Top The Tower Art Contest - St Charles Market Official Website

Top The Tower Art Contest

Sep 4, 2018


#TopTheTower (download pdf)

St. Charles Market Background

St. Charles Church was built in 1908 and held its last service in 2010. During this time, it served not only as a venue to practice one’s religion but as the central hub, the gathering place, the community’s centre. The church is the cornerstone of the area’s Francophone heritage and an important part of the community’s history.

The bell tower was first erected in 1913 and the bell was rung as a call to gather and to celebrate special occasions. When the church was deconsecrated in 2014, prior to its sale, the bell was removed by the former congregation. ModBox is delighted to install a new art fixture to symbolize another chapter and toast the future of this community space.

“The bell tower has been a beacon to the community for decades. As a landmark, it represents both a community welcome and the location of an important gathering place. Finding the right art piece to grace the bell tower is a critical element in the long journey of bringing this project back to the community.”  – Darryl Squires, CEO, ModBox

In 2014, ModBox acquired the church and committed to keeping it open and accessible to the public. Together with Linebox Studio (Project Architect), they created a thoughtful and intelligent plan for the entire site. St. Charles Market will consist of 56 residential units, including three townhomes. The new development will be surrounding the century-old St. Charles Church. The church itself will be reimagined as an accessible chef-driven culinary experience. Half of the property will be left undeveloped, making room for a beautifully landscaped forecourt that will once again serve as a community gathering spot with public places, patios, and benches.

Artist Requirements/Eligibility

  • Must be a Canadian citizen(s) or have permanent resident status
  • Over the age of 18

Total Budget:  $25,000 plus HST

* Total budget includes but is not limited to conception, design time, research, travel and personal expenses, all costs required to design, fabricate, engineer, transport and store the public art. ModBox will be responsible for installation.

Project Details

ModBox Inc. (St. Charles Market) is looking to install a permanent outdoor art fixture within the bell tower of the deconsecrated St. Charles church located at 140 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1L 7Z9. Community members and local artists are invited to submit their ideas for a chance to receive $25,000 to design and build their vision for the tower of this historic property.

Judgment Criteria

  • Technical suitability for a permanent outdoor installation (Use of durable materials)
  • Relevance in regards to St. Charles Church and/or the area of Vanier
  • Originality and creativity


Phase 1: Conception

Concepts can be submitted in English or in French. Details for submissions are outlined below:

Submission Deadline: October 31st 2018

Where to submit: Email (

Acceptable file formats: PDF, JPEG and PNG

Maximum Size of Installation: h: 14’8″ w: 7’2″ d: 11′

Concept submissions must include: (please see form attached in downloadable pdf)

  1. Artist Information: please include name, email, phone, mailing address
  2. Personal Resumé – past work and details (if any)
  3. Written description of idea/concept
  4. Visual Aid
  5. Proposed design and build suggestions (rough estimates and ideas)
    • How and where it will be attached/anchored to the bell tower
    • Fabrication
    • Materials to be used     

Selection Procedure:

1. ModBox will create a shortlist of the best concepts. Selected artists will then be invited to meet with the ModBox team to discuss their vision for how the concept should be built. Artists with limited experience are still encouraged to apply. ModBox has the knowledge and resources required to assist with the fabrication process. This shortlist will be determined solely at ModBox’ discretion.

2. After interviews, selected artists will receive $750 to create a detailed sketch of their proposed concept. Detailed visuals will be shared online for comment and community engagement with artist permission.

Choosing a Winner:

Commissioned artist will be determined based on a combination of community support and VIP deliberation.

Phase 2: Design & Build

Maximum Size of Installation: h: 14’8″ w: 7’2″ d: 11′

Scope of work includes but is not limited to:

  • Working collaboratively with the ModBox team and their consultants
  • Research
  • Provide communications relating to cost estimates, materials and fabrication
  • Attending meetings
  • Adherence to the project schedule (Schedule to be determined collaboratively prior to commencement of fabrication)
  • Adherence to budget (Budget and payment schedule to be determined collaboratively prior to commencement of fabrication)
  • Final work of art shall:
    • Be creative
    • Have a clear connection to the history of St. Charles and/or surrounding areas
    • Be made of permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal  maintenance
    • Be safe to the public   
    • Comply with all building and electrical codes and bylaws

* St. Charles Market is a property designated under part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. All submissions are subject to Heritage approval.


Contest Release Date

September 5, 2018

Concept Submission Deadline

October 31, 2018

11: 59 pm

Via email to

Shortlist Process

Early December 2018


Mid – Late December 2018

Visual Aid Creation ($750)

January 1-15, 2019

Online Voting

January 21 – February 4,  2019

Judicial Panel

February 2019

Determine Fabrication Timeline, Payment Schedule, and Legal Agreement with Selected Artist

March 1-15, 2019

Design & Fabrication

March – July 2019


Development Completion TBD

*Dates/timeline may change due to unforeseen circumstances at ModBox discretion

Copyright and Moral Rights

Copyright, including any and all designs, drawings, and final works of art, shall remain the property of the artist. ModBox and its successors will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes. The commissioned artwork will be and shall remain a unique piece; the artist will agree not to make any reproduction of the artwork, nor will grant any other the right to do so.

Confidentiality of Information

Any information provided by the applicant may be available to ModBox staff, board members and selected members of a selection committee. To protect confidentiality, all submissions will be shredded at the end of the selection process.

Proposed Payment Schedule

Unless otherwise agreed between artist and ModBox

  • 25% within 30 days of signing agreement
  • 35% within 30 days of receiving a progress report, including visuals, indicating 50% of fabrication is complete
  •  30% within 30 days of confirmation that artwork is complete
  • 10% Upon successful delivery to St. Charles Market site and documentation of any maintenance techniques and/or requirements