Budget: $7,000
Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023, 11:59 p.m.
Residency: Flexible, part-time commitment occurring between July 1 and October 15, 2023

The City of Guelph invites artists and artist-led groups, to submit Expressions of Interest to be selected for the 10th anniversary of its Artist-in-Residence program.

Community engagement remains at the heart of this annual program, which is open to artists practicing in all mediums including but not limited to:

  • visual (painting, sculpture),
  • literary (poetry, collective works),
  • performance (dance, music, opera, theatre, musical theatre),
  • new media (film, television, radio, audio, video, animation, digital), or
  • multidisciplinary and the intersectionality therein.

This call follows a two-stage selection process, the first being an Expression of Interest, then a Request for Proposals from short-listed candidates.

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

Program goals

  • Build Guelph’s reputation through arts and culture.
  • Creatively animate public space(s) – indoor or outdoor.
  • Provide opportunities for artists to engage with the public to showcase their creative practices.
  • Advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts.
  • Broaden the community’s experience of the arts.
  • Contribute to placemaking and civic pride.


The City of Guelph will:

  • recognize the artists as the 10th official City of Guelph Artist-in-Residence;
  • provide access to municipal facilities and venues (as available);
  • coordinate permits for public space(s) (as appropriate);
  • promote project information with a webpage on guelph.ca (other sites created and managed by the artist may also be utilized in the delivery of the project);
  • provide administrative assistance, web services, event coordination, graphic design, and project promotion;
  • award a $7,000 (CAD) budget to selected artist or artist-led groups which includes artist fees and funding to cover other costs directly related to the project; and
  • provide an opportunity for presentation and celebration at the end of the residency.

The City will also provide marketing and promotional collateral at its own expense.

The selected artist will

  • commit to engaging community members in creative experiences including but not limited to two public residency engagements;
  • deliver the selected project within the program’s timeline and budget;
  • promote the project via social media;
  • 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.

Scope of work

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 the month-long, national Culture Days celebration taking place September 22 to October 15, 2023:

  • Artist talk
  • Workshop, class or self-guided, public activity
  • Virtual or physical exhibition/display of completed work

The successful project for this community-based arts initiative should engage residents and visitors to Guelph and promote an appreciation of arts and culture.

Expressions of Interest should outline the project concept briefly and indicate how the artist will engage with the community.

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

This opportunity is open to all artists. Current and prior connection to Guelph is considered an asset.  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 to qualify for this opportunity.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary the program will award three residencies. One of the three selected submissions will be awarded to applications from artists from equity seeking groups (Black, Indigenous, racialized, disability communities, 2SLGBTQA+, low-income, unhoused, and the intersection of those groups).

Previous City of Guelph Artists in Residence and City of Guelph employees are not eligible to apply. Familiarity and connection to Guelph is considered an asset.

Fundraising activities are not eligible.

A strong web/social media presence/following is considered an asset.


The project budget (managed by the artist) is $7,000 +HST (where an HST number is accurately provided, otherwise declaration of small supplier status is required) and includes, but is not limited to, all costs associated with the creation and implementation of the residency project including:

  • Artist fees (including research, development, and administration)
  • Materials (including any supplies, studio expenses, services, or equipment)
  • Disbursements will be made throughout the project as per a negotiated schedule of deliverables. Additional funds secured by the artist through project-related grants, awards and prizes may be used to supplement the project budget

Upon acceptance, the artist will enter an Artist Agreement with the City of Guelph.

Program timeline

The anticipated program timeline is outlined below:

  • February 24, 2023 – Phase One Application Deadline
  • March 24, 2023 – Shortlisted Candidates Announced
  • April 24, 2023 – Phase Two Submission Deadline
  • May 1, 2023 – Phase Two Interviews
  • May 14, 2023 – Residency Announcement
  • July 1 – October 15, 2023 – Approximate Residency Period
  • September 22 – October 15, 2023 – Residency Programming Period
  • October 22, 2023 – Approximate Residency Reflection and Wrap-up

Applicants are asked to reserve the Phase Two Interview Date in their calendar.

Selection process and criteria

The recommended artist or artist-led groups will be chosen through a two-phase selection process. Artists will be evaluated on their qualifications and experience, body of work, merit of proposal, and capacity to engage with the community.

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

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 a preliminary project proposal that is realistic and achievable and has a vision for community involvement.

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

  • Expression of Interest (1-page, maximum file size 2 MB – pdf, doc or docx) Include a preliminary project proposal that describes desired outcomes and a vision for community involvement.
  • Artist Resume (up to 3-pages, maximum file size 2 MB – pdf, doc or docx)
  • Support Materials – Include up to 3 samples of your artistic work to support your proposal. (e.g., photos of artworks, short writing samples, links to video or sound files. 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.

Qualifications and experience (60%)

  • The submission is from an artist or artist-led group with ties to Guelph and public-presentation experience (20%)
  • The submission demonstrates the artist’s capacity to engage with the community (20%)
  • The submission shows evidence of the artist’s ability to deliver work of high artistic quality on time and on budget (20%)

Quality of preliminary project proposal (40%)

  • The preliminary project proposal outlines a project that will creatively animate public space(s) (10%)
  • The preliminary project proposal has a vision for community involvement in their practices (10%)
  • The preliminary project proposal will produce an outcome such as, but not limited to, a temporary installation, performance, recording, collection, creative collaboration, exhibition, or community experience that can be shared and celebrated with the public (10%)
  • The preliminary project proposal is realistic and achievable (10%)

Stage Two – Request for Proposals

Following review of eligibility requirements and Expressions of Interest, selected shortlisted artists will be invited to develop their concept proposals and attend a virtual interview. Shortlisted artists will receive a $325 honorarium for their submissions.

Stage Two submissions should be formatted as a single file (maximum file size 5 MB – pdf, doc or docx) and sent electronically to [email protected], containing the following:

  • Detailed Project Outline (up to 5-pages, maximum file size 5 MB – pdf, doc or docx) – Expanding on their preliminary project proposal, the artist will be asked to submit a detailed project outline that summarizes project goals and outcomes; lists outreach opportunities; identifies key project stages; and forecasts a budget, including artist fee, based on a flexible, part-time residency commitment occurring between July 1 and October 15, 2023.

Shortlisted artists will be required to attend a virtual interview and are asked to reserve the following date in their calendars: May 1, 2023.

Qualifications and experience (20%)

  • The artist’s professional experience, interests and talents complement the program (5%)
  • The artist has demonstrated experience and inventiveness in working collaboratively with community members (5%)
  • The artist has the knowledge and skills required to facilitate, coordinate, promote, and administer the project on time and on budget (10%)

Quality of Proposal (40%)

  • The proposal has artistic merit (15%)
  • The proposal is innovative and unique (10%)
  • The proposal is realistic and achievable (15%)

Realization of Proposal (40%)

  • The proposed project will creatively animate public space(s) (10%)
  • The artist’s plans for cultural programming and community engagement are strong (10%)
  • The proposed project demonstrates a connection to the city and/or relevance to the citizens of Guelph with potential for positive impact in the community (20%)

General provisions

Artist Agreement: Shortlisted artists will be required to enter an agreement with the City of Guelph to enter the second stage of the competition and receive the artist honorarium. The successful artist will enter into an additional agreement with the City of Guelph. Upon notification of being awarded the project, the successful artist will have a 7-day time 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

Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
Culture and Recreation, Public Services
519-822-1260 extension 2629
[email protected]

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