Residencies 2021-2022

Application for Comics Creator Residency

Canada Comics Open Library

Posted: July 27th, 2021
Closing Date: November 30th, 2021
Cartoonist Residency: Canada Comics Open Library
Timeline: 1 month during August 2021 -  July 2022 inclusive
Location: Online through Canada Comics Open Library’s Zoom
Support: $1280

Before submitting an application, please read over the following residency requirements to make sure you will be able to commit to the workload, as well as be sure to answer the questions included below. This residency is open to those who reside in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Interested applicants that require more assistance will also be able to fill out an application form online with a CCOL staff member. please email in advance to set up an appointment so we can be sure an experienced volunteer will be there to assist you. Please email us at info@canadacomicsol.org if you have any further questions.

Project Description

The Canada Comics Open Library invites applications for Comics Creators-in-Residence. For this project, we will be working with up-and-coming Toronto comics creators from a wide range of genres. Through these residencies, community members will be able to learn about the process of creating comics, the diverse array of comics genres and styles, while also engaging with the stories in the library collection.

Consideration will be given to comics writers/illustrators, pencilers, script writers, letterers, inkers, and editors who have produced meaningful and substantial bodies of work. Artists must have published more than 2 titles, or include samples of soon to be published work. We will also consider webcomics, such as comics serialized on Instagram or another website, as examples of published titles.

We will also acknowledge self-published works, including zines, in our consideration of creators to make space for up-and-coming creators who may be underrepresented in traditional media or lack access to mainstream publication venues.

We want to especially encourage applications from creators of marginalized genders and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) creators.

All applicants must be available to participate in online events through Zoom; potentially, future functions of the residency may occur in the Toronto branch location, but this is not mandatory and currently canceled for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 safety measures.

Project Deliverables

The deliverables of the residency are flexible. The following deliverable requirements are a guideline for the residency.

  1. An artist talk, workshop, or panel
    • An artist talk given online (Zoom) to engage community members with follow-up Q&A period
    • OR alternatively a panel conversation on a topic or theme in comics to take place online through Zoom (3 panelists maximum) organized by the artist
    • OR mini-talk and workshop to take place online (Zoom)
        • Examples of workshops
          • Collaborative drawing games
          • Creating a one page comic (multiple genres)
          • Script writing tips (multiple genres)
          • Creating a comic zine (booklet template)
          • Tools and techniques for creating comics (multiple genres

2. The artist will select 5-10 comics in the library collection to be showcased on the library social media during the month of residency. We will also place these comics on display at our physical library space.

    • Artists will also create a 500 word blog post about selected comics to be published on the CCOL blog.
    • CCOL will also display the participating artist’s bio and business cards for the duration of this exhibit.

3. A week-long takeover of the CCOL Instagram account during the month of residency

    • This can include images of: recent projects, creator tips, recent reads, work process, initiatives in the comics industry, everyday comics observations, studio space, etc.

4. A 500 word blog post about any topic of their choosing related to comics to be published within 1 month following their residency, or sooner.

    • Themes in comics which resident artists may touch on during their time at CCOL might include: autobiographical comics; lowbrow and underground comix; comics and mental and physical illness; rewriting history through comics; queer comics; untraditional and traditional scripting/lettering/penciling inking techniques; political comics; creating comics; DIY culture; immigration comics— and much more.

5. Lastly, a CCOL homepage comic (see current comic and last year’s contributions), or a parallel deliverable, such as a poster, banner, or other public comics artwork.

Suggested timeline

Week 1: Instagram takeover, and comics selection post (we will set up comics in library) + outline and drafting of blog post deliverable about selection by the end of week 1
Week 2: Planning artist talk, workshop, or panel event; ideally, we can announce this to the public by the end of week 2; publication of revised and edited blog post on comics selected by end of week 2
Week 3: Time spent working on CCOL projects; draft of homepage comic or parallel deliverable due by end of week 3; aim to have the artist talk, workshop, or panel take place by week 3 at the latest; if safe AND you feel comfortable, we can provide space for artists to work at the comics library.
Week 4: Completion of homepage comic or parallel deliverable by end of week 4
Week 5-8: Blog post deliverable about topic of choosing.

