City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program

Website cityofguelph City of Guelph

Call to Artists for Expressions of Interest

The City of Guelph invites artists and art collectives or collaborations (two or more artists) to submit Expressions of Interest for the 2024 Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program.

AiR is an incubator for artistic creation, inspiration and community connections. This program invites artists to consider how various members of the community might witness, contribute to, engage with and/or participate in their art. The residency prioritizes projects that creatively and accessibly animate public spaces. Artists practicing in all mediums and modes of expression are encouraged to apply.

Two AiR projects will be awarded in 2024. Artists may choose to focus on a single medium/discipline, to work in multimedia, or within an interdisciplinary practice, including but not limited to:

  • literary arts (text-based expressions, spoken word, poetry)
  • media arts (sound, video, animation, digital)
  • performance arts (visual, dance, music, theatre)
  • visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media)

There are two stages in the AiR selection process: (1) Call for Expressions of Interest; and (2) Request for Proposals from short-listed candidates.

Note: this is not a live-in residency. Permits may be issued for temporary use of public spaces for artistic creation and presentation.

AiR program goals

  • Increase opportunities for artists while building the City’s reputation through arts and culture.
  • Creatively animate public space(s)—indoor or outdoor.
  • Provide opportunities for artists to engage with the public through creative practices.
  • Amplify under-represented voices to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in the arts.
  • Nurture the community’s interest in the arts by broadening their experiences and opportunities to engage.
  • Cultivate connections between artist(s) in residence, the public and their shared communities.
  • Share stories that reflect the place currently known as Guelph and the diverse experiences that have lived, do live and/or grow here.

AiR program roles
The City of Guelph will:

  • recognize the artists as the 2024 City of Guelph Artists-in-Residence;
  • provide access to municipal facilities and venues (as available);
  • coordinate permits for public space(s) (as appropriate);
  • promote project information online;
  • provide administrative assistance, web services, event coordination, graphic design and project promotion;
  • award a $7,000 (CAD) budget to selected artist(s) or artist collectives (includes artist fees and funding to cover other costs directly related to the project);
  • photo-document the public-facing events hosted through the residency; and
  • provide an opportunity for presentation and celebration at the end of the residency.

The selected artist(s) will:

  • create at least two opportunities for the public to engage and contribute to their residency (e.g. through research, witnessing, or contributing to process, workshops, facilitated or self-guided community experiences, etc.);
  • deliver the project within the program’s timeline and budget;
  • promote the project (e.g. via social media, web presence, word of mouth, etc.);
  • provide regular progress updates to culture staff;
  • be available to speak with the media; and
  • provide feedback on successes and challenges of the residency when it concludes.

AiR scope of work
Artists are encouraged to create new work, to advance work-in-process or to re-imagine past work through the residency. The successful project(s) will invite the community to witness, contribute to, engage with and/or participate in the creative process.

Expressions of Interest should be 500 words or less and should describe the project concept as well as how the artist will facilitate community engagement, considering the community’s various ways of experiencing art (e.g., hearing, touch, sight, etc.).

The residency must include an end-of-project event (i.e. installation, performance, exhibition, or other community centered experience) that can be shared and celebrated with the public.

As part of the residency, the artist will contribute to the Culture Days celebration in Guelph, between September 20 and October 13, 2024. Contributions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Workshop
  • Self-guided, public activity
  • Performance or event
  • Artist talk
  • Physical or virtual exhibition

AiR eligibility requirements

In 2024, two AiR projects will be awarded. This opportunity is open to all artists and art collectives (two or more people working as an artist group or who have chosen to collaborate for this program). Artists should describe their vision for, or experience with, inviting community to engage with their art. Artists should express their connections to Guelph. They must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada and be 18 years of age or older to qualify for this opportunity.

Artists and artist collectives are encouraged to express their unique and intersectional identities in the description of their practices. Artists from equity-deserving communities (including Black, Indigenous, racialized, people with disabilities, 2SLGBTQA+, low-income and unhoused individuals) are welcomed to share how their lived experiences inform their art and their residency proposal.

Previous City of Guelph Artists-in-Residence and City of Guelph employees are not eligible to apply. Fundraising activities are not eligible.

