artist in residence



Surrounded by stunning wilderness scenery, rich in natural and cultural history, the Cassiar Cannery is a perfect spot to pull out your sketch pad, set up an easel or spin, weave or carve.  It's time to celebrate and support art and artists at the Cassiar Cannery with an Artist-in-Residence program.

The Cassiar Cannery Artist-in-Residence program provides opportunities for visual artists to live and work in the Cassiar Cannery for a period of 10 or 19 days over two different residencies. Artists- in-Residence are provided with accommodation and studio space as well as an honorarium to offset the cost of materials, shipping, day to day living expenses and travel. Artists-in-Residence must give one public presentation, performance or workshop during their residency. 

The Cassiar Cannery long residency is intended for professional artists with formal training or equivalent experience and recognition among their peers. The short residency is open only to emerging and established artists living and working in Northern British Columbia.


Long residency (20 days):  April 20 - May 10, 2022 (filled by Jeff Wilson)

Short residency (10 days): September 8 - 18, 2022 (filled by Chris Fraser)

© 2022 Cassiar Cannery



  • Your accommodation
  • General Store workspace
  • Surrounding natural inspiration


The Prince Rupert Community Arts Council was founded in 1971 as not-for-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to fostering arts and culture in the Prince Rupert region.  The PRCAC is run by a volunteer board  committed to enhancing the arts community in Prince Rupert.  The PRCAC raises funds through membership fees, special events, corporate contributions, and generous financial assistance from the City of Prince Rupert and the BC Arts Council.

Visit the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council Website

The Cassiar Cannery is one of the Top 10 Unique Places to Overnight in BC. Nestled in the Skeena River Estuary, 30 minutes south of Prince Rupert BC, it was once the longest consecutively operated salmon cannery on the West Coast. Now in its 130th year, under restoration and diversification since 2006, the Cassiar Cannery supports a thriving tourism industry, boat works, custom woodwork, reclaimed lumber, visual arts and science and research.

During the residency program artists will stay in a one bedroom, self-contained, fully equipped guest house.  Studio space will be available in the repurposed and restored General Store, and in our shops, depending on the medium. The Cassiar Cannery has a full wood-shop and limited metal working tools such as a welder, band saw and vice.

There is no cell service but limited wifi is available. There is a courtesy phone available in a phone booth, and the Cassiar Cannery phone number can be used as a contact number. For more information about the Cassiar Cannery, visit 

To get an idea of the Cassiar Cannery and surrounding area, please follow their social media accounts for some fabulous photos.

Applicants should keep in mind stores and restaurants are in Prince Rupert, 30 minutes from the Cassiar Cannery.  There is a small General Store and gas in Port Edward and cell service 10 minutes up the road.  Successful candidates should have a valid driver’s license. Due to the limited size of the house, applications are not accepted from collaborative groups.  The accommodation is not wheel-chair accessible.  No pets please.  


  • Engage in your practice and commit to the full length of your residency.
  • Provide your own art supplies (an easel and lights will be provided), and personal safety equipment if required.
  • Arranging and payment of shipping, and insuring your art, equipment and supplies. 
  • Paying personal expenses, including food and beverages.
  • Short residency – public outreach suspended due to COVID-19
  • Long residency – public outreach suspended due to COVID-19
  • Be accessible, within reason, to the Prince Rupert Arts Council, the Cassiar Cannery and vetted media.
  • Follow site rules and return your work and living space to how you found it.
  • Promote your residency experience through diverse networks such as social media, blogs, or artist talks
  • Donation of one piece of art to the Cassiar Cannery that represents or celebrates the Cassiar Cannery.


Transportation to and from the Cassiar Cannery: 

The Cassiar Cannery is a 30 minute drive from the town of Prince Rupert. The Prince Rupert Community Arts Council will assist with transportation for artists without vehicles. Artists wishing to rent a vehicle will have to cover the cost themselves.

The Cassiar Cannery Artist-in-Residence program requires artists to donate one piece of art to the Cassiar Cannery that represents or celebrates the Cassiar Cannery. Artists have one year to complete and ship the art.

