The City of Niagara Falls Recreation and Culture Department invites Canadian Black Artists or Black Art Collectives working in any medium to submit one final design for a temporary 2D artwork to be digitally reproduced (printed) and installed on the exterior of the Niagara Falls Exchange. This project will commemorate the distinguished and passionate achievements of Wilma Leone Morrison in preserving the history and positive roles the Black Canadians played in Niagara Falls and beyond. The successful artist will receive $5000 plus HST if applicable.



With strength of purpose, passion and compassion, Wilma Morrison became one of the most respected historians in Niagara. For people with a love of history, she provided guidance, direction and support in telling stories central to both Niagara and Ontario.

Born in London, Ontario in 1929, Wilma followed her husband Lorne Morrison to Niagara Falls as a young bride in 1955. She began with a career as a nursing assistant at the local hospital. Wilma went on to become a respected member of the first Niagara College Nursing Advisory Committee, when nursing education shifted from a hospital-based program to the college system. Her desire to help and teach others would prove to be a lifelong pursuit.

Morrison led the drive to have the British Methodist Episcopal Church on Peer Street in Niagara Falls designated a National Historic Site, and also in the struggle to have it put into good repair. She assembled a collection of archival documents and more than 1200 books about the history of Black communities in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Africa and England. The chapel on Peer Street became an important point of interest for people following the trail of the Underground Railway. There she would receive visitors from all over the world to speak about those who had escaped slavery in the South and made their way to Canada.

Wilma passionately wanted the world to know the positive roles Black Canadians played in society, from early settlement to present, regardless of the restrictions placed on them. For this work, she was inducted into the City of Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Wall of Fame in 2007 and in 2010 received an honourary degree from Brock University.  The Province of Ontario’s highest honour, the Order of Ontario, was awarded to her in 2011. While her accolades were many and her efforts to educate those around her tireless, she will just as easily be remembered for her kindness, quick wit and the fearless way she championed difficult conversations.

Wilma was 91 when she passed away at the St. Catharines General Hospital on April 23, 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

Before she passed away, Wilma donated her personal archives to the Archives of Ontario. For information please contact Sean Smith, Senior Archivist, [email protected]


Through its Public Art Advisory Task Force and Public Art Policy, the City of Niagara Falls strives to create vibrant public spaces that reflect the diversity of our community, and engage its residents and visitors with quality works of public art.


Black Artists or Black Artist Collectives must be from Canada. Must be 18 years or older or have parent/guardian consent.


The site for the installation of the Digital Art is within the Wilma Morrison Courtyard, located at the eastern side of the Niagara Falls Exchange on the Studio wall (which is still in construction), where the two buildings connect, facing Sylvia Street  (refer to Appendix A). The courtyard is designed as a flexible-use space accommodating event overflow on the site as well as supporting events at the Exchange.

Design of the Wilma Morrison Courtyard

  • The courtyard is intended as an urban, hardscaped plaza providing pedestrian access to the main lobby of the Exchange as well as café on one side and the market hall and accommodating public gatherings.
  • A series of concrete planters are located along the edge of the plaza, assisting in retaining earth as well as providing shade and landscape interest.
  • Seating is interspersed throughout the area

Location of Artwork site:

  • The site for the artwork is located on the wall of the eastern side of the Exchange, circled in the diagram in Appendix A.


The proposed artwork should honour and reflect the life and/or work of Wilma Morrison. Final proposal can be illustrated, painted, digital, photographic, collaged or any artwork that can be reproduced two-dimensionally/ digitally. We are looking for completed work, not a rough sketch. An Artist Statement must accompany the application. 

For the Application process, a low resolution jpg of the final design, per design, no larger than 10 megabytes, is requested.


The actual size of the panels to be installed on the Studio Building East Wall is 4 metres wide by 3.4 metres high. The presentation scale of the Artwork requested is 1/10th scale [ ie 40cm x 34cm or 15 3/4" x 13 3/8"] or 9450 px w x 8025 px h at 72dpi. Your original artwork can be any size but must scale to 4m x 3.4m. 

