Woodhaven Artist in Residence Program

The FCCS Woodhaven Artist in Residence Program provides a paid residency opportunity for a diverse variety of visiting artists including writers, visual artists, digital media artists and performance artists. Artists will stay between 2 – 4 weeks at our Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in the summer months.

Call for Submissions

For the 2024 season, we are seeking applications from artists or writers who are engaged in visual arts, digital arts, performance, social and community-based artistic practices. We particularly encourage applications from BIPOC artists and those from marginalized groups that are traditionally underrepresented in ecologically-focussed creative practice. 

Deadline to apply: March 15, 2024

See below for details on the space and application requirements.

Residency Information

This residency includes accommodation in a large two-bedroom home located at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre as well as full use of a studio on the property.  The visiting artist/author/performer will be expected to spend time on their own art practice as well as part of their time on community engaged programming. 

See below for information on the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre, details on the residency and application requirements. 

The Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre is located within a nature conservancy in Kelowna, British Columbia, within the unceded territories of the Syilx Nation. The Eco Culture Centre is an unstaffed retreat committed to supporting artists and students working in creative and critical practices that explore more sustainable and just ways of being in relationship with natural and non-human worlds, in a time of escalating climate change and mass extinction. It regularly hosts public events and visiting artists will develop community engagement activities that can attract local participation. The program offers a contemplative experience in a natural setting.

Please be aware that Woodhaven is located approximately 18 kms (~30 minutes by car) from the university campus and is distant from typical urban amenities even though it is adjacent to a neighbourhood and near a transit system. Applicants should be independent and capable of navigating on their own.

Woodhaven Blog

This residency includes accommodation in the first floor of a large two-bedroom home located at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre as well as full use of a dedicated studio space on the property. Meals are the responsibility of the artist. A full-kitchen and all linens are provided. The residence can accommodate a family or support person, and is found on the ground floor. Residents are not permitted to keep pets or animals in the accommodation or on the residence property, even temporarily, due in part to the risk of conflicts with wildlife on the property. 


The successful applicant will be paid $7000.  

The fee includes; travel (artist to book to and from Kelowna) and travel within the area as well as average per diem and incidentals and any materials the artist requires should be accommodated in the fee. *No expenses or receipts are required for travel and per diem. The amount is final and no additional payment will be made.

This fee is subject to applicable taxes. 


The program runs between June 15 and August 15. The duration of the residency varies and all applicants should indicate their dates and length of stay.

*Note: International applicants are limited to 30 days including travel due to immigration rules.  


Artists who are engaged in visual arts, creative writing, digital arts, performance, and community-based artistic practices are invited to apply. Space on site is limited, and minimal equipment is available at Woodhaven. 

The Woodhaven Visiting Artist Residency is primarily designed to support site-specific artistic practice that engages with the space at Woodhaven (which includes forested areas and a creek), the Okanagan region more broadly, or local knowledge and expertise. 

UBC Okanagan campus is home to the Bachelor of Sustainability and has faculty working in multiple areas of climate and sustainability focused research and creative practice. This residency is a vibrant part of UBC Okanagan’s commitment to building communities, both locally and globally, that are committed to creating and sharing knowledge and creative practices dedicated to the mindful preservation and just stewardship of our world’s natural environment. 

Visiting Artists should be prepared to execute their project independently. UBC’s Okanagan Campus is a 30-minute drive away from Woodhaven and features resources that may be available, such as a staffed woodshop and metal shop (use of these spaces does require safety training and must be completed with one of our studio technicians). Bookings must be made in advance. Transportation will be the artist’s responsibility if use of these spaces is needed.  

We particularly encourage applications from BIPOC artists and those from marginalized groups traditionally underrepresented in ecologically-focused creative practice. 

Preference will be given to emerging and early-career artists and writers who have a demonstrated record of professional activity. 

