take time, take it easy

+ experience the art life on vancouver island +

The Ou Gallery is an artist-run centre with a contemporary art gallery & a large workshop space for artist studios, events, workshops & performances. Our residency is process based & we welcome applications from artists who are looking for a relaxed & open space to focus on building their portfolio & exploring new work.


the ou gallery

The Ou was an old boatbuilding workshop and you can feel the history in the old fir floors and layers of resin. We aim to be 'more than just wall space' and our monthly exhibitions are curated to reflect a contemporary & emerging art space unique to the Cowichan Valley.

Read more about the beauty of the where we live here

about you 

A self-directed & process-based residency, we welcome visual artists, writers & performance artists - makers who crave time to focus on a new series or build their portfolio, or self-starters who would like to facilitate a workshop, create a pop-up installation & connect with our community.  

Read about our Artist in Resident's here

workspace + workshop + dancehall 

events & workshops

If you have an idea for a class or performance that you would like to put into action, let us know! The artist is responsible for developing the content & materials for any workshops (time & space pending) and we will support the artist by meeting weekly for support & mentorship.

your studio

In addition to your private bedroom & shared suite, you will have 24 hour access to your own semi-private, dedicated studio space in the Hall (pictured above) with tables, wall space, natural light & access to nature.

rest easy + creekside living

+ detail oriented +

where are we again?

Vancouver Island! We are just outside of downtown Duncan in the Cowichan Valley which is Quw'utsun' Territory (also called the Warmland, and home of many a vineyard), on a road that connects with the Cowichan Valley Trail. The shared suite is below the Hall & has a view onto Bings Creek. The suite also includes a large living room, a renovated kitchen with a gas stove & dishwasher and a 3-piece bathroom (includes a tub) with heated floor.


There is a small art store 20 mins walk away, or you could take the bus to Victoria or Nanaimo (each 45 minutes away)


2mins to the Cowichan Valley Trail. 10mins walking distance to a cafe & grocery store. 20mins walk to downtown shops & 15mins to gorgeous swimming holes in the abundance of nature.



A private, furnished bedroom with 6' desk. 24 hour access to the Hall with a dedicated, semi-private area for studio space. Linens for bed & bath, shampoo & conditioner. Package of 'welcome home' goods, heat & hot water, wi-fi, dishwasher, heated bathroom floor, shared laundry, garden and patio area. Artists are responsible for cleaning their room & preparing their own meals.

Airports & Pick-Up

The artist is responsible for their own transport to  Vancouver Island. If you arrive by the Horseshoe Bay ferry from Vancouver (because it's worth a stop-over) or from the YCD Nanaimo airport (because it's the closest to us), we can pick you up at no extra charge. If you arrive in Victoria YYJ, there is a $50 pick-up charge. Or you could hop on a bus 

Your Hosts: Barclay + Donovan

duppydoctor.com    |    barclaymartin.ca

Barclay tried her hand at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design but ended up with an MA in Media & International Development. Her passion for travel, art & community engagement has taken her all over the world as a facilitator, student, artist & volunteer.

Donovan spends most of his time working on paintings while being easily distracted by other projects inside and outside of the studio.

He is currently scheming on the design of a new deck in the garden over looking the creek, over a pot of hot coffee.

As neighbours, we would like us both to be considerate and respectful of each other’s privacy, and open to sharing meals & fires in the garden.

Your house-mate: Zach Hoskin


I am a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Artist. 

I aim to make my given audience comfortable with my designs, and uncomfortable with my art. I appreciate the effects and impact that both of these practices can deliver and continually strive to achieve the proper balance of functional problem solving and aesthetic pleasure in whichever medium I am working in.

It all boils down to something fairly simple: make shit + be kind. Whether it is art or design, it's all some mutt-mix of critical thinking, expression, and curiosity.

Be gentle, stay open, contribute value, move forward. Repeat...


+ fine print +

As well as our Gallery & workspace, the Ou is our home. We would ask you to treat the space & your housemates with respect & consideration. 


1 week: $325 | 2 weeks: $650 Monthly: $950

Shorter & longer stays are available.

This residency might not be for you if:

  • You're here to throw raging parties
  • You want to be incredibly solitary
  • You're looking for an immersive group experience

This is a shared living space that can accommodate up to two artists. 

Although we are not able to provide artists with grants or bursaries, do let us know if you've found a grant you're applying for & we can assist with a letter and/or supporting documentation. If you have a family, this might be a good resource.


+ application +

Ready to join us? Please apply by filling out the form below & we will then be in touch with next steps. Once you've been accepted, your spot is reserved by a non-refundable deposit & the remainder of your fee is due upon arrival/pickup. Please let us know if you are applying for grants or funding so that we may be able to assist. 

Thank you for your time & we look forward to hearing from you!


ready for west coast scenery? 

Name *
You may also email art@theougallery.com 5-10 images
I am interested in creating & running a workshop or hosting an event.
I would like exhibit my work if possible
Please provide an additional link to your work which you would like to exhibit
Preferred date of arrival *
Preferred date of arrival
Depending on our availability, you may or may not be sharing the living quarters with another artist.
Preferred date of departure *
Preferred date of departure
I understand that this is a self-directed residency & that I may or may not be sharing the suite with another artist. My dedicated, semi-private studio is also in a shared space *

Thank you to our membership partners!