Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions we've received to date about the City's Artist in Residence program.

General Questions

Q. How can I learn more about the application process?

A. We hosted a virtual information session on June 15, 2022. You can view the recording here. If you still have questions or are uncertain about anything, please feel free to email us at culture@victoria.ca

We will post a recording of the information session and add the questions that were asked and answered to this web page following the event. If you still have questions or are uncertain about anything, please feel free to email us at culture@victoria.ca.  

The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest is July 4, 2022 at 4 p.m.

Q. What type of artist are you looking for?

A. The selected artist can approach the residency in accordance with their art practice. The competition is open to mid-career professional artists working in visual media (painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, crafts, photography, film, and video), music, performance, and literary art.

Q. Will the artist need to work with the community or facilitate partnerships with other artists?

A. It's up to the selected artist how they choose to approach the residency. However, there are Program Objectives: to support artists that engage the community in the creative process including programs and initiatives that enhance the public realm; to have the artist work alongside City staff and community groups in the development of artworks, activities, and programming to realize civic and community priorities; and to collaborate with the community through the planning process and project development to broaden citizens’ participation and involvement in creative outlets and the arts. 

Q. What if an artist does not have professional training and doesn’t meet the UNESCO definition of a professional “Artist” that is included in the criteria? Should one still apply?

A. The City of Victoria’s Public Art Policy defines an artist as “any person, who by virtue of professional training, exhibition history and/or critical review is recognized as skilled in making works of art.” (UNESCO). Meeting this definition is a part of the required criteria. All artists with significant experience are encouraged to apply.

Q. How do I stay connected with you?

A. The City maintains an ‘Artist Roster’ which is used to send out notifications of upcoming programs and calls to artists. If you would like to be added to the list, email culture@victoria.ca with ‘Artist Roster’ in the subject line.

Q. Is it possible for the successful artist to apply for additional funding through grants or private partnerships?

A. The City has allocated a full budget (separate from the artist fee) to this project and would prefer the artist’s time be focused on project delivery rather than applying for additional funding. Partnerships with outside organizations on projects is encouraged.

Q.  Will the Artist in Residence be required to manage all their own media exposure?

A. The City will develop a marketing plan to support the ongoing projects of the Artist in Residence. The Artist In Residence is required to be available for interviews. All media will be managed through the Liaison to the program and the Engagement Department. Media training is provided. 

Q: My artwork has changed over time. Should I include examples of what I used to do or focus on what I’m doing now?

A: We prefer you to present your most recent work. The Expression of Interest is a great opportunity to write about yourself, your experience and what you want to accomplish.

Q: What is the definition of public art? Does it need to be a publicly shared video or a publicly attended event where the video is screened?

A: You can find our definition of public art in the Art in Public Places policy. A publicly shared video or an artwork screened at a public event both qualify as public art.

Q: How can I learn more about the City’s priorities?

A; The Call to Artists includes links to resources such as the Art in Public Places policy, Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan, Music Strategy and other city plans that may be useful.

Q: I have a solo show planned for 2023 that has a community engagement component. Would I be able to do the show at the same time as the residency? Could I incorporate the residency into the show?

A: The Artist in Residence is a part-time residency to allow artists to continue to have their private practice alongside the residency. We aim to be accommodating and flexible as circumstances and opportunities arise.

In terms of incorporating the show into the residency, probably not. The intent is for the artist to immerse themselves in the community for six months and develop an original month art plan that relates uniquely to the residency. The funding is intended for original projects directly related to this residency.

Q: Are you interested in hearing about an artist’s vision for artwork content or themes in the Expression of Interest or is that more for the planning phase of the residency?

A: You are welcome to share some of your ideas for the content and themes in the Expression of Interest if space allows. From past experience, we know that sometimes what an artist thinks they can do and what is possible given time and budget may be different. You may also be inspired to do something different once you are in the role. Be prepared to be open to what emerges from the residency. 

Q: There seems to be a significant focus on community engagement working with local organizations and the public in general. What is the relationship of the Artist in Residence as a facilitator and art creator?

A: Previous Artists in Residences found meaningful ways to both facilitate the community’s involvement in public art and create artwork. They were intentional about inviting people in to collaborate in lots of different ways.

Artist Eligibility

Q: Are literary artists eligible to apply for the residency? What would a literary artist submit for the required digital image component?

