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Arts and Culture

Children's Author / Illustrator in Residence

Call for Applications

The Calgary Public Library invites applications for the paid position of Artist in Residence: Children’s Artist/ Illustrator at the Central Library in downtown Calgary, Alberta for the fall of 2020. 

This residency recognizes the contribution of children’s artists to literature and to Calgary’s culture and seeks to introduce Library patrons, especially children and educators, to artists and art forms they may not otherwise experience while providing opportunities to meet artists, observe the artistic process and participate in artmaking.

As a result of COVID-19 there is a possibility that some or all of the residency will take place online.

Application deadline: August 14, 2020.

Description of the Position

The Library seeks emerging or mid-career children’s artists/illustrators with an art practice in any medium and an affinity for people. This residency program is based in a glass-walled studio in a public space, which means, while the artist’s practice and privacy is to be respected whether in the studio or in the public space of the library, we do expect the artist to be comfortable and open to engaging with patrons.

The artist is expected to display their work and process, as a way of animating the studio for visitors to look in and see when the artist is not present. Due to unprecedented circumstances, the artist may be required to fulfill some or all their residency using an online platform.  Experience working with communities, large groups and/or children and youth is an asset. 

The children’s artist/ Illustrator residency runs for three months, September – November annually. The artist will be required to take part in an artist talk in the beginning of the residency and, at minimum, two public workshops and/or school programs, in person or online all set-in collaboration with the Library.

Beginning September 7, 2020, the artist will hold open studio hours at Central Library or online for a minimum of 7.5 hours per week, culminating in a December exhibition. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions (see below), the 252-square-foot Artist in Residence studio is available to the artist during opening hours, to work on their own projects and the Library Goes to Kindergarten contract, and to host community engagement events. 


The Artist in Residence honorarium is $50.00 per hour to a maximum of 100 hours per residency. This amount includes offsite preparation time and onsite or virtual program delivery time, and any other project expenses incurred by the applicant, except for materials specific to community engagement events.

In addition to the residency, the artist awarded the contract will be commissioned to design the annual Library Goes to Kindergarten card and promotional item, during their residency (additional remuneration).


The Library seeks emerging or mid-career children’s artists/illustrators and therefore, artists represented by an agent or major publisher will be considered professional and ineligible. Artists must have some daytime/weekday availability to engage visiting school groups. Artists may not apply as an individual and be part of an organization or collective applying in the same competition.

If the applicant is an individual artist, the following eligibility criteria apply:

If the applicant is an organization or a collective, the following eligibility criteria apply:

Additionally, the successful applicant must be willing to:


The Library acknowledges there may be restrictions related to COVID-19 and is committed to ensuring a safe experience for all participants. This may require flexibility related to deadlines and timelines (to be decided in consultation between the artist and the Library) and the use of online tools for meetings, workshops or programs.

Application Criteria

The successful candidate will be selected by a committee.  All applicants will be notified once the committee has made its selection, generally in late summer or early fall.  The successful candidate will be notified, but their name will not be announced until the residency has been secured.

Please submit applications to:
Service Design: Artist in Residence Program
Central Library, 800 3rd Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 2E7

Or electronically to

Application deadline: August 14, 2020