The Artist in Residence program celebrates the diversity of artistic practice in Kitchener. With this program, we recognize that creatives may take non-traditional routes in developing their careers and aim to support artists in enriching our community through their residency.

On this page:

  1. About the Artist in Residence program
  2. 2024 Artist in Residence: Creative Publication Residency
  3. Information sessions
  4. Who should apply?
  5. Proposal package
  6. Application
  7. Selection process
  8. Timeline
  9. Compensation
  10. Resources available to the Artist in Residence

About the Artist in Residence program

For the past 29 years, we have invited artists working in various disciplines and residing in or connected to Waterloo Region to apply to be our next Artist in Residence. The City of Kitchener was the first municipality in Canada to have an Artist in Residence program. The program hopes to encourage artists to develop their practice or interests as they engage and collaborate with the community. 

Our staff, in cooperation with Public Art Working Group (PAWG) members, support the Artist in Residence program. The artist is invited to join monthly PAWG meetings during the residency. The artist is asked to document their process and activities throughout the residency.


2024 Artist in Residence: Creative Publication Residency

The 2024 Artist in Residence opportunity is a six-month commitment focusing on creative writing, visual storytelling or experimental publication design.

The content created during the residency will be packaged into a small, printed publication to be produced by our staff as part of our Creative Hub program. The Creative Hub program also supports the 44 Gaukel Creative Workspace, a resource that may be available for the Artist in Residence as part of the residency. This shared facility is used by local artists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural organizations. It supports regular programming, collaboration and cross-sectoral interaction.

The successful applicant will work with city staff to decide the best publication format within the scope of the residency compensation and available publishing budget.

This call for proposals is open to creative writers, authors, poets, comic and zine creators, designers, illustrators, publishers and other artists who combine written and visual content. Artists or artist teams must live or work primarily in the Waterloo Region or be able to show a clear, ongoing connection to the region. We will prioritize projects with a strong potential impact on the Kitchener community.

The Artist in Residence program continues to emphasize interactive community engagement and encourages applicants to see the residency as an opportunity to advance their own practice.


Information sessions

We're hosting two in-person information sessions to answer questions about this opportunity:

  • Monday, June 17, 11 a.m. to noon
  • Monday, June 24, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Both sessions will be in the Conestoga Room on the ground floor of City Hall.

No registration is necessary. Interested individuals only need to come to one session. You do not need to attend a session to submit a proposal.

If you have any questions or require any accessible accommodations, please send us an email or call 519-741-2200 ext. 7912.


Who should apply?

We’re committed to creating and supporting an equity-based platform that includes diverse creative perspectives. We welcome and highly encourage applications from individuals with intersectional identities from groups seeking equity, diversity and inclusion. This includes artists from many diverse backgrounds and origins, but we specifically encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and racialized individuals, 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and people with disabilities.

For the 2024 residency program, we invite artists/artist teams from diverse forms of creative writing and graphic design to apply:

  • poetry or verse
  • fiction or non-fiction prose
  • graphic novels, zines, or comics
  • magazine or publication design
  • other experimental forms of printed media

This residency is unsuitable for technical, professional/business and scholarly/academic writing.


Proposal package

Interested artists or artist teams must submit a proposal package.

If you have any questions or require any accessible accommodations, please send us an email or call 519-741-2200 ext. 7912.

Your proposal package must include:

  • resume, short personal description or summary of relevant credentials (maximum three pages)
  • letter of intent (maximum 500 words), including a high-level summary of the publication project you would like to work on and how the residency would further support or advance your artistic development
    • this summary may be used as a narrative for administrative and public use
  • creative writing example(s) of no more than 2,000 words (total) or up to three examples of printed publication designs you have created
  • if applicable, up to 10 images of relevant visual work (JPG format)
    • if images are provided, please include a corresponding image list with title, media, size and year of creation for each work pictured
    • you can include a caption for each image
  • if applicable, you may include any other supporting materials showing past work
  • a brief outline of a presentation to the public, such as an artist talk or workshop, may be included in your application, but is not required

Please keep in mind that to ensure fair consideration for all applicants, jurors may have a limited time to read each proposal.


