In a world where one of the only lasting truths is change, we have witnessed (and continue to be subject to) profound seismic shifts across social, cultural and environmental terrains. Communities rightfully demand that cultural institutions catch-up to meet the demands of their mandates, and to begin to fulfil the promise of their outsized potentials.
The continued professionalization of contemporary curatorial labour runs in parallel to this specific historical moment. Curatorial work and the implicit pedagogy of the temporary exhibition carries a sense of urgency to facilitate context(s) that are not already historicized. Instead, it is often in the milieu of defining and shaping a body: of relations, knowledge, materials, experiences and connections.
Over the last decade, the shortcomings and limitations of status quo cultural programming have been laid bare. Aside from a pandemic induced acceleration toward digital platforms and virtual encounters, institutions are reaching for something else (something otherwise) that can facilitate the sort of experiences, representations and support that communities need.
Paradigmatic Pulse is brand-new, fully funded curatorial opportunity for experimental projects and platforms that are socially engaged, community focused and critically rigorous. It aims to support a Canadian curator in the development of an exhibition that probes the paradigmatic boundaries of exhibition making and visitor engagement. We welcome intersectional proposals that push our understanding of what constitutes an exhibition, redefines how to hold space in a contemporary art gallery and nurtures a sensitive inclusion of difference. Let us practice other types of discursive space that can challenge institutional practices/processes while encouraging the growth and strength of community organization in a time of crises and collapse.
Who Can Apply
- This program is open to any Canadian citizen / permanent resident that is recognized by their peers as a Curator (not-for-profit / artist-run / independent / commercial / other)
- You may apply individually or as a collective
- There are no age limits
- There are no minimum requirements for years of experience or education
- KWAG embraces a culture of belonging that enhances our capacity to meaningfully address and serve the interests of our diverse community. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized persons, women, persons with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual and gender identities. Our values regarding equity and diversity are intrinsically linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence.
The 2023 application window is currently closed. The successful curatorial proposal will be announced in May 2023.
Everything you need to know is outlined in the Call for Curatorial Proposals: Paradigmatic Pulse.
Stay tuned for the 2024 Paradigmatic Pulse application information to announced later this year.
As a nationally-acclaimed home for the creation and experience of contemporary art, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery fills a critical role in Waterloo Region’s cultural ecosystem by connecting people and ideas through a challenging and accessible exhibition program.
The Curatorial Department accepts exhibition proposals from established, mid-career and emerging artists, curators, collectives and groups. While we will review submitted material as promptly as possible, please allow up to three months for a response due to the number of proposals we receive. Exhibitions are typically planned one to three years in advance and we have limited capacity to consider projects with a short timeline. There is no deadline to submit exhibition proposals.
As outlined in Pillar 1 of our Strategic Plan, KWAG is a non-discriminatory organization that upholds the fundamental principles of equality, inclusivity, accessibility, freedom of expression and open engagement. We promote the participation of our culturally diverse population within the Gallery and community, and welcome exhibition proposals from individuals and groups that are historically on the margins or are traditionally under-represented in cultural institutions.
If you are interested in submitting an exhibition proposal, please provide the following information in a single PDF document:
- Curriculum Vitae (CV), including exhibition record
- Statement describing your practice and proposal
- A brief rationale for presenting your work at KWAG
- Samples of work must be labelled with your name, title of the work, date(s) of production, medium and dimensions
- For images, include up to 15 JPGs or a link to view on an external site
- For video and/or audio, provide links for viewing up to 15 minutes of material such as artist website, Vimeo or YouTube and include passwords if required
- Feel free to include other related materials such as recent publications or reviews
Send proposals to the Curatorial Department:
Darryn Doull, Curator
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Re: Exhibition Proposal - Curatorial Department
101 Queen Street North
Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7
Please note: If you are mailing an exhibition proposal and would like your materials returned after review, you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). If no SASE is provided your materials will either be kept on file or otherwise discarded. KWAG is not liable for the contents of mailed submissions. Please allow up to six months for your materials to be returned.
KWAG is committed to inclusivity and accessibility and can provide alternative arrangements if required or requested.
OAC Exhibition Assistance Program
Each year the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery serves as a third-party recommender organization for the Ontario Arts Council: Exhibition Assistance Program. This program provides grants of $500 to $2,000 to assist individual artists and collectives with costs related to presenting their work in an exhibition at any venue. Artists who are based in the Waterloo Region and surrounding areas (defined by the OAC as Zone 2) are eligible to submit a funding request for KWAG's consideration through Nova, the OAC’s online application portal. Please note that paper and/or digital applications sent directly to KWAG will no longer be accepted.
KWAG is now open to allocate grant funds for the 2023-24 intake year.
Artists may apply to KWAG for funding support through Nova, the OAC's online application portal. KWAG assesses applications on an ongoing basis until our allocated funds have been depleted. Since requests often exceed the funds available through this program, we recommend that artists apply as early as possible within the application timeframe.