Artist in Residence

Call for Applications – Spring Opening Act Series

Thank you to everyone who applied for Opening Act, an online series of songwriting and performance workshops for youth facilitated by Kathryn Calder. The Call for Applications is now closed. 

Workshops were held on April 1, April 22, and April 29, in addition to two one-on-one sessions with Kathryn between April 5 and 12 for each successful applicant. Participants discovered the world of songwriting, learned about composing, melody, lyrics, arrangement and production, as well as how to put together an engaging performance. The workshop series also covered tools for incorporating creativity into a full and busy lifestyle.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants were to be between 14-24 years of age and live in the Capital Regional District. Participants must have been able to participate in all the workshops and prepare a performance for the final workshop.


Applications were due by Monday, March 8th at 6 p.m. 

Check Out Songs From the Spring 2021 Opening Act Series!  

Kathryn Calder is Victoria's Artist in Residence

Victoria-based musician, songwriter/ recording artist and recording studio owner Kathryn Calder, was selected as the City’s Artist in Residence. (Photo credit: Steve Calder)

For the past 15 years, Kathryn has been recording and touring as a vocalist/ keyboardist with indie rock group The New Pornographers. She has also released three solo records, five albums with Immaculate Machine, and one album with her latest project, Frontperson.

Composing musical scores for feature films has been another focus of Kathryn's in recent years, including ‘A Matter of Time’, a documentary about her mother’s battle with ALS. She continues to raise money and awareness for ALS research through performance and public speaking. Kathryn is the founder of Oscar St. Records, an artist-run boutique record label based on Vancouver Island. She also owns The Hive recording studio with her husband, producer/engineer Colin Stewart. Kathryn loves her hometown of Victoria and is dedicated to promoting the arts on the Island.

Calder is also the Chair of the City’s Music Advisory Committee, tasked with researching and providing advice and direction to City Council and staff on the planning, development and implementation of a Victoria Music Strategy. To be developed in consultation with Victoria’s music industry this year, the Strategy will be designed to enhance the local music scene by reviewing current music programs, policies and services, building on Victoria’s strengths and removing barriers that inhibit growth.

Connect with Kathryn

Learn more about Kathryn Calder by visiting her blog.


Call for Applications - Youth Focus Group

Looking for an opportunity for to gain leadership experience and offer input on local arts programming? The Youth Focus Group will provide advice to Kathryn during her term as Artist in Residence, and help develop three major projects including: a youth busking space, song writing and professional development workshops, and a music and arts space for youth.

Role and Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of all members include but are not limited to the following:

  • Participate in reviewing, advising and developing projects related to youth during Kathryn’s Artist in Residence term, specifically the youth busking space, the music and arts youth space and the songwriting/professional development workshops.
  • Brainstorm ideas related to these youth projects.
  • Identify problems or barriers for youth to participate in the projects.
  • Participate in any of the youth projects that are of interest.
  • Provide feedback to Kathryn on the projects so that they may be improved.
  • Connect with other youth to promote the activities to their peers to encourage as many youth as possible to be involved.

Membership & Frequency of Meetings:

This group will consist of up to 15 youth between the ages of 14-24. Members of the group are volunteers. We will aim to meet once a month. There will be one meeting a month until July 2021 (the final month of Kathryn’s residency.) Meetings will be an hour and a half.


Thank you to everyone who applied. Deadline for applications was Monday, March 16, 2020.

For more information, please contact or call 250.361.0308.


Intergenerational Project with Kathryn Calder

Seniors were invited to join Grade 1 and 2 students from James Bay Community School to sing songs and answer questions about their lives; what has changed and what has stayed the same.




The Artist in Residence program aims to ‘keep art in mind’, providing the opportunity for a professional artist to work collaboratively with City staff and the community to identify and develop a creative artwork/project to augment one or more capital projects annually over a two-year term.

The Artist in Residence is embedded in the City’s planning process, providing a unique creative and collaborative approach to enhance the value and aesthetic appeal of upcoming capital projects in Victoria, while broadening the community’s involvement in the arts.

Calder’s professional experience in Victoria’s music industry is well-aligned with the City’s Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan, which identifies the need to build on Victoria’s diverse and active music scene by positioning Victoria as a “Music City.”

Kathryn Calder’s submission was one of 59 applications the City received in response to a Request for Expressions of Interest, which was open to artists and artist teams who are residents of British Columbia.

She was one of four artists shortlisted and was selected unanimously by the City’s Art in Public Places Committee, based on her strong reputation as an artist who works collaboratively with other artists in a variety of disciplines, and for her proven track record working on community-based projects as an artistic lead.

“I am so honoured to have been chosen to represent music for the next couple of years as Artist in Residence,” said Kathryn Calder. "Much of music is about collaboration, and so it is in that spirit that my hope is to bring together the many different musical and artistic communities in Victoria to create beautiful works of art together.”

Call to Artists:  Artist in Residence

Thank you to everyone who responded to the Call to Artists for the position of Artist in Residence The deadline for submissions was April 26, 2019.

An information session was held on April 17, 2019 at City Hall. View the presentation here and the Frequently Asked Questions.

For More Information