The Aurora Museum & Archives is seeking a talented Indigenous artist, or artist group, to design and paint an interior wall mural located in the Museum’s exhibition space at the newly renovated Aurora Town Square. 

Submissions are now closed. 

Project Guidelines

Please review the project guidelines below to learn more about the Call for Indigenous Artists.

 Project Context

We know that Indigenous cultures have called this land home since time immemorial, this was, and still is, Indigenous land. To fully understand the details of Indigenous presence, specifically within the boundaries now known as Aurora, more information is required from other sources, such as generational knowledge, archaeological digs, and newfound historical documents.

While Indigenous People have called this land home for millennia, European settlement of Aurora only began in the late 18th century. The available historic records contain detailed accounts of the increase in settlement, industrialization, and development of Aurora from the 18th century onward.

The Aurora Museum & Archives acknowledges the disparity between the amount of known Indigenous histories and colonial histories within our municipal borders and beyond. As we move forward, we are committed to broadening our understanding of the historical record, reviewing our museum practice, and creating space for different forms of knowledge and storytelling.

The objective of this mural is to help ensure that Indigenous histories, worldviews, and ways of knowing are included in spaces where the history and ongoing narrative of Aurora is being presented.

Display Context

This mural will be in the Museum’s exhibition space, which is approximately 730 sq/ft and located on the second floor of Aurora Town Square. This is the Museum’s primary exhibition space where the history and ongoing narrative of the community is shared.

The curatorial direction for the space is to explore the passage of time through a topical approach that blends historic and contemporary elements. Some topics that have been discussed, include communication, transportation, sport, celebration, creative arts, architecture, and businesses. The display will feature artifacts, textiles, and archival material from the past up to the present. 

Mural Themes

The themes stated below should be considered as general categories and are not meant to be prescriptive. A submission can relate to a single theme or multiple themes.

  1. The Natural Environment
  2. Creation
  3. Storytelling
  4. Indigenous Historic Perspectives
  5. Community
  6. Current Zeitgeist 
Artist Eligibility 

The application process is open to all artists who:

  • Identify as Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, or Inuit)
  • Have successfully completed artwork of a similar scope, on time, and within a budget; and
  • Have a proven artistic ability to produce original artwork.

The Artist must be in good standing with the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) and shall furnish to the Town satisfactory evidence, in the form of a valid WSIB Clearance Certificate, upon the execution of this Artist Agreement and at any other time at the Town’s request.

The Artist shall maintain, in full force and effect, Commercial General Liability Insurance for a minimum of Two-Million Canadian Dollars ($2,000,000 CAD) per any one occurrence.  Such insurance shall name The Corporation of the Town of Aurora as additional insured with respect to this Artist Agreement.  The Commercial General Liability Insurance shall include the following: Products and completed operations; Personal injury; Cross liability; Contractual liability; and Thirty (30) days’ prior written notice of material change to, cancellation, or non-renewal of the policy.  The Artist shall provide the Town with evidence of insurance upon request.

Town Staff are available to assist the selected artists with obtaining these requirements if necessary. 

Submission Requirements

Artists interested in submitting a design must complete an Application Form that includes the following:

  • Proposed Concept: a high-resolution rendering in colour (JPEG, PNG, or PDF) that effectively communicates the artistic concept and reflects at least one of the Mural Themes.
  • Artist’s Statement: no more than 500 words in length that describes the Artist’s interest in the project, experience with similar projects, and any other comments that will differentiate you as a candidate.
  • Examples of Past Work: between 3-5 images or links to images of past projects.
  • References: provide up to three (3) references from individuals familiar with the Artist’s work. The list should include contact information.

Designs may be disqualified because of the following:

  • The Application Form is incomplete or does not meet submission requirements.
  • The resolution of the submitted design is too low and details cannot be clearly viewed when enlarged.
  • The design includes imagery taken directly from another artist’s work or from any copyrighted work. Submissions must be original artwork.
  • The design is inappropriate for display in an indoor public place.
  • The design contains direct advertisement of a product or company name associated with any artist or third party, any libelous or slanderous expression, or any obscene or pornographic content.
  • Artists share their designs before a final decision has been made and the winning design has been announced by the Town.

The preferred design will be hand painted by the artist directly onto the interior wall of the Museum’s exhibition space.

The Aurora Museum & Archives exhibition space is located within the newly renovated Aurora Town Square at 50 Victoria Street, Aurora. The exhibition space is 730 sq/ft, and the mural will be on a dedicated feature wall in the exhibition space that measures 102.75” tall by 194” wide, for a total of 136 sq/ft. 

Floor plan of the Aurora Museum & Archives exhibitions space.

Figure 1 Exhibition Space, Green Arrow Shows the Mural Wall

Design elevation of the wall that is the location for the mural.

Figure 2 Rendering of Mural Wall, Courtesy of Boulevard Design

Selection Process

A Mural Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the Town’s Indigenous Relations Committee, Indigenous community members, and an external art professional, will evaluate all submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Overall artistic merit of the proposed design (0-30 points)
  • Artist’s experience and applicability of past work (0-30 points)
  • Responsiveness of the design to the Mural Themes (0-30 points)
  • Quality of References provided (0-10 points) 

Artists Fee

The selected Indigenous artist will receive $13,600 for the design and installation of the mural. This artist fee is inclusive of tax, technical consultation, necessary site visits, concept development, administration, installation, materials required to complete the mural, attendance at community unveiling, and participation in an artist Q&A to take place during the unveiling.

Project Timetable

Below is a detailed list of key project milestones and expected dates of completion. 

  • Call for Indigenous Artists Released: June 23, 2023
  • Virtual Information Session (not mandatory): July 13, 2023
  • Submission Deadline: August 4, 2023
  • Selection Period: August 5, 2023 - August 27, 2023 
  • Artists Notified of Selection Results: Week of August 28, 2023
  • Mural Installation: November - December 2023
  • Project Completion: January 2023
  • Community Unveiling: February 17-19, 2023
  • Artist Q&A: February 17-19, 2023

It is important to note that the location of the mural is an active construction site with an estimated completion date of Fall 2023. This timetable is subject to change based on the construction schedule. Staff will notify the selected artist as soon as possible of any changes to this timetable. The selected artist needs to be flexible and adapt to any reasonable interruptions to the timetable.

Virtual Information Session

Please join us for an optional virtual information session on Thursday, July 13 at 7 p.m. 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 857 7319 8205

Terms and Conditions
  • All artwork created through this process will remain under the ownership of the Town.
  • Each design must be the original artwork of the Artist named in the Application.
  • The Town, at its sole discretion, may request additional information, and may amend the Guidelines as deemed necessary to provide greater clarification to Artists in preparation of their submission.
  • Copyrighted or commercial images cannot be depicted. Artists may take inspiration from imagery that is copyrighted as a part of their design and may be required to clearly site the source in the description.
  • By submitting their artwork, Artists consent to the use of said artwork by the Town.
  • They further understand that if their artwork is selected, they will be required to enter into a contractual agreement with the Town that outlines all expectations for products, services, responsibilities, payments, ownership of the physical project, and ownership of the copyright.
  • The Town reserves the right not to award the commission to any Artist and to cancel or re-issue the Call for Artists Application at any time.
  • Artwork will not be altered in any way without the express permission of the Artist.
  • The Town reserves the right to publish photos and videos of the chosen artwork as part of communications, archival and marketing materials.


Please contact Michelle Johnson at 365-500-3178 or email Michelle if you require any assistance throughout the application process.