Deer Lake Artist Residencies

Deer Lake artist residencies provide unique opportunities for emerging and established artists from various disciplines, cultures and locations to create and produce new work. Multiple disciplines are represented in the residency program–visual artists, theatre artists, musicians, land-based practitioners, poets, authors and more.

Deer Lake Park and surrounding properties are on the ancestral and unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Skwxwù7mesh speaking peoples. The setting provides a tranquil environment for artists to contemplate and create. Hiking trails through forests and meadows allow for bird and animal watching all year round.

Deer Lake Park—the cultural hub of the city—is home to several public arts facilities including Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Village Museum and Burnaby Art Gallery.

Residencies may include short-term housing, studio use or production, and can be as short as 6 days or as long as 4 months. Note exception is ceramics which is available only for 6 weeks starting early August and ending mid September. We may provide some equipment if needed, but we expect all artists to be self-sufficient.

Shadbolt and Burnaby Art Gallery staff will support you in creating artist-led community engagement projects relevant to your residency. These projects may include performances, public readings, artist talks, panel discussions or online engagements.

Baldwin House and Eagles Estate are newly renovated heritage homes nestled around the lake and a 10-minute walk from Shadbolt and the Burnaby Art Gallery.

Call for resident artists

2024 deadline: March 15, 2024 (covering residency requests between March 1 to December 12, 2025)

How to apply

Thank you for your interest. Applications are now closed. Please check back for our next call for applications in late 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Types of residencies 

You may request a combined live and workspace or just as a studio residency. If you choose the live and work option, your project must be compatible with co-living and not disturb other residents. You may even request an exclusive house residency if your project involves group collaborations (e.g. music). The houses are not equipped to be art studios and aren't suitable for wet or dirty arts practice.

Each house can accommodate 4 artists and comes with separate furnished rooms. Bathrooms, kitchen and other common spaces like living rooms, porches, decks and gardens are shared.

The houses

Baldwin House

Designed and built in 1965 by internationally renowned architect Arthur Erickson, Baldwin House is a modern post and beam structure that makes extensive use of glass as a material. It's located in a forested area on the south side of Deer Lake.

The house was originally commissioned by Ruth and John Baldwin.

Eagles Estate

Eagles Estate is at the southwestern tip of Deer Lake, overlooking the lake and park to the north. Constructed in 1929, the Eagles Estate features a 0.65 hectare (1.6 acre) garden designed by pioneering Canadian horticulturalist Frank E. Buck.

The City purchased the property from UBC in 1995, which inherited it from the Eagles family. The house is now recognized as a civic heritage site based on its historical, artistic and cultural significance. The garden was a retreat and tranquil centrepiece in the lives of the original owners, Blythe and Violet Eagles.

Studio residencies at the Shadbolt allow artists to practice new or in-progress works in visual arts, pottery, ceramics, etc. These residencies often include staff resources with technician time and materials.

Artists can use the studios throughout the year if the space is available.

Please note: Ceramic residencies take place for 6 weeks in August and September only. 

Production residencies are usually for a group of artists to work collaboratively towards a project and involve a high degree of public engagement. Production residencies are by invitation only.

If you feel you'd benefit from a collective residency, we'd like to hear from you.

Contact [email protected] to learn more about our production residencies.

Existing residencies include:

  • Shadbolt Centre performing arts creation and performance residencies
  • Burnaby Art Gallery curated exhibits or public art commissions

Partner residencies involve an organizational commitment to an ongoing relationship between the City and the partner institution.

Existing partner residencies include SFU Department of English, Playwrights' Theatre Centre and Or Gallery. To learn more about partner residencies, email [email protected].

Questions and answers

Is community engagement a part of every residency? 

Giving back to our community and providing an exciting and creative idea for community engagement that is related to your practice is expected and can be a vital part of your residency experience. Therefore, priority will be given to proposals incorporating creative approaches to engaging with communities, and staff will help facilitate your ideas to bring them from concept to reality. 

Some examples of community engagement include talks, presentations, workshops, demonstrations, readings, rehearsals, works shared online and other opportunities that best suit the artist’s work and abilities.

Do resident artists receive any funding? 

The residencies include the use of studio space and/or housing which has a market rate in-kind value.

