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TD Incubator


What are the basic requirements of the program?

You must be 18 years old or older, or at least 18 years old by September 1, 2022. You must also be legally entitled to work in Canada.


Yes, you may still apply. Many professional artists/artistic practices are developed through trial and error, lived-experience, mentorship, etc. However, be prepared to speak to your specific experience and education, however you may articulate it. Even if your education / training is not formal or accredited it is valuable to know so the curatorial team can best understand your professional artistic journey.

I’ve left my artistic practice and am returning to it. Can I still apply?

Yes, you may still apply. Many artists leave their artistic practice to focus on other career paths or to manage changes to their personal situation. The important factor is that you are committed to a professional arts practice – e.g. this is a career, not an activity that you pick up and put down lightly.

I’ve never exhibited or performed publicly or professionally. Can I still apply?

TD Incubator is best suited for emerging and mid-career professional artists. If you have not had public performances or professional engagements, we would recommend that you seek out that experience and apply to TD Incubator at a later time or explore the opportunities through the RBC Emerging Visual Artist Program.

Can my artist collective apply as a group or do we all need to apply individually?

Yes, artist collectives may apply. Please make sure it is clear on your application that you are a group and list the name of a main contact person. If your application is successful, we will ask for information from the other members of the artist collective.

What is the time commitment required of artists selected for TD Incubator?

The program schedules will vary at different times during the season, but artists can expect to spend approximately four hours a month in professional development, networking, and or mentorship events. When artists are exhibiting and/or performing, there will be a greater time commitment required and artists will be paid according to industry standards. Time commitment and expectations will be outlined as part of the offer that is presented to invited artists.   

Engagements will take place in person in Calgary/Moh'kins'tsis. If you do not live in the city, you must be able to commute in for these sessions.   

Will I have the dates for professional development and networking ahead of time?

Yes. All program dates will be communicated as part of the program offer.

Do I pay to participate?

No, there is no cost to participate in the professional development, networking, and/or mentorship elements of TD Incubator – these are offered to advance artists’ knowledge, networks and career. Selected artists ARE compensated for the work that they exhibit and/or perform for audiences, and all selected artists will have at least one opportunity to exhibit and/or perform for audiences.

Are you looking to present existing work or new work from artists?

We are looking to present the artistic work that is most important to the artist. That said, the artist fees are associated with presentations and exhibitions, therefore the fees do not cover the commissioning of new work, unless you are a resident artist in the Ledge Gallery or Lightbox Studio (associated with the RBC EVAP program).

Can I be selected to perform/exhibit in more than one series or gallery?

Yes, selected artists will perform or exhibit in at least one series and may be included in as many series, performances, and/or exhibitions as selected by the curatorial team. Artists will be provided an artist fee for the work in each of the confirmed engagement.

When are you accepting applicants?

Please visit our Artist Opportunities page for information on submission opportunities, date, and deadlines.

Other Common TD Incubator Questions

What are the professional development sessions about?
The specific topics of the professional development workshops will be decided in the fall. However, the workshops will be focused on three distinct themes:

  • Career and capacity building: the need-to-know business elements of being a professional artist.
  • Big ideas and collaborations: the content or subject matter piece – the themes/ideas that are at the forefront of artistic thought in that moment.
  • Applying artistic processes to other sectors: how to teach and apply creative thinking/problem solving through art-making to other areas and industries.
What are the networking sessions about?

Networking events will be decided in the fall based on the selected artist cohort. However, these events will connect Incubator Artists to existing networks, arts leaders, civic thinkers, and other artists – both visiting and local.

What are the possible paid opportunities for performance and/or exhibition?

Performance, exhibition and teaching opportunities may include, but are not limited to:

  • TD Amplify Cabarets: a veritable buffet of performances from artists working across music, dance, spoken word, poetry, drag, burlesque - the list goes on - curated by a local professional artist with something to say.
  • ArtsXpeditions: the series of summertime pop-up performances from Arts Commons Presents in public spaces in each quadrant of Calgary.
  • Broadcast Lab: a screening space for experimental film, video, art, animations, and short documentaries, broadcast on three separate media monitors throughout Arts Commons.
  • +15 Soundscape: a multichannel sound system that provides opportunities to local and national sound artists located on the +15 level.
  • The ConocoPhillips Hub for Inspired Learning: an immersive program where kids interact with and learn directly from local actors, writers, musicians, and artists.
  • Arts Commons Education Artist-in-Residence Program: bringing artists to schools for customized, curricular themed projects engaging students and teachers in multidisciplinary, arts-based learning.
Artist fees for these engagements vary as the series themselves range in duration, complexity of work, etc. however, fees range from $150 to $1,400.00 per engagement.