Programs and Awards

The YVR Art Foundation provides support for Indigenous artists through four main programs:

  1. Youth Scholarships
  2. Mid-Career Artist Scholarships
  3. Masterpiece Study Program Grants
  4. Aspiring Artist Award

YVR Art Foundation Youth Art Scholarships

In collaboration with corporate, foundation and individual donors, YVR Art Foundation offers up to seven visual art scholarships annually to BC and Yukon Indigenous youth (age 16-26) who wish to develop their artistic potential. The scholarship award enables artists to study/work with an artist mentor or attend a recognized school of art over a one-year period. The scholarship recipients are selected through a juried process and each award is for $5,000.
The Youth scholarship award is not just a cheque: it’s a year-long adventure. Youth Scholarship recipients are brought to Vancouver, taken on a tour of the YVR Art Collection, and are invited along with their families to an official awards reception. The following day, after a complimentary hotel stay, recipients tour a variety of galleries, museums, and artist studios before returning home. The scholarship award provides recipients with inspiration, contacts, exposure to the art community, and ongoing support, not only during the award year, but in the years to come. 
In addition, at the conclusion of the scholarship year, recipients are brought back to Vancouver for a display of their completed art work at the awards reception, after which their work is exhibited at YVR, where it is seen by the 22 million local and international passengers travelling through YVR each year.

YVR Art Foundation Mid-Career Artist Scholarships

YVR Art Foundation offers up to three annual scholarship awards for BC and Yukon Indigenous artists who are at the next stage of establishing themselves as artists. This scholarship is for mid-career artists, age 27 and older, who wish to take their work to a new level or extend it to a new area. The scholarship award can be to assist the artist to study with a master artist, pursue a special project or attend a recognized school of art over a one-year period. Mid-career scholarship recipients may also exhibit their art project at YVR for one year. The mid-career scholarship recipients are selected through a juried process and each award is for $5,000. 

YVR Art Foundation Masterpiece Study Program Grants

The largest and most diverse collections of BC & Yukon Indigenous art and artifacts are currently held in museum and art gallery collections in BC, Eastern Canada and the United States, and the earliest collections are in Europe. It is critical for the development and advancement of contemporary Indigenous art that artists have the opportunity to access and study these works.

To address this need, in 2014 the YVR Art Foundation launched a new initiative: the Masterpiece Study Program. In the first year of the program, grants were awarded to BC Indigenous artists to travel to selected BC museums, and now the program offers grants to travel to US and international museums. Grant recipients are selected by an appointed committee through a formal application process. 

In 2018-19, Masterpiece Study Travel grants are offered for BC & Yukon Indigenous artists to travel to one of the following partner museums to research/study their collection of Indigenous art and artifacts:

American Museum of Natural History - New York
Canadian Museum of History - Gatineau, Québec
Museum of Vancouver - Vancouver
Pitt Rivers Museum - Oxford, UK
Royal BC Museum - Victoria
The Field Museum - Chicago
UBC Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver
*Note - a valid Canadian passport is required to visit the American Museum of Natural History, the Pitt Rivers Museum and The Field Museum

YVR Art Foundation Aspiring Artist Awards

YVR Art Foundation offers up to ten Aspiring Artist Awards annually to BC and Yukon Indigenous youth (age 13-19) to develop their artistic potential. The award is to support the recipients’ self-directed work in the visual arts.