What is the time commitment expected during residencies? 

Studio time and housing are limited and considered valuable resources. Therefore, we expect that all our approved Artists in Residence will use their housing and studio times for the majority of their allocated times. Please keep in mind that other artists have been declined this opportunity, so maximum use of the space is expected by those who receive the opportunity. If your plans change significantly, please get in touch with the program liaison.

Are any social events arranged for artists to meet each other? 

We will inform residents of peer artists on site in advance of their stay and encourage artists to connect informally with each other. During the summer studio residencies at the Shadbolt (August-September), informal gatherings and open studios may be facilitated at the beginning and end of the period. Please note that if you are the only Artist in Residence on site in a studio or house, your main interactions may only be with staff at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Art Gallery or other departments.

What kind of parking is available? 

Parking passes will be provided for the duration of the residency if applicable. Underground and surface parking lots are available at the Shadbolt Centre, with loading bay to the west side of the main building. Parking is also available at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The houses have driveways and street parking available.

How do I get to the area by transit?
  • The 144 (SFU northbound/Metrotown southbound) connects the Metrotown Skytrain Station in south Burnaby and Sperling Skytrain Station in North Burnaby and runs along Deer Lake Avenue with stops right outside the Shadbolt Centre and Burnaby Art Gallery.
  • The 123 (Brentwood Town Centre northbound/New Westminster Station southbound) runs along Canada Way with stops located close to Deer Lake Park.
  • The 129 (Metrotown Station northbound/Edmonds Station southbound), sometimes numbered 133, in a horseshoe route connects Metrotown in south Burnaby, Holdom and Gilmore Stations in north Burnaby, and Edmonds Station again in the south.

Which disciplines can have residencies in the houses? 

The most common artistic disciplines to use the houses for their residencies are writers, visual artists, musicians and interdisciplinary artists. When artists require a studio in the Shadbolt Centre or Burnaby Art Gallery for their dedicated use, a studio residency can also be requested in your application (see studio residency information below).

Where are the houses located? 

Deer Lake Artist Residencies are located in two heritage houses located adjacent to Deer Lake in beautiful Burnaby, British Columbia. These are about a 5-10 minute walk from the Shadbolt Centre and Burnaby Art Gallery.

How many people can stay in the houses at one time? 

Typically, 2 resident artists are booked in the houses at the same time, with 1 artist residing on each floor. If you are applying as a collective or group you are welcome to use all bedrooms provided (3 in Baldwin and 4 in Eagles), please indicate the number of collaborators in your application form.

What is included in the house? 

The houses have shared kitchens, a bathroom on each floor, deck/patio space and parking. The kitchens are equipped with basic appliances, such as toaster and coffee maker and basic food supplies (oil, salt, pepper, sugar etc.). In addition, we provide towels, linens and full set washer dryer machines. Artists are welcome to bring their own linens.

Are pets allowed? 

Pets are not allowed on the premises and to support allergy free environment for participants, unless otherwise arranged through the agreement process.

Can I invite my partner/spouse? 

Guests are not permitted inside the houses unless otherwise coordinated with the staff liaison. The program’s insurance covers the artist and approved collaborators only. You are welcome to meet your guests outside in the park and at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

Do I have to spend the nights in the house all the time during my residency? 

We ask all our artist residents to ensure the building’s safety and security, which includes staying at the house. If you plan to be absent, please let the staff know.

Where can I park my car? 

There is parking available at each house. The Baldwin House and Eagles Estate each have 2 parking stalls. There is free street parking available close to each of the houses, however it is sometimes hard to find a spot during busy summer months.

What is there to do in the area? 

Deer Lake Park is the cultural hub of Burnaby, with the Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby Village Museum, the Burnaby Arts Council and Gallery and the Shadbolt Centre. These cultural centres present exhibitions, music and theatre productions throughout the year. The major malls, Metrotown Centre and Crystal Mall, are a short 10-minute bus ride away where you will find shops, a food court, movie theatre and the Metrotown branch of the Burnaby Public Library. From Metrotown, downtown Vancouver is a 20-minute Skytrain ride away. Nearby New Westminster is also rich in cultural attractions, including New Westminster Quay and the Anvil Centre.

