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Feb 16 2023
Call for Indigenous Artists: OKI Sign Artwork


Call for Indigenous Artists: OKI Sign Artwork

EOI Submission Deadline: June 10, 2022

The City of Lethbridge, through Opportunity Lethbridge, the Indigenous Relations Office, and the Public Art Program, have partnered with an amazing group of community organizations to seek Indigenous artists to design artwork for a series of OKI Signs. The six (6) selected designs will be installed as vinyl wraps on pre-fabricated OKI Signs. Each of the community partners will then be host to an OKI Sign. The community partners include: Primaris (Park Place Mall), the Galt Museum & Archives, the Lethbridge Public Library, the University of Lethbridge, the Lethbridge Agri-Food Hub & Trade Centre (Lethbridge and District Exhibition Society), and the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge.

Interested Indigenous artists are asked to submit a written design according to the submission process described below. The City will then work with selected artists to finalize the winning designs. All aspects of fabrication and installation of the artwork will be managed by the City.

Project Background
In 2019, the City of Lethbridge Heart of Our City Committee and the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee partnered to develop an OKI Sign as part of the celebration of 2019 as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages and the adoption of Oki as the official greeting of the City of Lethbridge. Since 2019, the City’s two OKI Signs have been seen throughout the community at special events and celebrations.

Based on the success of the initiative, community partners have come forward and expressed interest in having their own OKI Signs. The City of Lethbridge is managing the centralized fabrication of six (6) additional Signs as well as this Call for Expressions of Interest to ensure consistency and the respectful representation of Blackfoot culture.
The purpose of this initiative is to celebrate Blackfoot culture and language across the community and to celebrate the important role that “Oki” has come to play in our community as a symbol of respect, understanding and reconciliation – and the hallmark of Sikóóhkotok (Lethbridge).

This competition is open to Indigenous artists of all ages, at all levels of their artistic practice. Preference will be given to Indigenous artists with a distinct connection to Blackfoot Territory.

Project Timeline
Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) Released: May 24, 2022
Deadline to Submit EOI: June 10, 2022 at 4:30pm MDT
Shortlisted Artists Notified: by June 17, 2021
Deadline for Shortlisted Artists to Submit Final Designs: Aug 12, 2022 at 4:30pm MDT

Project Budget
A design fee of $100 plus GST will be paid for each shortlisted design concept.
An additional artist fee of $1000 plus GST will be paid for each design installed on an OKI Sign.

Download full call and submission requirements here: OKI Artwork Call for Expressions of Interest