A: Yes, literary artists are eligible. You can include any published materials and list them in the “Digital Image Documentation List” so that it is clear to the jury that this is your portfolio. You are also welcome to include any visual or audio recordings of you reading and/or performing your work.

 Q: Are musicians eligible to apply for the residency?

A: Yes, musicians are eligible. Previous Artist in Residence Kathryn Calder is a musician. You can include any audio recordings or video recordings of performances in the “Digital Image Documentation List” so that it is clear to the jury that this is your portfolio.

Q: The definition of mid-career artist refers to the artist having received "basic training". Does that mean I would need to have a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) or other post-secondary training relevant to my field of practice? Does peer recognition count as an alternative criterion? 

A: Basic training does not necessarily mean a full BFA. It can be a diploma or certificate program or a mentorship program with a professional artist. Peer recognition, such as published critique of your work or peer adjudication process to be accepted for an exhibition, are also acceptable. 

 Q: Can artists who don’t have experience with public art or murals still apply?

A: Yes. However, experience working in public art is important so be sure to share why you are interested in public art and how your practice fits with the Artist in Residence program.

Q: Are publications of artwork in a journal acceptable in counting as a presentation of artwork?

A: It depends, but, in general, publication of artwork created for a journal could be considered a presentation of artwork. If you have a specific scenario or question, please contact us at culture@victoria.ca

Q: What is the equivalent of four presentations, exhibits or installations if you are a filmmaker?

A: For a filmmaker, the equivalent of a presentation, exhibit or installation could be a short film, music video, feature film, etc…You can submit a Youtube URL or other link to your work.

Q: For a visual artist, do the four "presentations, exhibitions or installations in a professional context" have to be solos?

A: No. Exhibitions can be solo or group shows. 

Q: I have more experience in community engagement than as an artist. Am I eligible for this opportunity?

A: Applicants must meet the criteria of a mid-career artist in order to be considered.

In your Expression of Interest, emphasize what your strengths are, what you are proud to have accomplished and highlight how your experiences would inform the Artist in Residence position. Working collaboratively is an important part of the position.

Q: Are the Gulf Islands considered part of the Capital Regional District?

A: The Southern Gulf Islands are part of the Capital Regional District. You can see the boundaries of the district here.  

Q: Is Cowichan Bay considered part of the Capital Regional District?

A: No, the Capital Regional District does not include Cowichan Bay. BC residents are eligible to apply but would need to relocate as part of the residency.

BonfireHub

Q. Can I save and pause my Bonfire submission to return to it later?

A. Yes. You can save and pause your submission and return to pick it up where you left off. Be sure to wait until file uploads are finished and you get a green light beside the box before leaving the page. In addition, you can make changes to completed submissions so long as it's before the submission deadline. For more information see Can I revise my submission after I've completed it?

Q. If I am still submitting when the deadline passes, will I be able to finish and submit?

A. No. When the 4:00 p.m. deadline passes, the portal will shut and any incomplete or partially completed applications not be able to be submitted. We recommend you give yourself lots of time to complete the application. 

Q: In the instructions it says: "(Filetype: open) – Required" does this mean OpenDocument text *.odt or that it is open to which kind of file it can be?

A: It is open to the kind of file it can be. The compatible file types in Bonfire are: csv, pdf, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, bmp, gif, jpeg, jpg, jpe, png, tiff, tif, txt, text, rtf, doc, docx, dot, dotx, word, dwg, dwf, dxf, mp3, wav, avi, mov, mp4, mpeg, wmv, zip and the maximum file size is 1000mb per file. 

Q: For my BonFire submission, should I should plan to submit my application as a single .pdf file, with all elements included, or as multiple files uploaded in the order they're listed in the request for Expression of Interest?

A: Please submit each component as a separate file as shown in the Contact and Check List form. Each file should be uploaded and clearly labeled to correspond with the check list.

Jury Process

Q. Is the selection criteria listed in order of importance?

A. An artist’s Expression of Interest will be evaluated based on: 

40% | Artistic Merit  

  • Artistic merit, quality of artwork and previous experience of the artist. 
  • Evidence of broad thinking and conceptual clarity. 

30% | Professional Experience  

  • A desire and track record in creating art for the public that contributes to the well-being of the social and cultural ecosystem of the city. 

 30% | Project Understanding 

  • Ability and willingness to work extensively with the community and City staff through a collaborative process, including workshops and/or other engagement events. 
  • Ability to work well with a wide range of people including community members, City staff, arts professionals, designers, and professionals in other fields. 