(Please note the cannery is a historic wooden site with a pristine environment. Projects that involve open flame, toxic materials or pose any danger or potential damage to the building or site will not be allowed)

HOST RESPONSIBILITIES (Cassiar Cannery / Prince Rupert Community Arts Council)

  • Accommodation in a one bedroom house
  • Studio space
  • Long residency honorarium of $2,000.00
  • Short residency honorarium of $750.00
  • Publicity and promotion
  • Promote your residency experience through diverse networks such as social media, blogs, artist workshops and presentations
  • Providing a venue for a public presentation, performance,  or similar event, and supplies if needed
  • Opportunity for networking and engagement with local artists
  • Reasonable access to Cassiar Cannery’s wood shop and MIG and stick welding equipment


Due to COVID-19, Cassiar Cannery has suspended all retreats, experiences, workshops, excursions and events until 2023 or when we, and Dr Bonnie, feel comfortable bringing diverse groups of people together.

*Interested in staying in the loop with the public engagements sessions (when they are back) and the Cassiar Cannery Artist-in-Residence Program?  Please join the specific mailing list:

2022 Dates:



do you have QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about the application process, or the art related side of the Artist-in-Residence program, please email the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council at [email protected] with Artist in Residence Program in the subject line

Email the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council

If you have any questions about the Cassiar Cannery, or media inquiries, please email the Cassiar Cannery at [email protected] with Artist in Residence Program in the subject line

Email the Cassiar CanneryCassiar Cannery on FacebookCassiar Cannery on Instagram

Prior Artists-in-Residence

Mark Thibeault, Smithers, BC

2019 Short Residency

A deep understanding of line, rhythm, and space can be found in his paintings and in the instruments he crafts and plays.

Mark Thibeault is an expressionist painter currently residing in Telkwa, British Columbia Canada. Inspired by abstract expressionists, Thibeault refers to objects and surroundings for lines and shapes to start a piece. Compositions may come together quickly but are often painted over in favour of a composition that will insist it is complete and better than it was. Whether the composition finds itself early or after multiple edits, each has great depth and space and is rich with varied marks, layers of collage, acrylic and oil paint. The mood of each piece is governed by the previous line’s influence and affect. 


Jon Claytor lives and works in Sackville, New Brunswick. His figurative based paintings, new media work, design, ideas and projects revolve around the delicate tightrope we walk as human beings; how contrasting emotions often intersect and diverge when least expected and result in some very strange unions. The work moves between mediums but is united by the concept that each emotion exists in counterpart with its equal and opposite emotion and that every idea is joined to its opposite meaning. Jon has exhibited in LA, Tel Aviv and across Canada.  He is also the cofounder of SappyFest and Thunder & Lightning Ideas ltd.

My work moves between mediums but is united by the concept that each emotion exists in counterpart with its equal and opposite emotion and that every idea is joined to its opposite meaning.


about the RESIDENCY

Jon Claytor, Sackville, NB

2019 Long Residency


Long Residency: JEFF WILSON

Short Residency: CHRIS FRASER


I love producing acrylic paintings with immediately recognizable subjects, in a distinctive in style, defined by a combination of dynamic composition, subject and vibrant colour.

Originally from Scotland & trained as a geologist, I really get great inspiration from all kinds aspects of Canadian life, including landscape, industry, history and culture.  This has proven to be the case across a range of settings, in urban centres, rural prairie landscapes & the Far North.  Recurring subjects range from architecture, natural landforms, vehicles and signage, to wildlife & portraits.

In terms of process, I always keep my camera close & typically compile a large photographic record of chance encounters. Such photos are a great foundation to work from, as they are able to capture the particular spontaneity & movement of a specific time & place.

 work the reference photos up into larger paintings back in the studio.  While there is often a lot of detail in the pieces, I break down the details by painting from the digital image, displayed on a TV, attached to my studio wall.  Using this setup, I can zoom into the image, to properly inspect and discriminate colour & form. 


