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For the first time in six years, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21’s Artist in Residence program, as a virtual residency, is open to artists across the country.The deadline has been extended to May 21, which gives artists plenty of time to get their creative applications in.

This year’s mission is to encourage artists to step outside their portfolios and explore digital mediums when sharing the stories of immigrant contributions to Canada. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the power of digital storytelling and its ability to move us through long distances.

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“One of the positive things to happen during COVID has been connecting virtually to people we know, and to new people,” Carrie-Ann Smith, Vice-President of Audience Engagement says. “I’m hoping that the selected artist can tap into that energy, and use the time in support of their project to work with a specific community group, or do a larger social media call for contributions.”

The benefit of this digital project is in its reach. With access to a greater audience, the goal is to engage folks from across Canada through video, software, photography, or other digital means. In one way or another, the chosen artist will be creative in their collaboration with technology, help represent immigrant migration and contributions through the years, while showing how we are all bound by these narratives. Past residencies of this kind include 2019s Ocean of Change, a photo-based project by Katarina Marinic, whose finished product emulated an evolving ocean, populating itself with different images of visitors each day.

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Similar to the museum’s current immersive film exhibit on immigrant contributions to Canada, this digital art project can touch on anything from family farms to Nobel prize winners. “I hope that our film, and this art project, capture the work and sacrifice, the hope and love, that is so obvious in countless families,” Carrie-Ann Smith says.

It’s stories that have – and always will – bind us when we’re apart. Because through countless journeys, we’ve become one Canada.

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For more information about the schedule, compensation, criteria for selection and submission requirements, please visit http://pier21.ca/about/artist-in-residence-program


This content has been developed and paid for by Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, without involvement from The Coast’s editorial department.