Each artist is expected to do at least one public outreach event in the form of a workshop or talk or demonstration that includes wider communities – from UBCO, and Kelowna, etc. We ask candidates to propose their own initiatives for community engagement in their letter of application. We will work with artists to help coordinate communications around such events or workshops to get a wider audience. 

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday March 15, 2024. Please attach the following documents:

  • A cover letter explaining why you’re interested in this residency, a description of the site-specific work you plan to carry out during your residency, the expected duration of the residency, your capacity to work independently, and plans for community engagement. (Please include dates of desired length of stay)
  • A CV which documents your professional artistic practice, your community engagement experience, and contact information (including telephone and email address)
  • Contact information for 2 referees who can speak to your artistic practice and your interest in eco culture
  • Samples of your art, performance, or writing or appropriate links to samples of produced work

All application materials must be received by the application deadline. Please send one PDF document that includes all of the above requirements via email to: fccs.ubco@ubc.ca

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated record of professional practice in environmental art, writing, or performance
  • Quality of past and proposed creative practice and public engagement activities
  • Preference will be given to emerging and early-career artists
  • Connection to the Okanagan and/or Woodhaven in proposed creative practice and/or public engagement activities
  • Capacity to work independently


This residency is open to Canadian and international individuals engaged in any genre of the creative arts. Current UBC students are not eligible. 

Payment is in Canadian dollars, and is subject to applicable taxes. 

One artist will be selected as Artist in Residence. Applications will be reviewed by the Woodhaven Artist in Residence Selection Committee. Applicants will be contacted with news of the committee’s decision in April. 

  • Woodhaven art studio

    Woodhaven residency detached purpose-built art studio across from the main house

  • Woodhaven residency detached purpose-built art studio across from the main house

  • Woodhaven Art Studio

    Woodhaven residency detached purpose-built art studio (left) and retreat space (right) across from the main house

  • Woodhaven studio interior

    Interior of the Woodhaven residency detached purpose-built art studio

  • Interior of detached retreat space

  • Woodhaven_house

    Woodhaven residence including a research lab and apartment in the main house, as well as the writing studio above the garage.

  • Envisioning a Better tomorrow workshop with 2021 Writer in Residence, Chantal Bilodeau

  • Tessa_Zettel_workshop

    Fringe Natures #8: Lichen Love with 2022 Artist in Residence, Tessa Zettel

  • Woodhaven forest

    Guests talking a walk around the Woodhaven nature conservancy.

  • M Creates Workshop

    Workshop at Woodhaven with FCCS Visiting Scholar Marlene Creates, 2014.

  • M Creates Workshop

    Marlene Creates workshop inside the centre’s detached stand alone studio.

Past Residencies

For the 2022 season, applications were sought from visual artists.

We were pleased to welcome Tessa Zettel as the 2022 Woodhaven Artist in Residence.

Tessa Zettel works collaboratively between disciplines as an artist, writer and researcher to imagine and enact other ways of living. Her participatory projects respond to the contexts in which they occur, using a kind of fabulist archaeology to make visible contested histories & possible futures. This involves bringing speculative forms of mapping, storytelling, writing, publishing, drawing, performance and exchange to overlooked or devalued cultural practices and knowledge. Since 2015 Tessa has moved between international artist residencies in France, Finland, Germany, Estonia, Mexico and China amongst others. She is co-founder of micro-publishing platform Cloudship Press and embodied experimental research collective Weathering (with Astrida Neimanis & Jen Hamilton), as well as a co-director at Sydney artist-run space & library Frontyard Projects, a member of public art/architecture group Collective Disaster, and a teacher in Interdisciplinary Design at University of Technology Sydney and Sydney University.

The Great Tuning Fork, image from the T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society Annual Field Trip & Picnic 2086, Nida, Eighth EcoZone. Tessa Zettel shown front, centre.