Jeff Wilson grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland & trained as a structural geologist. He worked in mineral exploration around the world, settling in Vancouver in 2004, and took art classes at Emily Carr University, kick-starting a hobby that transitioned to a full-time art practice in 2013.

Jeff’s painting collections have exhibited widely in public galleries in BC, Alberta and WA State. Highlights include the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Port Moody Arts Centre, The Langham, Okotoks Art Gallery, Smithers Art Gallery, Gibsons Public Art Gallery, ACT Gallery, Bellingham City Hall and the University of Washington Law School.

Jeff has received a number of awards, including Finalist in the inaugural Saltspring National Art Prize, appeared in the recent “Landscape Artist of the Year Canada” TV show, and received two Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants from the Vancouver Foundation. Jeff has completed residencies at the Booth in Shetland, Parks Canada’s Art in the Park and the Wallace Stegner House.

His work is held in numerous private, public and corporate collections, including Alexco Resource Corp., BC Children's Hospital, Firehall Arts Centre, Le Dressay and Company, Lion’s Gate Foundation, MOI Solicitors, Salmon Arm Art Gallery, SimplexGrinnell, Smithers Art Gallery, Town of Okotoks, Union Gospel Mission, Vancity Credit Union, VGH Foundation and Victoria Gold Corp.

Commercial representation includes Gray Sky Gallery (Seattle, WA), Hambleton Galleries (Kelowna, BC), Kube Gallery (Fort Langley, BC) and Van Dop Gallery (New Westminster, BC) and YKLM Auctions (Richmond, BC)

Jeff Wilson is based out of Portside Studios in Vancouver.


Learn More About Jeff Wilson


Mark Tworow paints landscapes, abstracts, and still lifes and his paintings are known for their strong formal structure and lush painterly colors.

He has held several major solo exhibitions showcasing works which are now held in private collections both here in Canada, England, the U.S., and in New Zealand.

Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Arts in the 1990s. After living in Smithers for 19 years he spent a year in New Zealand, returning to Smithers in August of 2010.

Tworow's paintings show his passion for nature. His works depict a wide variety of natural settings, and he draws much of his inspiration from the majestic mountains, sparkling lakes and noble forests in and around Smithers. “If I had to define what I am as a painter, I’d lean towards abstract expressionist, though I use their techniques and approach to try and capture the essence of the landscape around us."


Learn More About Mark Tworow

Mark will be at the Cassiar Cannery October 9 - 19, 2020.  You can meet Mark and join his workshop on Sunday, October 18.  Details below.







Sunday, May 3, 2020

9am - 4pm

$125 per person, lunch included

General Store at the Cassiar Cannery

Coiled baskets can be made from a variety of natural materials and have been created by many different cultures around the world throughout the ages.  In this workshop we will learn the basics of how to make a rustic coiled basket from cordage and foraged natural materials. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes as we will begin outside foraging our materials and will then create our baskets indoors.


Register Now





8:30am - 4pm

$250 per person

General Store at the Cassiar Cannery

Ride along with expert guides and 2020 Artist-in-Residence Laara Cerman for a scenic, exploratory trip around the Lower Skeena River.  This day is designed to give creative people time to sketch and photograph some historical sites and the stunning scenery in the Skeena Estuary while listening to some of the amazing stories of once thriving towns.  Dress warmly and bring lunch.  MInimum numbers apply.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Register Now

Suzo Hickey, Prince Rupert, BC

2021 Short Residency

Mark is a visual artist living and painting in beautiful Smithers, BC.  A graduate of Alberta College of Art, his work is represented in private collections in the UK, Canada, United States and New Zealand.  Mark works in landscapes, abstracts and still life paintings.  His paintings are known for their strong formal structure and lush painterly colours.  



