Artist in residence

Our Artist in Residence program is an initiative of the culture plan. The program offers opportunities for artists to partner with the city to deliver community art projects to citizens of all ages, abilities, and experience.

2019 Artist in Residence

The City of Waterloo is pleased to announce Paul McDonald as the 2019 Artist in Residence. This year’s residency will take place in the Northdale neighbourhood. McDonald’s residency will see the activation of Veterns’ Green and other municipally owned green spaces throughout the neighbourhood.

The residency will see the development of a temporary large scale installation to celebrate the elements of the neighbourhood that make it unique. McDonald will be on hand in Veterns’ Green weekly from July to October. Members of the community are invited to meet with him at his weekly sessions to join in a discussion as well as help create the art.

Northdale is located between Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, in an area bounded by University Avenue West, Phillip Street, Columbia Street West, and King Street North. Over the past 25 years, the area has seen permanent residents replaced by a student population and rental housing. The Artist in Residence 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.

McDonald's full schedule of activities

Date Time
July 4 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
July 11 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
July 18 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
July 25 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
August 1 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
August 8 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
August 15 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
August 23 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
August 29 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
September 5 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
September 12 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
September 19 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
September 26 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
October 3 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
October 10 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
October 17 Noon to 8:00 p.m.
October 24 Noon to 8:00 p.m.

Past artists

2018 program

The 2018 program was hosted in Waterloo Park to celebrate its 125th anniversary, with Denise St Marie and Timothy Walker of St Marie φ Walker selected as the artists.

Their project, Prose in the Park, included hands-on workshops, word walks, storytelling activities, word treasure hunts and other activities in the park.

2017 program

As the 2017 artist in residence, Barbara Hobot facilitated a community-wide art initiative. "Growing Together: A Neighbourhood Cookbook Project" collected the art, recipes, instructions, and family memories of community members to produce a published collective of community stories.

Throughout the project, Hobot worked with community members to collect their stories and visuals during free workshops. These workshops were held in parks and community gardens across Waterloo. No experience was necessary and all materials were provided. There was also an opportunity to share recipes by email or scanning at designated city facilities.

"Growing Together" aimed to explore neighbourhood identity and foster inclusivity by encouraging discussion among neighbours from diverse backgrounds. The project also supported the development of Waterloo's neighbourhood strategy.

View the cookbook (PDF)

2016 program

As the 2016 Artist in Residence, Michele Braniff held a series of free, hands-on workshops, story-telling tours, and urban sketching meet-ups. Her project, "Community Re-construction of Waterloo Construction 2016" engaged the public in crafts, collaborative art, and the exploration of community ecosystems.

The collaborative project offered participants a chance to engage with construction and development in Waterloo through a new lens. Together, the community and artist constructed a continuous image depicting the look and feel of the area during the span of the residency.

2015 program

In 2015, Waterloo artist Rick Nixon, was selected as the city's first artist in residence. Nixon held a series of free, hands-on workshops at the Albert McCormick Community Centre. His project "Birdhouse Installation" engaged the public in crafts, collaborative art, art installation, and the exploration of community ecosystems.

During the workshops, Nixon invited citizens to think about the area surrounding the community centre and participate in the creation of bird houses that reflect the community and the facility. Participants were encouraged to incorporate found objects into the sculptures. The birdhouses were later installed in gardens around the community centre.