Current Residency Call

Open Call to Artists
Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency


Download Call for Submissions (PDF)

Monday, January 16, 2023 at 3:00pm PST


The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency Committee is calling for expressions of interest from local, national and international artists to undertake a 6-week long residency aboard the Blue Cabin in 2023 or 2024. Open to artists in all media and at all stages of practice, up to five separate 6-week residency spaces will be filled as a result of this call. The residency is on the water on a small float which carries a remediated heritage cabin studio and a separate deckhouse.

Located on the Pacific Coast in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, within the shared, unceded and ancestral territories of the xwməθ̓kwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, the Blue Cabin offers a vantage point from which to consider this region — its layered histories and speculative future — differently.

The Blue Cabin sat between the low and high tide lines at Whey-ah-whichen/Cates Park in North Vancouver from 1932 to 2015. Resisting ownership for nearly 100 years, it was home to maritime labourers and families, and since the late ‘60s was a place of creative respite and subsistence for Vancouver artists Al Neil and Carole Itter. Slated for demolition to make way for new development, the Cabin was saved by a consortium of arts organizations and has since been transformed into a unique floating artist residency that moves from time to time to different moorage sites and situations.

Artists in residence have access to the Blue Cabin, adjoining deckhouse, and staff support for the duration of their residency. Artists in residence receive a residency fee, program fees, and set reimbursements for travel and materials costs. A six-week time frame allows the artist in residence time for solo production as well as opportunities for engagement within the community.



This is a mobile, floating, on-the-water facility, a condition that brings a unique set of opportunities and challenges. The space consists of a floating concrete platform that houses a 350-square-foot, modern, purpose-built , 2-storey deckhouse as the artist’s residence and beside it, the restored, 315-square-foot, historic Blue Cabin that is outfitted as a studio. A wheelchair accessible bathroom for the use of visitors attending public events is available at deck level. Also on deck is a covered flex-space that can be used for gatherings or as an outdoor work area.

The facility is designed with sustainability in mind and as such, has limitations and restrictions. The resident’s private bathroom and the public bathroom both have composting toilets. There is an onboard grey water system and the deckhouse and studio are operated primarily by solar power with shore power as back-up. In order for the Blue Cabin’s sustainable systems to operate effectively, resident artists must be conscientious consumers of energy and water. Weekly laundry pick-up and delivery and house cleaning are among the services provided. Residents must be self-reliant and independent or able to arrange for access supports with the assistance of the Blue Cabin team.


The residency is currently moored at Imperial Landing in the City of Richmond’s historic Steveston Village. The Blue Cabin Committee is working towards a move to a different waterfront location in the spring of 2024.

Three panelists will review submissions and independently assess the submissions according to stated selection criteria. The full selection panel will meet to discuss their assessments and will short-list up to 12 artists for interviews. As a result of this process, up to five artists will be selected for individual 6-week residency slots.

Five curators or artists, each representing one of the three partnering organizations, Blue Cabin staff, and from a local host nation (Musqueam, Squamish, or Tsleil-Waututh).

The Selection Panel will build upon the following selection criteria:

Letter [60]:
• Degree of consideration and reflection
• Compatibility of interests and research

Past Work [40]:
• Artistic excellence, creativity, vision
• Research, areas of interest, rigor
• Potential impact the residency will have on their career
• Potential for engaging diverse audiences


Please send the following material in the form of one compressed PDF (4 MB maximum). Your submission materials will not be printed; therefore we recommend a horizontal format for optimal viewing on both computer and projection screens.

Please title your file “Last Name_First Name.pdf” and include the following:

1. Your contact information: Mailing address, email address, daytime phone number

2. A one-page document that addresses:
    a. Your approach to research and production and how you would like to further this during the residency
    b. How you expect the residency will benefit your artistic inquiry and practice
    c. How you approach public/community engagement
    d. Your interest in the residency being located on the water, this region’s histories   of the foreshore, and how these conditions might relate to your practice

3. Current CV, maximum 3 pages.

4. Up to 10 images of recent artwork (may include multiple viewpoints of one artwork) with brief descriptions including title, date, etc. Alternatively, you may embed links within your PDF that direct us to specific pages of your website.

In addition to images, segments of video or audio can be submitted as links. Please provide a timestamp for a two minute segment that highlights your work.

5. Feature one of your projects – maximum of 5 images and 300 word description. This feature provides an opportunity to elaborate on a selected project that you wish to bring to the attention of the selection panel.



Please email your submission to:

We welcome questions prior to January 8, 2023. These can be directed via email to:

Answers to questions will be posted weekly on our website for the review of all who are interested in applying.

In fairness to all applicants, please note that our deadlines are fixed.



Oct 28, 2022     Call for Submissions Open
Jan 8, 2023     Deadline for questions
Jan 16, 2023     Submissions due
Jan 25, 2023     Distribution to panelists for preview
Feb 7, 2023     Panel meets, short-listing
Feb 20-24, 2023     Artist interviews
Mar 2, 2023     Residency artists selected, contacted, and interest confirmed



What is the fee paid to artists for this residency program?
The fee amount for this round of residencies will be similar to the 6-week residencies that resulted from our last open call, which included a residency fee paid to artists of $6,000 CAD plus cost of travel to and from Metro Vancouver. Additional fees are paid according to CARFAC guidelines for hosting two to four public engagement programs and for covering the cost of materials. We are still in the process of determining the exact fee structure for this round of residencies, which is dependent on funding. The final amount will be communicated to applicants upon invitation.
Added 15-11-2022

What mediums are eligible for residencies?
This call is open to artists working in any medium from emerging to established.

Can I specify which 6-week residency slot I’m interested in?
Not at this phase in the selection process. We will discuss the residency schedule during the interview phase.

Can I bring my partner?
The living quarters are quite small, but yes partners are welcome. They will need to cover their own costs for travel, subsistence, etc.

I am part of a collaborative team; does the fee change to accommodate other members in our group?
Teams are welcome to submit. Costs for travel and the subsistence fee are set regardless of the number of artists in your team. We would be able to write letters of support for funding requests for travel. 

Will I be alone on the vessel?
Yes, the resident artist is primarily on their own with visits and assistance from the residency coordinator as needed. Blue Cabin staff support is on call 24 hours a day. The public will be invited on board for scheduled events and activities that will be developed by the artist and community engagement coordinator.

What are the physical accessibility details for the cabin?
The Blue Cabin is currently not wheelchair accessible. We are working to address this as we adjust to our present site and existing infrastructures.  At present, the accessibility details are as follows: There is a steep gangway to the Blue Cabin dock, depending on tides. There is presently a 48” wide ramp between the dock and the Blue Cabin platform. The cabin studio space is accessed via seven 7” high stairs with a handrail, one 6” step and a 29″ doorway. The living quarters are accessed via two 8″ high steps into the building and twelve 8” high stairs to the second level.

How is security handled?
The residence has contracted security including an alarm system, lights, and cameras.

When will information about the moorage location be available?
We anticipate the residency will continue to be moored at Steveston’s Imperial Landing until Spring of 2024 and will have confirmation of the next location by Fall 2023. We will post updated moorage information on our website as it becomes available.

Download Call for Submissions (PDF).



Artist and cabin inhabitant Al Neil at the Blue Cabin.

Photos by Henri Robideau, 2020.