Winter Island 2019


Artscape Gibraltar Point is proud to announce the official recipients of the Winter Island 2019 artist project residencies.

After receiving a great deal of strong applications, our jury selected three artists for month long residencies and awarded a special Juror’s Emerging Artist prize to the following applicants:  Allison Rowe, Sandra Smirle, Brendan George Ko and Addae Nurse.

You can read on learn more about our selections for Winter Island 2019 below and find out how you can be a part of the unique and wonderful self-directed residency opportunities during  Winter Island 2019.

Winter Island Artists 2019

January 7- February 4, 2019
Allison Rowe – Social / Interdisciplinary Practice – 
Toronto, ON 

For the inaugural Winter Island Residency artist Alison Rowe will, with the help of youth Island residents and Artscape Gibraltar Point residency participants, build a large snow fort.  Her residency will culminate in a community winter play day and snow ball fight inspired by the Canadian film classic La Guerre des Tuques (commonly known in English as The Dog Who Stopped the War). The day will conclude with hot chocolate and a screening of the aforementioned film.

The aim of this work is to create an opportunity for children and adults to participate in a communal exploration of the natural sculptural materials available on the Toronto Islands in the winter (snow, ice, twigs, dried leaves, and fallen logs) and to find joy in outdoor winter play.

Allison Rowe is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist, educator, and researcher who works at the intersection of socially engaged art and pedagogy. She holds an MFA in Social Practices from California College of the Arts and a BFA in Photography from Ryerson University. Allison’s artwork has been exhibited at Haven Gallery, La Centrale, and the Power Plant. Her community-engaged projects have been manifested in numerous spaces including the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, and at Toronto Public Library. Currently, Allison is a doctoral candidate in Art Education at the University of Illinois.


February 4 – March 4, 2019
Sandra Smirle – Multimedia/Video – Montreal, QC

Using balloon and kite mapping, along with cyanotype printmaking, found object collecting and walking as her modes of research, Sandra proposes to create a multi-media, video-based “map” of the ever changing shoreline of the Toronto Islands. She invites members of the public to join her on these walks and collecting expeditions and to participate in cyanotype and aerial (kite/balloon) surveying workshops, conducted during the course of her residency.

I want to zero in on and draw out my relationships with weather & climate, disintegration & pollution, boundary, location and journey … My intent is to offer a visual snapshot on a shoreline-as-timeline that may act as a public measure or mark for future documentation/reference.

Sandra Smirle is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist based in Montreal, who uses drawing, sculpture, paper cutting, photo, video, and installation, to explore ideas around surveillance, dataveillance and our ‘viewer society.’

Smirle graduated with an MFA (2015) from Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally, and is held in private and corporate collections in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Her work has been featured in The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, published by Princeton Architectural Press, as well as the Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.


March 4- April 1, 2019
Brendan George Ko – Photography/Storytelling – Toronto, ON

Before there was an image, now there are layers upon layers of memories that each come with their own spirits.

During his residency Brendan George Ko, invites the public to come listen to the stories collected from the oral traditions of the Hawai’ian Islands as he translates them through spoken word, documentary video and, landscape photography from Kānaka ‘ōiwi (Native Hawaiian) perspective to Canadian audience.

Brendan George Ko is a visual storyteller that works in photography, video, installation, text, and sound based between Toronto and Maui. His work is about conveying a sense of experience through storytelling and describes the image as supplementary to the story it represents. In 2010, Ko received his BFA from Ontario College of Art & Design where he majored in photography, and in addition he practiced sculpture and curation. During his time in the Masters in Visual Arts programme at the University of Toronto his practice shifted into video and sound.


April 1- 15, 2019
Addae Nurse – Painting/Assemblage – Toronto, ON 

* Jurors Emerging Artist Award Recipient *

During his time on the island Addae Nurse will complete a series of paintings exploring what they refer to as: personal issues that plague many young individuals but that are too taboo to speak about publically.

Addae Nurse is an emerging Toronto-based artist whose work often involves the investigation of class and the re-contextualization of race through appropriated imagery. Addae’s body of work explores the nexus between femininity, sexuality, expression, and anonymity. Fascinated by shadow and movement, his images are intimate and often temperamental, juxtaposing the vastness of space with the details of the human form.

At the conclusion of his residency, Nurse will present an artist’s talk discussing the impact of the residency on his work and practice.

Get Involved

Want the unique opportunity of working in close proximity with our award winners? Interested in participating in the unique projects they are creating?

Apply for your stay during the Winter Island 2019 stay of the artist of your choosing.

Simply fill out an application at  and indicate your desired dates of residency .

Pursue your own work while participating in studio visits, socialization and interactive art projects.

About Winter Islands 2019
 Now in its fourth year, Winter Island is a unique, juried, artist-in-residence program aimed at emerging, established and, mid career artists, working in community engaged practice and hosted at Artscape Gibraltar Point, an artist residency located on the picturesque Toronto Islands.
The aim of the Winter Islands program is to recognize three – five artists annually who have demonstrated a strong and unique artistic voice while working in Canada’s visual arts community and provide them with a month of distraction-free studio time to create and/or develop a new and exciting community-engaged work, or body of work, that seeks to collaborate with and/or activate the artist community at Artscape Gibraltar Point and the Toronto Islands.
Selected artists will  present these works/projects to the public, both during their residency and as a part of a Winter Islands Group Exhibition to take place at the conclusion of the residency series at Artscape Youngplace in late May/Early June 2019.


About Artscape Gibraltar Point

Located in the former Toronto Island Public and Natural Science School, Artscape Gibraltar Point offers 35,000 square feet of affordable retreat space, artist studios and accommodations for artists and creative thinkers. The tranquil, idyllic setting is world-renowned as a centre for members of the artistic and non-profit communities to think, experiment, collaborate and share ideas.
More than 700 artists a year from across the globe experiment and create art through self-directed artist retreats and thematic residencies hosted in our overnight accommodations. In addition to hosting a maximum of 20 visiting artists at any given time, fifteen long-term artist work studios provide space for a range of painters, sculptors, musicians, filmmakers and a recording studio – all of whom contribute to the unique and collaborative atmosphere at Artscape Gibraltar Point.
About Artscape
Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. Artscape is the operator of Artscape Gibraltar Point. Our work involves clustering creative people together in real estate projects that serve the needs of the arts and cultural community and advance multiple public policy objectives, private development interests, community and neighbourhood aspirations and philanthropic missions.
For more information visit