Every year, we invite local artists to apply to be our community’s next Artist in Residence. This encourages local artists to engage and collaborate with the community while developing their practice or interests. We are committed to creating and supporting a platform where a wide range of creative perspectives are heard. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We look forward to, and welcome applications from artists of all ethnic or cultural backgrounds, gender identities, Indigenous, marginalized, able-bodied or persons living with disabilities.

The program is presented by the city's Arts and Creative Industries unit and citizen-based public art working group (PAWG). The opportunity is open to regional artists of any contemporary or traditional discipline, including, but not limited to:

  • bead, quill and leather work
  • carving and sculpture
  • dance
  • design and media arts
  • digital and film arts
  • folk art forms
  • literature and spoken word
  • music
  • multi-disciplinary works
  • opera
  • theatre, musical theatre and performing arts
  • visual arts (painting, illustration, textiles, collage, etc.)

At the end of the year of residency, the selected artist may choose to present a showcase in a format that highlights the work they have accomplished in the community.

The artist in residence appointment offers a $10,000 honorarium. An additional $2,500 is available for project expenses, such as compensating collaborators, purchasing supplies, renting space and promotional activities.

We encourage artists to propose projects of a scale and time commitment that reflect the level of compensation offered. It is up to the discretion of the chosen artist and city staff to realize a schedule that fairly and reasonably manifests this approach. It is not expected that this program replaces other career opportunities, but rather adds to the artist's professional development.

Subscribe to this page to get an email about upcoming calls for proposals.

Information session

Join past artists in residence and city staff, for an information session to answer all your questions about the submission process and program requirements. Hear about individual experiences and learn valuable tips during a short panel presentation followed by a question and answer period.

Subscribe to this page to get an email when we add information about the next information session.

Selection criteria

To qualify for residency, each applicant must be a Region of Waterloo-based artist who has developed their skills through either training and/or practice, and/or is recognized for their work by artists working in the same artistic tradition. Applicants must also be actively practicing art and preferably they will have some form of experience with public presentation.

The submission should demonstrate:

  • strength/professionalism in submission details
  • artistic excellence in practice
  • feasibility of the artist's proposed program
  • commitment to community engagement

We recognize that some flexibility may be required in interpreting eligibility criteria to consider equivalent professional experience and contexts. Potential applicants from equity-seeking communities are encouraged to discuss their eligibility with the Program Administrator in advance of applying and/or attend the Information Session. In late fall, the Arts & Creative Industries team will announce the chosen artist for the coming year, and work with them to develop and deliver a program that reflects a balance of practice development, collaboration and meaningful exchange with the community. Typically, the program does not provide studio or storage space, but please reach out to the Program Administrator with details if this requirement is essential to a proposal.

Available resources

We are committed to supporting our Artist in Residence over the course of their year with us. During that time, the artist is provided access to:

  • advice and expertise of PAWG and Kitchener's past Artists in Residence
  • guidance and assistance from city staff on the development of feasible and implementable project activities, and ways to realize project objectives
  • coordination of writing, editing, design services and printing of promotional materials (e.g. invitation cards to exhibits, posters, brochures, business cards, etc.)
  • assistance promoting activities and events
  • assistance with volunteer coordination
  • assistance with exploration of opportunities for their project to coordinate with our festivals and events
  • City Hall venues, community centres and/or galleries for Artist in Residence events
  • help with connecting to potential collaborators within our organization as well as other organizations
  • help mounting and striking exhibits, if needed