The Outelier

+ experience the art life on vancouver island +

The Ou Gallery is an artist-run centre that hosts monthly exhibitions & event. Our residency, The Outelier, 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 have a pop-up exhibition is 1 month.

Update: last openings in 2018 are in December


 Photograph by Christian Wiebe

Photograph by Christian Wiebe

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 & performance artists who crave time away to focus on a new series & build their portfolio. Preference will be given to artists who would like to curate a pop-up exhibition/installation & connect with our community. Artists must be here for 1 month to be considered for a pop-up.

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 (below). Please note that you are responsible for providing your own supplies. 

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 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!

Travel & Arrival

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) 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.

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

+ $45 cleaning fee 

This is a shared living space that can accommodate 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 Outelier 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. If you are applying for grants or funding, let us know so that we can provide you with supporting documents. 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 +

The last dates of availability in 2018 are in December - 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 you must be here for 1 month to be considered for a pop-up exhibition.
Preferred date of arrival (we have 1 spot left in 2018 December) *
Preferred date of arrival (we have 1 spot left in 2018 December)
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. *

Thank you to our membership partners!