Photo caption: Janet Echelman, Water Sky Garden
Richmond’s Public Art Program sparks community participation in the building of our public spaces, offers access to ideas generated by contemporary art, encourages citizens to take pride in public cultural expression, and creates a forum to address a range of relevant themes and issues. Moreover, art energizes our public spaces, arouses our thinking and transforms the places where we live, work, and play into more welcoming and beautiful environments that invite interaction.
Since the Program’s inception in 1997, the City has collected close to 350 works of public art with almost 200 works currently on display around Richmond. All of them, including temporary, performance-based or otherwise ephemeral works, can be found online in the Public Art Registry.
Public Art Programs
The City of Richmond is a leader in creating opportunities for public art and is committed to building the cultural health and well being of the community now and in the future, through three public art programming streams:
Civic Public Art Program
All civic capital projects are eligible for the inclusion of public art including civic infrastructure, new buildings, building upgrades and parks. Following Richmond’s Public Art Program Policy, one per cent of construction costs for these capital projects is committed to providing public art.
Community Public Art Program
Funded by contributions from the Private Development Public Art Program, the Community Public Art Program supports partnerships between community groups and artists of all creative disciplines. Community-based artist projects provide participants with a greater sense of identity, community and place through shared art making experiences that are accessible and appeal to a multigenerational and culturally diverse audience. The projects may include, but are not limited to, a public performance, participatory art installation, hands-on art activity, workshop, exhibition, sculpture, mural and/or digital media.
Private Development Public Art Program
It is City policy to encourage the private sector to support the integration of public art to create distinctive public spaces. The Public Art Program’s contribution rate for private sector public art projects is one-half percent of the estimated project construction cost. Private development public art projects are reviewed by the Richmond Public Art Advisory Committee (RPAAC), an independent arms-length panel of advisors. For details, see:
- Public Art Program (Policy 8703) - Section 6
- 2023 Public Art Program Admin Procedures - Section 8
- Public Art Checklist for Rezoning and Development
Area-specific Public Art Plans assist City staff, private developers and communities to identify potential collaborations for larger private developments or projects that span property and/or neighbourhood boundaries.
Photo caption: Left to Right: David Jacob Harder, Together; Paige Gratland, Setting the Table; Gathie Falk, 2 Half Apples; Atheana Picha, Garden City School Mural.
Richmond Public Art Advisory Committee (RPAAC)
Richmond Public Art Advisory Committee (RPAAC) is a Council-appointed volunteer advisory committee that provides input on public art policy, planning, education and promotion. There are currently nine committee members.
Councillor Liaison: Kash Heed
For further information, including how to apply to join RPAAC, visit the Advisory Bodies page.
Public Art Donations
Donations and gifts of artwork contribute to vital public art collection and are an avenue for individuals, organizations and companies to express their interest and support to the cultural life of the city. All donations must follow specific procedures and guidelines, and are reviewed by an independent arms-length panel of advisors to ensure artistic merit, suitability, quality and resources for ongoing maintenance of the artwork. For details, see:
Arts, Culture and Heritage Services
6911 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 2C1 City Staff
Biliana Velkova, Public Art Planner
Elisa Yon, Public Art Project Coordinator