Artist In Residence Program

The Arts Council of New Westminster’s Artist-In-Residence program features a variety of disciplines by a wide range of artists from New Westminster. The Artist-In-Residence program aims to reflect both the cultural and artistic diversity of contemporary art and to serve as an educational forum for the citizens of New Westminster and surrounding communities. The program is open to both established and emerging artists living and/or working in New Westminster. This is an artist development program and there is no requirement to be an established or professional artist. The program is an opportunity to develop as an artist, and no previous experience is expected.

The Arts Council wishes to highlight how diverse our community is, and in order to break down any exclusionary barriers and create a platform for marginalized voices, artists on the LGBTQ2SIA+ spectrum, non-binary artists, artists of colour, Indigenous artists, and disabled artists, are strongly encouraged to submit.

Applications to be accepted in Fall 2022

Click here to review the past application process


The ACNW operates a picturesque gallery in the Centennial Lodge, Queen’s Park known as The Gallery at Queen’s Park, which features a wide range of visual arts by local and emerging artists in exhibitions.

The ACNW is seeking to provide New Westminster artists and local not-for-profit arts organizations with the opportunity to use the Lower Studio space in The Gallery at Queen’s Park free of charge in exchange for a weekly public programming event (approx 1-2 hours) that engages the community (online or physically distant in-person). Collaborations between artists and community groups are welcome.

Selected artists and organizations have 24-hour non-exclusive access to the Lower Studio space. All successful applicants are required to be members of the Arts Council of New Westminster.

As a community gallery, the gallery’s opening hours are maintained by volunteer staff, therefore the Artist-in-Residence will be expected to work collaboratively within the operations of the Gallery for the duration of their residency.


  • To be considered for this program, you must live and/or work in New Westminster.
  • To be in-residence, you must be a current member of the Arts Council of New Westminster at the time of your residency.
  • Artists whose work has already been exhibited in the gallery are invited to apply, allowing a 3-year interim between applications.


  • The Council does not charge for artist-in-residence program, nor does it pay an artist to participate.
  • The Gallery at Queen’s Park will pay an honorarium of $150 for public programming during the residency.
  • The Artist-In-Residence program does not provide funding for supplies but selected artists will have access to materials and equipment on hand within The Gallery at Queen’s Park

For more information, contact

Upcoming Artists in Residence

March/April/May/June 2022 – Juno Avila-Clark

Juno Avila-Clark (he/they) is an emerging multimedia visual artist whose work focuses on community, connections between people, identity, and the environment. He hopes to create art that has the power to bring people together and process complex emotions in a healthy way.

His work includes digital illustrations, photography, watercolours, acrylics and more. They are high school student, and beyond some art classes at Shadbolt centre, are essentially self-taught.

Juno was selected for the Greenhouse project (lead by The Only Animal), a cohort of 100 artists who came together September 2021 to consider how creators from different disciplines have a unique understanding that can be brought to solving the climate crisis.

He is passionate about climate justice, and has worked for Sustainabiliteens (Metro-Vancouver’s climate strike organization) as a co-leader of the former arts and messaging working group, among other roles, such as facilitating for the New Westminster region. They have been working with Sustainabiliteens since spring of 2019 and helped organize several large protests during the fall of that year, including one Greta Thunberg attended and spoke at, and another which reached numbers of at least 100,000 people.

Juno has also planned artistically-focused protests such as a funeral for our future event which took place in front of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s office in Vancouver, and led a flash mob in Pacific Centre mall on Black Friday in 2019. He continues to work with Sustainabiliteens today, taking on different roles as needed.

Locally, Juno has exhibited paintings at Plaskett Gallery and built props for NWSS’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

Juno hopes that his perspective as a young trans person could contribute a unique artistic voice to the conversation and help others view change towards a just world as a positive using their lived experience with transition.

Past Artists in Residence

November/December 2021 & January 2022 – Ellie Niakan & Catherine Chan

We are an artist team comprised of Ellie Niakan, a Certified Lighting Designer and Head of Integral Light Studio Canada, and Catherine Chan, a professional visual artist. We work collaboratively at the intersection of art and light, bringing complementary experiences and expertise in visual art, lighting design, photography, ecology and sustainable design.

Ellie Niakan is an internationally recognized, award-winning Certified Lighting Designer trained at The University of Applied Science in Germany. With over 17 years of experience, she leads Integral Light Studio Canada at Integral Group with passion and creativity, harnessing the power of light to create expressive designs that blend aesthetics and function.

Ellie is the first in Canada to have earned the International Lighting Designer Certification and is among a select few worldwide that have achieved the distinction of Certified Lighting Designer (CLD). Ellie has led and worked corroboratively on a variety of projects, including public art, cultural, recreational, residential, commercial, and urban lighting design. Having worked closely with international architects and designers across the globe, her expansive portfolio includes work from Germany, England, USA, and Canada.

Catherine Chan is a professional visual artist whose work reflects upon themes of social and environmental sustainability, impermanence, and the human experience of change on different timescales. Catherine is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver with a BFA in Photography.

Prior to attending art school, Catherine completed her Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto in Biogeography and Physics, and a Master of Science degree at the University of Guelph in Soil Science. She was a research scientist studying soil ecology and biochemistry, and her experiences in the natural sciences continue to inform her practice.

June/July/August 2021 – Gordon Smithers

I am a local musician who draws. I approach art like I approach music – I am purposefully inconsistent, always looking, listening, learning and experimenting. It interests me that both art and music predate language and are hardwired in humanity’s DNA.

I am practice mostly pen-and-ink and gauche, although I will use any medium to make marks. I am untrained, but have been schooled in a self-directed immersion in art. My influences are eclectic: Aubrey Beardsley, the Surrealists, the clean lines of Art Deco illustration, underground comix artists like R. Crumb, Rick Griffin and Basil Wolverton, outsider art, Pop Art and advertising.

Through my visual study of diverse images, I have found my own way of working. I intentionally let go of the conventions of realism to incorporate intuition rather than overthinking or exerting too much control on the results. This is what makes my art visceral, surprising, and sometimes unsettling.

I am also fascinated by Form Constants or entoptic geometry (the geometric patterns observed during altered states of consciousness). The forms are spirals, cobwebs, lattices, and tunnels. These are recurring, almost obsessive forms, patterns, and shapes that have been with us since we dwelled in caves. They hold significant clues to the circuitry of the brain and the visual cortex. The neural network seems to have an underlying mathematics.

As a musician that draws, I have created covers for CDs and for BC Musician, posters and handbills, and I have illustrated a book. My art was exhibited at the Heritage Grill in New Westminster, where my bands regularly play.
For me, the value of art is as a distraction from everyday banality. It can provoke wonder and it can unsettle peoples usual expectations and perceptions, waking them up to new ways of seeing.