Gabriola Arts Council

Kasahara Gabriola Trust Artist Residency for 2021 – open for applications

Kasahara Gabriola Trust Artist Residency for 2021 – open for applications

Kasahara Gabriola Trust Artist Residency for 2021 – open for applications

Kasahara Gabriola Trust Artist Residency for 2021 – open for applications

Residency Period: October 22, 2021 to February 11, 2022

Application due September 3, 2021 by 12pm PST

Applicant notified September 17, 2021

Kasahara Gabriola Trust and the Gabriola Arts Council is seeking applications for the third residency program, from artists working in a wide range of disciplines. Residencies are four months in length and take place on Gabriola Island, BC, the Isle of the Arts. Gabriola Island is a Gulf Island located in the Salish Sea and is a 20 minute ferry ride from Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island.

Toshiko Kasahara came upon Gabriola Island almost by accident, acquiring the oceanfront property as repayment for a loan over 50 years ago. She and her husband dreamed of building on the property, but he died before they could realize it. Undaunted (at 80) Toshiko built the house on the beach.

Her love of the island was matched by her love of the arts. She was curious, passionate, fearless and determined – in almost everything she did.

“She wasn’t afraid to ask for what she wanted,” says Peter Baker, manager of the Kasahara Gabriola Trust and Toshiko’s neighbour on the island. “And no wasn’t her favorite answer.”

That translated into impromptu and insistent invitations to concerts, from guitar instrumentals at house concerts, to “bitch ass folk music” at the Haven.

“At the intermission of the Bitch Ass Folk Music, we asked if she wanted to go home early,” recalls Baker. “Her response was simply ‘oh no! I like loud noise music!’”

Throughout her life, Toshiko held a strong spirit of adventure. She loved everything the island had to offer – the ocean, the arts and the people. She loved to entertain and – more than anything to connect. The Kasahara Gabriola Trust that she left is a tremendous legacy to this singular, indomitable person who wanted the best for her island home and community.

About the residency

The Kasahara Gabriola Trust Residency is accepting applications from artists at all stages of their career emerging artists (artists pursuing education within arts field) or established, practicing artist with a demonstrated body of work in a professional artistic environment. Artists within a variety of artistic disciplines will be accepted. The residency provides a live/workspace on an inspirational and intimate island setting, allowing artists the opportunity to imagine, create, experiment, develop new ideas, and ultimately a new body of work. The Kasahara Gabriola Trust Residency is a self-directed retreat, with opportunity for professional development, while giving the local community access to a diverse range of arts practices, theories and experiences.

Gabriola Arts Council is strongly committed to fostering diversity within our organization and art community. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of arts on Gabriola Island including, but not limited to, visible minorities, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you require any form of accommodation throughout the residency application process, please contact directly Carol Fergusson at or 250-247-7409, so we can offer you individualized assistance and ensure equity in our application process.

Selected artists will reside in a beautiful 1700 square foot, 3 bedroom, ocean front home with hardwood floors and large picture windows. You can walk right onto the beach and trails are across the street. The home does not have a formal studio space, but the extra bedroom or the front room are suitable areas for studio work. The grounds are large enough to erect a tent for outdoor work. The house is equipped with a table/desk looking out at the ocean, a folding work table, long extension cord, and printer. A residency fee of $750 per month is required in advance of arrival. If this is prohibitive, please contact Carol Fergusson, Executive Director to discuss at A damage deposit of $250 is required upon arrival and will be returned to you at the end of the residency if the house is left in good order.

At the end of the residency the artist is expected to present a gallery show, performance piece, reading, or appropriate sharing of the body of work completed during the residency, to the community. Gallery space/outdoor space/performance space will be provided, and all promotional activities will be provided by the Gabriola Arts Council.

Expenses paid by the artists

  • Travel
  • Short term moving costs
  • Food
  • Supplies
  • Housing (residency fee $750 per month, includes utilities)

What practical facilities does the residency offer?

  • Master bedroom with en suite
  • 2 Private bedrooms
  • Additional full bath
  • Kitchen and living space
  • Deck facing the ocean
  • Outdoor area large enough for a 10×10 tent
  • Internet
  • Work table
  • Desk
  • Printer
  • Free Exhibition or performance space at Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre
  • Promotional Services
  • Networking

Application Criteria

Applications are welcome from Canadian & International artists working in a wide range of disciplines including visual art, film, literary arts, performance arts or music/sound.

Applicants should keep in mind the unique environment of Gabriola Island and familiarize themselves with the amenities and services available. Nanaimo is a 20 minute ferry ride away and has additional services, such as a fully stocked art store, large music store, galleries, etc. Gabriola also has a bus system called Gertie.

As noted above the house is only suitable for two people, but we do not accept joint applications. The successful artist may choose to bring their partner, child or art companion.

How to Apply

Please complete the application elements as outlined below and submit the required documents/media via Dropbox to

Applicants are asked to submit the following:

  • Full name, address, phone number, email address and website
  • A brief description of your art practice. (250 words or less)
  • An artist’s statement including reference to what inspires you to create (500 words or less)
  • What drew you to apply for a residency on Gabriola. (250 words or less)
  • Intention/project proposal for the residency clearing describing the proposed outcome (500 words or less)
  • Outline how you intend to engage the community of Gabriola during the residency (250 words or less)
  • Short biography (150 words or less)
  • Detailed curriculum vitae (4 pages maximum)
  • A reference letter from a professional in their field. The letter should outline why the applicant is suited for the residency.
  • The name and contact details for two additional references. We also accept letters from arts professors who artists have completed a course with.
  • Diversity is the recognition and acknowledgement of multiple and overlapping identities. These identities include but are not limited to: race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, linguistic origin, citizenship, colour, ancestry, place of origin, creed (religion, faith, spirituality), family status, marital status, ability or disability, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, education, style, socio-economic class, and political belief.

Diversity enriches community. Gabriola Arts Council is committed to appreciating and celebrating diversity in arts. We strive to increase understanding and acceptance of each other, thereby making us more compassionate human beings and strengthening the fabric of our communities. Please indicate in your application self-identities you identify with.

  • Women
  • Men
  • Visible minorities
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Non-binary
  • I do not identify as one of the designated groups listed above
  • I prefer not to self-identify

Where relevant 1-15 samples of work via Dropbox with application:

  • Maximum 10 images (up to 5MB each) in .jpg (.jpeg) format with relevant captions
  • Maximum 2 videos or links to video or film related submissions
  • 3 samples of published writing (up to 10 pages total)

ALL documents and ALL samples of work must be clearly labelled with the applicant’s full name and ideally organized into labelled folders for ease of review.

Selection Process

A jury of arts professionals, the KGT Trustee and Gabriola Arts Council Board members will review all applications and one candidate will be selected and notified by September 17, 2021.

We will be not be able to provide feedback on individual applications.

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