Application Guidelines – Media & Design


The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is a $5,000 grant designed to provide financial support to emerging, female-identifying artists working in any discipline.  The award is not a project grant, and should be used in any manner the recipient deems necessary to further their artistic goals. 

In 2021, two $5,000 awards will be distributed.


The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is open to women identifying artists who are:

1. Canadian citizens, and able to provide proof of citizenship with legal documentation upon receipt of the award.

2. Between the ages of 25 and 40 by the application deadline.

3. Current residents of New York state.

4. Applying in only one of the eligible discipline categories.

5. The originators of the work, i.e. not awarded to interpretative artists.

6. Not a previous recipient of the Canadian Women Artists’ Award.

6. Not NYFA employees, members of the NYFA Board of Trustees or Artists’ Advisory Committee, and/or an immediate family member of any of the above.

Students in bachelor’s or master’s degree programs are eligible to apply.


Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM

Applications submitted after this deadline will not be accepted and no exceptions will be made.


NYFA is committed to supporting artists from every background, and at all stages in their creative careers. We strongly encourage artists of color, LGBTQ+ artists, artists with disabilities, and artists living outside of the metropolitan area to apply.

To request an accommodation or assistance in applying, please email [email protected]. We ask that requests for accommodation be made as soon as possible, or by Monday, May 24, 2021, to allow adequate time for staff to support you in submitting an application before the deadline.


  • Video/Film
  • Experimental Sound
  • Design

See the definitions for each of the disciplines here.


When submitting an application to the MEDIA & DESIGN category you will need to complete:


  • Artist Statement – up to 100 words
  • Work Statement – up to 100 words 
  • Work Samples – up to 8 digital images and/or 2 videos up-to 15-minutes each in length, and/or 2 audio excerpts up-to 5-minutes in length

Optional written statements:

  • Excerpt Explanation – up to 400 words 
  • Technical Statement – up to 200 words 


1. Create a new application online

All applications and work samples must be uploaded and submitted via the online application platform Submittable at . NYFA does not accept any physical copies of applications.

Applicants must have a Submittable account in order to access the application form and upload supporting materials. To create an account, click on the Canadian Women Artists’ Award category, enter your details, and click Create Account and Continue. A verification email will be sent to your email address; check your inbox and click on the link provided in the email to verify your account. If you already have an account, you will need to create another account to access NYFA’s application forms.

*If you do not receive an e-mail from Submittable in your inbox, be sure to check your Spam inbox.

2. Begin your online application

All applicants are required to submit their contact information. Please provide your full legal name and date of birth as it appears on all government issued forms of identification in the Applicant Information section. Please also provide your current physical address, as well as your most frequently used email address and phone number.

In order to be considered eligible, an applicant must be a current resident of New York state.

Applicants may also provide a link to their website if they so wish.

3. Confirm Canadian Citizenship 

In accordance with the guidelines, all applicants must confirm their Canadian citizenship.

Upon receipt of the award, the awardee must provide proof of Canadian citizenship. 

4. Submit Support Statements – Written Statement About Your Artistic Practice

Artist Statement: A short concise statement giving an overview of your artistic practice. This statement should give a brief introduction to ideas, themes and methods in your practice. This is not an Artist’s Bio. Up to 100 words. 

Work Statement: A statement explaining your artistic vision as directly related to your submitted work samples. This is not an artist statement, but should instead reflect only the ideas and inspiration relevant ONLY to the work submitted. Up to 100 words. The work statement is available to panelists in the first round of review.

Questions to consider for your Work Statement Referencing only the submitted Work Samples:

– What is your submitted work about?

– How does this work represent the primary concerns and intentions of your artistic practice as described in your artist statement?

Excerpt Explanation (Optional):

A supplemental statement further explains the context, concept, and execution of your work sample(s). 

This statement should explain how the excerpted work sample relates to the entire original piece. Within the Excerpt Explanation you can itemize each submitted work sample(s) and talk about them individually. Up to 400 words.

Questions to consider for your Excerpt Explanation Referencing only the submitted Work Samples:

– How does your work sample(s) relate to the full work?

– What information is needed to give context to your work samples?

