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 4 – 8 weeks at our Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in the summer months.

2022 Artist-in-residence

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.

Fringe Natures #8: Lichen Love (Special Summer Edition)

WHEN: Thursday 28 July, 10am-12pm (drop in)
WHERE: Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre, 969 Raymer Road

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!”

Please drop in anytime between 10am and noon. This workshop is free an open to the public, but we ask that you register in advance.

Register Now

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

Bring pens and paper that you like to write or draw with, comfortable shoes, a hat, any magnifying glasses or hand lenses you happen to own, and any photos or drawings of beloved lichen. If you have on hand favourite examples of writing (yours or someone else’s) ­– poetry, prose, song etc. – either about, around or with lichen, please bring them along too!

Fringe Natures is an occasional outdoor event series hosted by the FEELed Lab. These events invite deep curiosity about who, and where, we are, and what the heck we are doing here. All FEELed Lab events strive to be feminist, anticolonial, queer, and accessible spaces!  

The T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society has for over seventy years been dedicated to promoting the love and study of lichen in this galaxy and beyond. Since 2018 its growing membership of multispecies co-constituents have conducted myriad curious forms of research, happenings and publications, collectively exploring speculative narratives and rituals around extinction that take lichen as guide, teacher, poet and friend. In 2090 the liveliest of its many enthusiast-led working groups are the emergent Crystal Radio Lab, and the Metta Verse Mutual Aid Space Program, along with its subsidiary Space-Time Fab Lab.

Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre is located at 969 Raymer Road. We ask that participants park at the Woodhaven Regional Park and walk to the house. Please do not park in front of the houses along Raymer Rd.

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 public outreach.

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 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. This year’s residency program, will support  a visual artist. The program offers a contemplative experience in a natural setting while still being near urban amenities with access to the resources of a world-class university. While in residence, artists are encouraged to develop their creative practice in the context of the conservation values of the site which is dedicated park land on unceded Syilx Okanagan territory. 

Woodhaven Blog

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 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. We are anticipating the opening of a newly renovated studio space in July 2022, though an existing small studio space is available on the property now. The Artist-in-Residence will be paid $1000 a week. The university will also cover travel costs for the artist.

Artists who are engaged in visual arts, digital arts, performance, social and community-based artistic practices are invited to apply. Please note the space on site is limited, and minimal equipment is available at Woodhaven. This residency is designed to engage primarily with the space at Woodhaven (which includes forested trails and a creek), although UBC’s Okanagan Campus (a 30-minute drive away from the residence location) features a staffed woodshop and metal shop, which can be booked ahead of time. 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 that are traditionally underrepresented in ecologically-focussed creative practice. 

The Woodhaven Artist in Residence is expected to spend 80% of their time working on their own art, and 20% of their time on public outreach, including at least one public lecture or event that the university will help organize. There are no teaching commitments, although engagement with local artists and students can be a part of the community engagement.  

We invite candidates to propose their own initiatives for community engagement in their letter of interest. UBC’s Okanagan campus is launching a new bachelor’s degree in Sustainability, and has faculty working in multiple areas of climate and sustainability focused research and creative practice. We see this residency becoming 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.

Residents are not permitted to keep pets or animals in the accommodation or on the residence property, even temporarily.

Applications are currently closed. Stay tuned for dates and deadlines for the 2023 season.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday March 18, 2022. Please attach the following documents:

  • A cover letter explaining why you’re interested in this residency, a description of what work you hope to carry out during your residency, and any plans for public outreach 
  • A CV which includes your exhibition history, your reading/ teaching/ community engagement experience, and contact information (including telephone and email address) 
  • Two letters of reference from people who can speak to your artistic practice and your interest in eco culture (references may be submitted with your application or submitted separately by your referees to creativestudies.ubco@ubc.ca )  
  • A URL for your website or links to samples of produced work 

All application materials must be received by the application deadline. Please attach one PDF document include all requirements above and email: creativestudies.ubco@ubc.ca

Eligibility:  This residency is open to Canadian and international aritsts in any genre.  Payment is in Canadian dollars.

One artist will be selected as Artist in Residence. Applicants will be contacted about the committee’s decision by the beginning of April, 2022

  • Woodhaven_house

    Woodhaven residence including two apartments in the main house, as well as the writing studio above the garage.

  • Detached studio and shed across from the main house

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

  • Woodhaven forest

    Guests talking a walk around the Woodhaven nature conservancy.

  • Beat Salad event at Woodhaven, 2015 by MFA student Clay McCann, a confluence of performance poetry, prose, music, and excellent company.

  • 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.

2021 Writer-in-residence

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 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.