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Young at Art

Applications are now closed for 2022.
2023 Applications will be available online in October 2022.

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 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: originality, overall impression/elements of art, technical ability, and composition.

Who is eligible to enter?

Visual artists between 12 to 19 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.

What will Young at Art 2022 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 medium category from the 2022 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.
  • Update: The top artworks and the Citywide Award winners’ artwork will be featured in an exhibition at the Trinity Art Gallery at the Shenkman Arts Centre, as well as on the City’s YAA Instagram account, to be shared with family, friends, and the public.


Works chosen by the selection committee for Young at Art 2022 will be displayed in a community gallery in the spring. There will also be a vernissage at the gallery.

  • Display: April 30 - May 29, 2022
  • Vernissage: Tuesday May 3, 6:30 - 8 pm
  • Location: Shenkman Arts Centre, Salons A and B of Trinity Art Gallery
  • Artwork pickup: Monday May 30, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Follow the Young at Art Instagram account for updates on the 2022 program. Award-winning artworks will be featured on the account beginning June 1.

How to apply

The deadline for 2022 applications is now closed. Application information for Young at Art 2023 will be posted in October 2022.

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

  • The title of your artwork
  • Which art medium 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 an 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 19 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 19 years

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed media
  • Other media (Printmaking, digital media etc.)

Preparing your artwork for display

Presentation is a very important factor for how your artwork is considered by the audience.

When dropping off your artwork for exhibition, you need to make sure it is ready for hanging or displaying in the gallery. Artwork that is not framed or prepared for display will not be accepted.

How to prepare your work for display:

  • Properly stretched canvas can be left unframed, as long as the edges are painted, dry and presentable. All paintings must be ready to hang with solidly attached wire on the back.
  • All drawings, photographs or prints must be properly framed and ready to hang with solidly attached wire on the back.
    • Tip: use D hooks to attach the wire. Place them about 1/3 of the way down the back of your artwork. Example.
    • Tip: there are various places you can visit to purchase frames or framing materials including: Canadian Tire, IKEA, Michaels, Wallack's, and many more!
  • Sculpture or 3-dimensional work can stand alone or be mounted on a plaque. Sculptures must be able to stand solidly without supports. The gallery can provide basic plinths for display, but any additional or specialized requirements must be provided by the artist.
  • Video or new media display requirements must be provided by the artist. This includes USB sticks, video files, monitor(s), projector(s), etc.
  • Artwork must be clearly labelled on the back with the title, artist's name, and phone number.
  • Artwork must be smaller than 122 cm x 183 cm.

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