Call for Proposals Artistic Direction and Scenography Design for Canada’s Guest of Honour Pavilion – Frankfurt Book Fair 2020

Date Posted: Mar 07, 2019
Application Deadline: Mar 22, 2019
Start Date: Mar 07, 2019

Salary: The total budget for the present call is a maximum of $285,000, inclusive of honoraria; royalties for identified artworks, as necessary; costs of required travel; and all other expenses relating to the deliverables.
Province: Multiple locations
City: all of Canada
Employee Benefits: N/A
Organization's Field/Discipline: The Arts
Job's focus: Creative
Job Type: Requests for Proposals
Career Level: Doesn’t apply

Organization Description


On October 6th, 2016, the Government of Canada signed the contract for Canada to be the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020.

Canada FBM2020 was then established in cooperation with the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and l’Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) to manage, in French and in English, the Canadian book publishing industry’s involvement in the Canada as Guest of Honour (GoH) initiative at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair. Canada FBM2020 receives its funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, and has strategic oversight from the Frankfurt 2020 Steering Committee (comprised of members from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts and Global Affairs Canada, as well as Canada FBM2020). As a not-for-profit association, Canada FBM2020 receives input from its independent board of directors and will work with key government and industry partners to deliver major components of the GoH program. 

Canada FBM2020 is an entity which uses Canada’s official languages to represent English, French and Indigenous members of the publishing industry from across Canada. 

Job Description

Canada FBM2020 (FBM2020) is accepting proposals for the design of the artistic direction and scenography of the GoH at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020. Measuring approximately 2,000 square metres, the GoH Pavilion will be the heart of Canada’s appearance at the Fair in 2020. Here, Canada will present itself through a specially designed exhibition space, which will offer a diverse curated program of readings, discussions, performances, and networking events and will in turn become a magnet for the media.

The applicant shall develop creative concepts and artistic approaches for Canada's GoH Pavilion; which will be used by architects, engineers, and contractors to design, produce technical specifications, build, and implement the selected artistic concept in the GoH Pavilion. The purpose of the artistic direction and scenography concept is to establish and define the pavilion's overall immersive experience, including the audiovisual component. 


  1. Specifics of the mandate
  1. By adopting a creative and innovative approach, combined with sound management practices, Canada FBM2020 aims to create a dynamic and memorable pavilion. An appealing public display showcasing excellence in the overall design will enable Canada to stand out as the GoH.
  1. The guiding principles of the project are the promotion of innovation in the publishing and creative industries, the championing of women and youth, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It is imperative that the Canadian pavilion present an innovative and experiential showcase to promote its theme and highlight the expertise of the creative industry. To that end, the design of the artistic direction and scenography is of the utmost importance to the success of this initiative. The applicant must work within the “coast to coast to coast” artistic focus as defined in Appendix A, which is available as a book and as an online tool ( This promotional tool was produced with the Frankfurt Guest of Honour project in mind in order to present an overview of Canada’s book publishing landscape.
  1. In addition to the above, the successful applicant must work with Canada FBM2020’s visual identity, which is currently under embargo and will be provided to the organization upon request only. The successful applicant may be required to incorporate additional pieces of artwork or pavilion build elements into the concept, to be identified later by PCH. Finally, the successful applicant must work with input from a Pavilion Committee made up of 7–10 representatives from the publishing, arts, and culture sectors.
  1. The conceptualization exercise as laid out in Phase 1 under Section D of this call for proposals should consider the following objectives:
    1. Provide an emotionally and intellectually stimulating experience that will surprise and engage the visitor.
    2. Present an artistic concept that represents our literature and our compelling artistic creativity in connection with our unique history and culture.
    3. Provide the visitor with an immersive sensory experience that will linger in the imagination and generate the desire to visit Canada.
    4. Represent the uniqueness and particular quality of Canada’s Anglophone, Francophone, and Indigenous dynamic.
    5. Develop an artistic concept and scenography that will motivate visitors to read our books, consume our culture, travel to Canada, sample our food and wines, and take an interest in Canadian innovation, science, education, and more.
  2. The selected applicant will work under the direction of the Pavilion Committee, which will ensure that project objectives are being met, and in close collaboration with federal government representatives from PCH, the people or organizations responsible for the project’s literary and non-literary programming, the executive producer who will oversee the coordination of the literary and non-literary programming, and the Canada FBM2020 and Frankfurt Book Fair staff.
  1. The selected applicant and the Pavilion Committee members will be expected to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s GoH role. They should study the artistic concepts of the pavilions of previous GoH countries, such as New Zealand, Finland, and Brazil, and refer to the best practices document of past guests of honour, presented in Appendix B
  1. The selected applicant will be expected to assign a manager and a team to the project, who will ensure quality control for the installation of the final, approved design in the pavilion in 2020 and who will also attend the 2019 event for the purpose of assessing the related requirements.
  1. The project manager will be expected to maintain contact with the pavilion build/fit /contractor/engineers, the executive producer of programming, the literary and non-literary programmers, and the Frankfurt Book Fair, Canada FBM2020, and PCH staff, as necessary.
  1. The term “applicant” in this call for proposals applies to an individual, an agency, or a company. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, be over the age of 18, be passport holders, and have no travel restrictions within or outside Canada.  
  1. The selected applicant will work out of his/her/their own office, which should be located in Canada.
  1. The total budget for the present call is a maximum of $285,000, inclusive of honoraria; royalties for identified artworks, as necessary; costs of required travel; and all other expenses relating to the deliverables.
  1. Note: A separate call for proposals for the technical design and the building of the pavilion structure and the implementation of the pavilion’s artistic concept will follow independently. This separate call for proposals will be initiated and managed by PCH and referred to in the present call for proposals as Phase 2. The Government of Canada remains the principal contractor for the building and operation of the Canada Pavilion pursuant to the agreement between Canada FBM2020 and the Government of Canada. Canada's participation must be carried out in a way that respects any of the provisions and regulations issued and approved by the Frankfurt Book Fair’s coordination office.

Additional Info:

Click here to access full Call for Proposals

How to Apply:

Submissions in English or French
Any interested party can respond to this call in the official language of their choice.
Questions relating to the call for proposals can be emailed to Canada until 5 p.m. EDT on March 18, 2019
Telephone queries will not be accepted. 

.   Application Process
 Submissions should be emailed to Canada with the subject line “Call for Proposals – Artistic Direction/Pavilion”.
 Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. EDT on 22 March 2019.  Submissions received after that time could be excluded from consideration.

The organization will only communicate with the successful candidate.