The Ou-telier

+ experience the art life on vancouver island +

Our residency, The Ou-telier, is a personable and process based experience; a place to decompress, experiment, research, play, and make space to develop new ideas. We welcome applications from emerging and established artists of all mediums and practice.

+ 2019 applications open now +


 Photograph by Christian Wiebe

Photograph by Christian Wiebe

the ou gallery

An artist-run space, The Ou used to be 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 about the beauty of where we live

about you 

We love hosting artists who are focused, self-directed, motivated, and kind. If you have ideas about creative community engagement and installations we would love to hear your thoughts. Artists must be here for 1 month to be considered for a pop-up exhibition.

Read about our past & future artists

studios + workspace

In addition to your private bedroom in the shared suite, you will have 24 hour access to a semi-private, dedicated studio space in the Hall (adjacent to the gallery). Spaces are 8' x 15' and each have a window that looks out of the yard & creek.  

take time + take it easy


where are we again?

The Cowichan Valley / Quw’utsun (the Warmland) on Vancouver Island! We are just outside of downtown Duncan (the city of Totems) on a road that connects with the Cowichan Valley Trail. The shared suite is below the Hall & has views onto Bings Creek. We are humbled and thankful to acknowledge that we live on the unceded Coast Salish territory of the Tsawout First Nation.

included amenities

A private bedroom with desk & 24 hour access to a dedicated, semi-private studio space. Linens for bed & bath, heat & hot water, Wi-Fi. The suite has a large living room, kitchen, gas stove & patio. Artists are responsible for cleaning their room, preparing their own meals & keeping common areas tidy.


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


2 mins to the Cowichan Valley Trail with gorgeous nature trails to explore, 10 mins walking distance to a cafe & grocery store. 20 mins walk to downtown shops. Onsite access to a small swimming hole in the creek below.

Travel & Arrival

The artist is responsible for their own transport to Duncan. If you arrive by the Horseshoe Bay ferry from West Vancouver you can hop on the IslandLink ($20) which will bring you right downtown. Please note that you do NOT need a reservation if you are walking onto the ferry. 

If you arrive in Victoria YYJ airport you can hop on the  IslandLink or if you arrive at the Nanaimo Cassidy YCD airport, you can take the Tofino Bus to downtown Duncan.

Our arrival dates are the 1st & 16th of every month.

See who else is coming! 

 Fancy Faces.

Fancy Faces.

Your Hosts: Barclay + Donovan    |

Barclay tried her hand at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and 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 oil 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 overlooking the creek, across a pot of hot coffee.

Together, and with help from their kind & wonderful friends & family, they created The Ou Gallery to satisfy their desire to inhabit & share beautiful creative spaces,  to be surrounded by contemporary art & to bring artists from around the world to a place where they can feel at home, relaxed & inspired.

+ fine print +

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


2 weeks: $650 | Monthly: $995

+ $45 cleaning fee 

This is a shared living space (independent of The Ou staff quarters) that accommodates up to two artists, or one artist with their family.

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.


ready for west coast scenery?

Apply to The Ou-telier by filling out the form below. If you have been accepted, your spot is reserved by a non-refundable deposit & the remainder of your fee is due upon arrival.

Due to our large number of submissions, we will try to answer everyone, but this may not always be possible.

Thank you for your time & we look forward to hosting you!


 + application +

Applications for 2019 are now open

Name *
You may also email 5-10 images
This can be listed in brief.
Please be specific, if possible, about your ideas. This does not need to be an artist statement.
Alongside my independent practice, I would like to: *
THESE ARE OPTIONAL & BY NO MEANS A MANDATORY PART OF YOUR EXPERIENCE. ** You must be here for 1 month to be considered for a pop-up exhibition **
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.
I would like to stay for this long: *
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. I understand that there is a dog and cat who live on the premises (but not in my suite). *

Vancouver Island, not Vancouver

Thank you to our membership partners!