Each year, 401 Richmond Street West welcomes an emerging artist into its community through the annually presented 401 Richmond Career Launcher Prize. The Career Launcher Prize provides an exceptional opportunity to occupy a coveted 500 ft2 studio for one year at 401 Richmond Street West, one of Canada’s most dynamic arts institutions. The award recipient will become part of a unique community of cultural specialists, creative pioneers, passionate activists and social innovators. The recipient is chosen from a Toronto-wide competition by a panel of visual arts professionals.

Valued at over $17, 000, the Career Launcher Prize has been presented annually since 2000 by Jane Zeidler, as a way of providing space and support for research and experimentation at a critical time in an emerging artist’s career.

Who is eligible?

  • Priority will be given to recent graduates of Toronto post-secondary fine arts programs (or equivalent), although all early career artists (less than 3 years as a professional artist) will be considered.
  • Applicants must have participated in at least one formal exhibition (school-based exhibitions are acceptable)
  • The juried selection process is based on the quality of the candidate’s work but will favour those who are strongly self-motivated, who show originality, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to developing their practice for the duration of the residency.
  • There is no age limit for this award.


  • 12 months (September – August)

How to apply?
Candidates must provide:

  • full contact details
  • an artist’s statement
  • a résumé or curriculum vitae
  • A Letter of Intent which includes a brief overview of expected professional outcomes of the residency
  • documentation of recent work. These should be audio/visual items such a CD, DVD or URL (please note that all support material will be discarded after the selection process)

Applications and supporting documents may be submitted by email to Cynthia Mykytyshyn, Events and Exhibitions Manager, at cynthia@urbanspace.org or can be delivered to:

ATTN: Career Launcher Prize
Urbanspace Property Group
Studio 111
401 Richmond Street West
Toronto ON
M5V 3A8

Deadline for applications is 5pm May 13, 2016. No applications will be accepted after this date. Prize recipient will be notified by end of June 2016.

Assessment Process
A panel of Toronto arts professionals drawn from the rich pool of expertise at 401 Richmond and beyond, including visual and media artists, arts presenters, curators and critics, will review all applications. Final decisions are made based on the quality of the applicant’s demonstrated practice, the expected value a residency at 401 Richmond would bring to the candidate’s career trajectory, with consideration given to how effectively the candidate would integrate into the 401 Richmond community. The assessment panel will also be available as advisors and mentors for the recipient during their year-long tenure in the studio, to discuss developments in the work and to share professional insights.

Conditions and Considerations

  • The prize recipient will be asked to sign a lease agreement.
  • Use of the studio is intended for the recipient only, and is non-transferable. The studio will be available 24 hours a day for one year, at which point it will be turned over to the next recipient. It is expected that the recipient will occupy the space for the full year.
  • Studio space is for working only; it is not to be lived in. Activities that require special ventilation or that make excessive noise are not permitted in the building. The recipient must be respectful of the building and its other occupants.
  • 401 Richmond will commission or select a work from the recipient for the 401 Richmond Permanent Collection (up to $1000). Recipients are asked to host an entrance and an exit exhibition of their work in the space, as a way of connecting with the 401 Richmond community. The successful candidate will receive exposure for their work through the 401 Richmond Update Newsletter.

Past Recipients
Sarah Blagg (2000), Angie Nishikihama (2001), Sarah Lowry (2002), Emma Shankland (2003), Kristine Moran (2004), Emmy Skensved (2005), Adam Brandejs (2006), Gareth Bate (2007), Nikki Woolsey (2008), Angela Noussis (2009), Winnie Truong (2010), Chelsea Jamieson (2011), Graham Curry (2012), Kerry Zentner (2013), Erin MacKeen (2014).

About 401 Richmond
401 Richmond is an early 20th century industrial building that was transformed in 1994 into a vibrant home for artists’, galleries, film festivals, charities, not-for-profits, magazines, architects, theatre groups and design firms. The building’s renewal, over 20 years ago, was inspired by author Jane Jacobs’ observation that “New ideas need old buildings” and the importance of mixed use and diversity in communities.

For more information please contact Events and Exhibitions Manager, Cynthia Mykytyshyn at cynthia@urbanspace.org


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