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Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency

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Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency

The Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency is an opportunity for professional artists to be embedded in Calgary Chinatown. The artists will explore its rich history and culture. They will also engage the community as they envision the future of the area. This residency aims to support contemporary art practices and facilitate conversation with the Calgary Chinatown community.

The selected artists will broadly explore the history, culture, built environment, social and political issues relevant to Calgary Chinatown. An intensive 5-day program will be hosted in November. This exercise will highlight different aspects of Calgary Chinatown’s identity. Following this programmed week, artists will be invited back for a 3-month residency. At that time they will build relationships, research and develop new work in relation to the focus of this residency.

This residency is a partnership between The City of Calgary’s Public Art Program and The New Gallery. Artists will be supported with time, space and resources. Up to three artists will be selected to participate.

The 5-day programmed week will take place from November 18 -22, 2019. The 3-month residency begins in Q2 2020 (exact start date negotiable with artist’s availability).

​​Download submission details​​

Key Dates

Submission Deadline: September 9, 2019
Artist Shortlist Interviews: September 23 – 27, 2019
5-Day Program: November 18 – 22, 2019
Artist Residency Q2: April – June 2020


Each artist/artist team will be paid an all-inclusive budget of up to $22,000 CAN to participate. This budget is inclusive of:

  • Artist fees $15,000
  • Travel allowance (up to) $2,000
  • Material budget (up to) $5,000

About Calgary Chinatown


Chinatown is one of Calgary’s most distinctive cultural neighbourhoods. It has a long history. The first Chinatown in the city was formed in 1885. Today’s Chinatown is located in a 49-acre span. It is bounded by the Bow River to 4 Avenue S.E., and from 2 Street S.W. running east to Macleod Trail. This is a significant and unique area within the fabric of Calgary. It is highly valued by residents, Calgarians and visitors to the city. But like many other Chinatowns across North America, Calgary Chinatown is at a crossroads. As Calgary continues to change, there is a need to protect its culture, history and identity.

The City of Calgary is launching the Tomorrow’s Chinatown project. The goal is a new Local Area Plan and Cultural Plan for Calgary Chinatown. Tomorrow’s Chinatown will work with the community to identify a cultural vision. It will establish priorities for future development and use of the area. For the first time, cultural considerations will inform the policies related to the built environment.

More information on Calgary Chinatown can be found through the Chinatown Historical Context Paper, commissioned by The City of Calgary. The study provides an overview of major historical events, persons, institutions, landscapes and structures in Calgary Chinatown to help inform future work.