Call to artists

[Artists’ info as a PDF: STORY POLES Call To Artists]

Story Poles
in Downtown Orillia

A public outdoor art exhibit presented by  cropped-streets-alive-colour-fin1.jpg



Artist Honorarium: $700

Prize Money:

1st Place: $10,000
2nd Place: $5,000
3rd Place: $2,500

Orillia’s Streets Alive! invites artists to submit their applications to participate in an exciting outdoor public art exhibit called STORY POLES in Downtown Orillia. The gallery will be Orillia’s city streets during the summer of 2016.

STORY POLES in Downtown Orillia will see up to 40 artists creating vertical sculptures as original works of art. Story Poles may be created from scratch or composed of bought, found or repurposed items. They will be unveiled at the Streets Alive 2016 kickoff event on June 21, when jurors evaluate the Story Poles. People’s Choice voting begins then and runs until August 19. Winners are determined by a combined juried art mark and People’s Choice votes. Winners will be announced during downtown Orillia’s Starry Night Studio and Gallery Tour, August 20, 2016.

The Story Poles will be displayed in downtown Orillia from June 21 to mid-October. The exhibit will be supported with a guidebook featuring a profile of each Story Pole and artist and include sponsor information. At the end of the exhibit several Story Poles will be sold via online auction. Proceeds will support Orillia’s Streets Alive program in its ongoing work to promote Orillia as a premiere destination for outdoor art. The sponsor of each Story Pole has ownership rights to their sculpture. Group-sponsored Story Poles become the property of Orillia’s Streets Alive program.

Step-by-step ‘STORY POLES in Downtown Orillia’ Information for Artists:

–     Artists must complete entry information and their Story Pole design on the forms provided.

–     Design submissions, along with a $20 application fee, must be received at the Orillia Museum of Art & History by 4 pm, October 31, 2015. (Cheques payable to Streets Alive.)

–     A jury will review all design entries.

–     The artists of the chosen designs will be notified by early November 2015.

–     The chosen designs will then be available for sponsor selection (unless an artist has already secured their own sponsor). Sponsorship of a Story Pole is $1,500.

–     Artists’ work on the Story Poles will be completed by mid-June, 2016.

–     The Story Poles will be unveiled at the Streets Alive! kickoff event on June 21, 2016, where the public will begin to vote on their favourite sculptures. Voting will continue until August 19, 2016, when three artists will win a total of $17,500 in prizes. (Final prize amounts determined by project fundraising.)

Story Poles in Downtown Orillia


  1. Artists are asked to submit original and unique Story Pole designs. Designs must be in colour and can be drawn, painted or copied and pasted on regular letter- OR legal-size paper. The design will show the artwork, style and materials used for the Story Pole.
  1. Artists may build their sculpture from scratch OR may use bought or repurposed items and materials to stack and fasten together to create their vertical piece.
  1. Artists may combine materials and media to create their sculpture (wood, plastic, metal, carvings, mosaics, vinyl wrap, treated fabric, etc.).
  1. Dimensions are restricted as follows: Height: 7 feet minimum up to 10 feet maximum • Width: Any part of the sculpture may extend out in any direction. Maximum width is 3 feet across horizontally (the sculpture may NOT extend beyond the round cement pedestal base, which has a 3-foot diameter) • Shape: The Story Pole can be any shape or a combination of shapes, as long as it extends vertically to a minimum of 7 feet (10 feet max at the highest point) • Weight: Each Story Pole must be able to be lifted manually (without a crane or machinery).
  1. Artists will work toward a theme for their sculpture that tells a visual ‘Story’ by way of the design, the materials, the colours, the style or the pieces used for the creation.
  1. If artists want to incorporate ‘windows,’ we recommend a vandal-resistant material such as lexan in place of glass.
  1. Artists may combine materials and media to create artwork on the Story Pole (paint, ink, carvings, mosaics, vinyl wrap, etc.).
  1. A square metal-bracket frame will be provided to artists to anchor the bottom part of their Story Pole and to which artists will securely fasten their sculpture. This metal bracket is what is attached to the cement pedestal base that is placed on the sidewalk. (An image of the metal bracket frame is on our website:
  1. Artists must sign the disclaimer on the entry form.
  1. Logos or political, religious or sexual content are not permitted in the design.
  1. Designs must ensure public safety (e.g., there must be no sharp or dangerous objects) and be vandal-proof and weatherproof.

Mail or deliver design entries along with the $20 application fee to Streets Alive! STORY POLES Project, c/o Orillia Museum of Art & History, 30 Peter St. S., Orillia, ON L3V 5A9.

Deadline for design submission is 4 pm on October 31, 2015.

Entries will be juried by a panel of at least three judges appointed by Orillia Streets Alive! The selection will be based on originality and technique. Successful applicants will be notified by early November 2015.

It is wonderful to have elements on the Story Pole sculptures that are interactive, or that the public can touch or move, but your creation must be STRONG, SECURE and VANDAL-PROOF! We do not want the designs to encourage people to climb them. (Please give thought to this during the design process.)

For more information, please contact Leslie Fournier, Streets Alive! program manager:


One thought on “Call to artists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s