The Artist in Residence Program aims to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. Canada was ranked as the second best place in the world to live at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The survey said that Canada welcomes immigrants, celebrates diversity, draws its national identity from its expansive wilderness, has produced a long list of accomplished writers and artists, and is a high-tech industrial society with an enviable standard of living. Canadian cities continue to dominate the top 10 of the "most liveable" category" in the annual Economist Intelligence Unit report.
The sesquicentennial is a very special occasion with year long celebrations happening throughout the country. This residency will allow time to reflect, challenge and imagine Canada then, now and in the future. Interpretation of the theme of Canada's 150th is open to the discretion of the artist. Topics may include but are not limited to: celebration, accomplishments, immigration, history, environment, language and/or a variety of other social issues.
Backgrounder: Canada is a beacon of hope during a challenging time. The residency site is located in Scarborough, which is in many ways a microcosm of the world. Scarborough is one of the most diverse and multicultural areas of the Greater Toronto Area with a significant portion of the population composed of immigrants and descendants of immigrants who have arrived within the last four decades. Cedar Ridge Creative Centre itself is situated in one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto, populated predominantly with new immigrants, refugees, indigenous and other racialized ethnic groups in one of the City’s designated underserved areas.
Scarborough is also home to some of Toronto's popular natural landmarks, such as the Scarborough Bluffs and Rouge Park, declared the greenest part of Toronto. The area, comprised of neighbourhoods that reflect Scarborough's evolution from a rural community to a densely populated suburb, has a history of art dating back to the establishment of sites like the Guild of all Arts through to the present with Scarborough named the first inaugural Cultural Hotspot, a project which celebrates arts and culture in Toronto's inner suburbs.