The City of New Westminster's Public Art Program is administered by the City’s Art Services staff, reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer. Art Services staff provide leadership in the planning, coordination and implementation of public art for the City in alignment with the Public Art Policy.

Land Acknowledgement

We recognise and respect that New Westminster is on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Halkomelem speaking peoples. We acknowledge that colonialism has made invisible their histories and connections to the land. As a City, we are learning and building relationships with the people whose lands we are on.

Learn more about our land acknowledgement here.

About Public Art

In 2012, the City of New Westminster adopted its first Public Art Policy which lays out the foundation for creating an exciting and engaging Public Art Program. The goals of this Policy promote and encourage diverse and inclusive opportunities that help animate the urban landscape, nurture civic dialogue and support the development and growth of the arts in the city. 

What's New?

PUBLIC ART PLAN (coming soon)






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Image credit: birds on a branch by Metz & Chew

For Completed Projects please check out our Registry. Projects in Progress are below.

  • Brookfield Properties is developing a residential tower at 810 Agnes Street and will be supporting the design and construction of a park on City-owned land adjacent to the tower. Funding for this project includes additional contributions for a public art fence to be integrated into the overall design of the park.
    The new park is located at 824 Agnes Street, the former site of the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA) and in a neighbourhood known as the second Chinatown in New Westminster. The Agnes Street Park will celebrate and pay tribute to the municipality’s early Chinese Canadian community as part of an ongoing Chinese reconciliation process. An opportunity for a feature fence has been identified as the public art element for the park.
    Through an invitational process, an artist will be hired for a design-only contract to work with the design team and integrate the public art fence with the overall design of the park.
    Key narratives behind the concept of the park include celebration and community, experience and inclusiveness, and evolution and memory. Design interventions on site aim to create an emotional connection, to honour the history, lives and memories of the site. The fence is to be integrated into the site design and be complementary to the overall design intent of the park space.
  • The Irving House Artist in Residence Pilot invites artists to explore and experiment in response to the site and surroundings of this historic home. Artists are encouraged to investigate the stories and narratives of one of British Columbia's oldest post-contact historic community sites, and to engage in dialogues that deepen a shared understanding of the role of these historic sites in our current context.

    The residency aims to support artists with time, space, resources to further their research, interests and overall artistic practice. It seeks to generate new observations or perspectives, and facilitate meaningful and contemporary public art responses to the understanding of place and the overall context of Irving House.

    Artists will be invited to propose their own conceptual approaches to the residency that best meet the needs of their practice. Artists are expected to engage with publics and visitors in a way that is in keeping with their practice, and which initiates reciprocal exchanges with the areas' communities, museum and public art staff, and to share their thinking and working processes through public events/talks.

    It is intended that two artists are selected simultaneously, to facilitate reciprocal exchange between the artists, to share ideas and engage in peer-review. Artists are selected based on their experience working in public contexts and whose interests and artistic practice is fitting with the goals of the project. The two artists are selected simultaneously based on synergies and mutual interests in their practice; it is an opportunity not a requirement that the artists engage in dialogues and work together in any way.

    Artists for the 2023 pilot residency program have been selected from the public art program Artist Roster.

    This residency runs July to the end of October 2023.

    Stay tuned to learn about the research and explorations that will be taking place over the next few months.

    More About the Artists:

    Holly Schmidt

    Janet Wang



  • Located at the Centennial Lodge in Queen's Park, the Centennial Totem Pole was carved by Lloyd Wadhams Sr. with assistance from Bob Whonnock in 1967. Both artists were Kwakwaka'wakw.

    Part of a centennial project initiated by the Columbian newspaper, the paper commissioned totem poles for four municipalities: Coquitlam, Surrey, New Westminster and Burnaby. In addition to the New Westminster pole, Wadhams Sr. was the head carver for the Burnaby totem pole and both Whonnock and Wadhams Sr. assisted Ted Neel on the totem pole for Coquitlam.

    After 56 years, New Westminster's 24ft pole remains stable and structurally sound but there is surface weathering overall, wood and paint losses throughout and cracks occurring in various locations. Repairs and resurfacing will bring back the pole's original splendor and extend its life so it can continue to be enjoyed by residents, visitors and future generations.

