Masterpiece Study Program Grants

Award amount

Up to $3,800

Award number

Varies each year

Application deadline

September 28, 2018 4:00pm

Applications are now CLOSED for 2018 Masterpiece Study Grants. Please check back in Summer, 2019 to apply for the 2019 Masterpiece Study Program.

YVR Art Foundation offers grants to artists of BC or Yukon Indigenous ancestry and residing in British Columbia or the Yukon to travel to one of seven participating museums to research/study the museum’s collection of Indigenous art and artifacts.

“My research [at the Pitt Rivers Museum] reminded me how masterful the ancestral Haida artists were and the high standard they set for those of us that follow in their footsteps...until this research visit, I had no idea how a Chief's headdress was constructed.  It made me pause to think about how many others do not....we lost a formidable amount of knowledge. Each piece that I studied, from weavings to bentwood boxes to a helmet and totem poles, reinforced in me the desire to always be striving for the excellence that those artists attained.”
- Lisa Hageman, 2017 Masterpiece Study Grant Recipient

Eligible Activities:

Masterpiece Study Program grants will be awarded through a formal application and selection process to BC and Yukon Indigenous artists or small groups of artists to travel to one of the following partner museums:

American Museum of Natural History - New York, NY, USA
Canadian Museum of History - Gatineau, Québec
Museum of Vancouver - Vancouver, BC
Pitt Rivers Museum - Oxford, UK
Royal BC Museum - Victoria, BC
The Field Museum - Chicago, Ill, USA
UBC Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver, BC

Grant applicants must propose a research/study project on a specific aspect of the proposed museum’s collection of Indigenous art and artifacts. The grants awarded are for the purpose of covering the travel costs to the museum (e.g. flights, ferry etc.), accommodations and meals during the visit. Grant recipients are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

Who May Apply:

To be eligible for a YVR Art Foundation Masterpiece Study Program grant, applicants must:

• Be a practicing artist, or small group of artists, of BC or Yukon Indigenous ancestry*
• Live in BC or the Yukon
• Wish to further their art practice through research and study of BC or Yukon Indigenous art work currently held in the collection of one of the Foundation’s partner museums
• Submit an application outlining a proposed travel/study opportunity, including a budget, at one of the partner museums
• Be able to organize and book their own travel arrangements to the museum (transportation, accommodations etc.) from their home community
• Be able to set up a research/study visit with the proposed museum
• Be able to travel to the proposed museum for the research/study visit no earlier than January 2019 and no later than June 2019
• Agree to submit a written Study Report within one month of concluding their travel/study project

Note: applicants who have received YVR Art Foundation Scholarships e.g. the Youth Scholarship or the Mid-Career Scholarship are eligible to apply for a Masterpiece Program grant, however they may not apply in the same year in which they have received a Youth or Mid-Career scholarship award. Artists may receive a maximum of two Masterpiece Study Grants. 

If you have any questions about your Indigenous eligibility, please contact the Program and Administrative Coordinator at or by phone at 604-276-6261.

Grant Recipients:

  • The museums do not charge any fees for Indigenous artists to do a “collections visit,” however if selected to receive a grant, recipients must arrange their visit date with the museum’s collections staff at least six weeks in advance of the visit.
  • Grant recipients must also identify a specific category or specific pieces in the collection that they wish to view and discuss this in advance of their visit with the appropriate museum staff person. Please note that museum staff may have a limit on the number of objects or artworks that can be retrieved for research purposes.
  • In addition, if selected to receive a grant, recipients must provide the Foundation with a Confirmation Letter from the museum regarding the proposed study project and approximate date of the visit. Recipients must also complete and submit a written Study Report within one month of concluding their travel/study project.

Grant Amounts:

Maximum grant amounts to cover the cost of travel, accommodation and meals for the travel/study opportunity:

  • Up to a maximum of $1,500 for travel to BC museums for stays of up to 4 days (3 nights)
  • Up to a maximum of $2,500 for travel to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau QC for stays of up to 4 days (3 nights)
  • Up to a maximum of $2,800 for travel to US museums for stays of up to 4 days (3 nights)
  • Up to a maximum of $3,800 for travel to the Pitt Rivers Museum in the UK for stays of up to 8 days (7 nights)

Grant Selection Process:

  • Applications will be reviewed by an independent Selection Committee, appointed by the Foundation, who will select the successful recipients and decide the grant amounts to be awarded
  • All applicants will receive notification of the 2018 Masterpiece Study Grant results by December 2018

Grant Disbursement:

  • Masterpiece Study Program grants will be mailed to recipients by December 2018
  • 50% of the monies will be issued upon confirmation of the proposed dates of the collections visit from the museum and 50% will be issued when the Study Report is received
  • The Study Report will include photos and/or video of the recipient and objects from the museum visited, and copies of receipts for all project expenses, and is due within one month of the conclusion of the travel/study project

How to apply

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Fill out your application online. ONLINE APPLICATION.
  2. Download the Guidelines & Application Form PDF, complete it and mail it to the address listed on the application

If you have any questions please contact:

YVR Art Foundation


Applications must be received by 4:00pm on September 28, 2018. Applicants will be notified by December 2018.