Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa 2018-19


Arts Network Ottawa (formerly Arts Network Ottawa) is excited to invite professional artists of all disciplines, who are at any point in their artistic career and who are interested in the development of their community-engaged arts practice, to participate as a mentee in Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa, a community-engaged professional artist-in-residence and paid mentorship program.





What is Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa?

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa gives professional artists the opportunity to work directly with community members, build relationships with community groups and residents, while learning from professional artists through a mentorship relationship.

Mentorships draw on good will and mutual benefit in a relationship of respect, trust and admiration. As mentees, participating artists will be able to gain knowledge and useful training from their mentor as well as expand on their own artistic practice in the community. Mentees will receive valuable feedback, guidance and networking opportunities, leading to a stronger artistic practice and confidence.

Throughout the residency there will be four gathering events for artists, project participants and community members to build relationships and share knowledge and best practices. These gatherings will culminate in a Community-Engaged Arts Symposium in Winter 2019 where community partners and project participants will share their experiences and learn from each other.

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa residency objectives:

  • Engage Ottawa residents to participate in the arts through professional artist-led projects
  • Bring awareness to the arts as a tool to develop a stronger sense of community
  • Foster relationships between the arts and communities through working opportunities for artists to connect with residents
  • Foster stronger mentorship opportunities and professional career paths to emerging Ottawa artists

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa mentorship objectives:

  • Help cultivate the next generation of arts professionals
  • Build significant and enduring relationships
  • Connect individuals who are seeking enhanced knowledge, skills and insight into the arts community in Ottawa
This program is open to:

Professional artists of all disciplines based in the Ottawa region (within a 75 km radius). Some activities will likely involve vulnerable populations; all successful applicants will be required to provide a vulnerable sector police record check. Successful applicants should be confident in their ability to complete the full term of the mentorship program.

*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.

About Arts Network Ottawa

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 400 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.

Arts Network Ottawa recognizes that the City of Ottawa was built on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territory. The Arts Network 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


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.”

Interested in Participating?

How to Apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to speak to the Program Manager before submitting their application. Interested artists must provide a fully completed letter of intent and samples of work as well as a recent CV or resume. All packages must be received by Arts Network Ottawa on or before the deadline date. Application packages must be emailed to:

Assessment Criteria

The most successful mentoring partnerships are those in which the mentee takes the initiative and truly drives the partnership. In a mentee-driven partnership, the mentee determines the pace, route and destination. The mentor is then able to offer insights and counsel that is focused on the mentee’s objectives.

Mentees should have the ability to accept constructive criticism and be receptive to feedback. They should be open to new experiences, open to personal growth and have a heightened interest on community-engagement. Mentees should be credible and trustworthy and show initiative, they should also be goal oriented and self-motivated.

Consider the following questions:

  • Are my objectives clear and well defined?
  • Am I comfortable asking for what I want?
  • Am I open to hearing new ideas and perspectives?
  • Do I allow myself to be open and vulnerable?
  • Am I receptive to constructive feedback?
  • Am I able to show I value and appreciate feedback?
  • Am I willing to change or modify my behaviors?
  • Do I consistently follow through on commitments?
  • Do I make an effort to instill trust?
  • Do I openly show appreciation and gratitude?


The Mentorship Opportunities:

Name: Jennifer Anne Kelly

Discipline: Visual Art

Description of project: Jennifer has acquired a wooden kayak frame. For her project she wants to teach an Inuit community how to work with glass fusing to create images in glass. Each opening between the wooden slats of the kayak will be filled with a glass panel that tells a story.

Mentee eligibility: Jennifer is looking for Inuit artists who are eager to learn new skills to further develop their creative expression.

Hours: 15 hours a month

Timeline: Residency will take place over 6 months

Name: Jamaal Jackson Rogers

Discipline: Song Writing

Description of project: The Awesome Arts Songwriting workshop with Jamaal Jackson Rogers takes youth through an 8-week journey of exploring the art of lyrical creation. Jamaal leads them on a creative journey, from brainstorming common themes, to infusing various styles of melodies, to researching and dissecting some of the contemporary songwriters and lyricists in urban music culture.

Mentee eligibility: The ideal mentee candidate should possess a basic knowledge of contemporary urban sounds and styles of music, such as pop, rap, or RnB (rhythm n’ blues).

Hours: 12

Timeline: 8 weekly workshops from September 27th-November 8th, 7-8:30pm and Festival on November 15th, 4-9pm

Name: Jacqui Du Toit

Discipline: Story Telling

Description of project: So, what is your story, is a series of movement, creative writing and theatrical workshops. This interactive workshop offered to a group of 11-14-year-old girls will provide them with an opportunity to discover the transformative process of creative thinking and the art of storytelling. Mentee eligibility: Mentee should have a knowledge and understanding of theatre and or spoken word, experience in working with a group of people in creation or presentation, an understanding of cultural folk stories from around the world, experience in movement (any style of dance) | creative voice work, a positive attitude and willingness to participate in games, workshops and story telling.

Hours: 12

Timeline: 8 weekly workshops from September 27th-November 8th, 7-8:30pm and Festival on November 15th, 4-9pm


Please include the following three components: Letter of intent, samples of work and a CV/resume.

1. Letter of Intent

Maximum 2 pages (11 pt font). Please consider the points below when writing your letter.

  • Tell us about your overall artistic interest and what is most important to you in the arts.
  • Tell us about your long term arts career goals. What do you hope to achieve?
  • Which mentorship opportunity are you interested in and why? Why are this mentor and Arts Network Ottawa the best fit to support your mentorship?

2. Samples of Work

Samples of your work alongside your letter of intent will give assessors a more complete picture of your art practice. These can include digital images, video, letters of support and references from past projects.

Digital Links to video/music or media must be: working until such time of the jury convenes (latest until September 10, 2018) and not be password protected or require a special login or sign-up.

Letters of support must be: a reference from past community projects or other relevant work.

3. CV/Resume

Maximum 1 page (11 pt font). We are interested in knowing what you’ve done in the past that relates to art and community-engagement.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding your application contact us at:

Cassandra Olsthoorn, Program Manager

Phone: 613-580-2767 Email:

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