Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa 2020-21

Arts Network Ottawa is pleased to invite professional artists and arts groups of all disciplines, to participate in the third year of Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa, a community-engaged artist-in-residence and mentorship/knowledge sharing program.

Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020 at 5pm

SECTION A: What is Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa?

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa gives professional artists and arts groups the opportunity to work directly with community members, build relationships with community groups, and to help grow the number of artists working in the community-engaged space through mentorship/knowledge sharing.

Participating artists will be able to share their knowledge with emerging artists, as well as expand on their own artistic practice in the community. Secondary artists not acting as mentors will receive valuable feedback, guidance and networking opportunities, leading to a stronger artistic practice and confidence.

Throughout the residency there will be three gathering events for artists, project participants and community members to build relationships and share best practices. These gatherings will culminate in a Community-Engaged Arts Symposium in winter 2020 where community partners and project participants will share their experiences and learn from each other.

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa residency objectives:

  1. Foster stronger mentorship/knowledge sharing opportunities and professional career paths to emerging Ottawa
  2. Engage Ottawa residents to participate in the arts through professional artist-led projects through a variety of backgrounds, demographics, and artistic disciplines
  3. Bring awareness to the arts as a tool to develop a stronger sense of community
  4. Develop relationships between the arts and communities through working opportunities for artists to connect with community members and partners

The program is open to:

Professional artists* and arts groups of all disciplines based in the Ottawa region (within a 75 km radius). Because some activities will likely involve vulnerable people, all successful applicants will be required to provide vulnerable sector police record check for all participating artists. Successful applicants should be confident in their ability to complete the residency in tandem with offering mentorship/guidance to emerging artists in their field.

*Arts Network Ottawa recognizes the Ontario Arts Council definition of a professional artist: recognized as a professional practicing artist by other artists working in the same field, have completed basic training (formal or informal) in your field(s), spend a significant amount of time practicing your art and seek payment for your work.

Arts Network Ottawa knows how the arts build strong communities. For more than 30 years, we have collaborated with communities to promote the creative, social and economic benefits of local arts and will continue to do so. We provide an informed voice for a bilingual network, across the Ottawa region, of over 300 artists, cultural workers and arts organizations. As an arts-service organization, we are an essential connection to opportunities, resources, programs and partnerships that advance careers and the sustainability of Ottawa’s arts community. The Arts Network recognizes that the City of Ottawa was built on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territory, and also recognizes the diversity of Ottawa’s artists and residents and both official languages. This program is made possible through the generous financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Ottawa Community Foundation.

ABOUT THE RESIDENCY : What is Community-Engaged Arts?

The Ontario Arts Council defines community-engaged art practices as “forms of collective artistic expression. In this field, individuals who aren’t professional artists actively participate in the artistic process, and the artistic process is considered as important as the final artistic product. Both the social and artistic outcomes of community-engaged art have value.”

We are looking for projects that are:

  • Capable of being executed while simultaneously including completion of the mentorship/knowledge sharing activities;
  • Appreciative of diversity and foster a safe environment where all community members can participate meaningfully;
  • Neighbourhood-driven arts activities led by Ottawa professional artists or arts groups;
  • Projects that engage community members through both participation and attendance, and are free to participate or attend;
  • Responsive to the interests and or needs of the community and its members;
  • Collaborative and involve a variety of community partners including but not limited to public libraries, senior centres, youth groups, BIA’s and local businesses;
  • Projects that create a lasting positive impact in the communities involved.

Total Residency Fees: $20,000 Includes $5,000 towards mentorship/knowledge sharing activities. Residency project fees must be used towards artist fees and project expenses only. Artists will be required to submit a final expense form.

Residency Length: Four residencies will run for six months beginning in May 2020 until November 2020.

Mentorship/Knowledge Sharing: Mentorships/knowledge-sharing relationships are flexible in format and can range from an apprenticeship to partnering to create parallel projects. The first gathering will be structured as a networking and launch event for the artists to introduce their projects. They will be matched with artists interested in being mentored/sharing knowledge and these mentorships will run for the duration of the artist’s residency with the support of Arts Network Ottawa.



SECTION B: Interested in Participating?

How to Apply: Interested artists are required to speak to the Program Manager before submitting their application. Please provide a fully completed letter of intent, budget, samples of work and CV/resumes. All packages must be received by Arts Network Ottawa on or before the deadline date. Application packages must be emailed to:

Assessment Criteria: Projects will be selected based on their artistic merit, viability, mentorship/knowledge sharing capacity, and level of community engagement. Applicants to the Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa program will be assessed by a committee comprised of individuals working in the Ottawa arts community and our community partners. This composition will ensure a balance of diversity and a fair representation of official languages. Committee members are required to treat both the contents of applications and the deliberations as confidential. All results are final. Arts Network Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all applications or proposals, or to terminate or re-advertise any project.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: Please include the following four components – letter of intent, project budget, samples of work and participating artists information.

1) LETTER OF INTENT: Maximum 3 pages (11 pt. font). Please consider the points below when writing your letter.

  • Tell us about your overall artistic work and what is most important to you in your work.
  • Tell us about what you are planning to do and what you wish to achieve with this project.
  • Why is Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa the best platform to support your project?
  • Describe the mentoring/knowledge sharing experience that would best suit your project (i.e. shadowing, apprenticeship, coaching). What experience and skill can you share as a mentor?
  • Describe the level of impact your project will have on the community you’ll be working with. What value will this project bring to their lives? How will your work create a lasting impact on the community?

If you have a community partner in mind with whom you have already connected, please indicate: organization name, mission, location, types of participants, contact name, email and phone number.

2) PROJECT BUDGET: Please include budgets for any project related expenses and mentorship/knowledge sharing related expenses. For artist fees, use CARFAC, CFM, UDA, Equity or a similar union association as guides to set rates; please reference these in your budget under description. Refer to the template in the package when creating your budgets. Below is a list of items that can be included.

Project Budget: Artist fees, Project Materials, Hospitality, Administration (i.e. Insurance), Marketing & Promotion

Mentorship/Knowledge Sharing Budget: Fee for Mentor, Fee for Mentee/Secondary Artist

3) SAMPLES OF WORK: Samples of your work alongside your letter of intent will give assessors a more complete picture of your project. These can include digital images, video, letters of support and references from past projects. Please choose samples that relate to your proposal for Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa. Digital Links to video/music or media must be: working until such time as the jury convenes (latest until May 1st, 2020) and not be password protected or require a special login or sign-up. Letters of support must be: a reference from past community engaged projects or other relevant work.

4) PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Tell us about who is involved in your project. Please submit what applies to you. Professional artists must submit a current artist resume focusing on their experience directly relevant to the proposed project. If your mentee/knowledge sharing partner has already been decided, please include their CV and 3 of their references along with your application (references are optional).

Incorporated not-for-profit arts groups must submit a list of Board of Director members and their titles, a list of all artistic and administrative staff and their titles & current resume for each artist/team member focusing on the experience directly relevant to the proposed project.

Non-incorporated arts groups must submit a list of all groups/members participating & current resume for each artist/team member focusing on the experience directly relevant to the proposed project.



Applicants are required to speak to the Program Manager prior to submitting their application:

Alex Maltby, Program Manager | Phone: 613-580-2767  | Email:

*Pour obtenir la version française de ce document, veuillez composer le 613-580-2767 ou visitez notre site web :



Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa is made possible through the generous financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Ottawa Community Foundation.