Art Bank Purchase Program
The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and encourages applications and nominations from artists, groups and organizations from culturally diverse, Deaf, disability and official language minority communities. The Canada Council recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of this land and encourages applications and nominations from First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, groups, and organizations in all its programs. Measures are in place in all programs to support these commitments.
The Canada Council Art Bank’s acquisition program showcases living Canadian artists and emergent artistic practices by acquiring outstanding contemporary works of art from all regions of the country. Acquired artworks are rented to Art Bank clients and serve to support exhibition, loan and outreach activities. Acquisitions also ensure the relevance of the collection over time and respond with agility to the Canada Council’s strategic priorities and evolving client needs.
Unlike a museum’s permanent collection, which is built with a curatorial approach and considerations of heritage and longevity, the Art Bank collection has always been shaped by an ethos of vitality and evolution, with decision-making informed in large part by the rentability of its works.
The Canada Council Art Bank is committed to renewing its collection on a regular basis, through careful and informed acquisitions and deaccessioning.
Deadline – 14 September 2022
Your completed application form must be submitted by email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 p.m. (local time). Incomplete or late applications will not be assessed.
Application limits – 2022 Art Bank Purchase Program
- An artist may submit 1 artwork for consideration
- An artist representative may also submit 1 artwork (per artist) for consideration
- If both an artist and their representative submit an application, only one of the artworks may be purchased
- An artwork may have multiple components
Notification of results – approximately 3 months after the deadline
Eligibility – Who can apply?
This Canada Council Art Bank Purchase Program is open to individual artists (groups and collaborations) and artists’ representatives. To apply for the program, an artist must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. You do not need to be living in Canada to apply. Note that meeting the eligibility criteria allows you to apply but it does not guarantee that the work presented in your application will be purchased. While we encourage you to create an account and submit a profile on the Canada Council’s portal, you do not need one to apply for this program.
The Art Bank will prioritize acquisition of artworks by artists who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, racialized, Deaf or having a disability, from official language minority communities, youth, 2SLGBTQ, gender-diverse and women, including artists at the intersections of these identities. In addition, we will prioritize acquisitions of artworks by artists who are not currently in the Art Bank collection.
Artist (groups and collaborations)
Emerging or professional artists can apply. This is an artist who:
- has some training, experience or accomplishments in the visual arts. Past training could include mentorship, self-study, workshops, etc. Training in an academic institution is not mandatory. Training, experience or accomplishments that took place outside of Canada are recognized.
- is recognized as an emerging or professional by other artists working in the same tradition or field of practice
- is committed to their own artistic vision, retains creative control and is committed to the creation and/or promotion of original work.
- is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if possible financially
- has a history of public presentation of their work and actively seeks to maximize their audience, regardless of purely commercial considerations.
To be eligible, you must submit work on behalf of living, professional Canadian artists. Artist representatives include art dealers, gallery owners and artist cooperatives.
Eligible artwork and restrictions
Paintings, sculptures, limited edition prints and photographs, drawings, fine craft, mixed media and other related mediums are eligible for purchase.
The artwork must:
- be from a living artist
- have been produced in the last 5 years
- be of a size and medium suitable for an office and likely to be rented
- be in the best possible physical state of preservation
- Artworks that are fragile or that require ongoing conservation are not normally approved for purchase.
- have a legal title free and clear of restrictions or qualifications.
- For purchased artworks, title is deemed to be transferred on the date when payment is issued.
- Artworks are not acquired if they have knowingly been obtained under illegal circumstances.
- If an artist or an artist representative submits more than one artwork per submission, the entire submission will be deemed ineligible.
- The Art Bank no longer acquires films, videos, installation work or large outdoor sculptures.
Price of artwork
The price of the artwork must be stated on the application form. The Canada Council Art Bank does not negotiate or set the price of the artwork, but the price should reflect the current market value.
You will also be asked to indicate whether the work is framed or unframed in the application form. Note that the Canada Council Art Bank prefers that artwork be unframed.
Application Assistance contributes to costs for services to help with a Purchase Program application for individuals who self-identify as:
- Deaf, hard of hearing, having a disability or living with a mental illness
- First Nations, Inuit or Métis facing language, geographic and/or cultural barriers
To submit a request, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 1-4 weeks before you plan to submit an application.
Assessment – How are decisions made?
Peer evaluation is fundamental to the Canada Council’s decision-making process. A peer assessment committee composed of experienced professionals selected for their expertise in their field of practice will assess the eligible applications. Committee members will also be selected with consideration given to fair representation of artistic specializations, Canada’s official languages, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, Deaf and disability communities, gender, age and the cultural and regional diversity of Canada.
All peer assessment committee recommendations and the Art Bank’s purchase decisions are final.
The peer assessment committee will evaluate all applications in a national competitive context, based on the availability of funds and the following assessment criteria:
- Artistic merit (50%)
- The quality of the artwork to be acquired.
- The aesthetic quality of the artwork in relation to its position within the artist’s oeuvre, its cultural tradition or Canadian contemporary art.
- Relevance (30%)
- The artwork reflects current or emerging artistic practices.
- The artistic rationale or statement.
- Feasibility (20%)
- The price reflects the current market value of the artwork.
- The suitability of the artwork for rental in an office setting (considering size, number of component parts and technical complexity).
- The long-term viability of the artwork
Required information and support material – What you need to submit
Please refer to the downloadable application form for detailed instructions.
- Artwork information
- Artist statement (250 words maximum)
- Artist biography (250 words maximum)
- Artist curriculum vitae (3 pages maximum)
- Image of the artwork (1 image maximum, unless more than 1 view is needed to understand the work – for example, for sculptures – or when the work consists of more than one component part)
- Digital catalogues / publications (optional, 10 pages maximum)
- The Canada Council will make decisions about your eligibility based on the information you provide.
- You are responsible for providing all the information and support material requested.
- Submit only the material requested. Any other material will not be shown to the peer assessment committee.
- Carefully choose your support material, as committee members have limited time to review each application.
- In addition to providing your contact information on the application form, please ensure that the information is up to date in the Canada Council’s portal, if you have an account.
Personal information collected in this application shall be used for purposes related directly to the Art Bank Purchase Program. See the application form for more information.
Terms and conditions
If your application is successful, the terms and conditions will be outlined in a notification letter and accompanying purchase kit with required paperwork and shipping instructions.
The Canada Council Art Bank will send you payment after it has received your artwork in good condition and your completed paperwork. Applicants cannot receive payment until all overdue final reports for Canada Council grants and prizes have been submitted and approved.
Instructions – How to submit an application
Send your completed application form, required documents and support material by 11:59 p.m. (local time) on September 14, 2022, to email@example.com. The maximum accepted file size is 10 MB (this includes all forms and images). Please submit one application per email. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 3 business days, please contact us.