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Artist in Residence Program

City of Waterloo

 Around the Block

The City of Waterloo Artist in Residence program is a cultural initiative that encourages artistic activity in a variety of community spaces throughout the city. In 2017 the Artist in Residence program will support the City of Waterloo Neighbourhood Strategy development. 


City of Waterloo Artist in Residence 2017 Program Guidelines

City of Waterloo is inviting artists to submit a proposal to the 2017 Artist in Residence program. This program animates public spaces and explores community stories by providing opportunities for the public to work with local artists in the creation of a community art project.

The goals of the Artist in Residence program are:

  • To animate public space through creative activity

  • To enhance community wellbeing through access to and participation in cultural programs;
  • To provide opportunities for emerging and established local 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 bring together diverse sectors of the community into a collaborative dialogue on art.


About the 2017 Program

The 2017 Artist in Residence program will support the City of Waterloo Neighbourhood Strategy development.

During the residency, the Artist in Residence will develop a creative, inclusive, participatory community art project that explores neighbourhood identity and/or what it means to be a good neighbour.

In collaboration with program staff, the selected artist will establish a regular schedule of opportunities for community interaction through activities such as workshops and art collaborations, to take place between June 1 and October 1, 2017.

The hands-on program will engage a diverse range of community members from neighbourhoods throughout the city, and will focus on at least one of the following themes:

1. Neighbourhood identity
2. What it means to be a good neighbour

The project will also respond to at least one of the five key themes of the Neighbourhood Strategy including:

1. Increasing Social Connections
2. Improving Neighbourliness
3. Fostering Inclusivity
4. Building a Sense of Belonging
5. Enhancing Placemaking 

The residency is expected to result in the creation of a tangible artistic product such as an installation, exhibition, performance, or piece of writing that will be loaned to the City for up to twelve months following the residency period for the purpose of public display.

The total budget for the 2017 Artist in Residence program is $10,000 and is inclusive of all components of the program.  The residency requires a commitment of approximately 12 hours per week for the duration of the program.


Selection Criteria

Artists working in all mediums are encouraged to apply, including painters, textile artists, musicians, sculptors, performers, photographers, printmakers, those working in film and video, writers, and conceptual and installation artists. Demonstrated experience working with the public will be considered an asset.

A successful project will include:

  • Opportunities for the public to engage in the process of art with the selected artist;
  • Strong connection to the project themes;
  • Viable and realistic project proposal and work plan;
  • Relevant project that relates to the neighbourhoods and goals of the Neighbourhood Strategy;
  • Strong community engagement plan;
  • Innovative and creative use of the spaces available;
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver quality programs on time and in accordance with project proposals;
  • Artistic merit of the proposed project.


Site Considerations and Information

Opportunities for community participation will be held throughout the city over the course of the residency.  The selected artist will work with program staff and neighbourhood stakeholders to identify appropriate public venues for the activities in each of the seven wards. Venues may include parks, schools, libraries, or other municipal facilities. Temporary workspace at pre-arranged hours and some storage for the community artwork in progress may be available if appropriate.


Program Information

  • Artists working in any medium may apply
  • Applications will only be accepted from artists living in Waterloo Region
  • Applications will be reviewed by a City of Waterloo appointed review team
  • The review team will assess the quality of the application based on the potential impact for the community; artist's ability to work collaboratively, with the public, and carry out the project; artistic quality and merit of the proposed project
  • Selected applicant will be given access to appropriate City facilities for programming, to be arranged in advance


Schedule and Compensation

  • The total budget for the 2017 Artist in Residence initiative is $10,000 (includes artist fees and materials costs). Funds will be dispersed over the duration of the residency.
  • Application Deadline: Friday, March 31, 2017, by 4 p.m.
  • Results Announcements: April 2017
  • Program Planning: May 2017
  • Program Delivery: June - September 2017
  • Program Showcase: September 29 - October 1, 2017


Terms and Conditions

  • Applicants must be artists living in Waterloo Region.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.
  • Applications must be submitted via email to All large files and pictures must be submitted via 2big4email and directed to
  • Successful applicant must be available
    • for program planning in May 2017
    • to conduct community engagement opportunities as part of their residency from June to September 2017 (dates/times and locations to be negotiated in advance with staff).
    • Successful applicant must commit to working an average of 12 hours a week for the duration of the residency.
    • Storage space may be offered to the accepted Artist in Residence.  However, this space is not to be used for personal use outside the parameters of the proposed and accepted project.
    • All programs and opportunities offered by the artist as part of this program must be free.
    • Artist is required to give regular updates to City of Waterloo staff.
    • Successful applicant must provide a criminal background check to City of Waterloo staff.

Please see application form download link at the bottom of this page.


About the City of Waterloo Neighbourhood Strategy

The City of Waterloo is currently developing a Neighbourhood Strategy.  The purpose of the strategy is to define the City's role in supporting neighbourhoods, including the resources and tools that the City can provide to facilitate continued growth of environments where community members are empowered to create strong, connected and vibrant neighbourhoods.  Projects such as the 2017 Artist in Residence program will help to engage the community to inform the strategy development.  It is anticipated that the draft strategy will be presented to council December 2017 and the final strategy will be presented March 2018.

Through the Neighbourhood Strategy development, community members recently completed a survey online to share what is great about Waterloo neighbourhoods, what are some challenges neighbourhoods face, and initial ideas for how to bring neighbours together.  Comments can be found on EngageWaterloo!


Download the program guidelines

Download the application form

Questions? Contact