Five opportunities for visual artists in Halifax

Uplevel your skills and portfolio while wait out the art world's return.

Kaashif Ghanie was a 2019 Centre For Art Tapes Media Scholar, where he learned how to incorporate sound into his pottery-meets-sculpture practice. - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
Kaashif Ghanie was a 2019 Centre For Art Tapes Media Scholar, where he learned how to incorporate sound into his pottery-meets-sculpture practice.
Sure, the difficulty of making money as an artist is nothing new—Oscar Wilde's painter protagonist complains about it in his 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Grey—but just as the novel coronavirus has underscored many things we all knew with a renewed urgency, it isn't easy to be a creative right now.

While some galleries have announced soft, socially distant re-openings (the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is currently looking for input on how to open again) many are still closed for the foreseeable. Record numbers of artists have applied for emergency funding through the Canadian Council for the Arts.

In short, the world might've stopped, but the bills didn't.

Here, we're rounding up a handful of local visual art opportunities to help. The hope is that they'll be a glimmer to hold onto, a small something to remind you to keep going, keep creating. That you're an artist on the inside no matter what.

Are we missing a paid opportunity from this list? Let us know by emailing

Heat Waves Summer Mini Residencies

Eyelevel Artist-Run Centre has long been helping artists at all levels. The Gottingen Street spot's annual summer mini residencies give artists at any stage of their career access to the following: Free, 24-hour access to one of Eyelevel's studios for two weeks; use of Eyelevel's arts supplies and tools; a one-year membership to Eyelevel; promotional support from the centre and a $200 stipend. Past artists who've done the residency include the multi-media genius Arjun Lal. Apply before midnight on July 3—and get your application here.

Nocturne 2020 applications

Art's big night out might be staying in this year, but that doesn't mean it still isn't doing what it can to foster visual expression in Halifax. Applications are now open to submit to the fest, with applications being available in writing, via telephone or zoom or video submissions. Along with the chance of being able to be part of one of Atlantic Canada's biggest visual art events, the fest is also promising $450 plus expenses to select artists as well as saying in its application guidelines it "will fund as many projects as we can within our financial capacity."
More questions? Check out the next fest info session on June 18 at 7:30pm here before the June 30 deadline. Read more here and smash the submit button here.

Media Art Scholar applications

The Centre for Art Tapes' Media Art Scholar program is billed by the organization as "a rigorous six-month education and mentorship opportunity for emerging artists who propose to make a media art project. Selected applicants are required to make a media art piece in a medium in which they have little to no previous experience."  You get several month's worth of one-on-one training estimated by CFAT to be worth over $6,000 as well as free access to the CFAT facility and its tools. You also get to take part in the Media Art Scholar Showcase, which has spawned serious buzz for past scholars like the world-building Karli Slauenwhite and potter/sound installation visionary Kaashif Ghanie.
This one's for you if you've been dreaming of playing and making in the soft border between mediums but don't know how; if you've always wanted to jump headfirst into a new medium but aren't sure where to begin; or, if you just want to challenge the hell out of yourself and create something amazing at the end of it. Get details on how to apply—before 11:59pm on June 19—here.

Visual Art Nova Scotia's New Grad Program

If your new degree's all dressed up but COVID-19 has left you with nowhere to go, consider this annual opportunity from VANS. A 14-week program to help you transition from student artist to working artist, the program gives you access to a shared studio space, studio visits from a curator and one-on-one coaching with a mentor. "During the program, all participants will be given the opportunity to take weekly professional development workshops on topics such as budgeting, applying for grants, writing about your work, and networking," adds the VANS application info. Get details—and submit before the June 22 deadlinehere.

Social media takeover at Centre For Art Tapes

A week-long, socially distant residency that sees a contributor taking over CFAT's Instagram and Facebook to share their work and practice with the organization's audience. The lowest time commitment on this list, the social media takeover also boasts a $325 honorarium. Today's the last day to apply, so get to it here.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

The Coast Daily email newsletter is your extra dose of the city Monday through Friday. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.

Recent Comments