Ottawa School of Art

General information

Brief description of organisation

In 1879 by a group of prominent local citizens under the patronage of the Governor General, the Marquis of Lorne and his wife, the Princess Louise founded the Ottawa Art Association. The Association was determined to open as school of art and design in the capital. Classes began in April of 1880 with 18 students enrolled in the Ottawa Art School as it was then called. Over the next 100 years there were many changes and transitions to the school and its community, but the school survived and emerged from the war years as the Ottawa Municipal Art Centre. In 1976 the school was reorganized under its present name and in 1983 it moved into its present location in the By Ward Market district in Ottawa. In 2009 the school expanded with a second campus being added in the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

The Ottawa School of Art (OSA) established an artist residency program during its 135th anniversary. The residency program is located solely in the ByWard Market campus in downtown Ottawa. OSA has opened its specialized studios there for ceramics, printmaking & sculpture for use by resident artists during the schools regular hours of operation. OSA will accept a maximum of 2 artists per studio at any time during the year. We suggest that the minimum residency time should be no less than 2 weeks. There is no official maximum length of time - this will be worked out with each resident artist.

OSA will provide:
• Set periods of free studio time in the specialized studio of choice.
• Basic general studio supplies (e.g. acids and solvents in the print studio, etc.)
• Assistance to any resident artists (letters of support/invitation, etc.)
• Wireless internet access at OSA
• OSA will provide information on various forms of accommodations (e.g. self-catering apartments, university residences, etc.) and will negotiate reasonable rates for the artists.
• A reception and exhibition in the Lee Matasi Gallery of work done during the pilot project.
• A professional training session for resident artists offered by CARFAC
• Guest passes to the National Gallery of Canada and other national museums when possible

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Printmaking
  • We also will consider projects focused on painting, computer-based arts, photography, etc.
Type of organisation
  • Other

Independent alternative art school

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • between 1 and 3 months
Number of artists resident at one time


Companions allowed
  • Children
  • Partners
  • Pets
Grants available

No grants are available at this time to support travel, accommodation and living costs. OSA will provide basic studio supplies to residents. OSA will provide assistance to locate reasonable housing options and will provide information on living in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Housing
  • Supplies
  • Food
Expectations of the artist
  • Presentation
  • Cleaning
Application who/how

Digital Application

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency



  • Internet Connection
  • Library
  • Office
  • Computer
  • Printmaking Facilities
  • Ceramics Facilities
  • Woodworking Tools
  • Plaster Room
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Shared Studio


Wheelchair accessible studios and accomodation.

Working language(s)
  • English
  • French
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Exhibitions
  • Regular program of courses that run through 4 terms each year.

How to reach

By train

Via Rail from Montreal, Kingston or Toronto

By plane

Fly to Ottawa International Airport.

By car

Highway 40 West from Montreal.
Highway 401 East from Toronto, then Highway 416 North.

Nearest airport

Ottawa International Aiport

Contact information

Ottawa School of Art
35 George Street
K1N 8W5 Ottawa, Ontario

Phone: 613.241.7471

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