Artist in Residence program

Applications open for winter 2021

      The Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery is located in the heart of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  We offer a variety of classes, workshops and membership programs, plus we host an Artist-in-Residence three times a year.  The dates of the Residency terms are: February 2nd to May 28th, June 1st to August 29th, September 1st to December 23rd. Longer stays are welcome.

During their Residency, Artists will have the opportunity to complete a body of work, show and sell 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 and pottery equipment. If they wish, artists may apply to host workshops which can bring in a small income. This is a work exchange program with subsidized housing.

For artists interested in wood fire, NCA has strong links to the Tozan Cultural Society, a train kiln and 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.) 2021 Winter applications due Nov 1st

Nanaimo Ceramic Arts offers two different residency formats.









 Product Creation

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



 Assistance with this project will be provided through directed assignments, and regular meetings with the owner-manager of Nanaimo Ceramic Arts, Bronwyn Arundel.

Business Development

To be considered for this residency, applicants are expected to have already developed a consistent product line and have some experience selling their work. The objective will be to develop a practical business plan that can be executed after the residency.  During their time, artists will have an opportunity to complete a business plan with the following:

  • Business objectives

  • Market research

  • Financial start-up costs

  • Financial 3 year forecast

  • Loan information

  • Marketing plan

  • Operation plan



     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, Artists-in-Residence are required to be present in their space for a regularly-scheduled minimum of 15 hours a week during Gallery open hours.  The agreement will require the resident to 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.  Details of these commitments will be included in your contract.  Artists are required to pay for their own materials.  Clay can be purchased through Nanaimo Ceramic Arts and includes the unlimited use of studio glazes and firing.


      Nanaimo Ceramic Arts maintains a clean and health-and-safety-conscious space. Surfaces are kept free of clay dust and precautions are made to limit dust in the air. We do not use toxic chemicals or materials. This includes gold luster, or other known toxins, in our glazes.

Priority is given to clay artists but the Residency is not limited to ceramics. Note: no toxic or noxious chemicals will be allowed, including oil paints or dust-creating processes.

About NCA

     Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery is located in the old quarter of downtown Nanaimo, on traditional Snuneymuxw land. NCA is 1700 sq./feet and consists of a gallery, 2 private studios, a kitchenette, kiln room with two kilns, a glaze kitchen and 800 sq./foot classroom studio with wheels, a slab roller and extruder. The classroom hosts 3-5 ceramic classes a week, a membership drop-in 5 days a week and advanced weekend workshops. NCA uses white clay and fires to cone 6, alternative clay bodies and firings will be considered for resident artists.


About Nanaimo and our housing option

     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 small but has lots of light and opens up onto a private patio, with views of Mount Benson. $600/month, including utilities, laundry and Wi-Fi . No pets, no parties.

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 practical experience and I was lucky to have completed the self-employment benefit program through E.I. Through this program I developed my own business plan, which I continue to work with and refine.  I enjoyed the planning aspects of the program and the sense of security I got 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 think 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.  Fifteen 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.

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