2016 City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program

The application period for the 2016 Artist in Residence program is now closed. Thank you to all who applied.

166 kB2016 Call to Artists – Artist in Residence Program

General information

The City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program, piloted in 2014, is a cultural initiative that embeds artists in a variety of public spaces. As an integral part of the program, artists are asked to engage the public in creative experiences that contribute to the vitality of the community. With the understanding that the process is as important as the product or outcome, artists are encouraged to associate community engagement with active participation in hands-on creative experiences, the collaborative creation of temporary works, and/or the exploration and communication of broader community stories.

Program goals

  • To animate public space through creativity
  • To enhance community vitality through access to and participation in cultural programming
  • To provide opportunities for artists to engage with the public and showcase their creative practices
  • To broaden the community experience of the arts by integrating cultural programming within a variety of public spaces
  • To contribute to placemaking and civic pride


The City of Guelph will provide

  • Assistance with any necessary permits for public space (as appropriate);
  • Limited space for the storage of materials;
  • An opportunity for presentation and celebration at the end of the residency;
  • A budget of $7,500, which includes artist fees and funding to cover other costs directly related to the project;
  • Promotional support;
  • Recognition of the artist as the official City of Guelph Artist in Residence for 2016;
  • City of Guelph Artist in Residence identification badge for the duration of the residency.

The Artist will

  • Commit to engaging community members in creative experiences;
  • Enter into an official agreement with the City of Guelph;
  • Deliver the selected project within the program’s timeline and budget;
  • Provide regular progress updates to City staff;
  • Be available to speak with the media;
  • Attend a debriefing session with City staff at the end of the residency period.

As part of the program, the artist will be expected to undertake a selection of the following, to be agreed upon between the City and the artist:

  • Public talk
  • Public workshop or activity
  • Public exhibition/display of completed work

For more information

Jen Rafter, Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment, Public Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629

2016 Program Information

Site Considerations

Guelph’s Downtown is a growing urban centre.  As the vibrancy of its landscape develops, opportunities to reimagine and reinforce its role as a destination for inspiring experiences and hub for civic placemaking arise. The intention of this year’s program is to animate Guelph’s downtown public realm in such a way that encourages the people who live, work and visit here to experience its sights, sounds, textures, shapes and character through a lens of curiosity, playfulness and originality.

Scope of Work

With the aim of strengthening connections between people and the places they share, the Artist in Residence will develop a creative, inclusive and community-engaged project that explores the role of art in urban placemaking. Drawing inspiration through playful discovery and imaginative exploration, and paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define the public realm in Guelph’s downtown, the artist is expected to deliver a tangible outcome such as, but not limited to, a temporary installation(s), creative collaboration, exhibition or community experience that will be shared and celebrated with the public.

2016 Program Timeline

The anticipated program timeline is outlined below and is based on a residency term of approximately 100 hours.

  • March 14 – May 2, 2016 – Applications accepted
  • May 2 – May 30, 2016 – Review of submissions and interviews
  • July 18 – October 2, 2016 – Approximate residency period
166 kB2016 Call to Artists – Artist in Residence Program

For more information

Jen Rafter, Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629

Eligibility Requirements

Professional artists working in any medium or discipline are eligible to apply. The artist must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, aged 18 years or older.

A professional artist is someone who has completed specialized training in an artistic field or who is recognized by peers as an established artist; is committed to his or her artistic activity; and has a history of public presentation, exhibition and/or publishing.

Artists who participated in the 2014 and 2015 Artist in Residence programs are not eligible to apply.  City of Guelph employees are not eligible to apply and fundraising activities are not eligible.

Selection Process and Criteria

A Selection Panel composed of members of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and City staff will review proposals based on the project goals and selection criteria. Artists will be considered based on their previous body of work and experience, an assessment of their capacity to engage with the community, and their proven ability to deliver work of high artistic quality on time and on budget. The Panel may invite qualified candidates to participate in an interview as part of this review process.

The panel will score proposals based on:

Qualifications and experience

  • The applicant’s experience, interests and talents as a professional artist complement the 2016 program
  • The applicant has demonstrated experience and inventiveness in working collaboratively with community members
  • The applicant has the knowledge and skills required to facilitate, coordinate, and administrate the project

Quality of proposal

  • The applicant’s proposal responds well to the identified site considerations
  • The applicant’s proposal is realistic and achievable
  • The applicant’s proposal responds well to the scope of the project


  • The proposed project is likely to creatively and playfully animate downtown public space(s)
  • The applicant’s idea is innovative and unique
  • The applicant’s plans for cultural programming and engaging community are strong
  • The proposal shows potential for lasting impact in the community

166 kB2016 Call to Artists – Artist in Residence Program

For more information

Jen Rafter, Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629

Application process and forms

A complete submission must include all the information and materials described below. Please note that submissions will not be returned.

Artists wishing to be considered must submit a complete package, with the following items:

  1. 2016 AIR Program Application Form
  2. Detailed project proposal (maximum 1000 words) including:
    • A statement of what the artist hopes to accomplish and how this residency will complement their artistic practice;
    • A description of the specific project proposed, including project outcomes and a vision for community involvement;
    • An execution plan including timeline, materials, budget, and any technical or operational assistance requests;
    • A summary of qualifications and related experience that outlines the artist’s suitability for the project and proven ability to deliver.
  3. Artist resume including biography, educational background and a listing of exhibitions/publications/ performances/awards (maximum 3 pages).
  4. Support Materials – Attach up to 5 samples of your artistic work.  Label materials, Artist Name_Number, corresponding to a documentation list:
    • Image files: JPEG, PDF, or BMP formats. High resolution.
    • Video files: Must be accessible online (Vimeo, YouTube). Up to 10 minutes long.
    • Audio files: Up to 10 minutes long.
    • Written files: Word or PDF format.
  5. Documentation list – Provide a numbered list with artist’s name, description of work, title, date created, medium(s), and dimensions (if applicable) for all support materials.

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

166 kB2016 Call to Artists – Artist in Residence Program


Complete proposal packages must be received on or before May 2, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  Submissions (with support materials) may be sent via email or hard copy.  For digital submissions, items 1, 2, 3 and 5 above should be attached in Word or PDF format and emailed to jen.rafter@guelph.ca  with “2016 Artist in Residence” in the subject line.  Proposals will not be returned and late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

Hard copy submissions can be delivered to:

ServiceGuelph – City Hall
Attn: Jen Rafter
1 Carden Street, First Floor
Guelph, ON  N1H 3A1

Hours of operations are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. –  4:30 p.m.

The City of Guelph reserves the right to not recommend any application, proposal or finalist and to terminate or re-advertise any project.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as the selection process is complete.  The notification date is approximately 4-5 weeks following the application deadline.


For additional information or questions please contact

Jen Rafter, Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629