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Canada Council for the Arts Indigenous Cultural Residency

A collaborative project of the Canada Council for the Arts and Canada’s National Arts Centre

Competition number: J0617-0021

Deadline: Applications and all support material must be submitted no later than September 8, 2017.

Canada is our stage.

Those four words inform everything we do as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across this great land.  We are proud to be a home for many of Canada’s most exciting artists who captivate audiences on our four stages and on our stages across the country.

Program Description

This partnership initiative between the Canada Council for the Arts and Canada’s National Arts Centre provides a 2-year (September 2017 – September 2019) development opportunity for an Indigenous performing artist, arts educator and/or arts professional to work in a dynamic multi-disciplinary national performing arts centre. 

The residency provides an opportunity for the incumbent to advise and help shape national strategies in Indigenous performing arts programming and education.  Working alongside National Arts Centre staff, the incumbent will have the opportunity to develop, implement and evaluate programs that will engage Indigenous artists and communities across the country.  

The National Arts Centre’s national music education program – Music Alive – works with over 40 Indigenous artists in rural communities in Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and, will be expanding to include four more provinces in Atlantic Canada.  In July 2017, an Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre will be named and in July 2019, the first season of Indigenous Theatre will be launched.  Also in July 2017, the NAC will unveil its new public spaces and plans are underway to offer programming, including Indigenous programming, in these new spaces.

In addition to working on these major initiatives, the cultural resident will be called upon for advice about Indigenous protocols and innovative strategies to educate NAC staff and audiences about Indigenous cultures in Canada so as to help create a welcoming and inclusive environment where Indigenous artists can flourish.

The incumbent will report to the National Arts Centre’s Director of Music Education and Community Engagement.


Open to Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis people) performing artists and arts professionals who have past experience and/or education that demonstrate their commitment to furthering the performing arts in Canada.

The cultural resident must be a Canadian citizen, eligible for Canadian citizenship or a permanent resident of Canada.

Knowledge of Indigenous performing arts and artists, both national and international, is required.

A working knowledge of English and French is desirable.

Value of Grant

This program provides an honorarium of $60,000 per year paid directly to the cultural resident from the Canada Council for the Arts. The National Arts Centre will be responsible for the expenses associated with the residency, including health, dental and pension benefits, the costs of office set-up and supplies, and work-related travel. The selected resident will be responsible for their own housing costs and living expenses during the residency.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to complete and submit an application form, which is available from the National Arts Centre’s website at, with the required support material.

Assessment of Applications

An assessment committee comprised of Canada Council for the Arts and National Arts Centre staff will conduct interviews.  The National Arts Centre will make a final determination on the selection.

The deliberations of the assessment and review committees remain confidential.

 Each application will be reviewed according to the following criteria: 

  • Demonstrated commitment by individual to the long-term development of indigenous performing arts and arts education, including an outline of achievements.  This will include a full curriculum vitae, a letter of interest, examples of finished work (pdf or Word format only), and three letters of recommendation.  
  • Knowledge of Indigenous performing arts and artists, both national and international, is required. 
  • A working knowledge of English and French is desirable.

 Notification of Results

Notification of applicants will take place before the end of June 2017. While we appreciate all applications, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Period of tenure The cultural residency will begin on Monday, September 18, 2017.  There will be a three month initial period, at the completion of which the National Arts Centre’s supervisor of the resident, in concert with the National Arts Centre’s review committee, will determine whether to confirm the complete 2-year residency period. At the end of the 2-year curatorial residency, both the resident and the supervisor will make written assessments of the experience and recommendations to the National Arts Centre and the Canada Council for the Arts.


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