AiR compensation
The project budget (managed by the artist) is $7,000 +HST (if applicable) and includes, but is not limited to, all costs associated with the creation and implementation of the residency project:

Artist fees (including research, development and administration)
Production fees (including materials, studio expenses, services and equipment)
Disbursements will be made throughout the project on a mutually-agreed schedule. Artists may secure additional resources through project-related grants, awards and prizes to supplement the project budget.

The artist(s) will enter an Artist Agreement with the City of Guelph.

Program timeline
The anticipated program timeline is outlined below:

  • February 15 at 6:00 p.m. – Phase one application information session, register to attend
  • March 5 at 11:59 p.m. – Phase one application deadline
  • March 25 – Shortlisted candidates announced
  • April 2 – Phase two application 1:1 information sessions (phone or video Call)
  • April 25 at 11:59 p.m. – Phase two submission deadline
  • May 13 – Notice sent to successful candidate(s)
  • July 1–October 13 – Approximate residency period
  • September 20–October 13 – Residency programming period
  • October 22 – Approximate residency reflection and wrap-up

Applicants are asked to reserve the phase two information session date in their calendar.

Selection process and criteria
The recommended artist or artist-led groups will be chosen through a two-phase selection process.

The City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and Culture Staff will review proposals based on the program goals and selection criteria outlined below.

To request an accommodation for the application process, contact:

Cultural Programs and Events Coordinator
519-822-1260 extension 2629
[email protected]
TTY 519-826-9771

Stage one – Expression of Interest
Project proposals must be realistic, achievable and describe a vision for inclusive community involvement. Artists will be evaluated on their creative integrity and experience; capacity to engage the community; and ability to deliver work of high artistic quality on time and on budget.

Applicants should submit materials listed below using the online submission form:

  • Expression of Interest (500 words, maximum file size 2 MB – pdf, doc or docx), including a preliminary project proposal that describes desired outcomes and a vision for community involvement.
  • Artist CV (up to three pages, maximum file size 2 MB – pdf, doc or docx)
  • Support Materials – including a minimum of three and maximum of six examples of past/current artistic work (such as photographs of artworks, short writing samples, links to video or sound files, etc.) Maximum file size 5 MB – pdf, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg or png – text field available for links.

Please include only the items listed above. Additional materials will not be presented to the selection panel.

View full evaluation criteria for stage one on the Artist in Residence web page.

Stage two – Request for Proposals
Following review of eligibility requirements and Expressions of Interest, shortlisted artists will be invited to develop their concept proposals in a second submission. They will also attend a one-on-one information session, allowing the opportunity for culture staff to provide feedback, as well as for both staff and artists to ask clarifying questions about the proposal and ongoing application process. Shortlisted artists will receive a $400 honorarium for their submissions.

Stage two submissions should include a detailed project outline (up to five pages) formatted as a single file (maximum file size 5 MB – pdf, doc or docx) and sent electronically to [email protected]. The submission should:

  • Summarize project goals and outcomes;
  • List outreach opportunities and how they enhance the project proposal;
  • Identify key project stages and timelines; and
  • Forecast a budget, including artist fee based on a flexible, part-time residency commitment occurring between July 1 and October 13.

Shortlisted artists will be required to attend an information session before the stage two application deadline and are asked to reserve the following date in their calendars: April 2.

View full evaluation criteria for stage two on the Artist in Residence web page.

General provisions
Artist agreement:
Shortlisted artists will be required to enter an agreement with the City of Guelph at the second phase of the competition and to receive the artist honorarium. The successful Artists-in-Residence will enter into an additional agreement with the City of Guelph. Upon notification of being awarded the project, the artists will have a seven-day period to finalize and sign the agreement.

Conflict of interest:
Applicants must disclose any potential conflicts of interest in their submission, including any which may involve City employees, Council members or members of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee.

Reserved rights:
The City of Guelph and the Public Art Advisory Committee are not obliged to accept any of the submissions and reserve the right to not recommend any proposal or finalist and to terminate or re-advertise any project.

For more information contact
Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
Culture and Recreation, Public Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629
[email protected]

TTY 519-826-9771

To apply for this job please visit