Travel Grant Stream

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The YVR Art Foundation Bill McLennan Masterpiece Study Program travel grant is on hold until further notice.

YVR Art Foundation offers grants to artists of BC or Yukon First Nations ancestry who reside in British Columbia or the Yukon to travel to one of our partner museums to research 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 Program Travel Grant Recipient

Eligible Activities:

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

• American Museum of Natural History in New York, USA
• 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

Grant applicants must propose a travel/research 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 Bill McLennan Masterpiece Study Program Travel Grant applicants must:

  • Be a practicing artist of BC or Yukon First Nations ancestry
  • Be a group of practicing artists or a collective of BC or Yukon First Nations ancestry.
  • If you choose to apply as a group or collective, a maximum of two representatives are eligible for funding (This option is only available for applications to BC museums)
  • Live in BC or the Yukon
  • Wish to further their art practice through research of BC or Yukon Indigenous artwork currently held in the collection of one of the Foundation’s partner     museums
  • Submit an application outlining a proposed travel/research opportunity, including a detailed 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 collection visit with the proposed museum
  • Be able to travel to the proposed museum for the collection visit no earlier than January 2020 and no later than June 2020
  • Agree to submit a written report within one month of concluding their travel/research project

Note: applicants who have received YVR Art Foundation Scholarships e.g. the Emerging Artist Scholarship or the Mid-Career Artist Scholarship are eligible to apply for a Masterpiece Study Program grant, however they may not apply in the same year in which they have received an Emerging Artist Scholarship or Mid-Career Artist Scholarship.

Artists may receive a maximum of two Masterpiece Study Program Travel Grants.

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