Adjudication process and criteria

The Trust has established an impartial expert advisory panel to assist and support the review, adjudication and selection of suitable residency candidates. The composition of the panel reflects the range of eligible artistic disciplines. Adjudicators review applications reflecting the artistic discipline(s) and expertise they represent as members of the advisory panel. Panel members include appointed representatives from: the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour; the Doris McCarthy Gallery (University of Toronto Scarborough); OCAD U; the Ontario Society of Artists; The Royal Conservatory of Music; and The Writers’ Union of Canada. Completed application forms (including references), curriculum vitae and portfolio are used to assess the suitability of candidates for a residency. This material is evaluated and ranked objectively and consistently by the advisory panel using assessment criteria. Here is an outline of the assessment process:

  • applications are screened by the Trust for eligibility and completeness
  • applicants will be notified by the Trust via email confirming receipt and completeness of the application
  • eligible and complete applications are reviewed and evaluated by the advisory panel
  • recommendations from the advisory panel are provided to the Trust
  • final decisions are made by the Trust
  • results of the adjudication are shared with the successful candidates by the Trust
  • all scheduling is coordinated by the Trust


The assessment process encompasses a competitive evaluation of the applications, portfolio submissions, a review of the curriculum vitae and references, and the formal adjudication by the advisory panel. Applications are assessed against the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit: This component focuses on the artistic quality and originality, as demonstrated by the curriculum vitae and portfolio submission. It is also a reflection of the applicant’s recognition by his/her peers.
  • Impact: This component focuses on the potential contribution of the applicant’s proposed project and the outcomes on the artistic community, general public and the applicant himself/herself. This criterion also reflects the potential contributions to the art form, as well as the nature and quality of the public engagement.
  • Viability: This component focuses on the practicality of the project, the workplan, methodology, deliverables, timeline, resources and the demonstrated track record of the applicant.
  • Consistency with program vision: This component assesses how effectively and compatibly the proposed project supports and aligns with the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence vision.
  • Mentorship: Each resident artist is required to provide a mentorship component in his/her proposal to support the development of an emerging artist or artists (see below).

Mentorship component

As part of the residency, artists are required to provide a mentorship opportunity to support the development of an emerging artist or artists. The mentorship opportunity should be suited to the mentor’s particular skillset and experience. It could include a workshop, lecture, critique, studio visit, coaching, etc. The mentorship can occur before, during or slightly after the residency and can take place in the artist’s home community or in the GTA (the Trust can help facilitate a relationship with a local school or arts program). Mentees can be individual emerging professional artists or students. As part of the application process, artists are asked to provide a mentorship plan that outlines the mentorship's form, how the mentee(s) will be chosen, when/where the mentorship will occur and a few key learning outcomes. Following the mentorship, the artist will be asked to provide the Trust with a brief summary of the experience.