Cassiar Cannery 

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 20 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, 2023 

Short residency (10 days)

September 5 - 15, 2023

© 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

submission GUIDELINES

Submissions are due no later than October 15, 2022.  Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

Email your submissions to the Cassiar Cannery at [email protected]
Please put “Artist-in-Residence” in the subject line.

Successful submissions will be announced no later than November 1, 2022.

Submissions must include:

  • CV including social media contacts (maximum 2 pages)
  • Artist statement (maximum 200 words)
  • Project proposal (maximum 300 words)
  • Images: 10-15 images of recent work (past 5 years) in JPEG format, maximum resolution 1024x768, 300ppi.  Each JPEG should not exceed 3MBs.
  • Corresponding image list that includes title, date, medium and short description of work, if necessary
  • Please tell us your plans for your workshop, artist talk or presentation to be conducted during your residency (maximum 300 words).
  • Please tell us your concept to promote your residency experience, i.e media, blogs, social media, artist talk, open studio or art show.

    This residency is open to visual artists.

    The successful candidates will be selected based on their submitted material and artistic merit, by an impartial jury composed of Cassiar Cannery staff and invited guests.

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 a high possibility in 2023
  • Long residency – public outreach a high possibility in 2023
  • Be accessible, within reason, to 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. 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)


  • 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


Cassiar Cannery will resume the public outreach portion in 2023. Please outline your public engagement idea in your application.  This can be a workshop, artist talk, use your imagination for sharing your story and art with other artists from the North Coast.

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

2023 Dates:




do you have QUESTIONS?

Email the Cassiar CanneryCassiar Cannery on FacebookCassiar Cannery on Instagram

about the RESIDENCY


Long Residency: TBD

Short Residency: ALISON NEWTH


Kayla Isomura is a photographer with 7+ years of experience in a variety of genres currently focusing on visual storytelling with a lens in documentary-style photography and environmental portraits.  

'I often share that I didn’t know I was Japanese Canadian until my early 20s. Growing up, I never blended the two words into a single neat term that hinted at my family’s history. As a photographer, I used to document anything and everything but as I began to unpack my family history, my work changed along with how I viewed myself.

Today, my work nearly always includes an interview or an element of written storytelling. For me, this stems from a desire to tell the whole story or as much of it as I can, anyway. As a multi-generational, multiracial settler, my work is also rooted in centering historically resilient voices. Currently, I am drawn to intersections of identity, memory and place, often reflecting on my own relationship to self. Through this work, I further seek to centre an individual’s experience, which is demonstrated through site-specific location. I invite viewers to reflect on their own experiences while engaging with the work.'


Learn More About Kayla Isomura

During this residency, I will produce ghosts of my family's past, a photography essay reminiscent of a fragmented familial connection to the south bank of the Skeena River.  Depicting a combination of landscape, self-portraits, and beached pottery shards from Port Essington and Claxton Creek, the final work will feature 10- 12 images that weave a narrative of longing and wonder. Further centring on themes of intergenerational grief, ghosts of my family's past intimately reflects my being as a descendant of forced dispersal. In this work, I question how a culture and identity can shatter, and what happens when we try to piece them back together.

Rooted in my family’s story of displacement, this project stems from my paternal grandmother's connection to northern B.C. prior to the Second World War. At this time, her father worked as a commercial  fisherman and was once in possession of a boat called "North #3." In 1942, they were some of the 20,000 people of Japanese descent removed from the west coast and placed in internment camps, eventually losing everything they left behind. Like the remnants of former canneries along the Skeena, little of their life remains. Despite this, I carry their story into my work as a photographer, often highlighting the voices of others who experience systemic barriers today.

With this site specific residency, I will aim to create images both within a studio setting and the surrounding area, as Cassiar Cannery is in close proximity to the Skeena River. Landscapes will allow viewers to conceptualize location, while closeups of the beached fragments represent multiple facets within this narrative, including one’s journey of migration and the aforementioned shattering of culture. Self-portraits will attempt to depict my own vulnerability within this narrative, particularly as I choose to centre my own response to trauma and history. 

Kayla is here for the long residency April 21 - May 11, 2023




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


Originally from Prince Rupert, Alison Newth moved with her family to Fort St. John in the 1980s and has resided there ever since, except for a short stint in the Okanagan in the 90s.  Fort St. John is located in northeastern British Columbia and is known for its outstanding sunsets and northern lights. 

Since childhood, Alison has loved to draw and create but she didn’t become serious about her art until she joined the Flying Colours Artists Association in 2014.  Joining that group of artists proved to be the turning point for Alison, as she was surrounded with generous and talented artists who inspired and encouraged her in her creative endeavors.  She was juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists in 2016 and joined the Peace River Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists the following year.  Since then, Alison has taken numerous workshops from the likes of Dominik Modlinski, David Langevin, Gaye Adams, Sandy Troudt, and Mike Kroecher.  Alison has been showing her work steadily over the last few years and her original paintings reside with collectors across Canada and the US.  Some of Alison’s achievements include having her artwork selected as the cover art for the novel Raft Baby, by Bonnie Dunlop, and being selected for a public art display in FSJ’s new festival plaza.


Learn More About Alison Newth

Alison has three grown children and works part-time as a teacher-librarian in a local elementary school.  She spends much of her free time painting, both plein air and in her studio, and finds inspiration in the vast local landscapes and stunning skyscapes.  Alison uses acrylic and oil paints to capture the spirit and vibrance of landscapes that hold special meaning–the beautiful Peace River is one of her most beloved and popular subjects. 

Where to see her art:



Alison will be at the Cassiar Cannery September 5 - 15, 2023.