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Call for Proposals: Gardiner Museum Curatorial Residency

DEADLINE: JANUARY 31, 2022, 5 pm EST

The Gardiner Museum in Toronto is seeking proposals for the inaugural Gardiner Museum Curatorial Residency.

Please download and read the full application

Please note: The timing of the Residency may be affected by changes to international travel regulations and evolving government health and safety recommendations.


The Gardiner Museum Curatorial Residency will provide the successful applicant with a paid opportunity to conceive, research, and produce a small-scale museum exhibition and gain experience in a professional environment. The aims of the residency are: to create an opportunity for aspiring and emerging curators; to promote new approaches to the study and presentation of ceramics; and to support a new, diverse generation of curators by offering them an opportunity to communicate their ideas to a broad public.


The outcome of the Curatorial Residency will be an exhibition, which will be presented at the Museum once the Residency is complete. The exhibition should focus on clay or ceramic works, works that are primarily ceramic, or ceramic works in context with other objects or artworks. The theme should be of contemporary relevance and informed by the latest scholarship, whether the actual objects are historical or contemporary.

The Curatorial Residency has two components to achieve this goal. The first is a travel component of approximately 2-6 weeks, with financial support for the selected applicant’s travel outside of Canada to research their exhibition, including visiting other museums. This invaluable experience will enhance the exhibition, deepen its scholarship, and provide a unique opportunity for professional and personal growth.

The second component will be 3-5 months of full-time work at the Gardiner Museum. This period of the residency will focus on the research, development, writing and realization phases of the exhibition, along with participation in the regular curatorial operations of the Museum, through which the selected applicant will gain broader exposure to Museum practice.

The Curatorial Resident will also give at least one public presentation about their exhibition and contribute to the Gardiner’s digital platforms with content about their project.


The Curatorial Resident will receive $25,000 CAD which will cover accommodation, travel, and all research expenses in the travel phase of the residency, as well as all cost of living, salary, and outside research costs for the time spent in Toronto at the Gardiner Museum. These funds will be directly managed by the Curatorial Resident, with distribution and accountability guidelines specified at the time of acceptance. While all situations differ and thus budget allocations can vary, the program is designed for the successful applicant to receive a living wage while in Toronto.

An additional $20,000 CAD is available for the exhibition and will be managed by the Gardiner Museum. These funds will cover any exhibition-related expenses, including but not limited to: loan fees, exhibition rights fees (CARFAC), transportation of artworks, conservation, installation, image permissions, publication, graphics and design, printing, additional equipment, etc.


The Curatorial Residency is open to Canadians who are enrolled in, or have recently graduated from a Master’s program in museum studies, curatorial studies, or art history; doctoral candidates or recent graduates in those fields (within a year of graduation); and those pursuing independent or community-based curatorial work at the early stages of their career. The residency seeks to build upon previous training and experiences while creating an opportunity for aspiring curators to enter the field. Applicants should have some demonstrated commitment to presenting visual arts in exhibition contexts, although not necessarily specific experience with ceramics.


Please download and read the full application before applying. Interested applicants are required to please submit the following:

1. Cover letter (one page) providing a narrative description of background, training, relevant curatorial work and career objectives emphasizing how the residency will help you achieve these goals.

2. CV (up to 5 pages)

3. Exhibition proposal, which should include the proposed concept and research plan with a description of the travel to be undertaken (Maximum length: 1000 words), work schedule (1 page), and budget (1 page) accounting for the full $45,000 available. Further details about the exhibition proposal and budget are explained in the full application package.

4. A writing sample from a curatorial, academic, or related project. Maximum length 4000 words.

5. A signed Agreement to Propose and Consent form (included in Appendix B of the full application package)

Please submit materials as a single digital PDF. Complete submissions must be received by the Gardiner Museum by 5 pm EST on January 31, 2022 to be considered. Incomplete submissions will be subject to disqualification. All submission materials will be retained by the Gardiner Museum. The selected applicant will be notified mid-February.

Submit complete proposals, as well as any questions, to:

Sequoia Miller, Chief Curator and Deputy Director
111 Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M5S 2C7


Please provide a detailed budget for use of the available funds as described above.

The Curatorial Resident will develop an exhibition for the Museum’s lobby space. This includes a wall case and free-standing cases (see Appendix A for images and details). The final layout must follow accessibility standards used by the Museum.

Design Elements
The exhibition will include didactic and interpretive wall text and graphic elements of content. If the proposed exhibition has complex display considerations, either built or audiovisual, these must be described and accounted for in the budget.

Exhibition Checklist
Objects can come exclusively from the Gardiner’s permanent collection; borrowed from private collections, artists and/or institutions; or a combination of Gardiner objects and works loaned from other institutions and collections. If including loans from artists or private collections, the proposal and budget must demonstrate the viability of such loans within the project budget, and how appropriate conservation and security standards will be met. The selection of objects and their number should consider the spaces restrictions of the exhibition space (see appendix A) The Gardiner Museum’s permanent collection if fully available online. Click here to access the database.

Publications (virtual or printed) may be included in the proposals at the discretion of the applicant. If a publication is anticipated, it would need to be realized within the overall project budget and timeline.

Presentation Date
We ask you to plan for the exhibition to be installed and open at the Museum at the end of the Residency (September – December 2022), however, the arrangement of loans may necessitate presentation later. Alternate timelines can be confirmed as plans develop and the project progresses.

Please provide a proposed schedule for the residency, from the travel/research component to the anticipated opening date of the exhibition (September 2022).

Staff Support
While Gardiner staff will support the full and successful realization of the project, proposals must be structured in a way that the Curatorial Resident is able to lead on the research, administration, content development, and logistics of the exhibition.


Imagination, creativity, and innovation are essential to any proposal selected. The applicant’s desire to communicate with an audience and to share a thought-provoking vision is an imperative consideration.
Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

• Merit
• Benefit to the candidate
• Benefit to the Museum and its audience
• Originality of exhibition concept
• Feasibility of the exhibition within budget and timeframe
• Potential for scholarly or cultural contribution

The Gardiner Museum is committed to an inclusive work environment and encourages applications from applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous or as a person of colour.


December, 2021: Circulate call for proposals
January 31, 2022: Proposals due by 5 pm EST
January 31 – February 14, 2022: Submissions review
February 14, 2022: Notify successful applicant
March – May 2022: Residency research and travel (2-6 weeks)
May – September 2022: Curator in Residence at Gardiner Museum (3-5 months)
September – December 2022: (TBC) Curator’s Lobby Exhibition


The selected applicant will enter a contract with the Gardiner Museum. The Gardiner Museum reserves the right to terminate the contract (with or without cause) at any time.

The Gardiner Museum Curatorial Residency is made possible through the generous support of the Rebanks Family.