically designed buildings, instead of the utilitarian, dead pan, unimaginative boxes going up everywhere.

Up 22 Down 4

Bandit on Sep 20, 2019 at 8:15 am

Why not spend the 400k on prettying up 4th and Alexander? I guess that would be like putting perfume on a pig.

Up 27 Down 0

YukonMax on Sep 20, 2019 at 6:27 am

What about having the art pieces on loan. Promote the artists.

Up 6 Down 32

Jennifer Smith on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Many naysayers to the amount of money donated to art for this project. If you'll take a moment to actually read the article, it's not just for the new building, but numerous projects around town. I for one am happy as a taxpayer to contribute to making our city more beautiful. To quote Winston Churchill, "The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them." Without art, our collective lives are a little less meaningful.

Up 27 Down 4

Duke on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm

That's fine for the city to over-pay for certain questionable pieces. I'm happy for them, just don't ask me to pay for it.

Up 9 Down 21

Resident on Sep 18, 2019 at 3:59 pm

It's a good policy, but it needs a monetary cap.

Up 28 Down 3

Charlie's Aunt on Sep 18, 2019 at 2:14 pm

So it is policy - time to renew the Policy Manual. Good thing it specifies 1% of capital construction budget & not final cost. Absolutely ridiculous waste, given the nature of the building. Maybe time to break out our colored pencils, paints & paper to contribute.

Up 58 Down 6

Jack on Sep 17, 2019 at 10:48 pm

An RFP for art? Isn't this policy is just a misguided waste of rate-payers taxes?

Up 56 Down 6

Al on Sep 17, 2019 at 10:31 pm

You can't be serious ! Four Hundred k for art ! Now that is a total waste of taxpayers money, plain and simple.

Up 52 Down 5

Olaf on Sep 17, 2019 at 8:20 pm

Policy or not..$400k for art for a grader station is just plain ridiculous.
In a town that is so full of hurt - do the right thing council - and divert some of this funding to where it is needed.
As a 60 year tax payer - enough is enough.

Time to re-visit this policy. I call on you Councilman Boyd to spearhead a review, you are one of the few that that is respected by this entire City.

Up 51 Down 5

Bryan on Sep 17, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Maybe the city should by more equipment for all of their new growth happening in the city.
Art does not clean my streets or fix my streets.

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