Has a year of staying home finally unleashed your inner artist? Ready to show the world? Here are some local art competitions to consider to move your work out of the basement and onto the wall, and maybe even score a little bragging rights while you’re at it.

Salt Spring National Art Prize

SSNAP 2017 Finalist, Lone Coyotes by Kevin Lanthier

Deadline: May 31

The SSNAP competition takes place every two years to encourage artists whose practice demonstrates originality, quality, integrity and creativity. All the things your mother loves about your paintings. Including 2D and 3D works, around 50 finalists will participate in an exhibition on Salt Spring Island in the fall, a lovely time to visit. There are also ten awards to be won, both juried and by public vote.


Indigenous North Shore Studio Art Award

Griffin Art Projects’ Welch Street Studio artists’ space

Deadline: March 7

North Vancouver’s Griffin Art Projects has long been committed to the support and solidarity of local Indigenous artists. Their Northshore Studio Award continues their mission by providing a residency in studio as well as artist fee and exhibition opportunities to a selected Indigenous artist living in the Districts of West or North Vancouver or the City of Vancouver. The award is offered this year in conjunction with “Worldings: Citizenship, Community, Resilience and (re)Conciliation”: a collaborative project with South African artists William Kentridge and Nkule Mabaso and BC Based Visual Anthropologist Dr. Andrea Walsh to explore the unique artistic perspectives and histories that exist between the Canadian and South African experience.


Deer Lake Artist Residencies

The Baldwin House, insert your art here.

Deadline: March 15 & September 1

Another residency opportunity is up for grabs in Burnaby in the beautiful Baldwin House and Eagles Estate heritage homes nestled snugly around Deer Lake. The perfect setting to settle in and focus on creating new work, whatever your discipline, culture or location. Artists will also be supported by Shadbolt and Burnaby Art Gallery staff to create artist-led community engagement projects relevant to each residency.



Upcycling Art & Design Exhibit

Previous entrant, Razor Violin

Deadline: March 31

Show off your skills and do something good for the Earth while you’re at it. This year the Langley Centennial Museum has revived their popular competition of upcycled art. Upcycled meaning works of art consisting of at least 75% materials that would otherwise be disposed of. So, instead of the landfill, your creation could end up on display at the Museum this spring when the exhibition opens fittingly on Earth Day on April 22.


On The Edge

Detail from Geometrical Blue by previously featured artist, Marcela Navarro Salazar

Deadline: May 15

Has anyone ever called your art weird? First of all, who needs ‘em. And second, show them by getting your work into the 2021 On the Edge Exhibition. Brought to you by the Federation of Canadian Artists (the very same founded by the Group of 7, no less) and sponsored by OPUS Art Supplies, this competition is for artists working and thinking a little differently. Challenge yourself and even your audience for your shot at prizes for both 2D and sculpture. The finalists will be on display at the Federation Gallery in BC’s artistic hub, Granville Island this summer. It’s not weird, it’s special.


Whistler Olympic Mural Project

Lorimer Bridge underpass mural by Chili Thom

Deadline: March 12

Are you ready for the big stage? The REALLY big? The Resort Municipality of Whistler is planning a large-scale mural in Whistler Olympic Plaza, and your “big” idea could be just what they’re looking for. The mural will live on three walls of a brand new building, and will be enjoyed by the zillions of folks that will (eventually) traipse through one of Canada’ biggest tourism draws. Get your proposal in and you could get started this spring.


BC National Forest Week Art Contest

One of the 2020 winners, Wesley Huang, age 8

Deadline: September

And just in case you thought you needed a ton of experience to be regaled for your art, here’s one for the kiddos!  As part of the National Forest Week celebration, the Association of BC Forest Professionals are holding their annual art contest for children ages 4 to 12 to show through their artwork, what they think forest professionals do. The winner in each age group (4-5; 6-8; and 9-12) will receive a $50 Indigo gift card.


So, if you’ve been finding your muse particularly elusive during isolation, hopefully these will give you a boost of inspiration. Who knows, one of these could be the starting point of your next artistic evolution. Just remember to tag us when you’re at the awards ceremony.

And hey, good luck!

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