Chris Fraser is a multi-disciplinary, non-binary artist currently residing in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Chris began creating at an early age, attending a visual and performing art school in Edmonton, Alberta. After graduating, they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, later attaining a graphic design diploma at British Columbia Institute of Technology. Chris’ interest in painting and creating at a young age has helped them form a love for art and design that has carried through life, blossoming and transforming into an emerging career. Chris’ main focus is on the abundance of wildlife within the Pacific Northwest and drawing upon the inspiring ora and fauna sweeping throughout rain forest  oors and everything else that survives and scavenges within it. From wolves and bears, to pine martins and ravens, Chris finds a way to capture the intricate details within each animal through texture, creating depth and shadow within layers, brush strokes, and composition.

Living as an active visual artist within the city of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Chris finds a way to express local beauty through scenes that create interest and a familiarity by focusing on local subject matter. Chris’ compositions represent a time and space that create a visual tension between the focused subject matter, conceptualizing and projecting meaning according to the viewer that experiences their work.

In future projects, Chris hopes to bring focus towards Northern communities through creating a visual dialogue as to what it is like living in the Pacific Northwest through conceptual interpretations and natural connections, helping translate the intricate ecosystems within their artwork.


Working with clay has always been a freeing and tactile way of being able to translate a vision of exploring organic structures within the Pacific Northwest. I  find inspiration through intricate ecosystems and the small shapes and forms that they produce. Studying these forms helps me understand the ways in which all of these micro-components work together in creating life. The examples of textures such as moss, lichen, seaweed, coral, give way in expressing nature through the percieved idea of what it could be.

The study of microfauna influences my work,  finding  flow and practical design via an organic lens. The aim of my work is to show that the idea of what we percieve as organic can come from an imaginitive and interprative space within ourselves.

During the creation process, inspiration comes from imprints of shells and other nature-related materials which are incorporated into my clay molds. A variety of techniques are used to mimic how I translate the intricate relationships between microscopic animal life and how it relates to art. 


Learn More About Chris Fraser

Mark Tworow, Smithers, BC

2020 Short Residency

Laara Cerman, Vancouver, BC

2021 Long Residency

Suzo Hickey is a painter living in Prince Rupert, BC.  She migrated from coast (Prince Rupert) to desert (Kamloops) and back to coast (Vancouver) in 1991 attending Emily Carr College of Art and Design.  Since graduating in 1994, Suzo exhibited in BC and the US on themes of queer mothering, urban landscapes and death in the family.  Her work has always been informed by the specifics of her life: the death of her 24 year old son in Mirificus, stereotyping in You Fucking Fruit, queer motherhood in Let Me Go Down in the Mud.

In 2008 her work became urban landscape.  After constructing shows around her issues, she began examining the formal, enigmatic power of what was around her: the ordinariness of rainy intersections and leafless trees in her East Vancouver neighbourhood.

In 2016, Suzo moved back to her hometown of Prince Rupert.  Continuing her exploration of urban surroundings, Suzo's work has turned another corner.  In addition to layers of light and weather, circles and ovals permeate these new Northern landscapes.  At first subdued, and then with forceful confidence, giving the paintings an energetic newness.


My work explores the intersection of art, science, and history through investigating patches of wildness that survive within suburban and urban landscapes. My explorations continue into the forests of British Columbia where I aim to teach myself how to see the diversity of the forest  floor in the midst of an era where this knowledge has lost its priority but not its importance. With an ongoing practice of collecting wild plant specimens, I am creating a digital herbarium documenting the life cycle of plants while learning about dfferent aspects and uses of  flora growing in Canada’s most biodiverse province. Through learning about the role of plants in the ecosystem and the gifts they o er us, one becomes more conscious of the mutual connections of life and the importance of reciprocity between humans and the Earth.

I am currently focused on documenting the wild plants of British Columbia for my ongoing series Codex Pacificus. In my most recent project, “Flora’s Song No.1 in C Major”, I have converted plant DNA to music which plays on a music box, made in collaboration with a geneticist. Flora’s Song has been shown on national TV, both CBC and Global News.  Laara's photography can be found in numerous public art installations around the Lower Mainland including telephone utility boxes and 'Forest Floor' a floor installation in the Richmond Cultural Centre.