The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, in conjunction with the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre (WCCCC): 2020 [YEAR OF THE RAT] Chinatown Banner Competition, Submission Deadline December 30

2020 [YEAR OF THE RAT] Chinatown Banner Competition

Call to Creators from the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

DEADLINE: Monday, December 30, 2019


The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, in conjunction with the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre (WCCCC), is conducting a design competition for Chinatown Banners. An honorarium of $800.00 will be awarded for the successful banner design. All submissions must be dropped off or mailed to the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and be received no later than 1:00 pm Monday, December 30, 2019.


A goal of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is to implement and use street banners, to unify the downtown and highlight significant buildings and key districts throughout the downtown.


According to Chinese folk tradition, years are named by a rotating cycle of twelve animal signs, and are repeated every twelve years. 2020 is the Year of the Rat, beginning on Saturday, January 25, 2020, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.


All those in creative fields are called on to submit their designs for the 2020 Chinatown street banners. The winning design will emphasize the Year of the Rat, at the same time complementing the existing Chinatown district banner in terms of colour, type and graphics, since they will be viewed consecutively on the street. Year of the Rat banners will be removed at the end of the year. All banners will be mounted in the six square blocks bounded by Main Street, Princess Street, Logan Avenue and James Avenue.


The following is a list of criteria to be followed when composing your banner design. The design must:

  • be distinctive and captivating as a composition;
  • depict the Year of the Rat, with sensitivity given to the traits of the Rat most significant to Chinese beliefs;
  • the words "Year of the Rat" and "2020" should be integrated in the banner design;
  • be distinctive and representative of the unique character and history of Chinatown;
  • define and support the architecture, signage and street furniture in Chinatown;
  • take into consideration the existing "Chinatown District" banner;
  • consider the cross-seasonal visual impact of the banner (i.e., focus on vivid colours while minimizing washed out colours and white);
  • keep imagery simple and type of a scale to be easily viewed and appreciated from a distance by moving vehicles


The successful designer of the winning design will take into account the following technical elements:

  • actual size of the banner is 30" x 90" (please scale sketch accordingly to fit on an 8 1/2" by 11" sheet);
  • design should take into consideration the construction of 3" sleeves at the top and at the bottom of the banner to ensure minimum disruption of the design;
  • banner will be vinyl and printed with solvent inks;
  • the creator(s) will work closely with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and the manufacturer to ensure that the desired over-all look of the banner design is achieved


All Manitoba creators, as individuals or in teams, are invited to enter. The competition is open to all those in arts related disciplines, such as poets, writers, illustrators, photographers, graphic artists, architects, painters, sketchers, designers, etc.


The selection of the winning entries will be made by members of the banner project jury. This jury is composed of members of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ (including Board Members, graphic designers, artists and architects) and the Chinese Community. The jury will assess the banner designs based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit and design strength
  • Extent to which the "Year of the Rat" theme and character of Chinatown are portrayed in the design
  • Feasibility of proposed designs in banner form
  • Integration within the streetscape
  • Readability from a distance (particularly scale of type)
  • Cross-seasonal impact of designs (particularly use of colour)


Designs should be submitted to scale, on a 8 1/2" X 11" sheet and may be produced digitally or by hand. Proposed colours should be shown as accurately as possible. Pantone Matching System (PMS) numbers may be used.

A half page to one page written description of the banner concept should accompany all designs. Concept descriptions are thoroughly reviewed by the jury, so please take time to put together a concise, well-written description.

Designs and written descriptions should be mounted on black cardboard, to allow the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ to properly display the competition entries.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ will not be responsible for submissions lost in transit. The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ cannot assume responsibility for lost or damaged materials. Application materials will not be returned.


The cost of manufacturing, installing, maintaining and removing banners is the responsibility of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.


An honorarium of $800 will be awarded to the creator or team of creators for the winning design.


The creator(s) of the winning design for the 2020 Chinatown Banner Project will be announced in January 2020.

[CONSEQUENCES OF SUBMISSION AND ACCEPTANCE OF DESIGN] Interested creators are advised that neither the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ (BIZ), the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre (WCCCC), nor the jury is obliged to accept any of the creators' designs and may reject all designs. Each creator is advised and by the submission of a design agrees that the BIZ and the WCCCC will not be responsible for any costs, expenses, losses, damages (including damages for loss of anticipated profit) or liabilities incurred by the creator as a result of or arising out of submitting a design, or due to the BIZ's / WCCCC's acceptance, or non-acceptance of their design, arising out of any contract award not made in accordance with the expressed or implied terms of the call for designs. Until a written contract in a form satisfactory to the BIZ and WCCCC is executed by both the BIZ / WCCCC and the creator, no legal rights or responsibility shall be created between the creator and the BIZ / WCCCC. The BIZ and WCCCC reserve the right to choose to not recommend any application, proposal or finalist and to terminate or re-advertise any project. The BIZ and WCCCC reclaim the property and rights to use all designs submitted in future BIZ / WCCCC projects, publications and initiatives.


All submissions for the 2020 Chinatown Banner Project must include the following:

  • Sketch of banner design (in colour, to scale) mounted on black cardboard
  • Half page to one page written description of banner design concept mounted on black cardboard
  • Application form (this page)

Deadline for all banner submissions is 1:00 pm Monday, December 30, 2019. Incomplete forms and sketches will not be considered by the jury.

(Please print)

Name(s): ______________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

City: _________________________________________________________________________

Postal Code: ___________________________________________________________________

Telephone: ____________________________________________________________________

Email: ________________________________________________________________________

Instagram: _____________________________________________________________________


The 2020 Chinatown Banner Project

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

Attention: Tracey Umali

426 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3C 0C9