The YVR Art Foundation provides support for Indigenous artists through four main programs:
- Emerging Artist Scholarship Program
- Mid-Career Artist Scholarship Program
- Bill McLennan Masterpiece Study Program
- Aspiring Artist Award Program
Emerging Artist Scholarship Program
Mid-Career Artist Scholarship Program
Bill McLennan Masterpiece Study Program
The largest and most diverse collections of BC & Yukon Indigenous art and artifacts are currently held in museum and art gallery collections in BC, Eastern Canada and the United States, and the earliest collections are in Europe. It is critical for the development and advancement of contemporary Indigenous art that artists have the opportunity to access and study these works.
To address this need, in 2014 YVR Art Foundation launched a new initiative: the Masterpiece Study Program Travel Grant. In the first year of the program, grants were awarded to BC Indigenous artists to travel to selected BC museums, and now the program offers grants to travel to US and international museums. Grant recipients are selected by an appointed committee through a formal application process.
In 2021 YVR Art Foundation introduced the Bill McLennan Masterpiece Study Program Microgrants. Microgrants are for BC and Yukon First Nations artists who wish to further their art practice through research/study of BC and Yukon Indigenous art and artifacts through in-person (BC museums only) or virtual collections visits to YVRAF partner museums.
Past museum partners include:
• Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art at the Burke Museum in Seattle, USA
• Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Québec
• Ethnologisches Museum Berlin in Berlin, Germany (New for 2019)
• McCord Museum in Montréal, Québec (New for 2019)
• Museum of Vancouver in Vancouver, BC
• Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, UK
• Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC
• The Field Museum in Chicago, USA
• UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC
Aspiring Artist Award Program
YVR Art Foundation offers up to ten Aspiring Artist Awards annually to BC and Yukon Indigenous youth (age 15-20) to develop their artistic potential. The award is to support the recipients’ self-directed work in the visual arts.