Artist in Residence

The City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program offers opportunities for artists to engage the public in creative experiences.


Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 4 p.m.

Artist opportunity

The City of Guelph invites professional artists or artist collectives to submit Expressions of Interest to be selected for the 2019 City of Guelph Artist in Residence program. Community engagement is at the heart of this program, which is open to artists practicing all art forms including visual, literary or performing arts, architecture and design, or media arts such as sound, video or photography. This call follows a two-stage selection process, the first being an Expression of Interest.

Program goals

  • creatively animate public space(s) – indoor, outdoor and online
  • provide opportunities for artists to engage with the public and showcase their creative practices
  • broaden the community experience of the arts
  • contribute to placemaking and civic pride


The City of Guelph will provide:

  • assistance with any necessary permits for public space(s) (as appropriate);
  • access to municipal facilities and venues;
  • an opportunity for presentation and celebration at the end of the residency;
  • a budget which includes artist fees and funding to cover other costs directly related to the project;
  • promotional support (coordination of media releases, social media and promotional materials such as posters, postcards, signage etc.); and
  • recognition of the artist as the official City of Guelph Artist in Residence.

The selected artist will

  • commit to engaging community members in creative experiences;
  • deliver the selected project within the program’s timeline and budget;
  • provide regular progress updates to staff;
  • be available to speak with the media; and
  • attend a debriefing session 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 over Culture Days weekend, September 27 to 29, 2019:

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

Scope of work

The artist’s project for this collaborative, community-based arts initiative should engage the residents and visitors of Guelph, add significance to civic spaces, and promote an appreciation of contemporary art practices.

Expressions of Interest should outline the project concept briefly and indicate if the project is intended for a specific location.

While the artist’s process is as important as the resulting artistic products, projects should produce an outcome such as, but not limited to, a temporary installation, performance, recording, creative collaboration, exhibition or community experience that can be shared and celebrated with the public.

Eligibility requirements

Artists or artist collectives working in any medium or discipline are eligible to apply. Artists should have proven experience engaging the public and working collaboratively with community members or other artists. They must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, and be 18 years of age or older.

Previous City of Guelph Artists in Residence and City of Guelph employees are not eligible to apply. Preference will be given to Guelph-based artists.

Fundraising activities are not eligible.

Budget and timeline


The total all-inclusive budget available for the selected artist is $6,500 and includes, but is not limited to, all costs associated with the creation and implementation of the residency project:

  • Artist fees (including research, administration and any travel expenses)
  • Materials (including any studio expenses, services or equipment)
  • Documentation, photography and/or video

Disbursements will be made throughout the project as per a negotiated schedule of deliverables.

Program timeline

The anticipated program timeline is outlined below and is based on a residency term of approximately 80 hours.

  • January 11, 2019 – Stage One submission deadline (4 p.m.)
  • February 1, 2019 – Selected candidates invited to apply for Stage Two
  • March 1, 2019 – Stage Two submission deadline (4 p.m.)
  • March 19 – 21, 2019 – Review of submissions and interviews. (Applicants are asked to reserve these dates in their calendars)
  • July 1 to September 30, 2019 – Approximate residency period

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as the selection process is complete, approximately 3 weeks following the Stage Two deadline.

Selection process and criteria

The recommended artist(s) will be chosen through a two-stage selection process. The City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and City staff will review proposals based on program goals and selection criteria.

Stage One – Expression of Interest

Artists will be scored based on their previous body of work and experience; capacity to engage the community; ability to deliver work of high artistic quality on time and on budget; as well as their artist statement including a preliminary project proposal that is realistic and achievable and has a vision for community involvement.

Stage Two – Request for Proposals

Three shortlisted artists or artist collectives will each receive a $325.00 honorarium upon submission of a detailed project proposal, timeline, and budget as part of Stage Two. Shortlisted artists will also be invited to participate in interviews as part of the review process.  They will be scored based on:

Qualifications and experience (20%)

  • Experience, interests and talents as a professional artist complement the program
  • Demonstrated experience and inventiveness in working collaboratively with community members
  • Knowledge and skills required to facilitate, coordinate, and administer the project on time and on budget

Quality of proposal (40%)

  • The proposed project will creatively animate public space(s)
  • Plans for cultural programming and community engagement are strong
  • The proposed project demonstrates a connection to the city and/or relevance to the citizens of Guelph
  • Proposal shows potential for impact in the community

Realization of proposal (40%)

  • The proposed project will creatively animate public space(s)
  • Plans for cultural programming and community engagement are strong
  • The proposed project demonstrates a connection to the city and/or relevance to the citizens of Guelph
  • Proposal shows potential for impact in the community

Application process

This is a two-stage artist selection process.

Stage One: Expression of Interest

Submission deadline: Friday January 11, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
All submissions should be sent electronically to and contain the following corresponding to the outline below:

  1. Application form – Found on the last page of the Call to Artists.
  2. Expression of Interest (2 page maximum) – Include a brief artist statement; a preliminary project proposal that describes desired outcomes and a vision for community involvement; and examples of the artist’s experience in delivering projects on time and on budget.
  3. Artist resume (3 page maximum)
  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.
  1. Documentation list – Provide a numbered list with artist’s name, description of work, title, date created, budget, 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.

Stage Two: Request for Proposals

Submission deadline: Friday March 1, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
Following review of eligibility requirements and Expressions of Interest, selected shortlisted artists will be invited to develop their concept proposals and attend an interview. Shortlisted artists will receive a $325 honorarium for their submissions.

Stage Two submissions should be sent electronically to and contain the following:

  1. Detailed project proposal (3 page maximum) – Expanding on their preliminary project proposal, the artist will be required to submit a detailed project proposal including site identification, plans for execution, community engagement activities and any partnerships and/or collaborations.
  2. Project timeline – Artists will be required to provide a project timeline identifying proposed key project stages. The start date of the residency period is flexible.
  3. Budget – Artists will be required to prepare a budget for the proposed project. The project budget is $6,500 and is inclusive of all taxes, materials, technical costs, permits, fabrication and/or installation costs as well as an artist fee.

Shortlisted artists will be required to attend an interview and are asked to reserve the following dates in their calendars: March 19 – 21, 2019.

Please note that submissions will not be returned and late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

View the full Call to Artists.

Related pages

For more information

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