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UrbanScreen Call for Proposals


We thank those who submitted a proposal for UrbanScreen. Gallery curatorial staff is currently in conversation with artists whose proposals have been shortlisted.

Surrey Art Gallery invites proposals for UrbanScreen
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2015

UrbanScreen is the outdoor Public Art feature on the west wall of the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. It is Canada’s largest, permanent, non-commercial screen, and presents digital and interactive artwork by regionally and internationally significant artists. Exhibitions appear 30 minutes after sunset, and conclude at midnight.

Used as an offsite programming venue by the Surrey Art Gallery, the Gallery commissions new works for exhibition at this site.

UrbanScreen is located at:

Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre
13458 107A Avenue Surrey, BC V3T 0G4  


Please include the following information in your submission:

  • A brief one-page introduction to your project.
  • Links to additional support material on your website. Online support material is recommended to include:
    • your exhibition history,
    • samples of previously completed work (images, videos, recordings),
    • information about your team (links to other partner websites with documentation), and
    • rendering of the proposed artwork.

Proposals are to be submitted via an email no larger than 1MB with the subject line “UrbanScreen Proposal” to

Proposals will be received by Surrey Art Gallery and will be reviewed by curatorial staff with support of the UrbanScreen Advisory Committee. All proposals will be acknowledged.

For more information, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and Venue Specifications sections.

Frequently Asked Questions

An "Updated Frequently Asked Questions" document will be added when we receive new questions.


Q: Can I propose a single evening event?

A: Single evening events are possible, but the Gallery is not commissioning these at this time.


Q: What needs to be included in the proposal?

A: A brief introduction to your project, answering questions such as:

  • What is the theme of your artwork?
  • What equipment and processes would be engaged in the realization of the artwork (e.g. MaxMSP with webcam interface, video player with FM broadcast sound)?
  • Is it interactive?
  • Is the artwork complete now?
  • Has it been exhibited before (include visual samples)?
  • Is it yet to be created?
  • Do you have resources to complete work within our exhibition timeframe?
  • What is the length of time of the artwork (e.g. 30 minutes or continually processing)?
  • What is the imagery used in your artwork?

Links to additional support material on your website is recommended to include:

  • your exhibition history,
  • samples of previously completed work (images, videos, recordings),
  • information about your team (links to other partner websites with documentation), and
  • rendering of the proposed artwork.

Q: What is the best way to submit the proposal?

A: Proposals are to be submitted via email no larger than 1MB, and include a one-page introduction with links to other information hosted on a website.

Submit proposals with the subject line “UrbanScreen Proposal” to

Q: Who reviews the proposals?

A: Surrey Art Gallery curatorial staff (review and make final decision) and UrbanScreen Advisory Committee (make recommendations to staff regarding themes or direction of UrbanScreen programming).

Q: When will a decision be made?

A: Proposals received by the deadline will be reviewed and a shortlist will be made within 6 weeks. Shortlisted artists will be contacted by staff for further information and discussion.

We will post online when we have completed the shortlist. If we have not been in communication with you prior to this, you are welcome to submit a proposal again when the next call is announced.

Q: What fees are available for artists?

A: A fee of $7000 is offered to artists for all services for exhibition at UrbanScreen. This includes payment for: exhibition fee, installation time, presence at the opening, response to the media (e.g. interviews), and limited license for use of images of artwork for promotion of the exhibition by the Gallery. Additional fees may be negotiated for artist travel costs, and an artist talk connected with the exhibition.

Q: What other financial support is provided for the exhibition?

A: The Gallery pays for marketing, opening reception, documentation, and maintenance of the projectors and system architecture.

Q: What technical support is provided to artists?

A: The projector contractor will schedule a site visit during the exhibition installation to:

  • colour correct the projection (likely fresh bulbs),
  • test the positioning of the artwork on the wall (eg, matching the location of the windows), and
  • test the connection of the artwork data files to the network and computers controlling the projectors.

Artists will be provided with access to a live online surveillance camera view of the projection wall to check the performance of their artwork remotely.

No technical support is provided to artists for the production or debugging of their work. Artworks need to be tested and demonstrated as complete and robust for continual operation for up to 6 hours per evening continually for the length of exhibition prior to connection to the UrbanScreen network.

Q: What is the media and sound capacity of the venue?

A: Exhibitions have included video (with or without audio), animations, interactive projections (e.g. using webcam to sense movement or presence and trigger both/either image and audio response), and digital media (e.g. generative content created using MaxMSP or other programming code or software).

The venue has infrastructure supporting short distance FM broadcast. Sound is not required for any exhibition, but is possible for artworks.

Q: Does the artwork need to be interactive?

A: Interactivity is not required for any exhibition, but is encouraged, given positive feedback on previous projects.

Q: Does the venue have any limitations?

A: Artworks are to be complete prior to installation, and not require adjustments or changes throughout the exhibition.

At this time, due to limited bandwidth, artworks are to be self-contained, and not be dependent on connection to the internet (e.g. for continually downloading content from web files).

