Alchemy Island 2020



Alchemy Island will be our only programmed residency in 2020.

Before sending in your application, have a look at some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs).


 Location: Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands, Ontario Canada

Dates: 20 - 27 April 2020

Required information: 

Please clearly indicate that you are applying to Alchemy Island 2020. Applicants are required to provide: 

  • up to 500 words about the synergy between your practice and the cooking and sharing of food, 
  • a curriculum vitae,
  • an artist website or for writers without a web site:  writing samples 

Artists with an appetite for living in a community setting are encouraged to apply.  

Fill out and submit the application form here:



Alchemy Island 2020 

Artsacpe Gibraltar, Toronto Islands

20-27 April 2020

$925 + HST / Private Accommodation Fees (plus HST) are in Canadian dollars. 

Fees include accommodation, several shared dinners, garden fresh produce, work and studio space, artist talks and an afternoon sharing of work in progress with visitors and guests at the end of the program.  In addition, residents typically contribute up to $100  (on average)  to food costs during the Residency.

We provide  letters of support for individual artists and are currently exploring funding options to defray your costs. 

Frequently Asked Questions


About all things Alchemy.

What is Alchemy?  

Alchemy is an artist led residency devoted to exploring the synergy between artistic practice and the growing, cooking and sharing of locally cultivated food in a community setting. Artists focus on their own artistic practices while sharing ideas, expertise and conversation in salon style communal dinners. 

Readings and discussions probe the creative intersection of food and art, and guest artists contribute to the magic and inspiration created by making and sharing art, ideas and food. 

Since our first summer on Toronto Island in 2015, we are grateful to have lived, worked and shared meals with more than 60 artists from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia.

Where does Alchemy Island 2020 take place?

Artscape Gibraltar Point is a peaceful artist retreat nestled against the magnificent natural backdrop of Toronto Island. It offers a distraction-free environment to focus on art creation amidst the  natural surroundings of Lake Ontario, forests and seasonal gardens filled with flowers, fruit and vegetables. On the island, there are tiny quaint homes, a historic lighthouse, a hobby farm and antique carnival grounds. Cozy up in a furnished studio and bedroom, and enjoy amenities such as a fully equipped common kitchen, shared bathrooms, laundry facilities and wifi. The Toronto city core is just a 15-minute ferry ride away. 

What happens when I arrive?

On arrival, you will be greeted by a member of the Artscape staff and attend informative orientation (which you must attend !) and receive your keys and room assignments.  

What happens at Alchemy Island?

A magical mix of studio time, guest artist talks, down time for yourself to both work and explore the Island. Our programming schedule is shared with participating residents during orientation. 

How do I get to Toronto Island?

Toronto Island is the largest car free community in North America.  It is accessible from downtown Toronto by Ferry. When you arrive for Alchemy, you will be travelling to Hanlan’s Point--  a 10 minute bike ride or a 20 minute walk from the Hanlan’s dock. Downtown Toronto is easily accessible from Union Train/Subway Station, Billy Bishop and Pearson Airports. 

How do I get around the Island?

You can either bring a bike (if you live in Toronto) or rent one on the Island for the duration of our Residency.


Life at Alchemy

Does everyone attending Alchemy cook?  I am worried about my culinary skills being as good as everyone else’s. 

Part of Alchemy’s themed programming revolves around the preparing and sharing of food in a communal setting. Please don’t worry about your culinary skills — this is about sharing good simple food and not creating a French impressionist painting on a plate. We have, over the years, learned what it takes to share our evening meals together and minimize the work to make it happen. We want to maximize the studio time people have to create and collaborate. 

Is eating together part of the Residency?

Yes. Dinner is provided for the first night of our residency. Then we help you and the rest of the group coordinate shared dinners for most other nights. Dinners and the discussions that go with them are the focal point of our shared time together. Saying they are mandatory sounds harsh but if you aren’t into sharing food, then you would be better suited to another residency.  There are also one or two nights when you are on your own to eat in town or stay in your studio or have dinner with a smaller group.   

How do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Food allergies and restrictions will be accommodated as best as we can – which has become pretty good over the years. We cannot guarantee nut-free facilities. There are not pets. Be prepared for a waterside setting.  

Is there a formal exhibition at the end of the Residency?

Rather than a formal show, we facilitate the sharing of work between participants. A short and informal artist talk to the residency group by each participant is programmed early in the week. You will get the low down on how all this works.

How much does Island Alchemy 2020 cost?

Cost in Canadian dollars plus applicable taxes: $925.00 for a private room, studio space and basic food costs for most shared meals.

Does Alchemy offer stipends or bursaries? 

We hope to eventually offer grants to participating artists to lower their costs, but we're not quite there. We do write letters of support. And, we encourage Canadian artists to apply for funding from other granting sources as appropriate.

Are there other costs?

Renting a bike is optional. Your travel expenses to and from the residency are not arranged or covered. For food, we supply the basic ingredients for breakfast and most lunches including coffee and tea. Most participants choose to make, share or contribute ingredients for a special meal, pay for their own snacks and wine. 

What if I have to leave early or arrive late?

We ask participating artists to be sure they can commit to being present for the entire residency.

Is it fancy?

No. Alchemy strives to maintain a very relaxed atmosphere-- one in which creative people can both work hard and relax. 

Does Alchemy provide sheets, towels, etc.? 

Yes. We provide sheets and towels. Please bring your own beach towels. 

Does Alchemy provide laundry service?

No. There is a coin operated laundry at Gibraltar Point. 

Does the Residency provide art supplies? 

Alchemy is strictly a bring your own affair. There is no local art supply shop. Be prepared and bring your own supplies. We provide the space, and a good size work table. 

What about Internet access?

There is limited Wi-Fi. 

Can I bring my spouse/partner/ studio mate/small child/ pet?

We want you to focus on your work and the programming that has been designed especially for participants. Overnight guests are not part of the program. You may invite a day guest as long as the work of your house and studio mates are not disrupted. Programmed dinners usually cannot accommodate day guests. 


Alchemy 2016 video by resident Warren Sulatycky

Fond memories of past participants and supporters.