CCCA Canadian Art Database

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View CCCA Canadian Art Database Artists and their work.
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Curated Virtual Exhibitions featuring artists & artwork from the Database.
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Apply to join the Database

We invite Canadian artists to apply. Associates may apply on behalf of artists and all are welcome.
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01 Speaking to their mother by Rebecca Belmore, 1991-92. Wood megaphone. 7 x 7.5 feet. Sound installation. | 02 Plus Tard #9 by Michael Snow, 1977. 25 framed Ektacolour prints. each/chaque 86 x 107 cm. | 03 Shapeshifter by Brian Jungen, 2000. 0.8004 x 0.2436 x 0.174 m.

Above: Menaces Imminentes (detail) by Patrick Bérubé, 2003.
Series of 10 digital prints. Each 20 x 24 inches. Photograph.

A heartfelt thank you to Bill Kirby, the founder of the CCCA and creator of the CCCA Canadian Art Database.

Established in 1997, this database of Canadian art and artists was created by a passionate cohort in an effort to document the important work going on throughout this country.

The project has evolved due to the collective efforts of many, seeking to sustain and evolve this resource. 
Since 2013, the database has been housed at Concordia University in Montreal, at the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art.

Resources for Artists

Exhibition

Exhibiting artwork is a crucial and meaningful step for artists, allowing us to share our creative expressions with a broader audience. This process not only validates artists’ efforts and brings their work into public view but also opens up opportunities for dialogue, critique, and appreciation that can be profoundly rewarding and insightful. By presenting our work, artists engage with our community, gain visibility, and can significantly impact our professional trajectory.

The Power of Sharing Work

Exhibiting work enables artists to receive feedback, which can be integral to our artistic development. It fosters a dialogue between the artist and the public, enhancing understanding and appreciation of different perspectives and cultures. Moreover, exhibitions can lead to professional opportunities such as sales, commissions, and collaborations that might not arise otherwise. On a broader scale, sharing work contributes to the cultural vibrancy of society, enriching the lives of individuals and communities.

Resources for Exhibiting Artwork in Canada

Here are several resources and platforms in Canada where artists can explore opportunities to exhibit their work:


Public Galleries and Museums

Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (Ottawa, ON)
Focuses on contemporary photography and periodically invites artists to submit work.
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
One of Canada’s premier venues for visual arts, offering various exhibition opportunities.
National Gallery of Canada

Artist-Run Centres

Gallery 101 (Ottawa, ON)
A non-profit artist-run centre that supports artistic and cultural diversity through exhibitions, discussions, and public presentations.
Gallery 101

Centre for Contemporary Arts (Hamilton, ON)
Provides a platform for experimental art practice and encourages submissions from emerging artists.
Centre for Contemporary Arts

Online Exhibition Platforms


ArtGate VR

A virtual reality platform that allows artists to display their work in a virtual space, reaching a global audience without geographical constraints.
ArtGate VR

Artsy
While primarily a sales platform, Artsy also offers promotional exposure through online exhibitions, connecting artists with collectors and galleries worldwide.
Artsy

Local Arts Councils and Community Centres

Toronto Arts Council
Provides information on various exhibition opportunities in local galleries and community spaces.
Toronto Arts Council

Calgary Arts Development
Supports local artists with resources for exhibiting their work within Calgary.
Calgary Arts Development

Annual Art Fairs and Markets

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
Canada's largest outdoor art fair, providing artists with a platform to exhibit and sell their work directly to the public.
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Eastside Culture Crawl (Vancouver, BC): An annual event that allows artists to showcase their work in their studios in an open-house setting.
Eastside Culture Crawl

Online Resources for Exhibition Opportunities in Canada and Beyond

Several online resources provide information on exhibition opportunities for artists both in Canada and internationally:

Res Artis
A worldwide network of artist residencies and exhibition opportunities.
Res Artis

TransArtists
Offers a comprehensive guide to artist-in-residence programs and exhibition opportunities.
TransArtists

Alliance of Artists Communities
An association of artist residency programs that provides resources and support for exhibitions.
Alliance of Artists Communities

ArtConnect
A platform listing various international residency opportunities, open calls, and grants for artists.
ArtConnect

On the Move
A cultural mobility information network that provides details on residency programs and exhibition opportunities.
On the Move

These resources offer various platforms and settings for artists to exhibit our work, from formal galleries and museums to more innovative and accessible online venues. By taking advantage of these opportunities, artists can significantly enhance our visibility, engage with broader audiences, and contribute to the dynamic cultural landscape.

