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Hiring Local Artists

Artists should be a recognized professional (as defined by the Canada Council for the Arts and UNESCO) who has completed specialized training in a specific artistic field. Such training can be completed at either an academic institution or via other accepted training programs (e.g. apprenticeships). Recognized as a professional artist by his or her peers (i.e. artists who work in the same artistic tradition).Has a history of public presentation or publication, and is devoted to practicing his or her artistic activity at every opportunity.

Artists should have demonstrated expertise working with diverse communities and/or with a variety of age groups. 

Artists should produce a clear and recent police check before the artist commences project work with the community. For more information on obtaining a Police Check, including identification requirements and fees, contact your local police department.

Naturally, there may be more than one artist that is a good fit for your project. How do you choose? An informal interview is always a good start.


The following is a selection of questions you might choose from in your conversation and subsequent interview(s) with a potential artist.


  • Describe for me your artistic practice.
  • How many years of experience do you have as an artist?
  • Have you worked as an artist with community members (students, elderly, youth) before? What were the circumstances?
  • Have you worked on a project in an arts presenting facility before?
  • What other educational or community projects have you been involved in?
  • Are you comfortable managing time and expectations of this project?
  • Do you have experience with a professional collaboration?
  • Do you have training or experience in other fields that are complementary to working with community?


  • What excites you about working in a performing arts environment?
  • As an artist, what would be your objectives and priorities in this project or artist-collaboration?
  • What are your strengths in terms of working with community?
  • What do you expect from working within the community as an artist?
  • What will the participants be producing, and how will you guide them through the process?
  • How would you evaluate the impact of the project?
  • What is the preferred age range that you would like to work with?
  • What is the geographical range you are willing to work in?
  • How would you adapt the project to suit a participant in a wheelchair?
  • How many participants do you feel comfortable working with on this project; how many can it accommodate?
  • What type of environment would best suit your project?
  • What type(s) of equipment is needed for the project?
  • How could you see yourself working with artists of other disciplines?
  • What would be the ideal length for this project to be successful? How much time will you spend in the community?


  • What is your availability, and can your schedule be flexible? Do you have a time preference and certain days that you are available?
  • What do you see as the difference in roles between the presenter/staff here and yourself?
  • Have you gone through a criminal records check this year?
  • Do you have a driver’s license?
  • Do you collect GST(HST) for your professional services?
  • How do you prefer to communicate with me and the participants?


Megan English - Community Engagement with dance


The Move Collective


Hazel England - Community & Education Director. Engaging our local community in creative ways

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