Technical Statement (Optional):

A supplemental statement describing the key technical aspects of the work. Use this statement to highlight your role in creating/executing the work.

Be sure to note whether your work samples represent documentation of a performance, installation, experience, etc. You can also describe the circumstances in which the viewer/audience should experience the work. Please include instructions on how to navigate your work if it’s interactive. Up to 200 words.

Questions to consider for your Technical Statement Referencing only the submitted Work Samples:

– How was the work created/executed?

– What specific technology are integral to creating the work?

6. Upload your Work Samples

Applicants have the option of submitting 3 different types of files depending on the type of work you create. 

Applicants do not need to submit work samples in all formats. Please only submit work samples that correspond to your practice. 


Please upload up-to 8 digital images using the following specifications:

File name: Labeled with applicant’s last name and a number, e.g “Smith01.jpg, Smith02.jpg, etc.”

File size: No larger than 4.0 MB (each image)

File format: .jpg

Image files should be numbered 01 – 8 in the order the applicant would like them to be seen. Once each image has been uploaded, caption fields will appear within the application. Please provide descriptions for each image that include the title, date, materials, dimensions, and any additional information. Documentative images should be labeled accordingly.

Quick Tips for Image Work Samples:

– You do not need to submit 8 images if you feel your work is represented well with fewer, and submitting fewer will not detract from the review of your application.

– Composite images are not allowed. 

– Ensure your images are in focus, were taken in good lighting, and represent your work well.

– Be sure to note whether an image is a (detail) or (installation view) in the title.


Applicants may upload up-to 2 video excerpts of their work. Each excerpt can not exceed 15 minutes in duration. Excerpts can be taken from one individual work or two separate full length works. Please use the following specifications for each work sample:

File name: Labeled with applicant’s last name and a number, e.g “”

Length: Maximum of 15 minutes

File size: No larger than 2 GB 

File format: .mov or .mp4

In addition, applicants may submit links to the full length videos from which the excerpts were taken.

Video/Film files should be numbered in the order the applicant would like them to be seen. 

Once each file has been uploaded, caption fields will appear within the application. Please provide descriptions for each work sample that include the title, date, credits, running time and any additional information. 

Videos that serve as documentation of a performance/participatory installation should be labeled accordingly.

Quick Tips for Video Work Samples

– Submitting video samples comprised of multiple clips from different projects is not recommended. “Sizzle Reels” and Trailers should also be avoided. Titles and credits should not be included in excerpts.

– When editing your video it is important to ensure your file is formatted correctly so that your video will play across a range of platforms whilst maintaining quality. Therefore it is important to choose the right codec and container for your file.

– A codec is a method for encoding and decoding data and is used for compressing data, particularly video. Choosing the right container can depend on several desired outcomes, file size, playback quality, capabilities for re-editing etc. There are many codecs to choose from but h.264 is the preferred format for its versatility and superior quality.

– A container is typically associated with file format and what is used to “contain” and package the data as compressed by the codec. The container is indicated by a file extension: .mov or .mp4 (MPEG4). There are many codec and container combinations but h.264 and .mov or .mp4 are preferred as they are supported by a wide range of media players with little loss of quality.

Uploading video files can take more time than expected. Do not leave the uploading of your work samples to the last minute. Once you know what Work Sample excerpts you will be submitting, upload them to the application form. You can always save and close your application form and go back to it at a later date.


Applicants may submit two 5-minute audio excerpts of their work.

File Format: AUDIO

File name: Label each file starting with a number 01 through 02, followed by the title of the work ex. 01_Landscape.mp3. Do not label the file with your name. 

Length: Maximum of 2 minutes

File size: No larger than 2 GB 

File format: .mp3/.m4a/.wav/.aiff

7. Upload your Resume

Applicants may also provide a 1 page PDF resume that details their artistic career as it relates to the discipline in which they have applied. Resumes may be submitted in either CV (bulleted) or bio (paragraph) format.

8. Submit your Application

Once an applicant has completed all the fields in the application and uploaded their work samples and eligibility documents, they should then click “Submit”. Applicants will receive an email notification informing them that their application has been successfully submitted.

Once submitted, applicants will no longer be able to make changes to their application. Be sure to review everything carefully prior to submitting. Please contact with any further questions.