Artist in Residence program

We introduced our Artist in Residence program in 2020 to broaden the community’s experience with arts and cultureand stimulate thoughtful conversation on local topics. 

The Artist in Residence will:  

  • Engage with the community in the context of arts and culture; 
  • Create a work of art for the City of Kelowna; and 
  • Address the topic of social inclusion through community engagement and the work of art. 

The program aligns with our Council’s priorities of animating parks and public spaces and increasing social inclusiveness, while also supporting a number of goals outlined in the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan including "share our story” and "broaden the reach.” 

Application Process

As described in the program guidelines, the selection process occurs in two phases, with a limited number of artists chosen to advance to Phase 2. Learn more about the phases and the timeline below.

Phase 1: Expression of Interest-closed for 2022

Phase 1 of the program is the evaluation of the artist and their suitability for the program. It also gives the applicant a chance to briefly give an overview of their potential project. Expressions of interest forms are assessed based on the information submitted by the artist. Applicants should include information that demonstrates their ability to meet the assessment criteria.

For more information on assessment criteria, view the program guidelines.

Complete the Expression of Interest: closed for 2022


Phase 2: Project proposal-completed for 2022

Phase 2 is only open to artists selected to advance and will be an evaluation of their projects and demonstration of a feasible plan to complete the project. The interview during this phase will serve as an additional assessment of the artist and the proposed project. All artists or artist collectives invited into Phase 2 will receive an honorarium of $500.If applying as an artist collective, the collective will receive an honorarium of $500 in total.

For more information on assessment criteria, view the program guidelines

Completed for 2022

Artist in Residence timeline

2021 Artist in Residence - Lady Dia

Lady Dia's project was The Jam: Using Ubuntu to explore a community centered approach to discuss and shape the future of a more inclusive Kelowna with our community. 

To learn more about her project, visit her website.

About Lady Dia

Lady Dia is a Lozi womyn from Bartoseland. She is a mother, a wife, a performance artist and recent recipient of the Telus Storyhive grant in which she is producing her first podcast, MOM:ENTS. She studied at UBC-O obtaining an undergraduate degree in Indigenous Studies. She is matron of the House of Hope, a space governed by the philosophy of Ubuntu in daily living. This art-centered space explores its practicality in sustaining community through creativity and collaboration.

Lady Dia is a founding member of Kinfolk Nation - an African, Caribbean artist collective documenting the experiences and stories of contemporary Africans/Caribbeans/ Spirits, and the kindred spirits they cross paths with. She is also co-founder of the Africa Ubuntu Association - Okanagan, a non-profit organization that serves to foster a community for Africans, those of African descent and people interested in all things Africa.

Lady Dia was co-founder of HEARTH, which was the first Black and Indigenous womyn organization in the Okanagan as well as the first Black and Indigenous student-led initiative in the Okanagan.

About Lady Dia's project

The Jam: Using Ubuntu to explore community centered approach to discuss and shape the future
of a more inclusive Kelowna

This project - through the philosophy of Ubuntu - used the art of ‘the Jam’ to engage Kelowna in imagining and realising a more inclusive city, by creating more space for greater diversity of stories and cultural expression in public art spaces.

Centering art, Lady Dia created programming for children (ages 5 -12) and youth (ages 13 - 20) to explore lessons from the ‘Jam’ and its application in listening to voices of others and understanding the role of one's voice in the greater community.


Past projects
2020 - Melany Nugent-Noble

Melany Nugent-Noble was selected as the 2020 Artist in Residence. Her project was called When it is necessary to stand still.

The Project

Nugent-Noble presented her project When it is necessary to stand still over a 12-week period from July 7 to Sept. 30, 2020. The project included the building and programming of 25 distance-detecting, light beacons. The beacons changed in intensity and colour as they detected other beacons moving around them. Kelowna residents were invited to sign-up to take the beacon with them as they moved throughout the community for a three-day period.

To learn more about the project, visit the project website.

The Artist

Melany Nugent-Noble is a Canadian artist currently based out of Kelowna. Nugent-Noble’s research and practice regularly engages with the political nature of public spaces, texts and speeches, and takes various forms including installation, art books and performance. 

To learn more about Nugent-Noble's practice, visit her website.

Frequently Asked Questions
What type of artist(s) are we seeking?

An artist or collective of artists working in interdisciplinary art, social practice art, digital or electronic art, installation, visual art (photography, film and video, painting, print-making, drawing, sculpture, crafting), performance arts (theatre, dance, etc.), music (creation, production, performance) or writing. 

Do I need to live in Kelowna to apply?

Applications are open to anyone living in the Central Okanagan for more than one year. However, the selected artist or artistic group will be required to work in Kelowna for the duration of the project.  

Can I apply as a team of artists?

Yes, you may apply as a collective of artists. There are a few points to keep in mind:  

  • Each artist must still fill out and submit their own expression of interest form (except for the project description component, as only one is needed per collective) 
  • Artist collectives advancing to Phase 2 will receive an honorarium totalling $500, not $500 per artist 
When will I hear back about my expression of interest form?

Only those selected to advance to Phase 2 will be contacted. 

Where will the artist be living?

This is not a live-in residency. The artist selected will receive $12,000, inclusive of any fees or taxes.  

Where will the artist be working?

The artist will be working within the city of Kelowna. The exact location of the artist, the community engagement and the works created will be dependent on the nature of the project. Cultural Services staff will be available to support the selected artist in finding a location suitable for their project.