Canada Council invites expressions of interest for 2020 Venice Biennale

The Canada Council invites expression of interest to become Canada’s official representation at the 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture, a prestigious international platform for engagement with critical conversations about contemporary architecture. The Venice Biennale takes place primarily in two venues in the city; the Arsenale and the historic Giardini di Castello, where the Canada Pavilion is located. Canada’s Pavilion is one of 30 national pavilions with permanent homes in the Giardini. After undergoing a year of renovations, the 1957 designed Canada Pavilion opened again in May of 2018 and will be the site of the Canadian representation at the 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Cultural leaders, architects, artists and more than 350,000 visitors are expected to visit the Biennale from May to November 2020.

2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture
The Canadian Pavilion in Venice. Photo : ANDREA PERTOLDEO FOTOGRAFIA, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

The proposed exhibition should demonstrate conceptual and design excellence, innovation and relevance to contemporary architectural thought in Canada and may include works of critical or design research in architecture, landscape or urban design.

The selected Presenter will be responsible for delivering the proposed project, without substantial alteration to the Canada Pavilion, while assuming responsibility for expenses incurred by the project beyond the funding provided by the Canada Council.

The Canada Council will contribute $500,000 towards the 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture exhibition. The total budget for the project (including all cash expenses related to the exhibition but not in-kind contributions) should not exceed $800,000. Should the Presenter wish to increase the budget beyond this amount, prior approval must be obtained from the Canada Council, based on a reasonable guarantee that the additional funds have been secured through other public or private sources.

The Canada Council will act as Commissioner of the exhibition, and as such, will be responsible for securing agreements with the Venice Biennale in compliance with their cultural and organizational requirements. The Commissioner is also responsible for the hiring and oversight of a Venice Coordinator and the organization of an official inauguration event in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy in Rome. In this role, the Commissioner will manage invitations, communications, and media relations for the inauguration.

More information about expressions of interest to the 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture is available via the Canada Council website, linked here.