Education

The value and power of educational opportunities for artists in Canada are profound, encompassing both traditional academic paths and non-traditional, often free, resources. These educational avenues not only enhance technical skills and creativity but also expand professional networks and increase exposure to potential markets and audiences. In this article, we'll explore the range of educational opportunities available to Canadian artists and highlight their benefits, referencing actual Canadian sources.

Traditional Educational Opportunities

Canadian artists can pursue formal education through degrees and certificates in fine arts, offered by numerous reputable institutions across the country.


University Programs
: Institutions like Concordia University in Montreal, Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, OCAD University in Toronto, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University in Halifax offer comprehensive programs in various art disciplines.


College Programs
: Colleges such as Alberta University of the Arts, Sheridan College in Oakville, and Dawson College in Montreal provide diploma programs that are more focused and shorter in duration than university programs, offering practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge.


Specialized Art Schools
: The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta offers unique residency programs and workshops, while the Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA) provides a foundational year program in the arts that prepares students for further education in art schools across Canada.

Non-Traditional Educational Opportunities

Non-traditional education, which often includes workshops, online courses, and community programs, can be particularly valuable for artists seeking flexible learning schedules or specific skill sets.


Online Platforms
: Websites like Coursera and Skillshare offer courses taught by industry professionals worldwide, including Canada-specific content.


Workshops and Masterclasses
: Many community centers, galleries, and artist-run centers offer periodic workshops that provide training in specific techniques or aspects of the art business. For example, the Toronto School of Art and Artscape offer various workshops and masterclasses tailored to emerging and established artists.

Free Educational Resources

A variety of free resources are available that help artists develop without the financial burden associated with formal education.


Public Libraries
: Many Canadian public libraries, like the Vancouver Public Library, Toronto Public Library, and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), offer free access to digital resources, art books, and even classes.


Online Tutorials and Webinars
: Platforms like YouTube have countless tutorials on art techniques. Additionally, organizations such as the Canadian Arts and Business Foundation occasionally offer free webinars on topics relevant to artists.

Community and Peer Learning

Learning from peers and participating in community art projects can provide practical experience and build strong professional networks.


Artist Collectives and Co-operatives
: These organizations, like Artscape in Toronto, the Visual Arts Centre in Montreal, and Harcourt House Artist Run Centre in Edmonton, offer not only shared workspace but also collaborative and educational opportunities through community projects.

Learning Through Museums and Galleries

Visiting museums and galleries is an invaluable way for artists to learn and draw inspiration. These institutions often provide educational programs, artist talks, and workshops that are crucial for artistic development.


Museums
: Major Canadian museums like the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Vancouver Art Gallery host extensive collections and exhibitions that offer insight into various art movements and techniques. Many museums also have educational programs and events specifically designed for artists.


Galleries
: Galleries across Canada, such as the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, frequently hold exhibitions, artist talks, and panel discussions that provide deeper understanding and critical perspectives on contemporary art practices.


These educational opportunities, both traditional and non-traditional, provide artists in Canada with critical tools for personal and professional growth. They not only foster artistic talent and innovation but also contribute significantly to the cultural landscape by enriching the community and economy.

Connection

Collaboration in the arts is a transformative force that facilitates not only the sharing of ideas and skills but also promotes innovation and enriches cultural expression. By working together, artists can explore new perspectives, combine disparate disciplines, and create work that resonates on multiple levels with a diverse audience. This phenomenon is particularly evident in interdisciplinary collaborations, where artists from different mediums come together to produce unique, synergistic work.

Expanding Creative Horizons


Collaboration allows artists to step outside their individual practices and explore new creative territories. By pooling diverse skill sets and perspectives, collaborative projects often lead to unexpected and innovative outcomes. For example, the merging of technology and traditional sculpture in digital installation art can challenge and expand the boundaries of what is considered possible in both fields. Such partnerships can introduce artists to new materials, methods, and concepts, significantly broadening their artistic horizons and impacting their solo work.


Enhancing Problem-Solving Capabilities

Working collaboratively enhances problem-solving capabilities by incorporating multiple viewpoints. This approach is invaluable in complex projects where the scale or scope can benefit from varied inputs. For instance, in large-scale public art projects, collaborative efforts between architects, engineers, and artists can solve practical issues while maintaining aesthetic integrity. The diversity of expertise ensures that solutions are well-rounded and innovative, effectively addressing challenges that might stump an individual working alone.

Building Networks and Communities

Collaborative projects often act as catalysts for building professional networks and fostering communities. These networks can provide ongoing support, open doors to new opportunities, and create a sense of belonging among participants. For example, residency programs that encourage collaboration, such as those offered by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, connect artists from all over the world, leading to lasting relationships and future projects. The communal atmosphere of such programs can significantly reduce the often-isolating nature of artistic work.

