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Opportunities for students and teachers

Young at Art

Applications are now closed for 2021.
2022 Applications will be available online in November 2021.

What is Young at Art

Young at Art is a professionally assessed art exhibition bringing the work of young visual artists to local art galleries. Held annually since 1996, Young at Art recognizes the creative efforts of young artists across Ottawa. Accepted works are displayed in a community gallery and are eligible for a number of prizes and awards.

Each year, submitted artworks are reviewed by a selection committee of established and new artists from our community. The selection process delivers exciting, quality exhibitions based on common assessment criteria: elements of art, technical ability, composition, originality and uniqueness of style.

Who is eligible to enter?

Visual artists between 12 to 20 years of age who live or go to school in Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. Applications from artists of diverse origins, First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Effects of COVID-19 on Young at Art

Due to COVID-19 and Ottawa Public Health’s recommendations, Young at Art will be held virtually for 2021. All selected artworks will be featured on the Young at Art Instagram - @youngatartott.

What will Young at Art 2021 look like?

Young at Art will continue to recognize the great artworks and talented youth in the City of Ottawa.

  • Top junior and senior artworks will be selected in each art discipline category from the 2021 Young at Art submissions.
  • In addition to these top artworks, one Junior winner and one Senior winner will be chosen to be recognized with a Citywide Award.
  • Beginning July 6, the top artworks and the Citywide Award winners’ artwork will be featured on the City’s YAA Instagram account, @youngatartott, to be shared with family, friends, and the public.


Follow the Young at Art Instagram account for updates on the 2021 program.

How to apply

The deadline for 2021 applications is now closed. Application information for Young at Art 2022 will be posted in November 2021.

Interested in applying next year? Here is what you will need to provide in your application form:

  • Ward: if you are unsure, the geoTool can help you determine which ward you live in
  • The title of your artwork
  • Which artwork category you’re applying to
  • The size and materials of your artwork
  • A JPG photo of your artwork or your video file
  • An artist statement

Selection process

Members of the selection committee possess extensive background in arts, culture, and/or arts education.

Each committee member will rate participant’s work on a 1-to-5 scale in the following categories:

  1. Originality: does the piece show uniqueness within its genre? Value will be given to those who can show a new and creative concept. Unoriginal work will be disqualified. Direct copies from media sources are not acceptable.
  2. Overall impression/elements of art: does the piece fit within the category chosen? Are lines, colours, forms, values and textures used effectively?
  3. Technical ability: do all art elements work well together to create a strong design? Is strong technique used within the piece?
  4. Composition: Are visual arts elements placed properly or accordingly for the artwork? Is there evidence of thoughtful planning? Has the artist’s intention been communicated through the piece?

City award categories


Citywide Awards presented by the Kanata Civic Art Gallery founding members

This year’s Citywide Awards will recognize the top artwork in each age category across the city:

  • Junior – 12 to 15 years
  • Senior – 16 to 20 years

Awards will also be presented in the following categories:

Junior awards – 12 to 15 years
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed media
  • Other media (Printmaking, Digital Media etc.)
Senior awards – 16 to 20 years
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed media
  • Other media (Printmaking, digital media etc.)

Like or follow!

Follow Recreation and Culture on Facebook or Young at Art on Instagram for news and updates.


Young at Art Coordinator
Community Arts and Social Engagement