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Artist-in-residence Program

A time to focus on a body of work and plan for the future. For those interested, we take a business apprenticeship/mentorship approach.

    The Artist-in-Residence program runs three times a year. September 4th to December 23rd, February 1st to May 28th, and June 1st to August 29th. Two consecutive residency dates are encouraged. We have had a late cancellation and are accepting applications for our current space until we fill the spot.

September applications close May 15th


    To be considered for this residency, applicants must have a firm understanding of their material and be ready to begin producing work for sale with the objective of continued production.


   Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery is located in the old quarter of downtown Nanaimo, on the traditional unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw people. We have a gallery and run a variety of classes, workshops and membership programs. Our artist-in-residence program is an intrinsic part of how our studio runs and grows. NCA works hard to create a culture of sharing and learning; we encourage members of all skill levels and welcome a diverse community. 

    NCA is 2700 sq./feet and consists of a gallery, four private studios, a kiln room with two kilns, a glaze kitchen and an 800 sq./foot classroom studio with wheels, a slab roller and an extruder. NCA uses white clay and fires to cone 6. Alternative clay bodies and firings will be considered for resident artists


     During their Residency, Artists will have the opportunity to complete a body of work, put on a gallery show in our gallery and receive guidance in developing a business plan. The unique set-up of Nanaimo Ceramic Arts allows emerging artists to participate and learn within the structure of a small business. Artists are provided with 100 square feet of private space and 24-hour access to electric kilns, pottery equipment, mentor-ship and subsidised housing. If they wish, artists may apply to host workshops or run classes that can bring in income.


      Residencies are based upon a work exchange agreement between the Artist-In-Residence and Nanaimo Ceramic Arts. In exchange for space to work, access to materials and assistance with their project, and a weekly meeting with Bronwyn. In return, Artists-in-Residence is required to be available to the gallery and studio for a regularly scheduled minimum of 16 hours a week during Gallery open hours, during which the resident assist with customer walk-Ins and gallery sales as well as contribute to studio tasks which help maintain the function and cleanliness of the studio. Shifts are broken up into two 6 hr days and average 8 hrs of work from the artist a week.  Artists can either pay for their own materials and firings, or clay can be purchased at $45/22lbs through Nanaimo Ceramic Arts and include the unlimited use of studio glazes and firing. 

     For artists interested in wood fire, NCA has strong links to the Tozan Cultural Society, a train kiln and a large Noboragama kiln in Cedar (please note that the wood kilns are only fired in the wet seasons and require full participation in prep and firing. You may need a vehicle to participate)Noboragama


A business focus

We encourage every applicant to apply with a gallery show in mind and we encourage all of our residences to explore and develop new ideas while they are with us. We see a gap in many arts educations when it comes to the practical application of our craft as a business. Our mentorship program can guide you through some of those gaps. Each week artists will have a chance to sit down and meet for 1hr with a mentor for assistance with their project, social media planning, skills development and business goals.

During a 4 month residency, artists will have an opportunity to:

  • Develop their  body of work

  • Develop their brand image.

  • Develop a catalogue/portfolio.

  • Gallery Show of their work 

  • Operation plan

  • Business objectives

  • Market research

  • Financial start-up costs

  • Financial 3-year forecast

  • Loan information

  • Marketing plan

  • Operation plan

Artists are not likely to be able to do all of these in one 4 month residency. Plan your goals in accordance with the time that you have. Goals will be tailored to the artists and their priorities and interests.

For NCA our primary goals for the residency program are to host a quality gallery exhibit, provide new inspirations and knowledge to our local ceramics community and provide a space for artists to consider their careers in a holistic way.


The Apartment

     Nanaimo is a large harbour town located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island. It is stretched out between the Salish Sea and Mount Benson boasting many beaches and parks. Nanaimo is accessible to Vancouver by a 2-hour ferry or 20-minute float plane and to Victoria by a 2-hour drive.

     The old downtown core where NCA is situated is manageable without a vehicle; by walking, cycling or transit.

    Our Housing is a fully furnished basement bachelor suite with a private entrance, and only a 15 min walk from the studio. It is a small one-room suite with a kitchenette, has lots of light and opens up onto a private garden pati0. laundry is shared with the landlord and she requests that the apartment washroom be vacant 1 day a week for her use.

$750/month, including utilities, shared laundry and Wi-Fi. No pets, no parties. 


About NCA and Bronwyn Arundel

About Bronwyn Arundel

 I graduated with a BFA from NSCAD in 2008 and have been working as a full-time potter since 2012. I opened the Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery in May of 2018 and started welcoming Artists in Residence that summer.  I do not have a business degree but I have the practical experience and I was lucky to have completed the self-employment benefit program through E.I. Through that program, I developed my own business plan, which I continue to work with and refine.  I enjoyed the planning aspects of the business program and the sense of security I have from knowing what steps to take and where they might take me. Sometimes students coming out of university (or self-taught artists) will have little confidence in how to apply their skills/product in order to make a living.  I believe strongly that it is a gap worth addressing.

I hope that this Residency might help a few artists get their “ducks” in a row and give them a sense of direction. You will only get out what you put in.  16 hours a week in the Studio is our expected minimum, but I highly recommend that you consider your time as an Artist-in-Residence as a full-time job.


we encourage you to call or email if you have any questions

1-140 Wallace street, Nanaimo BC

250-802-1630 ask for Bronwyn

Thanks for submitting!

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