Project Description

Call for Visual Artists

NISA seeking proposals for design and for workshop assistance

NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action is seeking proposals from local/regional professional visual artists for

  1. The design of quilt panels commemorating an event related to the history of
    mental health, mental illness, addictions and recovery in Canada and
  2. Workshop assistance

The selected artists’ designs will be sewn by the facilitator of our Memory Quilt workshops. These workshops are a part of our 2017 “Uncovering Recovery” project, funded through the City of Greater Sudbury’s Municipal Arts and Culture Grant. NISA will run two Memory Quilt workshops in English and one in French.

Four artist designs will be selected. Two artists will be selected to assist with workshops.

Details of project

Each artist will design one panel of our “Memory Quilt,” a banner-style quilt featuring representations of significant events in Canada’s histories of mental health, mental illness, addictions and recovery. Quilting knowledge is not needed; participants will sew their own panels, and the professional artists’ designs will be sewn by an experienced quilter.

Quilt panels will be approximately 24” x 24”. The artist-designed panels will focus on events of local, regional, national or international significance, or on marginalized concepts and knowledges held by Indigenous and immigrant communities. Topics can include, but are not limited to, Mad Pride, consumer/survivor initiatives, asylums and their closures, LGBTQ rights, women and racialized people in the mental health care system, residential schools, missing and murdered Indigenous women, health care on reserves and in rural areas, the “suicide crisis” in the North, non-Western medical approaches, multilingualism.

Quilts will be displayed in a public exhibition in 2017 or 2018. Commission will cover the use of the design in the project; the copyright of the original design will remain with the artist.

Workshop Assistance

NISA also seeks two visual artists to assist with our quilting workshops by helping participants design the artwork for their own quilt panels. The selected artists will be compensated according to CARFAC’s suggested fee schedule.

Proposal Requirements

If you wish to participate in the project, please include the following in your proposal:

  1. A letter of intent describing the panel you wish to design, its historical significance and any requirements for realizing this design as a quilt panel
  1. Curriculum Vitae
  1. Artist’s Statement
  1. Sample of your portfolio

If you wish to be considered for the additional task of assisting with a workshop, please also include:

  1. A statement in your letter describing your experience and approach to assisting others with visual design projects, especially those of varying abilities.

Applicants who are bilingual/francophone and those with lived experience of mental illness, mental health concerns, addiction and marginalization are encouraged to self-identify


Please submit your application to Dinah Laprairie or Rebeccah Machum in person at NISA, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by email to


Monday, August 7, 2017 at 4 p.m.

If you require assistance or accommodations for the application process, please contact Dinah Laprairie at 705-222-6472 ext.326 or email

Click here to download WORD version of this Call for Visual Artists

Click here to download the PDF version.