Kasahara Gabriola Trust Artist Residency

Kasahara Gabriola Trust and the Gabriola Arts Council is seeking applications for the sixth residency program, from artists working in a wide range of disciplines. This residency is two months in length and take place on Gabriola Island, BC, the Isle of the Arts.

The application deadline for the upcoming May/June residency is March 1, 2023

Residency period: May 1 – June 30, 2023
Selected Applicant will be notified March 8, 2023

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 KGT Residency is accepting applications from Canadian artists at all stages of their career and all disciplines – emerging artists (artists pursuing education within arts field) or established practicing artists with a demonstrated body of work in a professional artistic environment. Artists within a wide variety of artistic disciplines will be accepted including, but not limited to, visual art, film, literary arts, performance arts or music/sound.

Gabriola Arts Council is strongly committed to fostering diversity within our organization and art community. We welcome all those who will 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.

The residency provides a live/work space 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.  Toshiko’s love of Gabriola, the arts and connection with community are what drives this residency.  The KGT trustee (dear friend and neighbour of Toshiko) hopes that each artist in residence will also embrace these loves and leave behind lasting evidence of the connections the artist has fashioned with the Gabriola community during their time on the island.

The KGT 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.  The selected artist will reside in a beautiful 1700 square foot, single level, 3 bedroom, ocean front home with hardwood floors and large picture windows.  You can walk right onto the rocky beach and walking trails are across the street.  The home does not have a formal studio space, but the front room (open concept living/dining/kitchen space) with a large granite table/desk looking out at the ocean and the extra bedrooms with a folding worktable are suitable areas for studio work. The grounds are large enough to erect a tent for outdoor work if desired.

At the end of the residency the artist is expected to present a gallery show, a performance piece, a reading, or an appropriate sharing of the body of work completed during the residency, to the Gabriola community.  Gallery space/outdoor space/performance space for this show (as well as on-line digital promotion) will be provided by the Gabriola Arts Council.

A damage deposit of $500 is required upon arrival and will be returned to you at the end of the residency provided that the house is left in good order.

Expenses paid by the artists

  • Travel
  • Short term moving costs
  • Food
  • Artist working supplies


What practical facilities does the residency offer?

    • Master bedroom with full en suite bath
    • Two private bedrooms with an additional full bath
    • Open concept kitchen and living space with work table
    • Internet
    • Printer
    • Professional drop cloths available upon request
    • Deck facing the ocean
    • Outdoor area large enough for a 10×10 tent
    • Free exhibition/workshop/artist talk/performance space at Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre
    • Promotional services via the Arts Council newsletter/website
    • Networking opportunities with community

Application Criteria

Applications are welcome from Canadian artists working in a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, 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

Applications are welcome from Canadian artists working in a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, visual art, film, literary arts, performance arts or music/sound.
Please fill out the online form and submit any image/video files to DropBox at info@artsgabriola.ca

Form: Application Form

Applications should explain why the artist wishes to participate in the program and describe the project to be undertaken during the residency. The proposal must provide a plan for how the applicant will engage the community of Gabriola during their residency.

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.

If you require any form of assistance throughout the residency application process, please contact Carol Fergusson at residency@artsgabriola.ca or 250-247-7409, so we can help where we can and ensure equity in our application process.
We do not accept joint applications. The successful artist may, however, choose to bring their partner, child or art companion.

Selection Process

A jury of community arts professionals, the KGT Trustee and Gabriola Arts Council Board members will review all applications and one candidate will be selected and notified by March 8, 2023.

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