What is the difference between a colony and residency at Ross Creek?

At Ross Creek, we make a distinction between the two this way:
A Colony is a self-directed experience where the visiting artist wishes to work without reference to the Centre’s wider community. There is usually only one moment where they will be asked to interact with the public during their stay, if appropriate (i.e. open studio day). The identified project for the artist is paramount and their complete focus.

A Residency is also project based, but provides many possibilities to interact with the community, as a teacher or mentor. These community programs are developed in conjunction with our programming staff, and are administered by Ross Creek. We match artists’ interests and skills with the needs of our rural community to provide everyone with the best possible experience. Sometimes, we accept residencies for a particular piece of art to be created at the Centre, especially large scale sculptures or garden works that can live in our landscape.

How does one apply for a colony or residency?
Apply online or mail your completed application form and supporting materials to:
Colony Director, Ross Creek Centre for the Arts
P.O. Box 190, 555 Ross Creek Road
Canning, Nova Scotia, B0P 1H0

When are the deadlines for application?

We take applications throughout the year and review them monthly. We encourage you to apply early, so that if there are funding opportunities, you have time to realise them.

Is there an application fee?

Yes, there is a non-refundable fee of $25 CDN or US (cheque or money-order)

Is there a residency fee?

Yes, except in special circumstances. We do  have some work-exchange opportunities, both in work for the centre and teaching opportunities, etc. Our fees include private room in the farmhouse, all meals and private studio. The fees are lower generally than other paid residencies in North America, costing $562.50 (CDN) per week for an individual artist (including all room, board, transport to and from airport and private studio) before any fellowship or bursaries, and we encourage all artists to apply and to discuss options if they require financial aid. From time to time we have facilitated and thematic residencies which cost less, and still have the option for financial assistance.

We currently have an emerging artist residency call thanks to individual artist angel donors  and the Sobey  Foundation, whereby the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is granting free spaces in its residency program to emerging artists or recent graduates in the arts from any community and artistic discipline. We intend this to be an opportunity for emerging artists who are within 5 years of their graduation from a recognized postsecondary arts program, or for artists under 25 who have chosen a different educational path. Residency spaces are available to individuals and small collaborative groups who present a proposal for working on a project for a 2, 4, or 6 week session.  Residencies include accommodation, food and a studio space. Some technical equipment is accessible, however any specialized equipment and computers should be assumed to be the responsibility of the applicant. Applicants must pay for their own travel if accepted, including any visa fees, etc.

Can I send my application electronically?
Yes. Please click here to see the form. Applications may also be sent via regular post, and should include all required supporting materials in one package. Click here to download the application form, reference form,  and faculty form (if applicable). If you are applying for the Emerging Artist residency, please note that in your application, and provide proof of age and/or graduation confirmation.

What should I include with my application?
Please review the materials checklist at the end of the application form before submission. If any materials are missing or incomplete, the application may not be reviewed by the jury.

How will I know if you have received my application?
We will notify you via email or postcard that your application has been received.

When will I be notified if I have been accepted?
Notification of results will be mailed out within 30 days of the submission deadline.

What should I do if I do not have examples of my work for submission?
In order for an application to be reviewed on an equal basis, work samples in the form of images, text, or video must be included. Please review the application guidelines for further details.

How will I get my materials back?
Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient Canadian postage if you wish to have your materials returned. However, if you are accepted for a residency, we will hold your materials until you arrive.

Who is eligible for admission?
Eligible artists for the Colony are emerging or established artists working at a professional level in their field. As a multi-disciplinary arts centre, we encourage artists of all disciplines and natoinalities working in any mediums and forms of expression to apply. The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts does not discriminate in its programs or activities against anyone on the basis of age, race, sex, colour, physical ability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or marital status.

If I am working in collaboration with someone, do we need to apply separately?
Artists who are working in collaboration need only include one project description, but should fill out separate application forms and include their own supporting materials if it is their first time collaborating together.

For those who have previously collaborated together, one application between the two is acceptable; however each applicant must submit their own cv or résumé. In any case, all materials can be mailed together in one package.

Organizations such as dance troupes, small theatre groups and music ensembles applying for artistic group retreats will submit one application. Each member of the group who would be in residence at the Centre must also include their individual professional résumé.

Will the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts supply my equipment or other supplies and materials?
All equipment, materials and supplies are the responsibility of the artist and must be brought to the Centre by the artist. Ross Creek does not provide computer, audio-visual, or sound equipment, though in some cases we may be able to provide access to some woodshop tools or other items. Requests for access to equipment, supplies, or materials must be submitted in advance of the artist’s arrival at Ross Creek and are subject to availability. We will provide guidance for artists to purchase materials, but we are very rural. Materials easily accessible in an urban setting may not be available here. Please check in advance of arrival.