Economic and Social Impact

From an economic perspective, collaborative arts projects can attract funding from sources that might be inaccessible to individual artists, including large grants and public funds aimed at community improvement projects. Socially, these collaborations can engage audiences more deeply, as the varied elements of the work can offer multiple entry points for understanding and appreciation. Collaborative art can thus play a crucial role in community engagement and revitalization, fostering social cohesion and cultural pride.

Residency

Residencies offer invaluable opportunities for artists to immerse themselves in new environments, collaborate with other creatives, and focus deeply on their work without the distractions of daily life. They provide a dedicated space and time for artistic development, allowing for experimentation, reflection, and growth. Additionally, residencies often foster a sense of community among artists, encouraging interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration. The experiences gained and connections made during residencies can significantly impact an artist's career, offering new perspectives and professional development.

Notable Residencies in Canada

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Location: Banff, Alberta
Description: Offers thematic residencies and self-directed work periods in a stunning mountain landscape, focusing on artistic development and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Banff Centre Residencies

Harbourfront Centre Craft & Design Studio
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Description: Provides studio space and equipment for emerging artists in ceramics, glass, textiles, and jewelry, emphasizing skill development and business acumen.
Harbourfront Centre Craft & Design

Artscape Gibraltar Point
Location: Toronto Islands, Ontario
Description: Offers a peaceful, communal atmosphere where artists can focus on their projects while surrounded by the natural beauty of the Toronto Islands.
Artscape Gibraltar Point

Fogo Island Arts
Location: Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Description: Supports artistic practices that are site-specific and engage with island residents and the environment, offering residencies and studios with dramatic views.
Fogo Island Arts

The Clay and Glass
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Description: Offers residencies for artists working with clay, glass, and enamel, providing studio space and opportunities for public engagement and professional development.
The Clay and Glass Residencies

Pouch Cove Foundation
Location: Pouch Cove, Newfoundland
Description: Provides artists with a retreat-like environment in a small, coastal Newfoundland community to focus on their work without distractions.
Pouch Cove Foundation

The Gushul Studio Residency
Location: Blairmore, Alberta
Description: Operated by the University of Lethbridge, this residency offers studio space and accommodation in a scenic setting, suitable for artists and scholars.
Gushul Studio Residency

MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Description: A multidisciplinary artist center that offers residencies focusing on intercultural and socially engaged art practices.
MAI Residencies

Klondike Institute of Art and Culture
Location: Dawson City, Yukon
Description: Provides studio space for artists to engage with the community and the unique cultural landscape of the Yukon.
KIAC Residencies

These residencies vary widely in terms of focus, location, and resources offered, allowing artists to choose a setting that best suits their creative needs and goals.

Online Resources: International Residencies

Res Artis: A worldwide network of arts residencies that offers information on residency programs around the globe. Res Artis


TransArtists
: Provides a comprehensive guide to artist-in-residence programs, including practical information on how to apply. TransArtists


Alliance of Artists Communities
: An association of artist residency programs across the U.S. and beyond, offering resources and support for artists. Alliance of Artists Communities


ArtConnect
: A platform that lists various international residency opportunities, open calls, and grants for artists. ArtConnect


On the Move
: A cultural mobility information network that provides details on residency programs and funding opportunities. On the Move

Financial Wellness

Achieving financial stability as an artist, particularly in Canada, involves a multifaceted approach that can include leveraging grants, maintaining a day job, engaging in cohabitation and resource sharing, and exploring additional revenue streams. Here is a structured discussion on these aspects, along with references for further exploration and validation in an academic context.

Leveraging Grants and Funding Opportunities

Canadian artists have access to numerous grants from federal and provincial government bodies, as well as private foundations. These grants are often project-based and can provide significant financial support for specific artistic endeavors.


Canada Council for the Arts
: This is the primary avenue for federal arts funding in Canada, offering a variety of grants for individual artists, groups, and organizations. Grants are available for a wide range of artistic disciplines and career stages.


Provincial Arts Councils
: Each province has its own arts council, such as the Ontario Arts Council or the British Columbia Arts Council, which provides grants, awards, and resources specific to their regions.


Maintaining a Day Job

Many artists choose to maintain day jobs either within or outside their artistic disciplines to ensure a steady income. Balancing a day job with an artistic career requires good time management but can provide financial security.


Creative Industry Jobs
: Jobs in creative industries such as graphic design, marketing, or digital media can be particularly advantageous as they often utilize similar skills and networks.


Flexible Jobs
: Part-time jobs or freelance gigs offer flexibility to focus on artistic projects while providing a steady income.