Tessa will spend a month, from July 6 to August 2, at the Woodhaven Eco Culture centre, developing and sharing her work as part of the T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society. Founded in 2018 with Dr. Sumugan Sivanesan, the Society is a performance/publishing project that has for over seventy years promoted the love & study of lichen in an age of mass extinctions. Some of the Society’s liveliest current working groups include the Metta-Verse Mutual Aid Space Program, the Space-Time Fab Lab and the emergent Crystal Radio Lab. At Woodhaven they will engage with the community and host a public event around their now iconic members’ poetry anthology ‘Love Letters to Lichen’ (2043). Local lovers of lichen are encouraged to get in touch if they wish to join the Society or be involved in its activities by emailing welikelichen@protonmail.com.

Find out more about Tessa’s practice at www.oumopo.com.

On July 28th, Tessa facilitated a workshop, Fringe Natures #8: Lichen Love (Special Summer Edition)

The T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society & the FEELed Lab invite you to a special co-hosted ‘Fringe Natures’ gathering based around lichen love poetry. This convivial amateur workshop will be led by the Society’s co-founder, Tessa Zettel, visiting from Gadigal Land/Sydney (Australia) as Woodhaven’s 2090 Artist-in-Residence.

Viewing lichen with a close up lens

Together we’ll deepen our familiarity with lichen-kin by trying out some exercises in close inspection and close reading of/with lichen in the area around us. Participants will have the opportunity to collectively decipher lichen lyrics, compile and share love poetry to lichen, and offer potential contributions to the Society’s forthcoming expanded re-issue of their iconic anthology Love Letters to Lichen (2043).

“In cosmic co-becomings!”

Feel free to email welikelichen@protonmail.com with any questions.

For the 2021 season, applications were sought from writers of all genres.

We were pleased to welcome playwright, Chantal Bilodeau as the 2021 Woodhaven Writer in Residence.

Chantal BilodeauChantal Bilodeau is a Montreal-born, New York-based playwright and translator whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, art, and climate change. In her capacity as Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle, she has been instrumental in getting the theatre and academic communities, as well as audiences in the U.S. and abroad, to engage in climate action through programming that includes live events, talks, publications, workshops, national and international convenings, and a worldwide distributed theatre festival.


Chantal spent a month, from June 17 to July 24, at the Woodhaven Eco Culture centre working on her art practice, engaging with the community and offering a workshop. See details below.

On Saturday, July 10, Chantal Bilodeau facilitated a workshop, Envisioning a Better World Together.  Below is the context for the workshop and images from the day.

These days, it feels like we are going from crisis to crisis and it can be difficult to think past a sense of constant urgency. This workshop will take advantage of the beautiful Woodhaven setting to take a step back, go beyond our frustrations with the world as it is, and start to formulate visions of the world we want. We’ll use our imagination to articulate, in as specific terms as possible, what we hope to bring into existence for ourselves and for others. As a culmination of this envisioning exercise, we’ll create a land art mandala together.

View images of the workshop

Chantal Bilodeau Resident Experience

Chantal Bilodeau provided this write up below about her experience during the Woodhaven Residency.

During my residency at Woodhaven, I worked on two projects: Revisions to a full-length play titled NO MORE HARVEYS, which is slated for production in Anchorage, AK in April 2022; and a 10-minute radio play inspired by an oral history project that looks at the waves of immigrants – some of them from French Canada – who moved to Hartford, CT in the 1950s in search of better job opportunities.

I also led a workshop titled “Envisioning a Better World Together” that was attended by 10-12 people. We talked about the difficulty of thinking past a constant sense of urgency at a time when we are overwhelmed by one environmental and social crisis after another. And together, we started to formulate visions of the world we want to live in. As a culmination of this envisioning exercise, we created a land art mandala together.

I made some lovely connections while in Kelowna. I visited Caravan Farm Theatre and will be leading a week-long workshop there next year. I met Astrida Neimanis, who might participate in a global project I lead every other year called Climate Change Theatre Action. I spent time with Nancy Holmes, Denise Kenney, Michael Smith, and Greg Garrard from the university. And I reconnected with Chantel Snyder, a UBC students I met a few years ago, and Elaine Avila, a Vancouver-based playwright.