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IBBY Canada invites submissions from Canadian children’s book illustrators for the 2015 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program. The program provides a jury-selected illustrator with a month-long residency, hosted by the Toronto Public Library. Submissions will be evaluated by a jury of experts in children’s books and illustration. The submission deadline is Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Overview of IBBY Canada’s Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program:

  • Held at Toronto Public Library, Northern District Branch at Yonge and Eglinton
  • One month residency from October 1 to 31, 2015
  • Illustrator plans and delivers programming that includes workshops for adults, art activities for classes of children, presentations at high schools and colleges, one-on-one portfolio reviews, and a display of their work in the library gallery
  • Remuneration is provided to the illustrator: $4,000 for one-month term, plus reimbursement for art supplies purchased for the program
  • Travel, accommodation and meals are the responsibility of the illustrator (IBBY Canada can help the selected find billeting accommodations, if required)

Requirements for illustrators:

  • Illustrated four or more professionally published children’s books, with publication of a new book expected in the next few years
  • Experienced at developing and delivering programs for adults, children and teens
  • Active online presence and willing to promote their participation in the program
  • Friendly and empathetic, with an understanding of the needs of aspiring artists
  • Preparatory sketches and finished work, mounted/framed for display in the library gallery
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada

Applications should be in a single pdf format document, and include the following:

  1. CV that includes public presentation experience and a list of published books
  2. Two letters of reference about public presentation experience
  3. Well-considered plans and ideas for programming for school classes visiting the library, for adults, and for high school/college students (please see guidelines below). Please send application by Thursday, April 30, 2015 to

Programming guidelines:

  1. School classes from Grade 2 to Grade 6, with 20 to 25 kids per class, come to the library during the residency. School classes are 90 minutes each, held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a class in the morning and another in the afternoon. Teachers accompany and supervise each class. Programming should include a hands-on art activity with a finished piece each child can take with them (or a finished group project). Since each class has different kids and teachers, the format and content can be similar for all the classes, modified for different ages as needed.
  2. Adult presentations are 60 or 90 minutes long, with 10 to 20 adults attending. There will be about 5 adult presentations in total, held at the library on Thursday evenings. Adults seem to be less interested in hands-on art activities, preferring presentations about working as an illustrator, building a portfolio, overviews of children’s publishing, and related topics. Since some people attend multiple presentations, illustrators should suggest a range of programming ideas for adults, which include visuals (such as PowerPoint).
  3. High school and college presentations are about 40 to 60 minutes long and will be at the school or college. Programs for this audience can be similar to those for adults.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program is a joint project of IBBY Canada, Toronto Public Library, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, with financial support from Joanne’s family.

The program honours Joanne Fitzgerald (1956-2011), who illustrated many influential Canadian children’s books, including Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, The Blue Hippopotamus, and Governor General’s Award winner Doctor Kiss Says Yes. In memory of Joanne Fitzgerald’s commitment to children’s books and illustration, her family collaborated with IBBY Canada to establish the program.

IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) was founded in 1953 to bring books and children together; today there are IBBY sections in more than 75 countries around the world, including India, Japan, France, Uganda, Finland, and the United States. IBBY Canada, formed in 1980, promotes quality French and English language Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.

Call for Applications: IBBY Canada’s Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program