Young Artist Award

Now accepting applications

Application deadline: April 6, 2018

The Young Artist Award is a project-based, mentorship-driven youth arts award established for the recognition and encouragement of young Ottawa-based artists, ages 14 – 17 years old, demonstrating exceptional potential and a commitment to excellence in any art form. The award recipients will each receive $500 in support of the creation and presentation of their proposed arts project. In addition, the Young Artist Award will provide mentorship support by pairing the award recipient with an established and qualified Ottawa-based artist working in the same field.

Young Artist Award 2017 Recipients

Yasmine El Mansouri

Yasmine El Mansouri’s project is a short film about the city of Ottawa, aiming to humbly celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and the city that welcomed her. She hopes to create a film that reflects and celebrates Ottawa’s cultural diversity.

Jennifer Lee

Jennifer Lee’s project is entitled, ‘Odes to My Plague: Vulnerability, Disorder, Recovery’. This interactive room-sized installation aims to raise awareness of the struggles of those who suffer from eating disorders, by which the audience may empathize with those suffering from body dysmorphic disorder.

How to Apply

An individual or collective may apply for the award by filling out this form and gathering the required supporting documents, including a letter of recommendation and other materials. The completed package should be submitted to via, before the deadline.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for this award must:

  • Be between the ages of 14-17 at the time of application.
  • Have lived in the National Capital Region (defined as 75km from Parliament Hill) for the last two years.
  • Have demonstrated a prior commitment to the art form related to the proposed project.
  • Not have previously received this award.
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from someone above the age of majority, such as a parent, guardian, teacher, mentor, or other.


The proposal must:

  • Not be for a commissioned work.
  • Be for a project that is completed after having received the funds.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The applicant(s) fully meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Originality and creativity of the proposal.
  • Quality and potential of the work as documented in the support material.
  • Potential impact of the project on the artist’s development.
  • Potential audience impact.
  • Project viability in terms of timeline and budget.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for Applications: April 6, 2018
  • Awards Presentation: May 29, 2018

Support Documents

These documents will help the jury better understand your project and your artistic practice.

Your Applications and Support Documents must be submitted via to Incomplete or late packages will not be reviewed by the jury.

Please include the following documents in the application:

  • Artist’s CV
    An Artist’s CV of up to two pages that demonstrates your achievements as an artist, your participation in art projects (such as exhibitions, performances, recordings, published works, etc.), and your formal, and informal, training.
  • Artist Statement
    A text of up to one page that explains your art practice to the jury (formed of experts in a variety of art disciplines).
  • Project Outline
    A text of up to one page describing your project, its creative aspects and its impact on you practice.
  • Letter of Recommendation
    Your Recommender must provide a letter that explains why you should receive this award. It should describe your professional artistic development and your capacity to complete the project.
  • Support Materials
    Include support material that is appropriate to your artistic pactice and strengthens your application. Be sure to fill out the Support Materials List for any materials included in the application. Files should be named with your name (first and last) and numbered in sequence such as YourName01.jpg.
    • Images
      Up to 10 JPGs, at least 1920x1080 px, no more than 5 MB per file. 
    • Audio
      Up to 3 files (or links) with a maximum total running time of 9 minutes.
    • Video
      Up to 3 files (or links) with a maximum total running time of 9 minutes.
    • Text
      A single document (DOC, TXT, or PDF) containing one, or more, excerpts of your writing (poetry, creative writing, original composition, script, etc.) with a maximum length of 10 pages.

Download the Application Form

Please use Adobe Acrobat to complete the PDF form


How much is the award?
The Ottawa Arts Council will be awarding TWO projects this year, each one up to a maximum of $500. 

What should I include in the budget?
Your project budget should include any costs that are involved in making the project happen, and should be broken into two categories – Expenses (the costs to create the project), and Revenue (any money you are receiving to cover the costs of the project).

Your Expenses should include things like equipment or studio rentals, purchasing materials, or anything else that is related to your project. You should get quotes for those costs where possible, so you know you are listing the right amount. You don’t need to include these quotes in your proposal, but it will make sure that your budget is as accurate as possible. 

Revenue will include any money you are receiving to cover the costs, and you should let us know if that money is confirmed (definitely have it), or not confirmed (any applications – like the Young Artist Award). If you only have potential money from the Young Artist Award, that’s okay, but make sure your expenses don’t exceed the $500 award. 

What is the timeline to complete the project?
You have one year from when you receive the award to complete your project. 

Do I have to find my own mentor?
In the application there is an area to suggest a mentor, but that isn’t mandatory. Even if you do list someone you would like to work with, the Council can’t guarantee that we will be able to make the arrangements with that person. If you do want to include a name, think about someone who would be able to help make your project better. The Council will review the successful projects and use our connections to find appropriate mentors.  

Do I have to include a fee for the mentor in my budget?
The Ottawa Arts Council will make all the arrangements with the mentors, including providing them with an honorarium for their work on your project. You don’t need to include them in your project budget, just costs that directly relate to what you want to do.