The selected artist’s final work will be provided for reproduction and enlargement purposes as follows:

  • 9450 px w x 8025px h at 600dpi
  • CMYK
  • Either a tiff or jpeg format
  • Final artwork will be supplied on a digital hard drive


The Selected Artist/Collective will be provided $5000 (+ HST if applicable) for any creative materials, any artist transportation to the site, delivery and payment of services. They will provide the final selected artwork on a digital hard drive. The Wall Art will be enlarged to 4-metres wide by 3.4 metres high, printed on vinyl, applied to aluminum sheets and overlaid with a protective gloss UV laminate. It will remain on the location for up to 5 years.

Vinyl printing and installation costs are NOT part of the artist’s budget.

There is no fee to apply.


  • Call available: Tuesday, January 11, 2022
  • Info Session: 5pm, Tuesday February 1, 2022 Via Zoom
  • Deadline for Submissions: 11:59 pm Monday, February 28, 2022
  • Artists Selected will be Notified: Spring 2022
  • Artist to Provide Final Rendering for Print: Spring 2022
  • Artwork Installation Spring/Summer 2022


  • THIS PROPOSAL requires completed artwork in JPG format no larger than 10MB fileFINAL artwork for the successful candidate will require enlarging and MUST be provided to the City as a 600dpi 1/10 scale or 9450px w x 8025px h at 600dpi, CMYK digital jpg or tiff on a portable USB stick. It will be enlarged to 4m x 3.4m.
  • Artwork must be family and community friendly.
  • Artist to provide;
    • Completed Online Submission Form,
    • Resume; including artist background, qualifications, relevant past experience and art projects involved,
    • Link to online media,
    • Artist statement (500 words or less) and
    • Completed visual proposal(s) of artwork to scale, in jpg format no larger than 10mb.

It is recommended to attend the brief Info Session or contact the Cultural Development Coordinator, Kim Van Stygeren, prior to applying. Info Session: 5pm, Tuesday February 1, 2022 Via Zoom.


Info session details:

5 p.m. Tuesday February 1, 2022 via Zoom.

Brief discussion about location, and installation practices.


The City of Niagara Falls has the right to refuse or revise any and all designs.

All artwork will be the property of the City of Niagara Falls upon completion.

Artist agrees to have work photographed or videoed by Niagara Falls staff.

Artist agrees to make themselves available to local media.

Artist will be recognized via an info placard with a QR code that will lead to their bio and the Artist’s Statement, which will be used in Niagara Falls’ Cultural Currents newsletter, social media accounts and on the city’s website.


  • Submitted proposals will be jury selected.
  • Proposals submitted after deadline will not be accepted.


The Selection Panel will evaluate submissions based on the following selection criteria:

Artistic merit

Compatibility to the vision, scope and goals of the project

How well does the artist demonstrate excellence in concept(s) and technique?

How strong is the artist’s ability to intrigue and stimulate imagination?

How well would the artist’s style respond to the particular project?

How well does the artists’ work communicate to viewers of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities?

Community Significance

Does the artist’s work have the ability to connect viewers to public art in an innovative way?

Does the artist’s work reflect the prowess and creativity of Niagara’s contemporary visual arts community?

Are there any administrative, ethical, legal or technical concerns regarding the artwork?

Giving particular but not exclusive preference to those artists living and working in Niagara Falls.


There is no entry fee.




  • Completed Submission Form
  • Resume (including artist background, qualifications, relevant past experience and art projects involved).
  • Link to artist website, social media accounts, and/or examples of previous artwork.
  • 500 word or less Artist Statement.
  • The final design(s) in low resolution [10MB or less] labelled LAST_NAME_ FIRST_INITIAL/WILMA/Title of artwork. THE COMPLETED LOW RESOLUTION ARTWORK IS REQUIRED WITH THIS PROPOSAL. Maximum 1 design per applicant.
  • Artists under age 18 must also submit written guardian consentPlease contact Kim Van Stygeren [email protected] for details.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is 11:59pm Monday, February 28, 2022.




Please direct all correspondence to:

Kim Van Stygeren, Cultural Development Coordinator

905-356-7521 ext 5921 


Appendix A

Aerial East

Aerial East

Picnic Area

Picnic Area

End of Wilma Morrison Digital Art Call.