At its core, an artist residency is an opportunity for artists to develop work in another organization’s space. A residency is a great way for your company or collective to access resources and support from a larger, more established institution. It is also a way to build relationships between potential producing partners.
Artist residencies come in many shapes and forms - some companies offer rehearsal space, others offer honorariums and mentorship. In some instances, your accommodations may be paid for, and others, not. Some residencies can require outreach events and presentations from the participants.
In the Fractured Atlas article "How Much Does an Artist Residency Cost?", they break down several factors that vary widely from residency to residency, including:
- Application fees
- Room and Board
- Missed wages
- Scholarships and stipends
Get in touch with any organization to find out what exactly each residency entails before applying. This information will be integral when putting together your budget and when seeking funding. When you are researching which residencies to apply to, keep track of which residencies cost what amount of money, which amenities they have, and what you’ll be responsible for covering. Consider making a list of potential expenses for every residency you apply for — this will help you remember the exact cost of each opportunity down the line.
As with any partnership, take the time to discuss what the expectations are for each party. How do you want to be talked about in their marketing materials? Is there a public presentation or outreach component? How and when will the artists be paid? How present will the hosting organization staff be in the space?
Set a time to debrief after the residency is over so you have a chance to share your experience and thoughts with the organization.
You may be eligible for travel grants if attending an out-of-town or out-of-province residency. You will need letters of confirmation from the company you will be in residence with for your grant application. Be sure to give companies ample time to write your letter before the application deadline.
This list focuses on residencies for artist collectives and companies. There are also many residency opportunities for individual artists seeking to develop their craft in Canada, which have not been included on this list.
Artist Residencies in Canada by Province
This is not an exhaustive list. We recommend doing your own research so that you can apply to a residency that best suits your project's needs, timeline, and budget.
- The Clutch Artist Residencies (Vancouver) - contact directly for more details.
- Arts Club Company-In-Residence (Vancouver) provides professional development, encouragement, and resources for a Vancouver-based company that is in its early years of creating and producing theatre-based performance. It is designed as a “one-size-fits-one” model and can respond to the needs and aspirations of the chosen Company in Residence.
- The Dance Centre Artist-In-Residence Program (Vancouver) participants receive fully-subsidized studio and/or theatre space, with potential for supported presentation and participation in other programs; exchange and networking opportunities; and staffing and resource support for outreach initiatives. The program is for individuals and companies/collectives. Applications are open to TDC members only.
- Boca Del Lupo Residencies (Vancouver) take place each year in the summer, and provide participants with one week of free, exclusive use of Performance Works, free use of extensive equipment resources, mentorship from senior Boca del Lupo artistic staff and technical support. Boca del Lupo prioritizes developing new Canadian and international performances by and for BIPOC folks with a representative balance from across the spectrum of gender, ability and class. Companies interested in sharing the space can apply as co-applicants or identify in their application that they are willing to share.
- Caravan Farm Theatre Residency (Armstrong) is for professional theatre companies seeking a retreat-like setting to write, rehearse, and otherwise develop their work in April and September of each year. Participants have access to 80 acres of secluded fields and forests, fourteen heated cabins, a large wood heated rehearsal hall, three covered outdoor structures of varying sizes and shapes, a fully equipped kitchen and dining hall, and a washroom and bathing facilities. Applications are adjudicated based on their capacity to offer exchange with the local artistic community.
- The Banff Arts Centre (Banff) offers a two-week residency for individuals and collectives in the spring and the fall each year. Participants are required to pay an application fee and registration fees that cover food and accomodations at the centre. Financial aid is available.
- Theatre Alberta Rehearsals-In-Residence (Calgary) is a low-cost and no-cost daytime rehearsal space Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.
- The Theatre Centre Residency Program (Toronto) is a two-year program designed for highly collaborative artistic processes that embrace experimentation. They prioritize projects starting a new work from scratch. The Theatre Centre provides technical support, space and some producing support.
- Festival Players of Prince Edward County Artist Residency (Wellington) is a one-week residency that includes accommodations for up to four people, access to the Kaplan Script Library and use of their 60-seat performance studio in the fall/winter.
- Buddies in Bad Times Residency (Toronto) is a year-long residency for writers, theatre collectives, directors, performance artists, and choreographers to develop new queer work for the stage. For three weeks in the spring, resident artists take over the building to write, rehearse, and publicly present what they have been working on.
- The Harbourfront Centre Performing Arts Technical Residency Program (Toronto) provides one week of production support for projects that have already gone through at least an initial phase of creation and are on their way to production and presentation.
- Stratford Festival The Lab (Stratford) is a week-long residency hosted through the Stratford Festival research and development wing.
- Mermaid Theatre's Loft Artist Residency (Windsor) is a professional development opportunity for emerging and established professionals with an interest in developing new work, or improving existing work, rooted in object and visual theatre. The theatre provides access to space, technical support and some mentorship. Applicants are encouraged to include their preferred residency dates in their submission.
- Maritime Conservatory’s Artist-in-Residence Program (Halifax) is a 12-month program that provides support to emerging artist groups and individuals located in the Halifax region. Artists are provided with facility usage, administrative support, and other benefits to help them cultivate their work.
- Fogo Island Arts international residency program (Fogo Island) provides opportunities for artists from a wide range of disciplines to live and work on Fogo Island for periods ranging from one to three months. Artists-in-residence are provided with accommodation and studio space, as well as a weekly stipend to offset the costs of materials, shipping, and day-to-day living expenses. Most travel expenses are also covered. FIA posts calls for residencies every two years.
- The Yukon Arts Centre @YAC Residency celebrates and encourages the artistic development of Yukon-based producers and creators. Performing artists, artistic collectives and artistic production companies residing and located in the Yukon Territory or Atlin, BC can apply. Residents have access to rehearsal and performance space, equipment and crew.