The VANS Mentorship Program is designed to support the individual artistic methods and professional ambitions of emerging artists in Nova Scotia by providing access to the skills and experience of selected mentors. Basing its structure on similar programs such as CARFAC Saskatchewan’s Visual Arts Mentorship Program and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia’s Mentorship Program, the VANS Mentorship Program provides an exceptional opportunity for emerging artists to develop both their creative process and professional skills, thus building the foundation for a successful career in the visual arts. As a secondary outcome, the program offers established artists an opportunity to pass on their experience, resources, knowledge, and insight.

By investing intensely in a few individuals each year, VANS Mentorship Program contributes on a wider scale to the overall strength, sustainability and vibrancy of the visual arts community in Nova Scotia.

The deadline for the 2021-22 Mentorship Program will be July 15, 2021 at 5pm.

View the full Call for Applications: 2021-22 VANS Mentorship Program, which details program information, application requirements and eligibility.

There will be an info session over Zoom for those who want to know more about the Mentorship Program on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 5pm AT. Register in advance for this info session to receive the Zoom link:

VANS gratefully acknowledges core support of the Mentorship Program from The Craig Foundation. With additional support from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities Culture and Heritage, the Halifax Regional Municipality, and the Canada Council for the Arts.


The VANS Mentorship Program’s mandate is to pair established artists with emerging artists (not necessarily young artists, but those at the beginning of their artistic careers) to take part in a ten-month long mentorship. Over the course of the program, mentors and mentees will meet one-on-one, at least once a month, and four times as a group. The program is free to mentees. Mentors are paid an honorarium.

The mentors may be asked to provide support in any one or more of the following areas: proposal development for exhibition in public galleries or artist-run centres, grant writing assistance, artist statement development, documentation of work, technical advice, skills development, critiques of work, research assistance, and thematic development of work, networking, budgeting, organizational tips, and creative brainstorming.


Mentee artists must submit:

  • a letter of application – Describe your art practice/ studio activity over the last year. What are your goals for this program? How would your current work benefit from support of the program? What kind of support are you looking for in the program? How will you devote adequate time to the development of your work while balancing other commitments?  What challenges do you have in your practice and what are your strategies to overcome those challenges? (max 2 pages)
  • 10 jpeg images or 10 short videos (max 5 minutes each) with accompanying annotated image list (including title, date, media, dimensions). You can also submit any combination of images and videos for a total of 10 submissions.
  • one letter of reference from an established artist and/or curator who has experience with your work. This letter should demonstrate that you are a good candidate for the program. Also include the names and contact information of two additional references who have experience with your work.


  • a link to your website


  • a resume/cv (max 2 pages)

Mentor artists must submit:

  • a cover letter which outlines who you are, the reasons for wanting to participate in the program; highlighting the applicant’s specific eligibility to participate – professional and personal skills, experiences and qualities that the applicant will bring as a mentor to the program (coaching, communication skills, experience, etc.) (400 words max)
  • a CV detailing your training/education, exhibitions, and other related experience and information (3 pages max)
  • 10 jpeg images (or a maximum of 5 minutes of media) of previously completed work
  • a corresponding numbered image list (01, 02…10,) describing in order: title, media, dimensions and year
  • an artist statement (300 words max)
  • names and contact information for three references (reference letters not required)


Visual Arts Nova Scotia is pleased to officially announce the participants of this year’s Mentorship Program. After receiving some great applications, the program will be supporting four dedicated emerging Nova Scotian artists. Celine Gabrielle, Sarah Mosher, Trevor Novak, and Liam Ross have been individually paired with established artists and mentors Susan Tooke, Melissa Marr, Robin Metcalfe, and David Diviney. Read more about this year’s participants.