Deer Lake is also a treasured natural space. The walk around the lake will normally take about 40 minutes and can be done in a loop. At different times of year there are turtles, river otter, bald eagles and salmon that share the habitat. Seasonal boat rentals are located at the east end of Deer Lake.

Where do I purchase the food I require during my stay? 

There are a number of options for purchasing food which are all relatively close by when taking transit. Uber, Lift, local taxi services and delivery are also available to you.

  • Nearby Metrotown Centre has several convenient food options: Real Canadian Superstore, T&T Supermarket, PriceSmart Foods, and a Walmart Supercentre (Transit: 144 Metrotown).
  • “The Heights” on Hastings Street has several green-grocer markets, bakeries, Cioffi’s Deli, Safeway and Sungiven Foods Market. There are also many fabulous restaurants located in the Heights (Transit: 129 Metrotown).
  • There is a Save-On-Foods and Whole Foods a short walk from the Brentwood Town Centre Skytrain Station (Transit: 123 Brentwood Station)
  • Our neighbouring city of New Westminster also has a Safeway and some interesting food options at the Skytrain station, and New Westminster Quay across the street and footbridge over the railroad tracks (Transit: 123 New West Station).
  • There are a number of local restaurants (Pizza, African and Indian food) near the intersection of Canada Way and Sperling Ave.

Are there elevators in the Shadbolt Centre we can use? 

The Shadbolt Centre has a standard elevator; please keep the weight limit in mind when loading equipment. Mathers House has studios for visual arts, creative writing and ceramics but does not have an elevator as it is a heritage site.

What time does the Shadbolt close and can I hang out in the lobby? 

The Shadbolt opens at 9 am and closes at 9 pm with some exceptions for special events and programs. You are welcome to spend time in our atrium and exhibition spaces during operating hours.

Is the Shadbolt wheelchair accessible? 

Access to all areas is provided by elevator, ramp or level entry. Automatic doors are located at the east and west entrances. There are 12 accessible seats available in the front row of James Cowan Theatre, with indoor access from the side of the theatre. The upstairs studios in Mather House are not wheelchair accessible 

Where can I park my car? 

Free parking at the Centre includes 70 underground stalls and 130 surface stalls at the north end of the building. Some stalls are designated for those with parking permits only. There are 4 accessible stalls—3 in the north parking lot which can be accessed from Deer Lake Ave and 1 in the south underground lot. Street parking is also available on Deer Lake Ave.

Are pets allowed? 

Pets are not allowed on the premises, unless otherwise approved by the program staff representative or guide dogs for those with visual impairments.

What do I do if I am also booked for a studio space but don’t need it? 

Studio times are precious and costly. We therefore ask you to cancel it in advance if there are times that you don’t need it. Please reach out to the program liaison to cancel so others can use it.


Are there studio spaces similar to a theatre with sound and lighting that can be used without the additional cost of a technician? 

Yes, up till spring 2024 we have a black box studio space available to resident artists which include lighting and a sound system that is easily operated by the user.

Will storage be provided to me when I use a black box studio? 

If you are provided with dedicated time in the black box studio you will be able to keep items you require stored during this time. Please take all valuables with you. If you are using the studio intermittently during programming months, storage space cannot be offered.


Are there studios with specialized dance flooring and equipment? 

All of the dance studios in the Shadbolt Centre have sprung floors. 1 studio has specialized flooring which will be dedicated to professional dancer or dance groups only. All studios are equipped with mirrors with drapes to cover them, a sound system and ballet barres.

Will storage be provided to me when I use a dance studio? 

There is no space provided within the dance studios for storage of any kind, including costumes or props. The studios are heavily used outside of residencies for rentals and regular programs.


Does the Shadbolt have practice studios that musicians can use during the residency? 

Availability of studios depends on the time of day and time of year. Generally the studios are fully booked for programs from September to June from 2:30-9:30 pm weekdays and all day on Saturday with reduced studio use in July. We will do our best to accommodate studio use outside of these dates and times.

What kind of equipment and instruments are available to me in the music studios? 

All studios contain upright pianos, metronomes and a bluetooth speaker.

How big are the studios? 

The practice studios are approximately 6’x10’ (or 2 meters x 3.3 meters)

Are the studios sound proofed? 

