Family Residency

Call for Proposals

Location: Port Union, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Duration: 2 to 3 weeks 

Slots: May through October, dates negotiable 

Supports: Accommodation, Kitchen, Workspace, Childcare 

Artists’ Cost: Transportation, Food, Materials 

Deadline: 15 January 2020, 23:59 Newfoundland Standard Time (+3:30) 

Notification: 31 January 2020

Click here to download the Summer 2020 Family Application Form
Boulder Kite Workshop with Meghan Price and Suzanne Nacha, August 2019


Union House Arts (UHA) is a new community artspace committed to supporting work being produced by artists and craftspeople in Newfoundland and Labrador through place-specific dialogues and collaborative programming in Port Union. We respectfully acknowledge that the land the land that we occupy is on the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, and that the island of Newfoundland is the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. We would also like to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador. 

UHA is accepting applications for a pilot program that will provide studio space and additional support for professional artists who are parents or guardians. UHA will provide the artist(s) with studio space, a three-bedroom house in Port Union for up to three weeks, and six hours of childcare for five days per week. 

Applicant proposals are reviewed and evaluated by the UHA programming committee. When preparing your application, keep in mind that the UHA Artist-in-Residence program will place special emphasis on supporting projects that involve direct engagement with the community, whether through collaborative activities, participatory installations, site-specific intervention or other imaginative ways of sharing your practice.  The UHA Artist-in-Residence program provides selected artists with an opportunity to experiment with their practice, develop their focus or test new ideas in the unique historic district of Port Union. 

Areas of research that are particularly relevant include: visual culture, contemporary rurality, indigeneity, land and ocean resources, geology, tourism, and local community histories. 

During the residency period, there may be additional opportunities such as youth mentorships, studio visits, artist talks, or other special events. The UHA committee will work with selected artists to create residencies that support both the artist and the community’s development. 

While it is not expected that the applicant has an existing relationship with Port Union, the committee will consider the relevancy of the proposal in the context of Port Union when making their selections.


Accommodations and Studio

The artist house is in a two-story duplex on the Main Street of Historic Port Union, two doors down from Union House Arts. The house has three bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, laundry facilities, and a kitchen. Studio spaces are available on the second floor of the UHA building, at this time we do not have a lift. 


Childcare will be provided for up to three children (over 18 months old) for up to 30 hours each week. The childcare hours are flexible based on your family and studio plans as we understand that you will likely want to make time for family excursions during your time on the peninsula.


The UHA committee speak and write fluently in English with limited speaking, reading, and writing knowledge of French. 

Events and Exhibitions 

The majority of our events and exhibitions are free or by donation. UHA fundraisers may be ticketed or pay-what-you-want. 


UHA will not tolerate discrimination or violent acts in any capacity.  This applies to all visitors, volunteers, staff, and artists-in-residence. 

UHA strives to be a welcoming and accessible space for all. We acknowledge that accessibility in a historic building will always be a work-in-progress. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of the space prior to submitting your application.


Port Union can be accessed by car via Route 230 off the Trans Canada Highway, near Clarenville. It is approximately a 3.5 hour drive from St. John’s. If you do not have a vehicle, there is a daily taxi to and from St. John’s. Communities on the Bonavista peninsula are dispersed and having a vehicle during your residency would be beneficial to your residency experience but is not entirely necessary. 


  • 24-Hour oceanview studio access
  • Desk spaces available
  • Electrical outlets
  • Free WiFi
  • Flexible use of second floor studio spaces
  • Media room with sound and projector set-up (available when not in use for exhibitions) 
  • UHA committee will provide support and consultation with Artist-in-Residence while developing community-engaged activities

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the studio space prior to submitting your application. 


UHA is a division of the Sir William Ford Coaker Heritage Foundation, also known as the Coaker Foundation. The Coaker Foundation was formed in 1995 and is a not-for- profit, Registered Charitable Organization volunteer-based association dedicated to the preservation and careful development of the Historic District of Port Union. Over the past 23 years, the Coaker Foundation has worked hard to preserve and redevelop heritage properties in Port Union, share the story of the Fishermen’s Protective Union (FPU), and support community development by creating employment, learning opportunities, and hosting social gatherings. 

The Coaker Foundation has moved towards creative practice as a means of building community and partnerships, such as the development of the Cultural Craft Initiative and their involvement with the inaugural Bonavista Biennale. UHA has been established to be a permanent space for artists and makers, exhibitions, community events and programming, and collaborations with organizations across the province and beyond.

Please contact Jane Walker at unionhousearts[at] with any questions or concerns relating to your application.