Application

Applications are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 16, 2024. We will not consider incomplete or late submissions.

You can apply:

If you have any questions, please send us an email or call 519-741-2200, ext. 7912.

Online

Please review the submission form before beginning your application to familiarize yourself with the requirements. You can save the application and come back to it later.

Apply online

By delivery or mail

To apply by delivery or mail, please submit one unbound, 8.5 x 11” hard copy of your package before the final deadline to:

2024 AIR Application
c/o Economic Development, 6th floor, City Hall
200 King Street West
Kitchener, ON
Canada
N2G 4G7
Attention: Karoline Varin, Arts and Creative Industries Program Administrator.

We are not responsible for damage to, or loss of, support materials. Materials will not be returned.

By email

If you prefer, you can send the application package to us by email. Please use the subject line “2024 AIR application”.


Selection process

After applications close, the selection committee will choose an Artist in Residence. Find the selection criteria and information about the committee below.

Committee

The proposals are juried by the Public Art Working Group (PAWG), a volunteer, resident-based group that includes past artists in residence and a range of artists and arts sector professionals. The committee reserves the right to interview a short list of up to three artists prior to selection finalization. No City of Kitchener staff members are involved in the selection process.

Evaluation criteria

The applicant must:

  • reside or work in Waterloo Region or have a clear, ongoing connection to or affiliation with region.
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • demonstrate commitment to their practice.

The Artist in Residence will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • strength and clarity of concept and overall proposal
  • artistic merit of proposal and/or past work
  • feasibility of proposal within outlined budget and resource limitations
  • impact on current artistic development
  • impact on Kitchener community

Timeline

The proposed timeline is:

  • June 17, 2024: in-person information session, 11 a.m. to noon
  • June 24, 2024: in-person information session, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • August 16, 2024: applications close
  • September 2024: selection of winning proposal
  • October 2024: presentation to council and legal agreement
  • November 2024: residency begins
  • May 2025: residency finishes

This timeline is subject to change.


Compensation

The compensation for this residency is:

  • the selected artist/artist team will receive an honorarium of $10,000 in two installments
  • upon acceptance, the artist/artist team will enter a contract with the City of Kitchener
  • this is a part-time, six-month position where the artist/artist team will have the flexibility to plan a time commitment that reflects the needs of their proposal
  • artists are encouraged to propose a project of a scale that reflects this level of compensation (you may wish to use the Living Wage rate for Waterloo Region as a guideline)

Resources available to the Artist in Residence

The Artist in Residence will have access to advice and expertise from the PAWG during monthly committee meetings. The artist or artist team can attend these meetings regularly or as needed.

They will also receive guidance, practical input and help from city staff on developing feasible and implementable community activities and ways to realize project objectives.

We will print and publish the artist or artist team’s creative output. We will pay for the final publication. The publication budget is $5,000, including all print production costs. This publication will be distributed to the public for free.

The printing budget is approximately 4,500 copies of a 40-page, single-colour 8.5” x 5.5” booklet or approximately 3,000 copies of a full-colour booklet of the same dimensions and pages. With staff support, different formats or quantities and specific paper or binding options can be determined, with the goal of creating a printed product that can be accessed by as many people as possible.

In addition, the resident artist or artist team will have a budget of up to $2,500 to support collaborative contributors such as stylistic editor(s), copy editor(s), proofreaders, graphic designers, mentors or other resources required to support the project.

Other resources available include:

  • coordination of writing, editing, design and printing of promotional materials directly related to the residency project (event invitation cards or posters, brochures, business cards, etc.) separate from the final publication
  • help from city staff in promoting any activities or events
  • potential in-kind access to workspace at the 44 Gaukel Creative Workspace based on availability
    • please note there is no guarantee of availability, as the project space currently operates with a tenancy waitlist
    • we will assess availability when we enter into an agreement with the artist or artist team
  • exploration of opportunities for any aspect of the Artist in Residence's project to coordinate with City of Kitchener festivals and events
  • access to City Hall venues and community centres for Artist in Residence events if needed
  • help connecting with potential collaborators to support project goals
  • support in meeting accessibility needs of the artist/artist team, as needed