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2021 Artist in Residence Program 


City of Waterloo is inviting artists to submit a proposal to the 2021 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 celebrate the great community spaces, places, and parks that are available for use by the community;
  • 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’s 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 2021 Program

The 2021 Artist in Residence program will take place on trails throughout the City of Waterloo. Waterloo boasts a number of trails that travel through City parks, naturalized areas, neighbourhoods, and more developed urban areas.

Our City’s parks are linked by a wide network of trails that offer connectivity to citizens and visitors alike. The park network offers places for celebrations, gatherings, recreation, play, and passive use. As part of this residency, the selected artist will explore the relationship between city parks, trails, and users by engaging in a conversation about what parks contribute to our community. This can include an exploration of the natural environment through signage, shadow art, trail murals, or other temporary art installations.

In collaboration with program staff, the selected artist will establish a schedule of opportunities for installations, workshops, community art collaborations, demonstrations, and hands-on instruction. All opportunities must be in compliance with current Public Health guidelines, recommended COVID- 19 safety protocols, and safe distancing procedures. As such, artists can offer online opportunities for engagement as part of the installation. Proposals should plan for installations and engagement opportunities to take place between May and September, 2021.

The participatory program will engage a diverse range of community members and stakeholders. The participatory component can take place virtually, on social media, in person, and will focus on at least two of the following themes or principles:

  1. Enhance connectivity and interaction park users and the surrounding natural environment
  2. Share information about the natural heritage features, environmental importance, or surrounding wildlife of the trails running through City of Waterloo parks
  3. Contribute to the storytelling and awareness of Waterloo as Bee City as designated by Bee City Canada
  4. Celebrate Waterloo as a creative, collaborative, and innovative city
  5. Engage citizens in discussions of community, neighbourhoods, and civic engagement
  6. Promote inclusivity, community belonging, and diverse/alternate uses for Waterloo’s public spaces

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, installed, or to used by the City for a minimum of twelve months following the residency period for the purpose of public display.

The total budget for the 2021 Artist in Residence program is $10,000 and is inclusive of all components of the program. The residency requires a commitment of approximately 6-10 hours per week, depending on the nature of the proposed program, for the duration of the program.


Possible and Suggested Locations for Programing:


  • Hydro Corridor Trails
  • Geotime Trail
  • Laurel Creek and Spurline Trail
  • New Bedford and Schooner Trails
  • Walter Bean Trail
  • Hillside Trail/Forewell Creek Trail
  • Iron Horse and Spur Line Trail
  • Black Willow Link and Peppler Trail


  • Westvale Park
  • Regency Park
  • Red River Park/Bollingbrooke Park
  • Mcrae Park
  • Moritz Park
  • Laurelwood Park
  • Old Oak Park
  • Blue Beech Square
  • Pinebrook Park
  • Lakeshore Optimist Park
  • Eastbridge Green
  • Annedale Park
  • Blue Nose Park
  • Moses Spring Park
  • Bechtel Park
  • Wintermeyer Park
  • University Downs Park
  • Clair Lake Park
  • Mary Allen Park
  • Brighton Park

Suggested Natural Areas:

  • Columbia Forested Hills
  • Trillium Valley Park
  • Twin Oaks
  • Bechtel Park Natural Area
  • Kauffman Flats
  • Sugar Bush


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
  • 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 Program Information

Proposals must consider that sites will be unmonitored throughout the installation phase. All activities must comply with the City’s COVID restrictions as well as consider the environmental impact of the installations. Proposals must include opportunities for community participation. Staff will assist in prioritizing locations as well as marketing and promotion of the program. The selected artist will work with program staff and stakeholders to identify appropriate activations for the proposed project. 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 including: artist’s ability to work collaboratively, with the public, and carry out the project and 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 2021 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: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Results Announcements: May 2021
  • Program Planning: May-June 2021
  • Program Delivery: June – September 2021
  • Program Showcase: October 2021


Terms and Conditions:

  • Applicants must be familiar with locations in and throughout the City of Waterloo
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered
  • Successful applicant must be available for program planning in May 2021 and must be available to conduct community engagement opportunities as part of their residency from June to September 2021 (dates/times to be negotiated in advance with staff)
  • Successful applicant must commit to working an average of 6 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


About Arts and Culture

Waterloo Culture Plan
Waterloo Arts & Culture 


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Allowed extensions pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, jpg, jpeg, gif, png, tif


Allowed extensions pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, jpg, jpeg, gif, png, tif