    Lloyd Wadhams Jr, has been recommended to perform the restoration work on his late father's pole. Based in Mission, BC, Wadhams Jr. is an artist known for his silver and wood carvings and is experienced in restoring his father's work.   

    Plans are underway to lift the pole and lay it down for the artist to examine and repair. A nearby workspace has been prepared for the restoration work in the former petting farm in Queen's Park.

    Repair work is anticipated to begin in July 2023 and will take up to 8 weeks to complete.




  • Hanna Benihoud was commissioned for a design-only contract for an integrated public artwork at the Boundary Road Drainage Pump Station. Design-only opportunities allow for artists to collaborate with the design team to include public art in the overall concept of the space. 

    "The idea is simple. The Pump Station design team is to be lead by a group of 6-9 year olds. The pump station will be will be a piece that embodies the inhibitions of youth and the magic of imagination." - Hanna Benihoud

    Based on workshops held with children, the  artwork will consist of a series of small playful gargoyles and painted horizontal and vertical surfaces surrounding the pump station.

    More about the Artist


  • This temporary public art opportunity supports artist-led initiatives and experimentation.

    Instead of the City determining where a public artwork is needed, this opportunity encourages a more grassroots approach.

    In late 2021, a Call to Artists was issued and three artists were invited to propose public artworks for City-owned spaces. Artists were  encouraged to look at places where we gather and consider the impacts of the pandemic on how we meet, experience the world or relate to each other.

    A Selection Panel awarded the opportunity to North Vancouver-based artist, Emilie Crewe who will develop a temporary interactive LED installation on the façade of City Hall. Friction Ridge consists of six galvanized steel wire mesh frames. Three frames will be installed on the front-facing overhanging of the facade and three discreetly behind, creating a reflection in the windows of City Hall.

    "Featured prominently on the façade of City Hall, the project aims to connect the local community with their government officials through a real-time messaging system connected to LED neon light strips.

    The public is invited to visit the project website and communicate with the artwork, sending messages through text which translate into cascading colours.

    Composed to mimic the pattern of fingerprints, the project intends to honour individuality while also bringing awareness to the strength and tenacity of the peoples’ voice. The title of the artwork references the thick layer of skin on our fingertips called the “friction ridge”, while also signifying the location of the building atop a literal ridge, as well as City Hall being a place of “friction”, where town hall meetings, bills and bylaws come to pass. Friction Ridge is meant to bridge the gap between city officials and the public, forging a place for accountability, prospect, and possibility." - Emilie Crewe

    More about the Artist

  • The New Westminster Public Library was recently renovated to address the aging infrastructure and the growing and changing library services demands. Over 250,000 people were visiting the library every year, borrowing over 600,000 items, with a greater diversity in the use of library spaces and community needs.  The much-needed renovations resulted in facility infrastructure, building performance and systems upgrades such as replacement of all HVAC ducting and accessibility upgrades to washrooms and public areas.  In addition, public space improvements include a new technology learning centre, a quiet study and meeting room, a dedicated teen space, expanded seating capacity, and more efficient public service desks.
    Through the City of New Westminster’s Public Art Policy, funding was set aside to include a public art project. A Call to Artist was issued in 2022 seeking a professional artist or artist team to create an artwork in any medium with a maximum total budget of $50,000, plus GST. Individual artists or artist teams/collectives working in any medium and who are at various stages of their careers may apply. Local artist, Rain Pierre was the selected by a selection panel through a one stage process.
    The artist is currently developing his concept for the Library. An artist talk was held at Library in May 2023 to introduce artist to the community.
    A competition seeking artistic submissions from the community will inform the final project. Submissions are due June 26, 2023. Find details here.
    Completion of project is planned for end of 2023.
  • For the təməsew̓txʷ public art project, an open call to Indigenous artists and/or artist teams was developed. Following a two-stage selection process, the commission was awarded to James Harry, a Coast Salish artist from Vancouver.

    The work is a large-scale sculpture referencing traditional Coast Salish design motifs and the Glenbrook Ravine. 

    Learn more here.

    A short documentary film is underway. See chapter 1 and learn about the artist and how the concept was developed.

    More about the Artist

    Image credit: Miyiwts (concept image) by James Harry

  • ​Learn more about the artworks commissioned over the years:

    Explore the Registry through self-guided tours: