MFA Field Placement

MFA Field Placement Program (CA 889)

In this elective course, MFA students complete a semester-long placement with an established artist or arts professional (Host Artist). Students will provide practical, research, administrative and technical assistance related to the Host Artist’s practice. Reciprocally, the Host Artist will provide consultation, mentoring, or feedback on the student artist’s own work and career, and facilitate the process of making connections in the arts community. The placement will be completed as a 5-credit Directed Study course, which will be overseen and graded by a Faculty Supervisor from the School for the Contemporary Arts (ideally the student’s Senior Supervisor). The Faculty Supervisor will assign additional work as needed, including readings, assignments or small artistic projects. All students will complete a formal proposal detailing a project related to their professional artistic careers that they would like to pursue post-graduation. The number of hours and work to be completed will be jointly agreed upon between the Host Artist and student, but will not exceed 120 hours.

Download the MFA Field Placement Course Pack PDF HERE

Download all Pathway documents in one Fillable PDF HERE

View the roster of participating artists HERE.

Research the host artist. What kinds of projects have they worked on? Where have they presented their work? What professional communities are they connected to? What kind of help do they need?

Pitch your placement idea by writing a brief e-introduction to the host artist. Think about what you can offer the host artist and what you hope to learn.  

Meet the host artist to see if it’s a fit. Ask these QUESTIONS and your own. After the meeting, it’s a good idea to follow up with an e-mail summarizing what you discussed, and a timeline for next steps.

Draft a proposal that outlines the work you will undertake, using the template HERE. Share the draft with your senior supervisor and incorporate their feedback. Depending on the host artist’s availability, you may need to do additional work outside of the placement, such as readings or an artistic project.

Send your final proposal to the host artist and incorporate their final revisions. Once the proposal is signed by the host artist and senior supervisor, send the completed form to both the Graduate Program Assistant and the SCA Professional Development Coordinator. You will be enrolled in CA889 – DIRECTED STUDY.

Track your hours spent working with the host artist. You may wish to adapt this FORM. If you think you will go over or under the hours outlined in the proposal, notify the host artist and your senior supervisor to discuss alternatives. Remember: the course requirement is a maximum of 120 hours.

Develop : Throughout your placement, continue to develop your PROJECT PROPOSAL. Be sure to ask the host artist for their feedback and suggestions.

Visit Mid-way through the semester, contact the SCA Professional Development Coordinator to schedule a site visit. Read more about site visits HERE. Both you and the host artist are welcome to contact the SCA Professional Development Coordinator any time you need support.

Meet with your senior supervisor according to the requirements outlined in your course proposal.

Submit your project proposal to your senior supervisor, along with any additional requirements outlined in your course proposal.

Fill out the course FEEDBACK SURVEY, and submit it to the Professional Development Coordinator. This information will help us to assess this program and will not be shared with the host artists.

F-O-R-M Festival

F-O-R-M is a youth-led festival. In all of our programming, we prioritize the artistic and professional development of early career artists and arts workers, connecting them with opportunities to grow their careers within our festival, and beyond.

The initial festival was developed with mentorship as a key component for dance artist, Sophia Wolfe at age 22. Now at age 27, Sophia has built a strong team of emerging artists and leaders including Kayla DeVos (age 24), Youth Producer and Tamar Tabori (24) :Youth Curator. We have also connected with SFU and Emily Carr’s internship programs where we have worked with students Jordyn Taylor-Robins (Graphic Designer in 2016) and Lori Lai (Who is now a part of our team as Outreach and Sponsorship Coordinator, 2018). The team is supported by experienced producer Kristina Lemieux. The festival was initially supported and incubated by dance company - Company 605 with co-artistic directors Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley.

Over three years we have programmed:

  • 102 Short Films from around the globe, made by over 250 youth creators
  • 21 Brand new movement films that have been commissioned by the festival 
  • 10 Workshops 
  • 6 Public parties and celebrations 
  • 4 Movement through technology installations 
  • 4 Public Movement + film Jams called FORMations

Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Charles Street Video (CSV), Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (C.S.I.F), SFU Woodward’s Cultural ProgramsThe Dance Centre.

Keywords: Administrative support, Production support, Festival activities, Sponsorship support, Fundraising support, Festival programming support, Event production support, marketing, social media, website support.

Josh Hite  

Josh Hite works with video, animation, sound, performance and photography, often creating reorganized archives of particular spaces, objects or behaviors.  His practice leans towards an ethnography that acknowledges content and tactics for documentation as determinants of eventual form, rather than relying on art historical or cultural references as structural assistants.  Projects tend to query relationships between an experience and its location, the power dynamics at play, and the ways in which transitions and sequencing can seamlessly propel us through time.

Josh also collaborates with Vancouver’s theatre and dance communities, often making video projections for live performance. Josh has a BA in Philosophy, a MFA in Visual Art, and teaches with the University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Keywords: logistics; shooting, logging and editing video; performance/concert production

Evan Lee, Fugazi. Installation documentation, Teck Gallery, 2019. Photo: Blaine Campbell.

Evan Lee

Evan Lee (b. 1975) received his MFA from the University of British Columbia in 2000. He is known for exhibitions of his experimental painting and photo-based work as well as for teaching and writing. Lee was selected as the West Coast and the Yukon finalist for the 2014 Sobey Art Award.

Recent exhibitions include: Monte Clak Gallery, Trapp Projects; Teck Gallery; and the Libby Leshgold Gallery. Past exhibitions include: the Winnipeg Art Gallery; the Richmond Art Gallery; the Kamloops Art Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery; Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver); Presentation House Gallery (N.Vancouver), Contact Photography Festival (Toronto); Le Mois de la Photo à Montreal; the Liu Hai Su Museum (Shanghai); Consolidated Works (Seattle) and Confederation Gallery (Charlottetown).

Evan Lee’s work has been featured and reviewed in Artforum, Border Crossings, Flash Art International, Lapiz International Art Magazine, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Canadian Art, and Art on Paper.

Lee has taught at the Emily Carr University and UBC. He served on the Board of Directors of Centre A, is a founder of Mobil Art School, and is represented by Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver.

Keywords: oil painting, experimental photography, Adobe Photoshop (high proficiency), woodworking.

Connections: working in Vancouver as an artist for 25 years, co-founder of Mobil Art School an independent art school.

LOSCIL / Scott Morgan

LOSCIL is the electronic music project of Vancouver-based composer and multimedia artist Scott Morgan. Since the late 1990s, Morgan has over a dozen recordings under the LOSCIL moniker. Morgan is an alumnus of Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts where he studied with computer music pioneer Barry Truax. He was also the original drummer for Vancouver indie band Destroyer, playing on several early albums. Morgan has also produced numerous special projects, remixes and collaborations with other musicians including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Murcof/Vanessa Wagner, Sarah Neufeld, bvdub, Rachel Grimes, Christina Vantzou, Seabuckthorn, Lusine and Kelly Wyse. Morgan has composed for film and TV and licensed music to bold documentaries, including The Corporation, Scared Sacred, Damnation, Enlighten Us and The Marshall Projects’s award winning series We Are Witnesses. LOSCIL has contributed bespoke music and video for dance working with choreographers Damien Jalet from Belgium and Vanessa Goodman from Vancouver. He has been involved in creating music for games and multimedia projects such as Hundreds, Osmos, SESQUI, Lifelike and his own generative music application ADRIFT. As a touring entity, Morgan has brought his live audio-visual performances to venues and festivals worldwide including Mutek, Decibel, Le Guess Who, LEV, Gamma Fest, Today’s Art and Big Ears. 2019 will see Morgan collaborating with dance both locally and abroad, performing solo and with collaborators as well as recording and releasing new work connected both to music and photography.

Keywords: audio editing, mixing, production, event planning, event promotion, production management, mail order, website and social media activity, grant applications, press release writing… | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

Deanna Peters, Less San Miguel. Photo by Reza Rezaï

Mutable Subject

Working out of a shared studio on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territory (Vancouver), I create, perform and produce for stage, club, screen, web, print, specific sites and beyond. Please see my current and past projects, including "solo", META, Dancers Playing Basketball, Cut Away, and NEW RAW. You can also watch several shows on my videos page.

I have co-authored projects with: dance artist Less San Miguel, multimedia artist Ahmed Khalil, dance artist, writer Alexa Mardon, dance artists plastic orchid factory, filmmaker Aya Garcia, dance artist, basketball player Katie Lowen, drummer Ben Brown, dance artist Justine A. Chambers, drummer Stuart Sproule, and composer, electroacoustic musician, instrument builder Paul Paroczai.

I'm the recipient of several awards and residencies: LEÑA Artist Residency (Galiano Island, BC), 8 Days VIII (Nova Scotia), Young Lungs Dance Exchange Artist in Residence (Winnipeg), What Lab Artist In Residence, 8 Days VII (Newfoundland), Dans Brabant International Choreographers Week (Holland), The Dance Centre Special Projects, 8 Days VI (Toronto), SFU's School for Contemporary Arts Artist in Residence, Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award, An Exact Vertigo Artist In Residence, EDAM Dance Choreographic Series, The Dance Centre Artist In Residence, and Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award for Emerging Dance Artist.  

As well as self- and co-producing, since 2003 my projects have been presented with: An Exact Vertigo / Unit/Pitt Projects, American Dance Festival (South Carolina), Art For Impact, Arts Umbrella, BLiNK, BLOOM, Brief Encounters, Cinedans (Holland), Canadian Society For Dance Studies, Dance Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Regina), Dances For A Small Stage, The Dance Centre, Dance In Vancouver, Dancing on the Edge, Dance: Made in/Fait au Canada (Toronto), EDAM Dance, Live Wednesdays / The Emerald, Expanse Festival (Edmonton), Festival of Recorded Movement's Moving / Forward (Calgary, Toronto, Nelson, Powell River), Fiver (Spain), Fox Cabaret, Free Flow (Saskatoon), Firehall Arts Centre, Here To Go, Interplay, Modus Operandi, New Dance Horizons (Regina), New Works, plastic orchid factory, PushOFF, Roundhouse, Series 8:08 (Toronto), SFU Woodward's, Skinny Fat Jacks, Summerworks (Toronto), Tara Cheyenne Performance, Twelve Minutes Max, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Velocity Dance Center (Seattle), What Lab, and Young Lungs Dance Exchange (Winnipeg).  

As a collaborator and performer, since 2003 I have worked with artists from dance, theatre, music, film, and visual art: Barbara Bourget, Heidi Bunting, Peter Chin, Bill Coleman, Co. Erasga/Alvin Tolentino, Daniel Conrad, Paul-André Fortier, Emmalena Fredriksson, Vanessa Goodman, Karen Jamieson Dance, Kokoro Dance Theatre, Ziyian Kwan, Diego Maranan, Mascall Dance, Tanya Marquardt, Layla Marcelle Mrozowski, Roxanne Nesbitt, plastic orchid factory, Julia Sasso, and Daisy Thompson.  

Since 2008, I host shows, parties, residencies and workshops: Interplay 2019, Party HD, Holiday Boogies w/ Jeanette Kotowich, Interplay 2018, Amateur DJ Party Party Party, Mellow Residencies (with/for several artists), DIY@DIV, Interplay 2017, House Dance Fridays, House Dance Mondays, Amanda Acorn’s multiform, Daisy Thompson’s Cap Choreo, Interplay 2016, Saucer Shaker, SummerWorksVancouverShowPartySendOff, DOTE Closing Night Party, and Sask Social #3, and these Performing Arts Curation Meetups: Summer Sask Social, Sask Social, Working Class 2010–12, Way Out West 2011, Here To Go 3, Here To Go 2, BLOOM 2009, Here To Go, and [blank] lab.  

A dance teacher since I was 16 in my hometown on Cree/Métis/Treaty 6 territory (Saskatoon), I have taught in various contexts and been commissioned to create with/for: Arts Umbrella, Co. Erasga, Contemporary Technique Series, Dance Saskatchewan, Goh Ballet, Harbour Dance Centre, Helix Youth Company, Kokoro Dance Theatre, Made In BC Youth Initiative, MAMM: Music and Movement Mondays, Mascall Dance, Mirror Dance Program, Modus Operandi, New Dance Horizons, New Works, Polymer Dance, Summerworks, The Story of Force and Motion, True Colours/Triple Heat, Youth Ballet and Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan, and Working Class.  

I have worked as outside eye, rehearsal director, and production assistant with/for: Justine A. Chambers & Josh Hite, Full Circle: First Nations Performance/Talking Stick Festival, Jeanette Kotowich, Ziyian Kwan, Mascall Dance, Modus Operandi, and Diego Romero

Keywords: movement, choreography, DIY producing (shows, events, parties, workshops), project management, web/print communications.

Connections: Gold Saucer, 8 DAYS 8 JOURS, CADA/West, MAMM, Interplay. |

Jivesh Parasram

Jivesh Parasram (He/Him/His) is an award winning multi-disciplinary artist, community activator, and facilitator of Indo-Caribbean descent. His work has played across Canada, and Internationally. Jiv grew up in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) and endeavours to split his time between T'karón:to (Toronto) and the Unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver). In 2009 he co-founded the socio-political collective Pandemic Theatre, and currently holds the position of Artistic Director for Rumble Theatre as of 2018 following three yeas as the Associate Artistic Producer at Theatre Passe Muraille. His public service work has included collaborations with the Ad Hoc Assembly, The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and as an advisor to the National Arts Centre. Parasram is a “Dora Mavor Moore” award nominated artist, and the recipient of two “Harold Awards” for his contributions to the Independent Theatre Community of Toronto, including the Ken McDougall Award for Direction. Internationally he has received a “Herald Angel” from the Edinburgh Fringe for his contributions to the 2018 CanadaHub programming. Jiv was a member of the second cohort of the Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre and was the recipient of the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award. His current cultural practice centres decolonization through aesthetics.

Keywords: Direction, Artistic Direction, Arts Administration, Sound Design, Grant Writing, Artistic Creation, Curation, Event Production.

Connections: Rumble Theatre, Pandemic Theatre, Theatre Conspiracy, PuSh Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille, Montréal arts interculturels, Ad Hoc Assembly, Banff Centre, Progress Lab 1422. |

Image credit: Muybridge Unicorns by Ahmed Khalil

Plastic Orchid Factory

Us: plastic orchid factory is a group of artists from diverse artistic backgrounds that have been working together since 2008. We value a shared practice that encourages true interdisciplinary, with multiple, and sometimes contrasting, expressions. Our programming is defined by artist-led, collaboratively devised projects that support risk in which artists have the opportunity to be informed and transformed by the practices and aesthetics of the other collaborators. Priority is placed on inclusive approaches that blend genres and facilitate research, collaboration, exchange and the development of new frameworks for making and experiencing art. We honour thinking fluidly across disciplines and framing propositions using the materials most apt to the task. We make work where the creative hierarchies are horizontal and collective responsibility is taken to see the proposal through from beginning to end. In recent years, we have worked to re-imagine the ways we create, produce and present our work to maintain as much independence as possible, including using this model to support the work of our peers. With artists at the centre of the creation and production cycle, a culture of agency and risk is fostered. 

plastic orchid places tremendous importance on self-reliance and our administrative model is reflective of this. We have worked to empower the core artists with the tools to assess and serve the organization’s administrative needs and long-term development. In this way, we can remain efficient and sustainable, while responsive to the creative direction. With artists at the helm, we are agile and autonomous, a model that we feel is essential in negotiating the crucial balance between fiscal responsibility, creative responsiveness and organizational growth. 

In 2017, plastic orchid created Left of Main, a shared artist-run creative hub dedicated to the live arts, located in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown. We continue to seek out and develop facilities and systems that move outside of traditional forms of production and dissemination. 

During our eleven year history, PoF has devised over 20 original works shown in both formal and unconventional spaces. This body of work has been supported by The Vancouver Art Gallery, The New Forms Festival, Will Aballe Art Projects, The Capture Festival, The Facade Festival, The Belkin Gallery, The Dance Centre, EDAM dance, Circuit-Est (Montréal), Opera Estate (Bassano Italy), Electric Company Theatre, The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Boca del Lupo, The Vancouver International Dance Festival,10 Gates Dancing and The National Arts Centre.

What we are up to: For the remainder of the the 2019/2020 season, plastic orchid factory will be producing our Left of PuSh series at left of Main that supports and features local and national artists in January and early February. In March, PoF, Neworld Theatre and Music on Main will be co-producing Nancy Tam’s Double Happiness Detour This Way. For the first half of 2020, James will be researching, workshopping, creating and presenting his interdisciplinary solo about the Cold War called what do I want to be if I grow up? Lastly, we will be facilitating an national choreographic exchange that invites prolific dance artists from across Canada to spend a few weeks together at Left of Main to talk about making work, take apart work, support people making work and take some risk in a safe and supportive environment.

You: Ideal student intern candidates are artist with an interdisciplinary practice and an interest in dance. Moving forward, interested students should identify programming in PoF’s season that resonates with their practice. We can then meet and discuss where the creative overlap exists and build a plan that potentially invites the student into the conversation and the process.  The candidate must be self directed and clear about their interests, ambitions and limitations  moving into this partnership. Essentially, what we are saying or proposing is - This is what we are doing for the next six months, what is interesting to you? Do you wanna help? What do you think that help looks like? What do you hope to take away from the experience? | past-work

Leanne Prain

Leanne Prain is a writer, designer and arts advocate. She is the author of three books, Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles (2014)Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti  (2009 & 2019) co-authored with Mandy Moore; and Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery (2014), all published by Arsenal Pulp Press. She has also written for a variety of design and culture publications including Designer, Desktop, Works that Work, Applied Arts, CV Collective Magazine, Seamwork, and the anthology Craftivism. Her fourth book will be published in 2021.

Leanne and her books have been featured in major publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue Knitting, the BBC, Irish Public Radio, the Guardian UK, The National, and the Globe and Mail. She’s delivered lectures, panel discussions and workshops across North America in places such as The Smithsonian, Powell’s Books, the San Francisco Craft Museum, Textile Arts in Brooklyn, Type Books, McNally Robinson Winnipeg, and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

She holds a BFA in creative writing and art history from UBC; a diploma in publishing from Langara College; and a Master’s degree in publishing (MPub) from SFU. She is a writer with a day job who works in the fields of corporate communications and marketing, branding, and graphic design. She's also worked in art galleries, a performing arts centre, in academia, and community arts councils.

When she’s not writing, Leanne serves at the BC Chapter President of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, and as the co-artistic director of The Imprint, a literary , a literary collective that she founded with poet Laura Farina to explore participatory acts of writing in public space. 

Keywords: publishing, research, artist interviews, creative profiles, biography, public events, marketing, social media, author and artist platforms, writing, editing, proofreading, market research, non profit boards.

Connections: Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (President), Creative Mornings (Vancouver), Vancouver literary community.

Pennylane Shen

Due to the impact of COVID-19, Pennylane's company Dazed and Confucius is operating with a limited capacity. Offices at 1000 Parker Studios are now closed until further notice. Please check back in August of 2020 to apply to work with Pennylane again.

Pennylane Shen is an artist consultant, curator and educator. Since 2006, Dazed and Confucius has offered personalized consultations, group seminars and business and professional development in the visual arts with regular seminars held worldwide. Pennylane personally assists and advises over 500 artists on a one-on-one basis each year.

Pennylane holds a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture Theory from New York University and has lectured at various forums throughout Canada, the US and the UK. Her publications discuss the politics of representation, race and fine art. At Langara College and Thrive Art Studio Pennylane is responsible for creating and instructing courses on fine art marketing and navigating the art industry. For more than a decade, Pennylane has worked in commercial galleries such as the Bau-Xi Gallery, the longest standing commercial gallery in Canada. In her hometown of Vancouver, BC Pennylane is also a curator for the Vancouver Mural Festival.

An avid supporter of art and wellness, she sits on the board for the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation, collecting notable art pieces for hospital walls.  

Dazed and Confucius offers consultations, small-group critiques and seminars. Individualized consults are an intimate one-on-one critique of artwork and goal-setting. Consultation itineraries vary depending on the artists’ needs. Topics may include: feedback and criticism, creating a body of work, developing promotional tools, approaching galleries, and identifying an audience.

Keywords: Professional Development Promotion; Design and Marketing; Website building and content; Social media Content and campaigns; Artist follow up and check ins; Outreach to arts organizations; Research and documentation of arts organizations and galleries; Research of public projects; Seminar content development  

Connections: Dazed and Confucius Consulting, Thrive Art Studio, Langara College, Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver Mural Festival, Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation, The University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins, 1000 Parker Studios, Eastside Culture Crawl, The Jealous Curator, Art for Your Ear Podcast. | IG: @dazed.and.confucius

Two Podcasts that very accurately outline what I do: ONE | TWO

Nancy Tam

Sound Artist, Nancy Tam, works and lives on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her work fuses sound and performance as primary mediums for collaboratively devised interdisciplinary performances. She specializes in live spatialized multi-channel sound performance for live and fixed media. Her current research triangulates between sound, space, and body to investigate tendencies of global and local mobilization of creatures, objects, and events. Nancy is a founding member of the Vancouver-based interdisciplinary performance collective A Wake of Vultures as well as the Toronto-based Toy Piano Composers collective. Nancy is an award-winning composer. Her compositions, audio walks, performances, and collaborations have toured in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Hong Kong, the U.S. and throughout Canada. 

Nancy will perform sound design in both Footnote Number 12 and High Water at the upcoming PuSh Festival. In the first half of 2020, Nancy will focus on composing, directing, performing, producing, and co-leading Double Happiness: Detour This Way, a collaboration with Only A Visitor. As well, she will be touring her multi-media composition Walking at Night by Myself across Canada and abroad.

Keywords: Programming and working with AI & GAN; Light admin / logistics for productions; Rehearsals Observation; Field Recording Collection; Multichannel studio days.

Connections: Playwright Theatre Centre, Steven Hill, Theatre Replacement, Electric Company, Fight with A Stick, Studio 58, Theatre Conspiracy, Macromatter, Delinquent Theatre, rice & beans Theatre, Neworld Theatre, Upintheair Theatre, Justine Chambers, plastic orchid factory, MACHiNENOiSY, Rob Kitsos, Cindy Mochizuki, Kristina Lee Podesva, Music on Main, Torq Percussion, Only a Visitor, Ensemble Paramirabo.