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 hosting monthly exhibitions, artist studios, live music & workshops. 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

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, curate a pop-up exhibition & connect with our community.  

Read about our past & future Artist in Residents

workspace + workshop + dancehall 

events & workshops

If you have an idea for a class or performance that you'd like to put into action, let us know! As the artist, you're responsible for developing the content & materials for any workshops (time & space pending). We will support you 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 (also called the Warmland, and home of many a vineyard)! We are just outside of downtown Duncan in the Cowichan Valley on unceded Quw'utsun' Territory on a road that connects with the Cowichan Valley Trail. The shared suite is below the Hall & has views onto Bings Creek. The suite also includes a large living room, kitchen with a gas stove & dishwasher, and a 3-piece bathroom 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)


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

included amenities

A private, furnished bedroom with desk & 24 hour access to a dedicated, semi-private studio space. Linens for bed & bath, shampoo & conditioner. Heat & hot water, Wi-Fi, garden & private patio. Artists are responsible for cleaning their room, preparing their own meals & keeping suite tidy.

Airports & Pick-Up

The artist is responsible for their own transport to Duncan. If you arrive by the Horseshoe Bay ferry from Vancouver you can hop on the IslandLink ($20-25) which will bring you right downtown. If you arrive in Victoria YYJ, the best option would be to hop on the  IslandLink or the Greyhound to Duncan. Another option from downtown Vancouver is a Harbour Air flight to Maple Bay.

If you arrive in Maple Bay or at the YCD Nanaimo airport (it's the closest to us), we can pick you up at no extra cost.

Your Hosts: Barclay + Donovan

duppydoctor.com    |    barclaymartin.ca

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.


+ 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. 


2 weeks: $650 Monthly: $950

Shorter & longer stays may be available.

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.


ready for west coast scenery?

Ready to join us? Apply by filling out the form below, & we will be in touch with next steps. If you have 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 hosting you!


 + application +

Name *
You may also email art@theougallery.com 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.
I am interested in creating & running a workshop or hosting an event.
I would like exhibit my work
Please note that the exhibition space in the Gallery & Hall may or may not be available. If we are full, we will suggest alternative times for your residency.
Preferred date of arrival (we have 1 remaining spot in April & are now full until November 2018) *
Preferred date of arrival (we have 1 remaining spot in April & are now full until November 2018)
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 would like to discuss the possibility of bringing my partner and/or family
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!