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Call for Artists: 2SLGBTQ+ Arts Jam


Deadline to apply: June 27th, 2022 at 11:59pm EDT


safeword, in collaboration with community partner The Gilbert Centre, are accepting applications for an online arts residency and mentorship program for queer and trans youth living in Simcoe County, Ontario.


Over the course of eight weeks, six young artists will be selected to join an online artistic community to explore their craft, interests, and develop a project on their own through independent and guided activities. The structure of the residency will be flexible and respond to the needs of the participants. Each artist will receive a cash honorarium of $750. This program will also connect participants with local resources and will include three public workshops led by inspiring queer and trans guest artists.

Who should apply?

-Youth between the ages of 12-20 (a little younger or older is also accepted)

-Anyone interested in pursuing a career in the arts or developing their skills as an artist, no experience is necessary.

(When we say “arts” or “artist”, this includes all forms of art and not limited to: Visual art, dance, music, zines, D&D campaigns, TikTok videos, memes, drama, movies, photography, spoken word, crafts, game design, or anything else you can imagine)

-Identifies as 2SLGBTQ+

(This includes anyone who is: Queer, Transgender, Non-Binary, 2 Spirit, Indigiqueer, Intersex, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Questioning, Agender, Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Bigender, Gender-Nonconforming, and any identities that also belong with these groups)

-Lives in Simcoe County, Ontario

(Simcoe County includes anyone living within the following townships and surrounding communities: Adjala-Tosorontio, Barrie, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Clearview, Collingwood, Essa, Innisfil, Midland, New Tecumseth, Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Penetanguishene, Ramara, Severn, Springwater, Tay, Tiny, Wasaga Beach)

-Our activities are committed to equity, pluralism, and anti-discriminatory practices. We encourage applications from artists who are Indigenous, Black, artists of colour, artists who are Deaf, have disabilities or are living with mental illness, newcomer and refugee artists.


Map of Simcoe County

Where is this happening?

The residency will take place remotely online. The group will connect through Discord and also have weekly sessions held on Zoom. We are hoping to plan one in-person gathering in the Barrie area but this will be optional.


When is it?

The residency will take place once a week over eight weeks from July 18th to September 11th, 2022. Dates and times will be decided by the group based on availability.


Selection Process

Even though we can only offer residencies to six artists, anyone who applies to the program will automatically be invited to our three guest artist workshops and any in-person activities.


The selection of participants will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Ability to communicate their specific interest in the arts

  • Diversity of identities & communities represented

  • Diversity of artistic disciplines



The organizers will work to remove any barriers that prevent artists from fully participating in this program. If you require any assistance during the application process, please send your request to and we will engage with you further.


How to Apply

Click the button below to fill out the application form:

For questions 9, 10 and 11, you are allowed to submit an audio or video response instead of a written response if you choose. To do so, please provide a web link that can be viewed online with viewing instructions if needed. We recommend sending a private Vimeo link with a password, a private or unlisted YouTube link, or a link to a Google Drive file.


If sending a web link is not possible but you still want to submit an audio or video response, please write ‘Sent by email’ as your response and contact to coordinate how you will share your materials with the selection committee.

The deadline to apply is June 27th, 2022 at 11:59pm EDT.



Please contact Artistic Director Brandon Crone at for any questions about the program or application process.

This program is made possible through a community partnership with The Gilbert Centre, funding from the Ontario Arts Council, and a sponsorship from the City of Barrie.


Additional FAQs


What is a residency?

An artist residency is usually a temporary space where artists can work on their craft or connect with other artists doing the same. There is no expectation to complete or finish an artistic project during this time. Artists in residence decide how they want to use the time and resources available to them.


Why is this program exclusive to queer and trans participants?

We believe that queer and trans youth deserve to have access to safe spaces where they can feel seen and respected. These types of closed spaces can provide participants with positive affirmation, mutual understanding, and a sense of community. 


Why is this exclusive to participants from Simcoe County?

The organizers are all either originally from Simcoe County or currently working to support communities in Simcoe County. This is the first stage of a larger creative project developing over the next few years but the sole purpose of this specific program is to connect with and empower local queer and trans artists.


Why is it online?

We understand that some folks might be tired of doing activities online but this is the most accessible way for us to gather with community members living in different townships. 


Who will be leading the activities?

Each meeting will be facilitated by Artistic Director Brandon Crone (they/he) and community members affiliated with The Gilbert Centre. There will also be invited guest speakers joining our group sessions. Overall, we consider this residency to be a shared learning space so anyone, including our participants, may play a leadership role at any point.


We’re calling on all community members to double down on their support of queer and trans communities. We want to make sure that trans kids are protected but we also want to move beyond just focusing on narratives of harm and fear. Queer and trans youth deserve to be celebrated, encouraged, and deeply valued in our visions for a prosperous future. Show your support by downloading and sharing our UPLIFT TRANS KIDS social media images. They come in eight different versions inspired by the colours of multiple Pride flags! And don’t stop there. Ask yourself how you can uplift the lives of queer and trans youth in your community and take action. #UpliftTransKids


                                2 Spirit                                                                            Agender                                                                       Bigender                                                                      Genderfluid


                           Genderqueer                                                                   Intersex                                                                        Nonbinary                                                                  Transgender

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