Cohabitation and Sharing Resources

Cohabitation with other artists or like-minded individuals can reduce living costs and foster a supportive community. Shared housing arrangements are particularly common in expensive urban areas where artists tend to congregate.


Artistic Collectives
: Living in artist collectives or communes can provide both emotional support and cost-sharing benefits.

Shared Studios: Sharing studio space with other artists reduces rental costs and can also lead to collaborative opportunities.

Additional Revenue Streams

Diversifying income sources can help stabilize financial income for artists. This can include selling artwork, teaching, workshops, and digital platforms.


Selling Artwork
: Beyond traditional galleries, artists can sell their work at art fairs, online platforms (like Etsy or Artfinder), or through social media.

Teaching: Conducting workshops or teaching at community centers, schools, or private lessons can provide regular income.

Online Platforms: Platforms like Patreon allow artists to receive funding directly from their audience in exchange for exclusive content or perks.

Professional Development and Networking

Building a professional network can lead to opportunities for exhibitions, sales, and collaborations. Additionally, professional development workshops can provide artists with business skills necessary to manage their finances effectively.

Artistic Organizations and Unions: Membership in organizations such as CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation) offers resources, advocacy, and networking opportunities.

References

Canada Council for the Arts. (n.d.). Funding. Website

Ontario Arts Council. (n.d.). Grants. Website

CARFAC. (n.d.). Advocacy for Canadian Artists. Website

Self Care & Mental Health

 

The importance of mental health for artists is undeniable, as it plays a crucial role in our ability to create, express, and connect with our audience. The creative process, while rewarding, can also be isolating, stressful, and uncertain, highlighting the need for solid mental health support.

Mental Health for Artists

Maintaining mental well-being is essential for sustaining creative energy and navigating the emotional ups and downs of the artistic process. Good mental health enhances productivity, resilience, and innovation, and fosters authenticity in our work.

Studies show that artists are more prone to mental health issues than the general population, making it vital to prioritize our well-being. Engaging in self-care, seeking professional help when needed, and building a supportive community can improve mental health outcomes.

Effects of Precarious Work and Lifestyle

Precarious work conditions, such as inconsistent income and lack of job security, can worsen mental health issues, leading to anxiety, depression, and burnout. Managing an unpredictable income, meeting deadlines, and constantly producing high-quality work can be overwhelming.

Developing financial stability strategies, like leveraging grants, maintaining a day job, or exploring additional revenue streams, is crucial. Beyond financial strategies, self-care and a strong support network are key to maintaining mental health.

Self-Care and Coping Strategies

Self-care is fundamental for mental health and well-being. Practices such as mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and proper nutrition help manage stress and promote emotional stability. Setting boundaries to balance work and personal life is also essential.

Seeking professional help from therapists who understand our unique pressures can provide valuable support. Regular therapy can offer a space to explore emotions, develop coping strategies, and address mental health issues.

Purpose and Connection

Meaningful relationships and a supportive community are vital for mental health. Friendships reduce isolation and offer opportunities for collaboration and inspiration. Engaging with fellow artists through projects, residencies, and workshops fosters a sense of belonging and purpose.

Reflecting on what drives our passion and staying connected to our goals and values is also crucial. Purpose-driven work can provide motivation and resilience during challenging times.

Breaking the Stigma

The stigma around mental health can prevent us from seeking help. Education and open conversations can break down these barriers. Resources like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mind, the mental health charity, offer valuable information and support.

Resources

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI Website
  • Mind, the mental health charity: Mind Website
  • “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron: A book exploring the connection between creativity and mental health.

In conclusion, mental health significantly influences our creativity, productivity, and overall well-being. By recognizing the mental health challenges we face and seeking the necessary support, we can build a more vibrant, resilient, and innovative artistic community.

Top: Untitled by Ian Wallace, 1969. Silver print mounted on paper. 59.055 x 78.74 cm/po. Photograph. | 02 Notations #21 by Cheryl Kolak Dudek, 1999. Pigment ink jet print. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Print. | 03 Artifacts by Frances Ferdinands, 1991. Acrylic on canvas. 91.44 x 167.64 cm. Painting. Bottom: Untitled by Ian Wallace, 1969. Silver print mounted on paper. 59.055 x 78.74 cm/po. Photograph. | 02 Notations #21 by Cheryl Kolak Dudek, 1999. Pigment ink jet print. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Print. | 03 Artifacts by Frances Ferdinands, 1991. Acrylic on canvas. 91.44 x 167.64 cm. Painting.

The mission of the CCCA Canadian Art Database is to expand public awareness of contemporary Canadian Art, nationally and internationally. We continue to celebrate this work, thanks to the ongoing support and dedication of our community.