The YVR Art Foundation provides support for Indigenous artists through four main programs:
- Emerging Artist Scholarship Program
- Mid-Career Artist Scholarship Program
- Masterpiece Study Travel Grant Program
- Aspiring Artist Award Program
Emerging Artist Scholarship Program
In collaboration with corporate, foundation and individual donors, YVR Art Foundation offers up to eight visual art scholarships annually to BC and Yukon Indigenous Emerging Artists (age 17-29) who wish to develop their artistic potential. The Emerging Artist Scholarship award enables artists to study/work with an artist mentor or attend a recognized school of art over a one-year period. The Emerging Artist Scholarship recipients are selected through a juried process and each award is for $5,000.
The Emerging Artist Scholarship Award is not just a monetary award. Scholarship recipients are brought to Vancouver, taken on a tour of the YVR Art Collection, and are invited along with their families to a Scholarship Awards event. The following day, after a complimentary hotel stay, recipients tour a variety of galleries, museums, and artist studios before returning home. The Emerging Artist 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 event, after which their work is exhibited at YVR, where it is seen by the 25 million local and international passengers travelling through Vacnouver International Airport each year.
Mid-Career Artist Scholarship Program
YVR Art Foundation offers up to three visual art scholarships annually to BC and Yukon Indigenous artists who are at the next stage of establishing themselves as artists. This scholarship is for Mid-Career artists, age 30 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 artwork at the Vancouver International Airport for one year. The Mid-Career Scholarship recipients are selected through a juried process and each award is for $5,000.
Masterpiece Study Travel Grant Program
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 Travel Grant. 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 2019-2020, Masterpiece Study Travel grants are offered for BC & Yukon First Nations 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 in New York, USA
• Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art at the Burke Museum in Seattle, USA
• Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Québec
• Ethnologisches Museum Berlin in Berlin, Germany (New for 2019)
• McCord Museum in Montréal, Québec (New for 2019)
• Museum of Vancouver in Vancouver, BC
• Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, UK
• Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC
• The Field Museum in Chicago, USA
• UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC
*Note - a valid Canadian passport is required to visit museums outside of Canada
Aspiring Artist Award Program
YVR Art Foundation offers up to ten Aspiring Artist Awards annually to BC and Yukon Indigenous youth (age 15-20) to develop their artistic potential. The award is to support the recipients’ self-directed work in the visual arts.