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.

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.

Residency Information

Each year we invite applications for a 4 to 8 week stay at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in Kelowna. This residency includes accommodation in a large two-bedroom home located at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre as well as full use of a writing studio on the property.  The visiting artist/writer/performer will be expected to spend time on their own writing 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 raise awareness of nature in this era of climate change and mass extinction and that help imagine more sustainable and intersectional ways of living and being in place. The Residency program – this year focussed on writers—allows a contemplative experience in the natural world while still being near urban amenities and having access to the resources of a world-class university.  While in residence, writers are encouraged to practice their craft in the context of the conservation values of the site which is dedicated park land.

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 writing studio 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 located on the ground floor.  The writing studio, located on the second floor and accessible only by stairs, is a private, detached space from the living accommodation. The Writer-in-Residence will be paid $1000 a week. The university will also cover travel costs for the writer. Following all public health travel protocols will be expected.

The Woodhaven Artist-in-Residence is expected to spend 80% of their time working on their own artistic practice, and 20% of their time on public outreach, including at least one public lecture or reading that the university will help organize.  There are no teaching commitments though engagement with local writers 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. As a proud sponsor of the Annual Indigenous Art Intensive, the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is also excited about the potential creative and critical encounters between the Writer in Residence and the Indigenous Intensive.

Applications are closed for the 2021 season.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday March 5, 2021. Please attach the following documents:

  • a cover letter explaining why you’re interested in this residency, a description of what you hope to accomplish of your own work during your residency, any plans for public outreach
  • a CV which includes your publication 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 writing and your interest in eco culture (references may be submitted with your application or submitted separately by your referees to
  • a PDF 40-page sample of your published or produced work, or equivalent audio or video files

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 writers in any genre.  Payment is in Canadian dollars.

One writer will be selected as Writer in Residence. Applicants will be contacted regarding the committee’s decision by the end of March 2021.

  • Woodhaven Building

    Woodhaven residence including two apartments 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

  • 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 stand alone studio.