Joseph Plaskett Award/prix de Joseph Plaskett
The Joseph Plaskett Foundation in partnership with the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (RCA)
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q My reference letter does not have time to be mailed to me to be included in my package. Can it go directly to the RCA in Toronto?

A. Yes. Please advise your referee to mark the envelope with "Plaskett Award Reference". It must reach the RCA by the same deadline as the jury takes place quickly after that date.

Q: If I receive the award will I have to defer my graduate studies for a year?
A: Yes. You may alternatively ask the Plaskett Foundation to defer the award for one year.

Q: Do I have to be away a full year?
A: The intention of the award is that you are in Europe or the U.K. Exceptions to twelve months at once can be made in extenuating circumstances but this is not encouraged. All situations presented by the winner are vetted before funds are released. Since 2015, a minimum of nine months is required.

Q: Is $30,000 enough money to finance a year abroad?
A: It is expected that successful candidates will have to raise some of their own funds for living expenses, as they would anywhere, but that the award will make a year in Europe much more possible.

Q: I recently graduated with an MFA Program. Can I apply?
A: If you received your MFA (or MAA) in Canada within 12 months of the application deadline you can apply. Please include proof of your completion date.

Q: Can I apply if I haven’t started my MFA?
A: If you have been accepted for the coming year into a Canadian MFA/MAA program then you may apply with the proof of that letter.

Q: Can I use the Plaskett Award while in an MFA program in Canada?
A: Yes but you would ask for a deferral either from the Plaskett Foundation or from your MFA program. Some schools will grant you a year’s leave of absence if you win the Plaskett award.

Q: How many times can I apply for the Plaskett Award?
A: As long as the criteria apply to you or up to a maximum of four times.

Q: The Plaskett Award requires a letter of recommendation. Who can write this letter?
A: The letter of recommendation from your MFA supervisor or faculty member who works closely with you is ideal. Also we need proof of your MFA status, acceptance, or recent graduation.

Q: My new Mac computer does not have a disc port. Can I send my images on a USB stick?
A: Yes, but keep in mind we will not be able to return it to you.

Q: Starting in 2015 there is a runner-up prize of $10,000 called the Nancy Petry Award. If due to circumstances, you can only be away for three months, can one apply for the Nancy Petry Award separately?
A: No, you must apply to the Plaskett Award. However you may indicate on the application form your situation and your preference.

Q: Will the Foundation or the RCA notify me?
A: The Awards Coordinator contacts the two artists recommended by the jury. If they agree to accept they are invited to attend the RCA AGA to be announced. This occurs in May in a different city each year (2016 is in Vancouver). Sadly it is not possible to contact the other applicants, but we hope you apply again if eligible.