The private studios are not fully sound proofed, and are located along a hallway next to each other. Sound does bleed through the walls and into the hallway.

Visual arts

What equipment is available for use?

The Shadbolt Centre and Burnaby Art Gallery have a large variety of equipment that can be requested. If available, staff will arrange to have the equipment provided to you during your residency. A list of equipment available for your use will be shared with you upon request.

Do I have the opportunity to exhibit my work? 

Yes, exhibition space inside the Shadbolt Centre is available throughout the year on a limited basis (3-6 weeks) for group or solo exhibitions and can be coordinated with the Visual Arts Programmer at the Shadbolt. These spaces include plinths, galleria cases and wall space. Exhibitions at the Burnaby Art Gallery are generally programmed years in advance. Studio visits are welcomed and encouraged, however please contact the Gallery’s Director/Curator or Assistant Curator if you would like to arrange a visit.

Is storage available to me during my residency? 

When using a visual arts studio for dedicated time period you will be able to keep all the items you require stored in that space. The space will be locked when you are not there and all of your items will be secure. You may bring in your own padlock for an empty cupboard for valuable items for the studios that cannot be locked due to fire safety. If you are using the studio intermittently during programming months, storage space cannot be offered.

When do the Visual Arts Studios Residencies take place? 

Visual arts studios are available early to mid August to mid September for 1-2 weeks at a time. Part-time residencies on specific days of the week or evenings outside of programming times may be able to be accommodated upon request.


When do the ceramic residencies take place? 

The ceramic arts residencies take place starting in August and ending in September. These residencies are 5-6 weeks in length. Specific dates change annually.

With the ceramic residencies being close to 6 weeks in length, is accommodation paired with studio use? 

One room of the residency houses is dedicated to a ceramic artist who is approved for the summer residency. As the ceramic residency is longer than the typical residency stay and only happens for a short period of each year, we want to ensure that artists from outside of the Lower Mainland have an opportunity to participate.

What equipment is included in the ceramic facilities for artist use? 

Ceramic residencies provide artists with a dedicated space to work with a table, 1 wheel, ware carts and shelving for greenware and bisque pieces. Artists also have access to a scrounge room with bats, rolling pins, scales, banding wheels, etc., and shared equipment such as a slab roller and 2 extruders. Artists will also have access to the kiln shed where there are glazing tools and a spray booth.

Are firings a part of the Ceramic residency? 

All bisque firings are included in the ceramics residency. Gas and electric glaze firings can be arranged and the costs of each firing will be provided to artists, so they can book those additional firings when they are ready.

What if I want to take part in a specialty firing (wood, soda, raku, primitive, gas)? 

The Shadbolt Centre specialty firings are scheduled within our programming seasons; resident ceramic artists will find the soda firings and wood firing scheduled in late September and through October the most relevant options. You are encouraged to take part in these firings and the Ceramic Arts Programmer will support you with getting into these registered programs if you choose to have work created during the residency fired in this way. Please note that these firings have space limits and will be at the regular cost of the programs.

How much time are artists expected to work in studio residencies? 

Because of the high demand and limited time available for ceramic residencies, we expect that artists who are provided a dedicated space will be in attendance a minimum of 35 hours a week.

What if I cannot finish my project by the end of the residency? 

Projects not completed by the end of the residency period are expected to be taken home by the resident artist. We are not able to store unfinished work.

Are there full time and part time options for studio residencies? 

The summer residency provides dedicated studios 7 days a week from 9 am-9 pm for the entire period of the residency. If you wish to use a studio for only a few days a week, arrangements can be made in an alternate studio space which does not include in-studio secured storage as those spaces will be shared with other users. If available, a designated area in our basement damp room could be provided.

Are there any clay and supply costs covered in my ceramic residency? 

Approximately 2 boxes of the clay of your choice is included in the residency. Clay over and above this allotment must be purchased through the Shadbolt Centre.

Do I have the opportunity to have an exhibition? 

Yes, exhibition space inside the Shadbolt Centre is available throughout the year on a limited basis (3-6 weeks) and can be coordinated with the Ceramic Arts Programmer at the Shadbolt. These spaces include plinths and galleria cases.

Was this page useful?