All windows have interior blinds and external vinyl on glazing to reflect projections. However, windows are apparent (illuminated) when the gymnasium lights are on. Some windows have red glazing.

Q. Does the venue have any interesting characteristics and what is the context?

A: Immediately south of the UrbanScreen venue is a skate park (completed 2011) that attracts skate boarders and BMX riders from around Metro Vancouver. This park is very popular, and is illuminated at night and includes a cantilevered roof covering a bowl.

The Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre offers a range of programming and houses a youth centre, preschool and seniors' centre. It is increasingly used by families as well as many new Canadians, some of whom are refugees. Societies and organizations operating nearby include the Surrey Food Bank, Umoja Compassion Society, the Whalley Ball Park (Whalley Little League), and the BC Lions CFL headquarters.

It is a block from Gateway SkyTrain station, and is within Surrey’s City Centre neighbourhood, which is undergoing rapid densification and urban development. It is also within walking distance of the SFU Surrey campus, and City Centre Library (opened 2011) and City Hall and plaza (opened 2013).

Content shown on the venue is constantly seen by residents in a cluster of apartment towers. These towers house a demographically diverse community including athletes, professionals, new Canadians and families.

Q: Are there any limitations on content?

A: The venue is connected to a community recreation centre, and is immediately above a preschool playground. Therefore content is to be child appropriate (no nudity, violence etc.). Surrey Art Gallery reserves the right to determine what and when artwork is not appropriate for this venue.

The venue can be viewed from SkyTrain between Gateway and Surrey Central stations and is highly visible to those in the surrounding high-rise residential towers. Content is recommended to anticipate and be appropriate to a diverse community. Artists are to have copyright agreements for all content used in their artwork.

Q: Will proposals from youth, teachers and undergraduate students be considered?

A: Yes. We will explore with our UrbanScreen Advisory Committee an opportunity for these artists.

Q: What if I am a curator and want to propose an exhibition of works by multiple artists?

A: Proposals of curated exhibitions are welcome, as well as proposals directly from individual artists or artist teams. The proposal needs to address how the exhibition can be formed as a single file that can be presented at the venue (e.g. as a sequence of videos by different artists).

Q: Can a proposal for a touring exhibition be submitted?

A: Proposals can be for travelling exhibitions, or from a travelling exhibition. Artworks can have an exhibition history (have been premiered elsewhere).

Q: What if I am not a resident in Canada?

A: Proposals from international artists are welcome.

Q: Is other funding possible?

A: Letters of support for proposals by artists and curators for the purposes of grant applications and other artist/curator-driven fundraising initiatives can be negotiated for those proposals shortlisted for exhibition consideration.

Q: What equipment does the artist provide?

A: It depends on the project. Most media files have performed on our equipment, or we have been able to load the required software into the system. If there is extraordinary or specialized equipment, we may require a loan.

Q: What is the estimated time to install an artwork?

A: Your artwork should be complete and ready to connect to our network. After a meeting to assess needs, we estimate it will take two evenings (7 to10pm), with the first evening to connect the equipment and view the presentation, and the second evening to adjust any outputs if necessary, weather permitting.

Current Venue Specifications

Note: The equipment for the venue will be renewed with upgrades during summer 2015. Find out more here.

Projector: four Sanyo PDG-DET100L LCD Projectors, 7500 Lumens; four short throw zoom lenses; HD capabilities

Projection Dimensions: Approximately 100 feet wide, 32 feet high; it is not a square screen. Note: artists can reference files developed for anticipating the location of the windows.

Mask 1                                                                                          

Grid Table 1                 

Internet: Shaw SOHO basic supports basic operations of the projector’s network and remote viewing cameras. The bandwidth is not sufficient to support streaming media, or online contribution to a database. Artworks need to anticipate being stand-alone.

Computer: Hardware: Apple Mac Pro Tower Liquid Cooled, 8 GB memory/ram, IP video card; Software: Final Cut Pro; iworks

This computer operates the cameras and projectors. It is not recommended for processing content delivered to the projectors (eg, heavy processing demand can compromise the operation of the network).

A MAC Mini (2010) is available to support processing or host data. Other computers can be acquired as needed to support processing of the artwork files.

A technician contracted by the City to support the projector infrastructure will be responsible for loading the artist’s content file, anticipating that the artwork is created as “plug and play” and testing the output.

Webcams: One webcam is being used for monitoring the projection and is aimed at projection wall (access to the address for the webcam video is limited to staff and artist(s) due to bandwidth limitations and would not be accessible online by the public).

A second webcam can be added as part of an artwork if/when needed for creating a trigger for interactive projects (eg, to view the SkyTrain passing or visitor movements).

FM Broadcast: It is possible to broadcast within a limited range on an FM signal from the content player/computer to audiences receiving it on devices such as MP3 players and car stereos. Note: regulations may apply to such broadcasts.

Feature image: Grid projected on UrbanScreen during installation tests.