Borealis Gallery – Call for Artists

Application deadline: November 1, 2017, 4:00 pm MST

Call for Artists – Borealis Gallery, Legislative Assembly of Alberta

In 1918, a mysterious illness swept the globe. It struck erratically and swiftly, seeming to target otherwise healthy young adults. Its victims could be well in the morning and dead by nightfall. The Spanish Flu, as the pandemic came to be known, was indiscriminate and it was ruthless: estimates place the worldwide mortality rate between 20 and 100 million people. Roughly one in six Canadians perished. More than 4,000 Albertans, almost 10% of the province’s population, died within four months. What happened? And what did it mean for the young province of Alberta?

100 years later, the Borealis Gallery at the Legislative Assembly Office is curating an exhibition to examine the realities, conditions, and legacies of the Spanish Flu in Alberta. Opening in Edmonton October 2018, the exhibition will explore how individuals, communities, and the province were affected by this international pandemic. The exhibition focuses on the social and societal impacts of the Spanish Flu, exploring the iterative relationship between the local and the international, dealing wherever possible in first-person experiences and accounts.

The exhibition will combine contemporary artworks with historical documents and images to locate events, contextualize the pandemic, identify lasting legacies, and link present-day Albertans with this long-distant event. We are looking to exhibit artworks that explore illness, disease, health and healing, the Roaring Twenties, international travel, the Great War, and the disproportional effects of disease on marginalized ethnicities, classes, and socioeconomic strata. Interested artists are asked to propose works for exhibition which address the cultural, social, historical, and/or political aspects of illness and health and how they relate to Albertan identity, past and present. Selected artists will have their work featured as part of the exhibition at the Borealis Gallery from October 26, 2018, to January 7, 2019.


Interested artists are asked to send written submissions which include:

  1.  digital images (300 dpi, no more than five and no larger than 1 MB each);
  2.  title, dimensions, and medium of each work;
  3. an artist’s statement which puts the work in the context of the exhibition as described;
  4. the name and contact information of the artist, including a brief CV (no longer than two pages).

We are interested in past work, current work, and in artwork created specifically to align with the themes of this exhibition. As part of our commitment to encourage and foster a vibrant Alberta arts scene, exhibiting artists will be compensated for their contributions. We use CARFAC schedules as a guide when determining compensation rates.



Application deadline: November 1, 2017

Artists notified: December 15, 2017

Exhibition installation: October 20 – 25, 2018

Exhibition: October 26, 2018 to January 7, 2019

For more information on the Legislative Assembly Office of Alberta and the Borealis Gallery, visit:

Submissions should be sent by November 1, 2017 by email to Barbara Hilden, Exhibits Coordinator: Visitor Services, Legislative Assembly of Alberta 3 rd Floor, 9820 107 St, Edmonton, AB T5K 1E7 phone: 780.638.5682