Q. Will the jury include City staff members?

A. Please see the Art in Public Places policy [PDF - 1 MB] for information on selection panels (relevant information found on page 11 under "The Art in Public Places Selection Panel).

File Requirements in Application

Q. Should I put my professional experience and qualifications in the Expression of Interest, as well as my CV?

A. No. The Expression of Interest should have a detailed explanation of why you want to be the next Artist in Residence and why your previous experience would make you an ideal candidate. In your CV, you should include what you've recently accomplished as an artist in your own practice. 

Q. Can you clarify what the CV requirement is? The EOI asks for a CV and to include a brief statement of artistic activities from the past 12 to 18 months. Does this mean a CV and an artistic statement, or is the CV meant to be a four-page statement?

A. Applications must include a CV that is a maximum of four pages and includes details about your artistic work over the past 12 to 18 months. The artistic statement is different and can be included in your cover letter. It is a short statement that describes your art and why you make it.

Q. Can I upload video files in the place of digital images?

A. Yes. You may upload 10 video files or any combination of video and digital images. Bonfire is set up to accept Any(.*) file types. This includes: csv, pdf, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, bmp, gif, jpeg, jpg, jpe, png, tiff, tif, txt, text, rtf, doc, docx, dot, dotx, word, dwg, dwf, dxf, mp3, wav, avi, mov, mp4, mpeg, wmv, zip.

A tooltip will popup when the vendor hovers their mouse over the word "Any". This tooltip specifies the various formats that Bonfire will accept for this slot. The maximum upload file size is 1GB.

Q. Do I send the ‘documentation list’ with the images or as a separate PDF?

A. Please use the ‘Digital Image Documentation List’ template that is included in the Request for Expressions of Interest PDF. This can be uploaded as its own document (any file type is accepted).

Q. Should the digital image documentation feature projects I wish to do as part of my residency?

A. No. You'll determine the projects you wish to do during your residency during the initial research phase of the term. The digital images you submit as part of your application should feature artwork you have completed. This is to show the jury what your style is and who you are as an artist.

Q. Can I submit two images per artwork for the digital image documentation?

A. Yes. It's up to you which images you select to send. Whether you prefer to send two images for five projects or one image for 10 projects is up to you.  Please note that the maximum number of images is 10. 

Q. Can I submit concept renderings as part of the digital image documentation?

A. Yes. Please also include an explanation as to why you are including concepts rather than the final product (i.e. final product is not yet complete, the project wasn't selected etc.)

Q. What type of documentation do you want for the Published Support Material?

A. This can be anything that has been published about you as an artist or about your work.  For example, reviews, articles, editorials, media videos, etc.

Q. Can I submit the files in a single pdf, or as individual files?

A. Please submit as individual files. Files can be submitted in any file type, but be aware that jury members will be reviewing the submissions on their personal computers. Choosing common file types that can be viewed on all types of computers is recommended.

Q: Is there a template or an example of an Expression of Interest?

A: No. We do not have a template or an example of an Expression of Interest. Refer to the Request for Expressions of Interest for specific details on what your submission should include.

Q: How many references should I provide?

A: Please provide the name, address, phone number and e-mail information for two references related to your practice, if applicable. A letter of reference is not required at this time. 

Q: For digital images, can I include links to videos on YouTube?

A; Yes, you can include links to YouTube videos. Please make sure the videos are publicly accessible so that jury members can easily view them when reviewing your submission.

Q: In the Support Material section, may I also include letters of reference?

A: No. We only accept published support material such as exhibition catalogues, critical writing and/or news clippings. 

Q: Do you allow for composite images? Can I put two different views of the same artwork side-by-side as a single file.

A: Yes, as long as it is the same artwork. We want to see ten total images of completed artworks.

Q: The Digital Image Documentation List on the website only includes space for five images and the applications can include up to 10 images. Is there an updated form to use or can I create a new image list myself?

A: Please use the template provided. You can duplicate the spaces provided and change the numbers to accommodate 10 items. This was prepared in error, but because some applicants have already used them in the submissions we’re going to keep it the same for fairness.

Q: I'd like to include documentation of a long-term project of a large-scale work that is difficult to capture in a single image. Should I include one slide with images of the work itself and one slide with images of the work being exhibited? Or would the selection committee prefer to see (up to) ten slides each showing a different work?

