The Outelier

+ experience the art life on vancouver island +

The Ou Gallery is an artist-run centre that hosts monthly exhibitions, artist studios & live music. Our residency, The Outelier (a play on the french word, atelier), is process based & we welcome applications from artists who are looking for space to focus on exploring new work. In 2019 preference will be given to individual artists/groups who would like to create an installation for the public in the gallery. The minimum stay to be guaranteed an exhibition is 1 month.


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. Preference in 2019 will be given to artists who would like to create an installation, curate a pop-up exhibition & connect with our community.  

Read about our past & future artists

studios + exhibition space

events & pop-ups

If you have an idea for a workshop, performance or pop-up exhibition that you'd like to put into action, let us know! We will do our best to accommodate, but it will depend on time & space available. 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 & in images below). Artist is responsible for providing their own supplies & materials. 

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.  

included amenities

A private, furnished bedroom with desk & 24 hour access to a dedicated, semi-private studio space. Linens for bed & bath, heat & hot water, Wi-Fi. The suite  includes 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.

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. Please note that you do NOT need a reservation if you are walking onto the ferry. 

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. Let us know if you have any questions about the best travel options.

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 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: $995

+ 5% GST & $45 cleaning fee 

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 +

Our 2018 calendar is full, & 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.
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 (our 2018 calendar is now full) *
Preferred date of arrival (our 2018 calendar is now full)
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!