The Opal McLean SCA Alumni Creative Production and Research Prize

The Opal McLean SCA Alumni Creative Production and Research Prize is designed to support a recent SCA alumnus in developing their creative practice. Recognizing that the challenges and cost of everyday life can be impediments to research and production, this merit-based prize provides $3,000 that can be used freely by the recipient to cover exploratory research, development, and production costs, as well as home or studio rent, travel expenses, and even groceries. In exchange, the recipient will participate in a public presentation and Q&A during the fall term for the SCA about the work they've conducted with the support of the prize. Details of this event will be promoted by the SCA.

Application Deadline: Friday, June 2, 2023.


The Opal McLean SCA Alumni Creative Production and Research Prize is named in honor of SCA alumnus Opal McLean, who tragically died in a car accident in July, 2023. Opal McLean, Francisco Berlanga, and Natalie Chan were the inaugural recipients of the prize for their collaborative work on withintensions, a monthly PDF-based art magazine. This choice was decided before McLean's accident, and the SCA shared the news with the withintensions team once the choice was finalized. In a small way, the SCA is grateful that McLean and her collaborators were able to enjoy this recognition of their creative work. Rest in Peace, Opal.  

The Prize

One (1) $3,000* cash prize to be issued in one payment in the 2023 summer term to an SCA alumnus who meets the following:


The following SCA alumni individuals, either undergraduate or graduate (within the last three years), and groups may apply for the prize:

  • Artists
  • Academics
  • Curators
  • Artistic groups and collectives
    • At least one member of the applying party, who must be the lead applicant, must have completed an SCA undergraduate or graduate degree within the past 3 years.

NOTE*: Applicants and members of applicant groups or collectives must not be currently employed by SFU. It is the responsibility of the prize recipient to report the prize amount as “other income” on their personal tax filing, as SFU does not issue a T4A for this prize.


  • Project or exploratory research
  • Project development, including residencies
  • Project production

This prize can be applied to new activities or activities that are already in-progress. Also, the proposed activities do not need to be completed by the time of the public presentation and Q&A, which can also address the original proposal and the work done so far at the time of the presentation.


Prize applications will be reviewed by an adjudication committee selected by the SCA Awards Committee, the SCA Professional Development Coordinator, and the SCA Communications Associate.

Applications will be based on merit, which can be demonstrated through an integrated expression of the following criteria:

  • Critical and historical mindedness
  • Disciplinary aptitude and capacity for creation and expression
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration
  • Openness to experimentation and surprise
  • Artistic and intellectual focus and growth
  • Contribute to the applicant’s practice and development
  • Foster community relationships and engagement


Required information and support material:

  • Applicant name, contact information, and brief biography
  • An updated CV
  • A detailed description of the project
  • A proposed timeline
  • A working budget
  • Examples of previous work, or, if applicable, the work-in-progress that might benefit from the prize, including:
    • Links to up to 5 images and / or other media (video or audio). Please make sure that all links are not password protected.
    • A recent writing sample (up to 10 pages / 2,500 words)

Please combine the CV and, as necessary, the image and / or media links (with brief contextualizing texts for each) and the writing sample into one PDF.

NOTE: It is only necessary to submit the support materials your application requires (e.g. images of works or other media for visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, etc., and a writing sample for academic texts or curatorial projects).

The total size of uploaded attachments can be no larger than 15MB

Please Support The Opal

Your donation will help the SCA maintain the Opal Mclean SCA Alumni Creative Production and Research Prize in perpetuity. Make your donation HERE.

Privacy information

The The Opal McLean SCA Alumni Creative Production and Research Prize coordinator collects personal information on behalf of SFU under the authority of the University Act (RSBC 1996, c.468) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996, c.165). The personal information collected includes: your name, email, phone number, year graduated, area of study, project description, project timeline and working budget, links to previous work or work-in progress, and your CV.

It is related directly to and needed by the University to determine the eligibility of the prize. The information will be used by the SCA Award Adjudication Committee to evaluate the prize criteria. The information may be disclosed to:

  • SCA Awards Committee and award adjudication committee;
  • SFU, FCAT and SCA Alumni team members;
  • SFU, FCAT and SCA Communications team members.
  • SFU Payment Services, and coordinators of the prize in order for SFU to process the payment of the prize.

The prize recipient’s name and/or team members names, project name and project description will be used for the public presentation by the successful prize recipient(s).

If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact Barbara Adler, Professional Development Coordinator, Email:, Phone: 778-782-9592.