Musqueam-SHCS Canopy Art Project

Musqueam-SHCS Canopy Art Project Header Image

Project Overview

In fall 2021, a new student residence complex, which will include five residential buildings and collectively house 940 upper-year students, is scheduled to open on UBC’s Vancouver campus. UBC Student Housing and Community Services (SHCS) is overseeing all aspects of this project.

This commission is to create original concept artwork, which will be applied to pre-designed walkway canopy structures in the outdoor areas surrounding the new residence community.

SHCS (formerly Student Housing and Hospitality Services) partnered with Musqueam to name həm̓ləsəm̓ and q̓ələχən Houses in 2011, and c̓əsnaʔəm House in 2017, at Totem Park Residence. A joint Musqueam/SHCS storytelling committee has continued to develop educational materials and opportunities for students to learn more about the land, language, culture, and history of the Musqueam people.

This project is an opportunity to strengthen relationships between Musqueam and UBC and to showcase Musqueam traditions and presence on campus.


Open to both aspiring and established Musqueam artists.


Selected artist will receive $10,000 minimum.*


Submit by October 20, 2020.


Artist selected by early-November.

*Additional compensation may be provided based on design complexity and the provision of comprehensive services during the implementation process, such as fabrication and installation.

Submit your proposal

Submission requirements

Interested Musqueam artists must submit their proposal in writing and include the following components:

  • Artist’s biography or summary.
  • Full contact information.
  • Concept design(s): initial concept design(s), in the form of sketches or drawings, which you believe reflects the considerations and specifications outlined in the RFP.
  • Vision statement: an associated statement or story, of 50 to 200 words, which explains the artist’s intention and significance of the proposed design(s).
  • (Optional) Examples of previous work: you are welcome to submit up to 5 images featuring previous work, which must be clearly labeled with title, medium, dimensions, date of work, and a short description.

How do I submit?

Step 2

Create your design and put together your submission package.

Step 3

By the deadline, please submit your application by email to the Musqueam Protocol Team, Musqueam Indian Band, Vancouver at or Musqueam Communications (Odette Wilson) at

Can I submit by mail or in-person?

If email is not an option, submissions can be mailed or delivered to:

Musqueam Indian Band
Attn: Leona Sparrow
6735 Salish Drive
Vancouver, BC
V6N 4C4

What is the submission deadline?

The deadline to submit your proposal is 4:30 pm, October 20, 2020.

For more detail and complete instructions, please refer to the Request for Proposal.

Considerations and specifications

First, please review the following Appendices in the Request for Proposal to consider possibilities for your design:

  • Appendix 1: Project map.
  • Appendix 2: Preliminary canopy renderings.
  • Appendix 3: Examples of glazing patterns and production information.


The design should reflect Musqueam traditions and art.


Consider concepts of teaching, learning, transformation, sustainability, and/or wellness from a Musqueam perspective. You may also want to tie in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and English house names and stories, jointly selected, which are themed around the following five ocean animals: q̓ǝlɬalǝmǝcǝn (Orca), qʷta:yθǝn (Sturgeon), sɬewǝt’ (Herring), tǝmǝs (Otter), sqimǝk̓ʷ (Octopus).

Residence houses

q̓ǝlɬalǝmǝcǝn lelǝm̓ | Orca House
qʷta:yθǝn lelǝm̓ | Sturgeon House
sɬewǝt’ lelǝm̓ | Herring House
tǝmǝs lelǝm̓ | Otter House
sqimǝk̓ʷ lelǝm̓ | Octopus House


There is an opportunity to be creative with the use of shadows and the potential for patterns to appear on the ground in the sunshine.


If the successful submission includes the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language, the artist will be asked to collaborate with the Musqueam Language and Culture Department.

A reminder that finalized artwork is not required as part of your submission. Exact specifications are to be determined collaboratively.

In all cases, please refer to the Request for Proposal for official project information.


When will the committee make its decision?

The final decision will be made in late-October/early-November.

Who is on the selection committee?

The final design will be selected by a committee composed of representatives designated by the Musqueam Indian Band and UBC SHCS.

What criteria will the selection committee base its decision on?

The artist who best aligns with the project considerations and specifications will be chosen by the selection panel. The successful submission will be chosen on its artistic merits, storytelling, and interview process/presentation of idea.

Will the selected artist be financially compensated?

Yes, the selected artist will receive $10,000 compensation (minimum)* once the full design is complete.

*Additional compensation may be provided based on design complexity and the provision of comprehensive services during the implementation process, such as fabrication and installation.

Please note that all costs associated with the final production and installation of the work will be covered separately.

How will the selected artist be involved after the full design is complete?

The selected artist will be expected to be an active participant throughout the design and production stages. More detail about ongoing responsibilities are outlined in the Request for Proposal.


For further information or design-related inquiries, please contact:

Leith Blachford
Marketing and Communications Director
UBC Student Housing and Community Services

Thank you! The selection committee looks forward to receiving your submission.