Artists-in-Residence

Western Front’s artists-in-residence program was initiated in 1977 by artist and Western Front co-founder Kate Craig. It remains the heart of our programming today.

This curated program provides invited local and international artists with the opportunity to pursue new developments in their practices and to produce new work. It focuses on artists working across music, media, time-based visual art, performance, and literature. While in residence, artists are supported with a fee, production budget, and curatorial and technical expertise, and are hosted on-site at Western Front or off-site on location, as required. The number of residencies and their structure and duration are tailored to each individual artist and project.

Many projects produced through our artists-in-residence program are done so in collaboration with partner institutions in Canada and internationally. We also offer audiences opportunities to engage with residents and their work at various stages of a project’s development and presentation.

While our new digital archive is being prepared, you can search past residents at Western Front’s legacy website here.

White text reading “A Western Front Production” on a blue background.

Western Front production still from Steve Paxton and Paul Wong, Asteroid (1987)

Yellow text reading “A Western Front Production” on an orange-brown background.

Western Front production still from Dalibor Martinis, Dalibor Martinis Talks to Dalibor Martinis (1978)

Current/Upcoming Residencies

Siku Allooloo
Sep 17, 2022 — Oct 31, 2025

A portrait of Siku Allooloo looking directly at the camera with her hands in the pocket of her jacket. She is standing outside and a lake, snow capped mountains, and a mauve sunset can be seen in the background.

Portrait of Siku Allooloo.

While in residence, Siku Allooloo will work on the development of a feature-length documentary in honour of her mother, historic Indigenous women’s activism, and Taíno resurgence.

About the Artist

Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist, poet, and community builder. She comes from Denendeh, Northwest Territories, by way of Haïti through her mother and Mittimatalik, Nunavut, through her father. Allooloo often reimagines conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral history, and land-based practice. She resides in the unceded homeland of K’ómoks First Nation.

Events with Siku Allooloo

Rebecca La Marre
Oct 28, 2023 — Oct 11, 2024

Rebecca La Marre seated on a rail with her left hand on her hip and her face turned towards the right.

Portrait of Rebecca La Marre.

While in residence, Rebecca La Marre will host six workshops in collaboration with invited guests KC Adams, Rob Froese, Sharon Kivland, Danny Kostyshin, and Anahita Jamali Rad, alongside a working group of ten artists selected from an open call process: Rosamunde Bordo, Amelia Butcher, Xinwei Che, Hannah Crosson, Amy Gogarty, Chloe Lalonde, Josephine Lee, Christian Newby, Emiliano Sepulveda, and Julia Wong. Together they will think, read, make, and play within the intersections of craft-based art practices and writing. The workshops will lead towards the production of a new publication and a series of ceramic writing tablets for exhibition.

About the Artist

Rebecca La Marre is a queer artist based in Saskatoon, Canada, with a writing, making, and performance practice. She uses clay, text, and the human voice to give form to questions about what it means to be a person in the world. Her activity is driven by what she reads and a need to test how ideological structures, trauma, language, and ritual can shape bodies. The first person to teach her about clay was her grandmother Ellen La Marre, who displayed her work in domestic settings and craft markets. She holds an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is the former editor and publications coordinator for Remai Modern, Saskatoon, and an emeritus editor for E.R.O.S. Journal, London.

Acknowledgement

Presented in partnership with Peripheral Review.

Dani and Sheilah ReStack
Jan 12 — Dec 31, 2024

A selfie of Sheilah and Dani ReStack standing in front of a white wall that is in the process of being painted blue. Sheilah wears a black textured top and gold earrings. Dani, who is dressed in blue jeans and a black graphic t-shirt that reads "so many tools so little time," stands behind her while holding an industrial hot glue gun overhead.

Portrait of Sheilah and Dani ReStack.

While in residence, Dani and Sheilah ReStack will further the development of a new feature length experimental video titled Stovepipe to the Sun. The work will bring together research on the Sanctified Sisters (a nineteenth-century separatist women community in Belton, Texas), a speculative fiction where they cast themselves as descents of this group, and autobiographical recordings of their domestic life as they struggle to raise their teenage daughter Rose within a patriarchal society.

About the Artists

Dani and Sheilah ReStack are collaborators. Feral Domestic, the trilogy of videos they made from 2016 to 2022 (including Strangely Ordinary This Devotion, Come Coyote, and Future From Inside) combines documentary footage from their lives, re-enactments and fantasy sequences for queer feminist imagining of past, present, and future. They live in Columbus, United States with their two daughters and are committed to the domestic as a place of unruly possibility—a portal for emotional logic, fragmentation, and new narratives that allows the quotidian to inform the sublime. Dani is Associate Professor at Ohio State University. Sheilah is Associate Professor at Denison University.

Events with Dani and Sheilah ReStack

Shahzad Ismaily
Jun 24 — 30, 2024

A black and white photo of Shahzad Ismaily wearing sunglasses, while looking over his right shoulder and raising his left had to his ear.

Portrait of Shahzad Ismaily. Photo by Mark Sommerfeld.

While in residence, Shahzad Ismaily will lead the inaugral year of The New Improvisers Studio, a week-long educational initiative for 12 young musicians aged 17 to 24 from any musical background who are interested in building their improvisation skills. The New Improvisers Studio supports collective explorations in musical improvisation through the mentorship of a world leading improviser and invited guests from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

About the Artist

Shahzad Ismaily is a Brooklyn-based musician, composer, engineer and founder of Figure 8 Recording. Born to Pakistani immigrant parents, he grew up in a wholly bicultural household. Exploring improvisation, tonal shifts and rhythmic movement, the Grammy nominated artist often referred to as the “Musician’s favorite Musician” has worked with a number of avant-garde musicians and composers including Laurie Anderson, Anthony Coleman, Milford Graves, Eyvind Kang, Butch Morris and Marc Ribot. Over the last thirty years he has played electric bass, drums, percussion, guitar, synthesizers and all manner of sound-makers procured in life’s travels.

Acknowledgements

Presented in partnership by Coastal Jazz and Western Front, with the support of the Deux Mille Foundation, the Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation, and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of British Columbia with support from the Government of Canada.

Events with Shahzad Ismaily

Bhenji Ra
Jul 6 — Aug 4, 2024

Portrait of Bhenji Ra. Photo by David Mesa.

While in residence, Bhenji Ra will present “Biraddali Dancing on the Horizon”, a new moving image commission.

About the Artist

Bhenji Ra is a Filipina-Australian artist currently based on Gadigal land, Eora Nation. Ra’s projects combine choreography and video and are deeply rooted in social justice practices.

Acknowledgement

Co-commissioned with Auto Italia, London. Presented with the support of the Government of Canada.

Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.