The Comox Valley Art Gallery Creative Residency Program was started out of a desire to provide extended research and site-specific production opportunities for artists, collaborators and curators presenting within the gallery’s exhibition series. CVAG wanted to develop, through a creative residency program, deep and sustained artistic practice, meaningful relationships between artists and the local community, and relevant forms of community-engaged research, exhibition and presentation.

In developing this program, CVAG cultivated an array of community partnerships – including technical and artistic production support with the Department of Fine Arts and Design at North Island College and housing partnerships with the McLoughlin Gardens Society and Creekside Commons Cohousing Community residents.


Creative Residency – 2018 Program

May – Guest Curator Toby Lawrence (Kelowna/Gabriola Island) and Victoria-based artists Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde and Valerie Salez will participate in a creative residency related to the their individual and collaborative art practices. Concurrent with their creative residency, will be a thematically related exhibition, artist talks and community outreach programming.

Touching Earth Bodies

June – Artist Sandra Semchuk (Vancouver) will be in residence to conduct lens and sound based creative research for Overtones and Understories: a Residency.

Human stories are contextualized by the wider-than-human. Forest. The rhythms and cycles of seasons, waters, skies, flora, fauna, growth, birth and death, violence, predation, love, generosity, co-operation, domination, sexuality and sharing are constants in forest ecosystems of this planet. Each species, each sentience, has its own struggles. That is our surround. As humans we are profoundly shaped by where on this planet we go, which forests we breath with, which streams we drink from. Barry Lopez writes that one is influenced by “what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature, the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, the wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known.” We are immersed in dialogue with two landscapes, an inner and an outer.

During this residency I will focus on being and presence. I will listen with my eyes and see with my ears the myriad shifts and nuances of sound, sights and light of the ocean- side McLoughin Park. I will work with a sound recorder, stereographic video, performance and overtone singing in response to the wider-than-human to integrate the senses, discover reciprocity and hopefully, experience reconciliation.

Collaborators will include First Nations performance artist and sacred clown, Skeena Reese, songscape artist and overtone singer, Jerry DesVoignes, specific winds and trees and unexpected stories that emerge.

July – Artist in residence in conjunction with Potlatch 6767 TBA.


Previous Residencies:

During the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s 2017 programming, three creative residencies were undertaken.

October 4 – 13 2017: Artist, curator and educator, France Trépanier, conducted a creative residency prior to the opening and exhibition of her mixed media installation Offerings/Offrandes. During the residency, France collaborated with local artists, the Kumugwe Cultural Society, and elder Mary Everson to develop work that expanded the touring exhibition to “establish a connection to specific artists and their communities—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—that inhabit this land.” Kirk Swartz (MediaNet), Guylaine Langlois (Vaste et Vague), and CVAG’s community partner, North Island College Department of Fine Arts and Design provided technical support as France developed work for her solo exhibition at CVAG that followed her creative residency.

Offerings / Offrandes – France Trépanier


May 23 – July 31 2017: Inter-disciplinary artist, Rita McKeough, undertook a creative residency that involved collaboration with local and visiting artists as she undertook art-based research and the development of new site responsive work in the Shadbolt Studios at the Department of Fine Arts and Design, North Island College. Rita resided at Mcloughlin Gardens Society’s seaside artist residence.

The community was given opportunities to share, experience and discuss Rita’s work through a Make Art Event, artist talks, and an art opening. Following the creative residency, a solo exhibition of Rita’s multi-media installation Veins / Listen / Cul de Sac remained at CVAG until the fall.

“…I am so grateful to have received so much support and help from everyone at CVAG especially Angela Somerset who has invited me to this residency and given me this amazing opportunity to show my work Veins and to develop these new works. My thanks to everyone at CVAG and to and the Faculty and technicians at NIC Fine Arts program who have assisted with the production of this work. And to Linda Perron and Sara Vipond for their support of this project. I have also been assisted in the production of these new works by Deanna Burnett, Denise Lawson, Jeff Brett, Gordon Ross, Cassidy Gehmlich, Brandon St-Laurent, Krista McAllister, Sharon Karsten, and Lenore Lowe.”

– Rita McKeough

Veins / Listen / Cul-de-sac – Rita McKeough


March 1 – 25 2017: During the creative residency of Montreal-based artists Vida Simon and Jack Stanley, the artists deepened their arts-based research for the ongoing evolution of their collaborative work Carried Away. Community engagement through a solo exhibition at CVAG, performances, a Make Art Project event, and Artist Talks at the gallery and North Island College provided opportunities for the public to be involved in the artists’ process during their residency. The work developed during their site-responsive creative research remained on exhibition at CVAG until the middle of April. The artists resided at Creekside Commons Cohousing Community in Courtenay.

Carried Away – Vida Simon and Jack Stanley


July 2016 marked CVAG’s first creative residency collaboration with the McLoughlin Garden Society and North Island College. The residency was connected to the exhibition MAP: Make Art Place, that featured the work of visiting artists Barbara Meneley and Joanne Bristol and local artist Clive Powsey. The visiting artists resided at the McLoughlin Gardens Society seaside artist residence in Merville, while they installed their work, conducted artistic research, and interacted with the community. The visiting artists and Clive made use of production and technical support facilities at both North Island College Department of Fine Arts and Design and CVAG.

Unmapping the Last Best West – Barbara Meneley

Untitled (Sweepers) – Joanne Bristol

Terrain Traps and Other Delightful Terrors – Clive Powsey


CVAG provides creative residencies as part of its programming. For more information send an email to

McLoughlin Gardens Society