Irene Borins Ash Commemorative Textile Residency

A Unique Textile Artist Residency in Canada

The Irene Borins Ash Commemorative Textile Residency is hosted by Studio H Canada International Artist Residency and the Northern Women Arts Collaborative (NWAC). The residency was established in honour of artist, activist, and social worker Irene Borins Ash (1952-2020). Irene was passionate about weaving and art in all its forms. She gifted the studio her Leclerc Tapestry Loom and to honour her memory and her art, Studio H Canada and NWAC is offering a partially funded, one-month intensive textile residency. The textile residency will be offered once per year starting in 2023.

This residency is open to proposals of experimental to traditional and hybrid approaches to weaving. Bring us your best proposal for this exciting opportunity. We will also be looking for proposals that concern topics that interested Irene such as resilience, compassion, concern for the environment, and living life to the fullest. For more information about Irene, please see the obituary here (please note some of the links are unavailable now).

Create, plan, think, exhibit, and collaborate.

This is the place. Apply Now.

Studio H Canada offers international artist residencies located on the unceded territory of the Sc’ianew First Nations also known as Metchosin, BC, just 30 minutes from the port of Victoria, BC Canada. This gorgeous rural seaside and mountain location has miles of walking trails, lakes, mountains, sheep farms, beaches and more. From our location, the views of Mt. Baker, Esquimalt Lagoon and the city of Victoria are breathtaking. For any artist, working in any media it is sure to inspire.

Residency Description

Textile artists interested in tapestry weaving using the Leclerc Loom (Tissart model pre-1990), are invited to apply for this special residency to undertake new work and research in Metchosin, BC Canada – the unceded territories of the Sci’anew First Nation. The selected artist may choose a one-month period for the residency, but some months may be more relevant in the local community. The selected artist is welcome to propose a longer period for the residency which may not be fully funded. 

Special Features of the Residency

Studio H Canada endeavours to provide a residency that will enable the artist, if desired, to get to know the local community of farmers and artists. The timing of this residency for example could take into consideration lambing season here in Metchosin, which starts in January when the artist can engage with the Parry Bay Farm to observe these activities and use their wool. We will support you to do your work, and if desired or possible given time – to promote you and your art practice to the broader community in Metchosin and Victoria, both online and in-person at the studio. 


The following is not covered through the Residency:

  • Depending on the proposal, most materials such as wools, threads, embellishments etc. should be sourced/brought by the artist or acquired locally
  • Transportation to and from Victoria – air and ferry tickets are the responsibility of the artist
  • Passports or documentation
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Cost of food
  • Extra local transportation above what is provided by the studio
  • Car rentals
Studio Space & LeClerc Loom

Below are a variety of pictures from various times – the studio gets transformed and reconfigured in numerous ways. There is lots of room for producing, exhibiting and collaborating! Please note that the pictures below are to showcase the loom only. The LeClerc loom will be moved to the main space for the duration of the residency.

The studio is approximately 1,000 square feet and is a separate building overlooking the organic garden, where we also like to hang out and make a feast of pizzas with organic veggies in our wood-fired oven, and sip wine while admiring the flowers and forest. Bonus – there are no bugs, or relatively few. There is lots of nature though, and it is common for deer, rabbits, California Quail, owls, eagles and vultures to pass through regularly, even a bear occasionally.

The studio space has large walls and high ceilings. Water is currently available from an outside tap, but a new sink and wet area will be installed at some point. 

Accommodations & Amenities

Please note, during Covid-19 we must implement and continually adjust protocols to ensure the health and safety of everyone. As the situation is changing frequently, we will work with artists directly after applying to ensure that appropriate protocols are in place and understood.

The Studio Suite

The Studio Suite has a private bath, small lounge and separate entrance to the outside. The bed is an extremely comfortable queen size. The couch folds out to a comfortable double bed with an extra thick memory foam topper.

Amenities: There is access to a shared laundry, hot tub and infrared sauna – because we know when you are tired after a long day slogging it out in the studio you need a little relaxation!

Meals: the suite contains a small fridge for most day-to-day supplies plus a microwave and coffee/tea maker. You will also have access to our large shared kitchen, outdoor BBQ, large fridge/freezer in the studio, and fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs from our garden (availability dependent on the season and crop yield).

Internet & Entertainment: High-speed internet with an HD television with a guest Netflix account or access to YouTube etc. is provided.

*Please note: the residency is for artists or collaborative artistic groups – other visitors may be accommodated, please enquire ahead of time. In general, the residency is not for families as this may provide a distraction from achieving residency goals.

Application Process

Once you complete the Google intake form, an online meeting via Skype, Google Meet or Zoom will be hosted with the curators, Heidi Bergstrom and Michèle Hayeur Smith, to find out more about your residency goals, timing, and interests to make sure this is the right residency for you.

Once it is determined this is the right fit and the plan is established, Studio H Canada will draft an artist agreement for the term of the residency outlining your responsibilities and how we will support you (stipend, in-kind financial support, achieving residency goals etc.) and finalize dates. You will also receive an official offer/acceptance letter that can be used for visas, or additional funding applications or sponsors. SHC must receive confirmation from artists that they will accept the offer and sign off on the residency agreement. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to apply through the International Artists Residency.

Use the Plan Your Residency Calendar to see which dates have been booked already. All residencies start on Sunday at noon, and check out on Saturday, noon.

This is a partially-funded residency. Accommodations and studio space are complimentary and successful applicants will receive a $1,500.00 CAD stipend.

Bookings and Payment

A $100.00 CAD refundable deposit is required to secure your residency. Payments can be made by e-Transfer or PayPal to: If you do not have access to e-Transfers or PayPal, please contact us.

The deposit will be reimbursed upon arrival. Cancellations must be made a minimum of 1-month in advance of your arrival date. If a cancellation is made less than one month before your scheduled arrival, the $100.00 CAD deposit will be forfeited.

Getting Here

Studio H Canada is located in a beautiful rural setting. We will provide additional supports for international or Canadian artists from outside the area:

  • Pick up and return to BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal or Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
  • Local transportation supports for excursions and shopping (some restrictions/limitations may apply)

We do recommend having a car as local bus transportation is available but not frequent. We can also help to arrange rideshares and coordinate excursions as much as possible. We have an extra bike for local rides to the village corner store, My Chosen café or the Broken Paddle Café. Check out Google for other information links about this area, and its artists.

By air –

By ferry –

By bus –

Ride Sharing – (untested)

About Victoria & Metchosin Arts Community

There is a thriving arts community in the region and Metchosin is home to a growing group of them including Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA) on the Pearson  College UWC international campus.  In Metchosin’s village, you will find the Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre Association  (MACCA), Metchosin Art Pod, the Schoolhouse Museum, and the local community house hosts a weekly meeting of artists. I am personally involved in arts activities and groups in Victoria including Xchanges Gallery and Studios, where we are active members as well as Ground Zero Printmakers. There are many other Artist-Run Centres in the area as well.

Apply Now!

Studio H Canada International Artists Residencies and the Northern Women Arts Collaborative are now accepting applications for the 2025 calendar year. Please complete this Google Form to submit your residency application. Applicants being considered for a residency will then receive a request for a short interview before a decision is made.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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