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Public Art Program

Percent for Public Art Policy

The City of Moncton strives to foster an environment that promotes creativity, the pursuit of excellence in cultural experiences, public access to those experiences and the preservation and enhancement of diverse cultural identities. The municipality recognizes that arts and culture contribute to the quality of life of its citizens. Further, it understands that a strong and vibrant cultural environment promotes a sense of identity, serves as a tourist draw and generates economic spin-off both directly and indirectly.

In 2005, the City of Moncton proudly accepted the New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts prize as the Municipality of the Arts, in recognition of its support for the development of the arts. The City of Moncton is a dynamic, officially bilingual, and culturally diverse community filled with opportunity and promise. The city recognizes that public art can be a visual representation of the vibrancy of the community, and understands the importance of creating interesting and authentic public spaces for its citizens and visitors to enjoy. Public art was identified as a priority area in the 2011-2015 Moncton Cultural Plan.

The City of Moncton has been involved in several public art projects in the past, the most prominent examples include:

• 2008: Nest: A sculpture by Peter Powning depicting a bird’s nest was installed atop the new Botsford Street Fire Station

• 2004-2005: The reconstruction of the Victoria Park bandstand into an amphitheatre space for the presentation of outdoor concerts and performances

• 2003-2004: The commissioning of one of the province’s largest public art competitions for the creation of a sculpture/fountain for the Moncton City Hall Plaza

• 1999: The installation of permanent public art sculptures by internationally acclaimed artists in the Summit Arts Park/Parc du Sommet, and the temporary installations of “ephemeral” sculptures along the Riverfront Park. These two initiatives were part of the International Sculpture Symposium held in conjunction with the city’s hosting of the VIIIe Sommet de la francophonie

• 1998: Administering the public art competition for the December 6th commemoration sculpture in conjunction with community organizations

• 1996: The city's inclusion of a permanent art gallery in the prominent location of the foyer of Moncton City Hall

• 1990: A public art commission during the city’s Centennial celebrations for artist Claude Roussel to produce a sculpture of Joseph Salter in Bore Park

• 1985, the city initiated the exhibition of the works of the Municipal Collection of Fine Arts in various buildings

Policy Statement

Public art is artwork created specifically for public engagement and designed for public locations. It is meant to be permanent and to have a relationship with the immediate community and beyond. Common examples of public art would be large scale sculptures and artworks, exhibition or performance spaces or the incorporation of an artistic element into the actual infrastructure of the public space (walkways, murals, fountains, benches, etc.). The City of Moncton recognizes that public art is integral to the cultural fabric and streetscape of a city. An important aspect for the successful development and implementation of a public art program is municipal leadership. The City of Moncton’s public art policy provides a framework and funding for developing and incorporating public art in our community that contributes to the social, economic and environmental quality of life of our citizens.

The City of Moncton’s Percent for Public Art Policy ensures that funds are made available for public art to support the flourishing of the arts in our community, and provide for interesting and aesthetically pleasing municipal public spaces, especially in the downtown area.

The City will ensure a sustainable funding mechanism to initiate, develop, acquire, manage and maintain public art, primarily in the downtown area, which serves as a primary meeting space for residents and visitors and centre of economic activity. This mechanism will also be used as an incentive to leverage funds from the private sector and other community stakeholders towards investment in public art projects. (See section 4.0 Funding).

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Guiding Principles

 Public art:
• reflects our diverse cultural character and celebrates our living heritage
• builds a more interesting, compelling, and visually rich community
• stimulates economic, tourism and cultural development by increasing land values and creating employment opportunities
• presents a reflection of our cultural richness to visitors and potential investors
• bears witness to the vibrancy of our community
• promotes professional artists and showcases their work

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“Public art” means artwork created specifically for public engagement and designed for public locations. It is meant to endure and to have a relationship with the immediate community and beyond. (Examples: large scale sculptures, artworks, gallery, exhibition or performance spaces, the incorporation of an artistic element into the actual infrastructure of the public space, such as walkways, murals, etc.).

“De-accession” means the process of permanently removing, relocating to another jurisdiction, or destroying public artwork from the public art collection.

“Applicable capital projects” includes new building construction, major additions and/or renovations to existing buildings, and significant park development projects.

“Non-applicable capital projects” includes road works or other service infrastructure projects (e.g. roads, sewers, etc.).

