Artist in Residence - call for proposals


Each year, we invite professional artists, who live and work in Waterloo Region, to apply to be our next Artist in Residence - an opportunity that allows them to engage and collaborate with the community while advancing their own practice.

Presented by our own arts and culture unit, as well as our local public art working group (PAWG), the Artist in Residence program is open to regional artists of any discipline, such as:

  • Dance
  • Design
  • Digital and media arts
  • Folk and traditional arts
  • Literature and spoken word
  • Music
  • Multi-disciplinary works
  • Opera
  • Theatre, musical theatre and performing arts
  • Visual arts

At the end of the year of residency, the chosen artist unveils a showcase of the work they've accomplished to the community. Depending on the nature of the project, the artist may be asked to contribute artwork to our Artist in Residence collection.

The artist in residence appointment offers a $10,000 honorarium. An additional $2,500 is available for project expenses, such as compensating collaborating artists, purchasing supplies and promotion. Artists are encouraged to propose projects of a scale that reflects the level of compensation.

 Selection criteria

To qualify for residency, each applicant must be a regional artist working at a professional level, and demonstrate:

  • Artistic excellence in their practice
  • Strength/professionalism in their submission
  • Feasibility of their proposed program
  • Commitment to community engagement

"Professional artist," as defined by Canada Council, is recognized by their peers and committed to significant time in artistic activity if financially feasible; and has:

  • Produced an independent body of work;
  • Had at least three public presentations of work in a professional context over a three-year period;
  • Maintained an independent professional practice for at least three years; and
  • Completed basic training such as post-secondary graduation from specialized training, college or university, or two - three years of self-directed study or apprenticeships.

In late fall, we announce the winning artist for the coming year, and work with them to develop an exhibition that reflects a balance of professional practice development, collaboration and some form of meaningful exchange with the community. We may also arrange personal studio space, depending on the needs of the chosen artist.

 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 our past Artists in Residence.
  • Guidance and assistance from our 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.
  • 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.
  • Assistance with connecting to potential collaborators within our organization as well as other organizations.
  • Assistance mounting and striking exhibits, if applicable.

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