Would there be other artists staying in the colony at the same time as me?
The occupancy of the artist colony varies. Generally, at least two or three artists will be staying in the colony at the same time. There is a possibility that you will reside in the farmhouse alone for a few days if the other artists are arriving or departing at different times, or in some instances an artist may choose to participate in an individual artist residency.
If you have a need or preference with regards to living in the colony with other artists, please indicate this in your application and we will make every effort to accommodate your preference. However, stated preferences do not guarantee actual occupancy numbers at the time of your residency.

Will I be provided with private accommodations and studio space?
Sleeping accommodations in the farmhouse are private, with shared bathroom, breakfast area, and living area. Available studio spaces are both shared and private, with different rates for each. Please indicate your preference in your application.

Where is Ross Creek Centre for the Arts located?
The Centre is 1.5 hours from the Halifax International Airport, and is located on Ross Creek Road, which is on top of the North Mountain about 10 minutes drive from Canning, the nearest town. Situated on 186 acres of farm and forest in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, the nearby towns provide a vibrant and supportive community for the Centre’s visiting artists, yet the Centre is secluded enough for a true retreat experience.

Do I need transportation?
If you are applying for a longer term residency, then yes. If you are a short term visiting artist (2-8 weeks), it is not necessary, though we do emphasize that we are isolated on a beautiful farm where the local village is 6 km away. We have a few bicycles, and can organize day trips for artists to local food producers (wineries and a cheese house) as well as to cultural places and provincial parks.

What are the basic expectations of a Colony or Residency artist?
Aside from respect and professionalism, artists are expected to be available for one open studio day per colony, where the public can meet the artist and experience the work in progress. If this is not possible for you, please specify on the application form. We also ask that any work created at the centre, in whole or in part, be given a mention (i.e. any books with reference to being written in part at Ross Creek, etc.), and we request a copy of widely produced publications (books, magazines, scores, video, or art show catalogues, etc.) be given to the Centre’s library when available. Finally, we ask that a current bio and picture be provided on signing of the colony contract to be used on our website and other promotional materials. We may take images or video interviews of you to promote the colony.

How does the food work?
Our chef prepares all the food on site. We endeavour to use local ingredients when possible (in the spring, summer and fall, often from our own organic gardens), and to have a variety of foods available.

Generally, we purchase our meat from a local butcher who makes his own sausages and smokes his own bacon. We provide three hot prepared breakfasts per week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Otherwise a variety of breakfast foods are provided in the farmhouse for you to enjoy at your leisure. We ask that you inform the chef in advance if you will not be eating the hot breakfast in the centre.

We can cater to most dietary preferences; but we do not guarantee organic foods, especially if they are not locally produced. Please complete the extensive food questionnaire when you sign your contract – otherwise we cannot guarantee that we can meet your food preferences. We encourage you to bring your favourite snacks. However, please note that The Centre is a peanut free facility.

What is the Centre like?
Ross Creek is a dynamic multidisciplinary centre with a broad range of activity. Having officially opened in 2006, the Centre continues to develop new and exciting programming and structures. The main building houses most of the studios, though individual studios are being built on the property. Our organization has been offering engaging programs since 1992, and has a strong connection to the community. We make great efforts to be “green”, with new projects coming on line with solar power and solar hot water systems. See our website for more information about the Centre’s history. We also have a cultural library with books on a variety of art topics, novels, etc.

The Facilities

Set on 178 acres of field, farm and forest, Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is an innovative and environmentally-friendly space. The main building (the barn) houses 7 studio spaces, professional and community gallery space, and most of the permanent art collection. Artists-in-Residence stay in the Farmhouse, a spacious, cottage equipped with a kitchen, communal living spaces, a piano, and seven private bedrooms. Artists also have private studio spaces in the main building. We include two performing arts studios with sprung dance floor, theatre lighting and sound for artists who require them.

The grounds

Experience our large organic gardens, walking and snowshoeing trails, outdoor sculptures and the spectacular view over the Bay of Fundy, home of the highest tides in the world. Spot deer, coyotes, bobcats, bald eagles, hawks, porcupines, groundhogs, herons and waterfowl on our property. There are three ponds at Ross Creek, a large boat studio/ outdoor performance space and secluded summer camp grounds with an intimate campfire area, cabins and solar showers, etc. The nights are extremely dark here, with beautiful skies for star gazing. This can be new for artists used to urban life. The winters are cold, yet spectacular, with snow covered trees and frozen ponds. Artists from hot climates must have winter coats and boots – enjoy the experience! Spring and fall are lovely and mild, with a very visible change of seasons. Our property stretches down a vault, surrounded by forest which turns colour in autumn. During the hot summers, the gardens explode and the Centre is heightened with artistic activity, including live professional theatre performed outdoors.The Ross Creek beach, home to the highest tides in the world, is an easy hike down a gravel road.

The Community
While the centre is not within walking distance to the local village, we arrange regular trips into town for artists, and our community includes a repertory cinema, excellent farmer’s markets and grocers, bookstores and libraries, award-winning wineries, an artisan cheese house, a literary press and Acadia University, which we make accessible to visiting artists as they wish.


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