Request for Proposal - Invitation to Snuneymuxw Artists/Carvers

Job Description: 

Invitation to Snuneymuxw Artists/Carvers


Inviting Submissions for Permanent Works:

at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh, Community School


Requests for Proposals (RFP): #2020-001: Pole and Sign for Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh, Community School

Issued: Friday June 5, 2020

Closing Location: Snuneymuxw First Nation, 668 Centre Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4Z4

Closing Date and Time: Proposals must be received prior to July 5th, 2020 by midnight (11:59pm Pacific Standard Time)


Late submissions will not be considered.


Inquiries: Lacey McRae Williams, Community Planner



Our Sacred Work

Snuneymuxw First Nation – Our Story: Sea People and Mountain People


For thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, Snuneymuxw First Nation have occupied the land between Mount Benson (Te’tuxwtun) and the east coast of Vancouver Island, including Departure Bay (st’lillup).


The origin story of the Snuneymuxw people, passed on from generation to generation, as it is told, the genesis of the nation occurred both at Departure Bay and at the foot of Mount Benson. The landscape, as described in this ancient story, is the anchor and the essence of the Snuneymuxw people. As it is for all Island Coast Salish communities, the mountain realm and the sea world are two sacred systems that play a critical role in Coast Salish knowledge sharing. A beautifully balanced world beginning with a marriage between the sea world and the majestic lands of the mountain. This has always been Snuneymuxw’s dominion.


With great respect and humility, we invite established Snuneymuxw artists working in the traditional Coast Salish style to submit their proposals for a pole and sign to be installed permanently at the new community school.

We encourage artists to share their unique style while showing a commitment to honouring the genius of the ancestors, making the sacred visible. We welcome the artists interpretation of the Coast Salish learning model, establishing the land as our first teacher. Land is the soul of our people and the cornerstone of our way of life. With every step and every breath, we express and honour our interconnected and seamless relationship with the land and all living things.


Project Details


Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh, Community School:

Pole à approx. 30-40ft tall, 4-5ft diameter, carved and painted
Panel à approx. 4-5ft diameter/length, carved and painted




The competition is open to professional and emerging Snuneymuxw artists/carvers who have demonstrated experience with carving and design in the traditional Coast Salish style.


The successful artist(s) will work collaboratively with the SFN selection panel to finalize details such as materiality, size, timelines, etc.


The commissioned artist(s) will be required to provide evidence of appropriate liability, property damage, and Work Safe B.C. insurance while working on site.


If you have been commissioned by Snuneymuxw First Nation in the past six months from date of issue for a similar project (scope and budget), you are not eligible to apply.


Submission Guidelines


Snuneymuxw artists interested in this project must prepare and submit the following:


Proposed Artwork Concept for Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School. This proposal shall include conceptual design drawings / sketches sufficient to communicate the artist concept. Artists/carvers may submit photos, sketches, and/or concept designs of their 2D or 3D work in jpg, png, or pdf format to
Letter of Intent, no more than one page in length, which explains your interest in the competition. Please include your name and contact information and state the format of your sample submittal (USB; email; or print).
Artists Statement, no more than 200 words in length describing your work.
Current Resume. If submitting as a team, an individual resume should be submitted for each team member.
Budget, Workplan & Specifications: Please identify an estimate of all costs associated with creating, transporting and installing the pole and panel. Include a workplan with target milestones and time of completion and date of installation.


All submissions must be received by the Community Planner by 11:59pm on July 6th, 2020. Submissions may be submitted electronically to or in hard copy  delivered to the Snuneymuxw First Nation Administration Office located at 668 Centre Street Nanaimo, B.C. will be accepted. Please ensure your package is marked “Attention: Community Planner – QQS RFP – Pole and Sign”.


Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

Submissions for the competition will not be returned.


Selection Process


A selection committee will review each of the submissions based on the following criteria:

How well did the artist represent the Spirit of Snuneymuxw through their work?
What story is being shared in the work and does this reflect the teachings of the Ancestors?
Does the work honour traditional Coast Salish forms and style?
How well did the artist/carver address the context of the site?

The location
The natural and cultural elements
The existing activities and programming

Which materials are proposed?
Do the budget and timeline realistically reflect the scope of work?
Does the artist/carver have experience in delivering successful similar projects on time and within budget?


The proposed artwork should demonstrate imagination, originality, excellence and artistic merit.


Final Artist Selection:


The selection committee will select an artist or artist group to create site specific artwork. The final commission of artwork for the site will be awarded no later than July 30th, 2020.


Upon selection, the artists/carvers will review and sign an agreement between SFN and the artist clarifying the following:

Payment schedule




All inquiries and clarifications can be sent to Lacey McRae Williams, Community Planner, Snuneymuxw First Nation. Email


All inquiries must be received no later than June 19th, 2020. Questions received after this date will be answered at the discretion of the Community Planner and a response cannot be guaranteed.


Application Deadline: 
Sunday, July 5, 2020