A: In this case, I would show the work itself and its exhibition in one slide. You are welcome to include a slide that has more than one image for a long-term piece. If you submit multiple files of a single piece it will limit the total number of pieces that you can highlight in your application. For example, if you want to submit two files for one piece, then you would only be submitting nine pieces total.

Q: I have a long list of experience that is not related to art and some of this experience has given me skills and knowledge that are relevant to the application. Should I include it in my CV?

A: Your CV should primarily focus on your art practice. There are lots of great examples of how to prepare an artist CV that are easy to find with a simple Internet search. Anything that you think aligns with the details of the Call to Artists for this program, but is not directly related to your artistic career should be included in your Expression of Interest.

Q: Do you prefer a business address or a home address for the references provided? Would it also be prudent to give their title/position, and/or a brief description of how we have worked together? 

A: Either address is fine. Title/position is sufficient.   

Term/Accommodations/Re-location/Start Date

Q. To accommodate out-of-town applicants, is it possible to delay the start date or work remotely for the first month while finding accommodation?

A. Yes. We are open to a flexible start time within a few weeks of our intended start date as we understand the potential need for artists to relocate and/or give notice to employers. If possible, clarify in your application what your plan is for re-location. You cannot begin the residency until you are located in the Capital Regional District.

Q. Does the position require a full-time presence in Victoria or a full re-location? If the artist or artist team has a studio in a different BC location, can they remain based in that location and work part-time or remotely in Victoria?

A. In order to meet the Program Objectives, the artist must be based out of the Capital Regional District for the duration of the residency. 

Q. Is there a set schedule of when the artist must serve their 20 hrs/week? Does the 20 hrs have to be served in the office?

A. No. The position is set to part-time so that the artist will have room for their private practice as well. 20 hrs/week is an average number of hours over the full year and is not a clock-in/clock-out scenario. In theory, if the artist wishes to work more than 20 hrs/week some weeks and fewer hours other weeks that is fine so long as it's made clear through the Art Plan.

Q. Where will the artist be situated – is there a studio?

A. No. The artist will be required to acquire studio space. However, there will be office space available when working with City staff to develop budgets and timelines.

Q: Does the artist need to live in the City of Victoria or the Capital Regional District during the residency?

A: The Capital Regional District. You can see the boundaries of the district here.

Projects during Residency

Q. What is the process for approving the Public Art Plan that the artist creates in phase 1?

A. The plan is reviewed at a staff level to assess the feasibility (budget, timelines, work force, etc.) and impacted stakeholders, including internal departments, external partners, etc. are engaged. The Art Plan is then presented to and approved by the Art in Public Places Committee.

Q. What if we want to propose projects on private land?

A. All projects must be located on City of Victoria property. As this program falls under the Art in Public Places program and policy, the artwork must be accessible to the public and will be entered into the Art in Public Places collection.

Q. If the selected artist hires subcontractors or partners with other artists, will they need to provide proof of insurance and WorksafeBC coverage?

A. No. The City only requires proof of insurance and WorksafeBC coverage from the Artist in Residence. Any relationships or agreements the Artist in Residence has with subcontractors is separate from the relationship with the City. 

Q. Can the artist work on architectural design or new buildings?

A. No, this is beyond the scope of this program. 

Q: Can you describe the number of projects to be produced? Is one large community-involved project sufficient or are many smaller projects expected?

A: It depends on the artist and what they want to present. The Art in Public Places committee must approve the art plan and you need to be prepared to receive feedback from the committee and adjust as necessary.

Artist Team Applications

Q. If an artist team applies, are we able to submit two-page CVs for each member or is it two-page total?

A. It is a two-page total. The same page limit requirements apply to teams and individual applicants.

Q. If an artist team applies, will they share the 20 hrs/week or will they be expected to each work 20 hrs/week?

A. An artist team would share the 20 hrs/week and  share the artist fee and project budget. 

Q: Are team submissions welcome?

A: Yes, team submissions are welcome. For the application, be sure your submission reflects the entire team (i.e. a single EOI and CV that includes all team members). The same page limit requirements apply to teams and individual applicants.

Q: I would like to collaborate with other artists. Should I reach out to them to ask if they would like to be included in the Expression of Interest or could I wait until the residency is underway to ask them to participate?

A: If it is your preference to apply as a team, then you should establish that so that it is reflected clearly in your application. Otherwise, the artist will have plenty of time to establish formal working collaborations during the first phase of the program.

If your question hasn't been answered, please email
culture@victoria.ca