Urban Idea and The Winnipeg Arts Council are pleased to announce the Creative Placemaking Challenge!

We’re inviting the public to submit ideas for temporary installations or activities to animate selected alleys and dray ways in the West Exchange District. We are looking for ideas that engage the public, activate these underused and unique spaces, and celebrate the role of art in city building.

It’s easy: propose an idea to create something in the underused spaces in the West Exchange, and then build it. Winning applicants will be awarded a budget of up to $1,500 to create their temporary installations and given 6 weeks to build them. The winners will be installed for one day for the public, on August 15th.

Click on these thumbnails to see larger views of some of the alleyways we’re working in:

photo 4 photo 2 photo 1 photo 3

Need some inspiration? Click here to see our growling list of Creative Placemaking resources from around the world.

The Creative Placemaking Challenge is about celebrating the city and the art of creating possibility. It encourages Winnipeggers to try their hand at creative placemaking, to animate underused but unique spaces, and to have fun!

Drawing on successful arts-led alleyway rejuvenation projects in cities like Melbourne, Seattle, and Portland, the Challenge will put the power of art to work using a lighter, quicker, cheaper approach to neighbourhood development, creating interactions between people and their surroundings. The idea is to imagine, and then to realize, artistic projects that demonstrate how embedding art into the street, even temporarily, can transform neighbourhoods.

Expertise is not required, but an interest in creating change in the Exchange is.

Do you want to get involved but are worried that you don’t know what you’re doing? We’re hosting a free workshop in late May to show you that you’re more than qualified! Artists and designers will be on hand to talk about how to get started and you’ll be able to get your hands dirty with some sample projects.

Download The Creative Placemaking Challenge Call (PDF 3MB)


May 7 – Information Meeting
PLATFORM Centre for Photographic & Digital Arts
100 Arthur Street (Artspace Building)
5:00 – 7:00 pm
An informal meeting to get an idea of the places we’ll be exploring, and to explain the rules of the competition. Registration at urbanidea@winnipegarts.ca requested, but not mandatory.

May 28 – Placemaking Workshop
Red River College Princess Street Campus
(Please note change of venue)

160 Princess Street
(North End atrium, near the Tim Hortons)
5:00 – 8:00 pm
A “How-To” workshop for anyone interested in taking part. We’ll walk around the proposed sites, and there will be plenty of experts on hand to help you get rolling with your proposal. If you have an idea already, bring it along and have people assist you with it. Don’t have an idea? No problem – you’ll have one by the time this workshop is over! Register here.

If you need some inspiration, be sure and check out our ever-expanding
Creative Placemaking resource page.

June 13 – Submission deadline
All of the required materials must be received at the Winnipeg Arts Council office by 4:00 pm on this date to be considered.

Late June – Project selections announced

July & August – Creation/Fabrication/Preparation

August 15 – Installation!
Contest winners will install their creations in the West Exchange District and they will remain up throughout the day. Come on down!

Click here to see the winners!