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Art & AI:  artistic residency in research/creation and artificial intelligence | Call for applicants

Art & AI:  artistic residency in research/creation and artificial intelligence | Call for applicants

Art & AI:  artistic residency in research/creation and artificial intelligence | Call for applicants

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership (PQDS), Element AI, Google and the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) are joining forces to offer a Montreal-based professional artist or professional art collective a research and creation residency for a duration of six months.

The residency, which includes a budget of $50,000, will allow the artist or collective to collaborate directly with artificial intelligence (AI) developers and researchers, provide access to the latest advancements in AI, and expose AI researchers and developers to creative approaches different from those they are already familiar with.

As well as enabling discussions around the possibilities and issues associated with AI, this residency is intended to be an opportunity to address the potential role of AI in future urban development.


The residency is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Support and stimulate collaboration between two of Montreal’s most vital professional communities (AI and the art world)
  • Give artists an opportunity to access the latest developments in AI
  • Give artists a setting where they can do research and creative work with the aim of developing a prototype artwork incorporating AI
  • Give AI researchers and developers a creative perspective on their work, as well as the possibility of developing AI tools in collaboration with artists
  • Spark discussions on the impacts and potential of AI in art
  • Develop a prototype for an artwork, experience or installation suitable for presentation in a public space, featuring an original use of the possibilities enabled by AI
  • Encourage discussion on the potential role of AI in future urban development and citizen participation


This residency is for professional artists or professional art collectives working in any discipline and residing on the Island of Montreal, including both Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Each art collective must have a majority (50%+1) of Canadian citizens or permanent residents as members, and a majority (50%+1) of members must reside on the Island of Montreal. The person in charge of the application must also reside on the Island of Montreal.

Selection criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee composed of representatives of the partner organizations (NFB, PQDS, Element AI, Google and CAM) and other representatives of the artistic community, using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the project’s use of AI
  • The quality of the artistic approach and previous work
  • Interest in the reflection on the city of the future and citizen participation
  • Potential for cross-pollination between the art and AI communities
  • Feasibility 

Evaluation process

After confirmation of the eligibility and feasibility of the project by a committee of AI experts, finalists will be selected and invited to present their proposal to a selection committee and AI experts.

The selection committee’s decisions are final and cannot be appealed. Applicants agree not to contact, at any time, any member of the selection committee on any matter related to the management, evaluation or decision-making related to their submission. Only the staff of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership will be allowed to answer applicants’ questions.

Rights ownership

The winning artist or collective will retain ownership of all rights to the proposal submitted. All applicants grant the National Film Board of Canada and/or the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership rights of first negotiation and final refusal for securing the rights to exclusive production of the project, with the aim of developing, producing or co-producing the work at the conclusion of the residency, under terms to be negotiated in good faith with the artist or collective.

Duration of residency and amount of budget

The duration of the residency is six months, from April to October, 2019. 

Element AI will make staff, office space and equipment available to the artist or collective. The artist or collective selected will be able to produce their work with a total of 200 hours of support from qualified professionals. The equipment and professionals will be selected based on the details of the project.

The amount awarded to the artist or collective will be $50,000. These funds are to be used to cover artists’ fees, other contributors’ fees, and the costs of producing a prototype.

The other partners will provide guidance consistent with project requirements and each partner’s respective expertise.  


  • Call for proposals issued: November 13, 2018 – Soirée Composite – HUB Montréal
  • Deadline for submitting proposals: February 5, 2019 at noon
  • Naming of finalists by the selection committee: February 12, 2019
  • Finalists’ presentations (30 minutes each): February 21, 2019
  • Announcement of winner: April 2019
  • Planning meeting with the artist or collective, residency partners and AI experts: March 2019
  • Residency: April to October, 2019
  • Presentation of the prototype and delivery of a final activity report: fall 2019

How to submit a proposal

All submissions must include:

  • a project description indicating compliance with selection criteria (intent, approach, connection with AI…)
  • an overview of requirements for support and equipment
  • summary budget and schedule
  • name of the artist or list of members of the collective and abridged CVs for collective members or the artist, including previous works or links to them.

The project description must not exceed five single-sided pages (any additional pages will not be read).

The application must be submitted in a single copy in 8 ½ x 11 in. (21.6 cm x 27.9 cm) format, and delivered by email only. Only the required documents will be sent to the members of the evaluation committee.

To submit your proposal, please email your documents before noon on February 5, 2019 to If your submission has a large file size, please use the WeTransfer service.

If you have any questions, send them to

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