The remnants of a burned house along the Ottawa River

Residents visit the Carbide Wilson Ruins in Gatineau Park

Architectural decay of an abandoned hospital
Residents have lunch in an abandoned one room school house

Residents learn about the abandoned Prince of Wales train bridge

Local artists puts the finishing touches on the fire breathing Dragon Boat, made from reclaimed materials

Residents observe a derelict factory

Wrecked casino cruiser




















































Gatineau Hills, October, 2017
Application deadline: March 20, 2018

The Vestiges residency is a research expedition for artists working within themes of urban decay, architectural history, memory and traces of life. It will take place over a week in and around Gatineau, Quebec, Canada in the fall of 2018. Many outings will be led by experts and days will be punctuated with casual stops to abandoned farms, houses, bridges and industrial buildings for collection of photographic and audio material. There will be an estimated 8-10 experts and 25-30 sites to visit. The group will follow leave-no-trace principles.

Kenopsia is the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is ideally bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.

Ayatana residencies focus on experience and research by visual and conceptual artists. Writers, film makers musicians and dancers are also invited to apply. This residency will host only five or six selected international artists. Preference will be given, but is absolutely not limited to those working with performance, intervention, site specific installation, interactive or nomadic work, new media, interdisciplinary research and collaboration.  This action packed research residency leaves little time free for making art, so brainstorming and collecting material is encouraged at all times.

We hope the experience will facilitate connections between participants and lead to international shows. Although Ayatana residents are not expected to produce work during the program, collaboration with each other and the non-artist community of experts is encouraged, especially at the conceptualization stage.  

We are looking for adventurous artists interested in experimentation who have a willingness to participate in spontaneous sharing of early-stage ideas and work in a small group. The workshops will support the experimentation of new artistic projects in a friendly and analytical context.


All activities are subject to change depending on building status, safety, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables. Outings will go ahead rain or shine. No experience other than an established art practice is necessary.  Hikes will not be strenuous. 

We invite you to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Tour of McKenzie King’s collection of ruins guided by a historian in Gatineau Park.

Hike to the Willson Carbide ruins in Gatineau Park.

Learn about the significance of Victoria Island from an aboriginal interpreter and see it's many abandoned factory buildings.

Learn about the newly restricted abandoned train bridge and the history of Ottawa graffiti.

Learn about the lost Chelsea River Villages and the retired train tracks.

Visit a demolition site.

Visit the ghost town of Balaclava.

Visits local abandoned buildings with the guidance of seasoned urban adventurer.

Visit the studio of of a local boat builder to learn of his practice of using reclaimed barn wood.

Visit the ruins of farm houses, junk yards, factories, medical buildings and grave yards.


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Chelsea, Quebec. This culturally vibrant town is nestled between Gatineau National Park and the Gatineau River..


$1200 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants to help in the procuration of grants and funding.


What is included:
A comfortable bed in the Ayatana residency house.
All activities.
Transportation to all activities.
Indoor and outdoor work spaces.
Facilitators / production assistants.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by our resident chef.
*Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants, which will happen 2 or 3 times during the week


How to apply 
Send the following material to
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 images, files or links

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.


Disclaimer: Those who do not like the outdoors or to talk about art, need not apply.

Friend us on face book for future calls for applications and posts about art and science fb

For more images of last year's Vestiges program check our FB album