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Subject to the annual budget approval process, the City of Moncton will allocate funds annually to a reserve for the purpose of increasing the presence of art in the City of Moncton’s public spaces. The amount to be allocated will represent 1% of the City’s contribution to the total budgeted non-land costs of applicable capital projects, to a maximum of $200,000. Applicable projects include new building construction, major additions and/or renovations to existing buildings, and significant park development projects. Road work, water services, storm or sanitary sewer work or other service work or infrastructure projects are not applicable. The funding will specifically be used to cover the costs of:

• Planning, design, fabrication, purchase, installation and maintenance of public art
• Leveraging, partnering, and incenting the private sector and other community stakeholders
• Costs related to administering a process such as a call to artists, competition, or commissioning of an arts project

The funding will not be used for the following:

• Land purchase, furnishings, and portable equipment (audio visual equipment, computers, etc.)
• Art objects that are mass produced and of standard design
• Those items that contribute to the asset base and normal operating expenses of a department, commission or city asset, such as a city museum or gallery, or a private cultural institution
• Artwork acquired through third-party owners, such as private collectors or auction houses
• Architects’ fees, except in such cases where the public art component significantly changes a project architect’s scope of services

The City of Moncton will strive to identify and secure additional sources of funding from other appropriate resources in order to complement the percentage that the city has committed. These sources may include other levels of government, agencies, private corporations or individuals.

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Identification of Projects

The Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) is appointed as a sub-committee of the Cultural Board (CB) with clear terms of reference and set of criteria. The PAAC will work collaboratively with the City of Moncton, experts in the community and citizens to develop and review a Public Art Plan every 5 years.  This plan will identify and prioritize potential projects and sites within the City as well as identify potential partnerships with the private and public sector and other community stakeholders. This plan may also be revised at any time to include previously unidentified eligible public art projects.


Selection Process

Once it has been determined that a public art project shall go forward, the selection of successful proponents may be a result of a direct commission, an invited competition, or an open competition-call to artists. The PAAC will be responsible to review submissions, make the initial selection(s), and make recommendations to the CB. The CB, taking the PAAC recommendations under consideration, will forward its recommendations to Moncton City Council for final approval.

Public art that is acquired by the City will form part of the City of Moncton’s Municipal Collection of Fine Arts, and will be administered and monitored by the Tourism and Culture Department. The maintenance of the public art will be performed by those responsible for the specific building’s maintenance (in the case of artwork in or outside civic buildings) or Parks and Leisure Services (in the case of artwork in parks or open spaces).

In order to maintain an integrity of space, once an artwork is installed in a specific location, the City of Moncton endeavours to ensure that the area surrounding the artwork be kept free of any, signage, object, snow or debris that may intrude upon the artwork.

Gifts, donations and bequests of public art shall be considered in a manner similar to all public art proposals. Each gift, donation or bequest shall be reviewed by the Public Art Advisory Committee to assess artistic merit, site suitability and context, durability and maintenance requirements, financial implications, public safety and liability. Moncton City Council will make the final decision.

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 De-Accessioning of Public Art

De-accessioning is the process of permanently removing, relocating to another jurisdiction, or destroying public artwork from the public art collection. The City of Moncton reserves the right, and responsibility to de-accession public art. All reasonable efforts shall be made to rectify problems or relocate the artwork where appropriate. Reasons for de-accession include:



  • Endangerment of public safety
  • Need for excessive repairs or maintenance
  • Redevelopment of a property whereby public access is no longer possible
  • Demolition or the sale of a building where the public artwork is incorporated into the structure
  • Expiry of the lifespan of the artwork

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Public Art Program for the Private Sector and other levels of government

The City of Moncton encourages local developers and other levels of government of new commercial and institutional construction, major additions and/or renovations to adopt a similar policy of allocating 1% of the construction budget for the provision of public art. In the case of multiple funding partners of for a project, the City will provide 1% of its contribution for public art, and will encourage the other partners to match the contribution according to their ratio of involvement.

Benefits to the developer:

Provides evidence of the developer’s commitment to and investment in the community
• Reveals some aspect of the social, historical, physical or commercial context of the site
• Adds to the attractiveness and value of the site, presenting a positive image to potential clients and investors
• Creates a landmark feature, helping a building stand out from the crowd

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Adopted by Council on  August 19, 2013



Public Art Projects

Art in Moncton