Call to Artist Banner w/ red panda




Edmonton, the most northern city in North America with a population of over one million, is a world-renowned winter metropolis with the proud title of Festival City.

This December, Zoominescence: A Festival of Light, hosted by the Edmonton Valley Zoo & Valley Zoo Development Society, will stage a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations within the unique setting of the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The festival’s vision is to celebrate light, artistry, imagination and the strong spirit of our community in the winter. It will run for a 21-day period every Friday – Sunday starting December 2 plus the holiday break from December 19 – January 1. We are inviting imaginative people to come be part of the festival by creating art in the form of light installations for all of Edmonton to enjoy!


Calling all creatives! We are currently seeking individuals, teams, and organizations of local artists, architects, designers, or other creatives with a passion for the arts, animals, and the environment to share their vision with the local community. If you have an artistic vision and would appreciate the opportunity to design an exhibit for this year’s winter festival, we invite you to participate in our artist competition!

To commemorate our 10th year hosting Zoominescence, this year’s theme is “Celebrating 10 Years of Light, Love, and Animal Conservation“. The artwork submitted for the artist competition should be focused on the beauty of light, the power of love, and the importance of animal conservation to support all life on Earth. In keeping with our environmental stewardship, environmentally friendly or recycled materials are highly recommended. We would like to see pieces that incorporate the zoo’s three pillars: Education, Stewardship, and Conservation. Individuals and teams are strongly encouraged to work with recycled materials and renewable energy to design an art display that celebrates the aforementioned themes. Please keep in mind that the majority of visitors will be children.

A few things to keep in mind regarding the installation application are:


  • Chosen projects will be provided with a budget of $3,500.00. Your use of the funds is discretionary as long as the project approved is the project built. The Valley Zoo Development Society requests the right to buy pieces after completion of the festival.
  • Power will be provided by the Edmonton Valley Zoo, you just need to ensure the exhibit is maintained – keep in mind our harsh winter conditions. Your project must include power needs and specifications… keeping in mind alternative energy sources are the preferred manner. We require our artists to use timers to minimize the power used during the 21-day festival period.
  • Be creative: Anything goes here with materials, this can be ice, lights, anything! Just let us know what we can help provide to you!
  • This is fun! So keep it light-hearted and enjoyable! We want energetic people with a love of the arts to share in this experience.


The project submission deadline is Friday, September 2, 2022. A map is provided to you in the information package outlining the areas for installations and their sizes. Installations will be chosen by the Valley Zoo Development Society and the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The winners of the competition will be contacted on September 16, 2022. If your submission is selected, you will receive your funding of $3,500 in installments after being selected. Participants must submit a detailed project outline that includes a rendering, material list, required footprint, and a description of how their installation expresses the important value of light, love, and animal conservation by the submission deadline. Applicants must include a plan for installation and teardown, including timeline to install and maintenance requirements during the entire festival.

You can mail, fax, or email your submissions to the following:

Valley Zoo Development Society
13315 Buena Vista Road Box 2359
Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7


Applicants will be able to have input in the selection of the location of their installments, but the finalized location will be decided by the Valley Zoo Development Society. If you would like to come and see the site during zoo operating hours, please do not hesitate to contact us. For more information, please call the Valley Zoo Development Society at 780-496-6924 or email fol@buildingourzoo.comfol@buildingourzoo.com. Thank you for your support!


Please attach a detailed rendering of your project to the application and provide the following documents with submission:

1. A detailed PDF/DOC file containing the project submission (Max 1 page, no font or size restriction). This file must be named after the submission title followed by the word “statement”. For example, Installation101_statement.doc. Please ensure the file includes the following:

  • The concept of your installation describing your project and its central ideas. How does this represent the theme? Title this section “Concept
  • Who will make up your team and what is their experience with these types of competition? Are you a community group? Single artist? School group? Organization?
    Title this section “Team
  • What do you intend to be your main materials required for the project? How will the use of these materials incorporate alternative energy? Some example materials we urge you to consider are: LED lights, recycled metals, timers to minimize your electrical usage, ice, snow, and any other materials you can use that are recycled. Title this section “Materials
  • How will you carry out the project? This may include how you will create the artwork, collaborate with other people or engage specific communities. This will include who will be your primary artist/artists, a general timeline of events, and how you plan to maintain your installation through the festival. Title this section “Process
  • A drawing of the general idea behind your installation. What placement do you have in mind? Where would be an appropriate spot for your installation? What will it look like?

2. A rendering PDF file containing the full dimensions of your installations, the materials that will make each portion of the installation and any other information regarding your design. This PDF file must be named after the submission title and followed by the word “rendering”. For example, Installation101_rendering.pdf.

All projects must be submitted by Friday, September 2, 2022.