Participating artists will also gain access to resources at CCOL, including the library collection, which currently includes over 1400 titles, spanning multiple genres and artistic styles, as well as tools (lightboard, paper cutters, pens, pencils, table space). Though our collection is currently non-circulating for the public, resident artists may check items out from the collection for the duration of their residency (maximum 10 items at once). If safe, artists are welcome to use the library!


Each artist will be paid the following:

  • Artist talk, OR panel, OR mini presentation with workshop: $389
    • Panel option--artist must choose maximum 2 other panelists including themselves for a maximum of 3 participants: $130 per panelist.
  • Prep. work for talk,workshop, or panel moderation: $241
  • 2 blog posts (500 words each): $500 ($250 + $250)
  • 12 panel homepage comic (1 page comic) or alternative project: $150

=$1280 for each artist

Remuneration schedule to artists will be as follows:

One third at the start date of the residency = $426.67
One third half-way through the residency = $426.67
One third at the end date of the residency = $426.67

About the hosts

The Canada Comics Open Library (CCOL) is a registered non-profit organization that aims to be an inclusive, educational, and recreational public space for comics and graphic novels while showcasing the work of Canadian creators and supporting comics communities. We define Canadian creators as those who have lived or worked within the boundary of the land referred to as Canada. This is to acknowledge that not all creators in Canada necessarily identify as being Canadian.

CCOL aims to fill a hole in the current cultural landscape with regards to comics accessibility. We hope to broadly promote the medium and creators through developing meaningful partnerships and a diverse collection. We also work with various Canadian artists and comics-related communities in Canada to promote accessibility to and recognition of the Canadian comics scene. We also want to be a part of increasing representation of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and marginalized comics creators, stories, and art.

The Canada Comics Open Library is located at CSI (The Centre for Social Innovation) Annex at 720 Bathurst Street on the fourth floor. For more information, visit our website Contact page.

Accessibility info

CSI Annex and the comics library are wheelchair accessible. However, fully accessible washrooms are located on the first floor; washrooms on the 4th floor are not wheelchair accessible. Gender-neutral washrooms are located on the first floor.

Application Submission

To submit an application, please provide answers to the questions below and email to info@canadacomicsol.org. Please include in the subject line: “CCOL Comics Creator Residency Application”. Or, fill out this Google form.

A CV is not required for this application. 

Please feel free to resubmit previous applications to this project, but be sure to include any updates!

  1. Full name for publication and display
  2. Pronouns
  3. Why are comics important to you?
  4. Please describe the kind of comics that you create
  5. Please provide links or access to samples of your work (social media, website, online portfolio, etc.), or reference zines or publications that your work can be found within. Self-published works are welcome.
  6. If you are selected for a comics creator residency, please list a preference for the month of the residency. Please choose at least 3 months in order of preference. The following months are available for residency placements in 2021: September, October, November, December; and in 2022: January, February, March, April, May, June, July
  7. What would your panel, artist talk or mini workshop/presentation look like if you were a CCOL Creator-in-Residence? Please describe in one paragraph. Note: this does not need to be concrete and applicants will not be required to carry out exactly what is proposed. (100-400 words)
  8. Optional: This is your chance to add anything else you find relevant in your experience that should be included in the application! (I.e. have you previously hosted workshops, drawing events, meetups, etc? Are you involved in the comics community in Toronto, elsewhere in Canada, or abroad?) (100-300 words)
  9. Optional: Please indicate if you are a member of one or more of the following priority groups: 2SLGBTQIAP+ creators; Creators of marginalized genders; BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) creators
    This information is important for helping us understand how effective our outreach is and whether we are able to meet our organizational goals. It is also important for us to know these demographics for when we submit final project reports, and understand areas where we might need to improve. Individual applicants’ personal information will not be publicly shared.

CCOL staff will contact you regarding the status of your application within 60 days of your submission. Selected applicants will need to be available for discussing the details of their residency as soon as possible. We will keep all applications on file for future residency opportunities for one year. We will carefully consider all applications, and will do our best to select fair and diverse representation from those who apply. 

Thank you!

Project Administrators: Rotem Anna Diamant, Jordan Reg. Aelick

Selection Committee Members: Folarin Agbaje, Rotem Anna Diamant, Ardo Omer

This residency program is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.



Website created and maintained by Rotem Diamant

Technical development & consultation by Brandon Haworth.

CCOL logo designed by Scott A. Ford.


Toronto Branch
Canada Comics Open Library
986 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON
M5R 3G6

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