The incredible director John Hirsch once said "You begin to come into your own when you reach forty; at fifty, you know what you are doing; at sixty, you're really beginning to cook." I am in the cooking phase and this program allows me to invite others into my kitchen.
Jani Lauzon
Some of our CAN mentors and their works

Supporting Sponsors

The Hodgson Family Foundation

Artist to Artist Mentoring Program

Thousands of years ago, someone etched a depiction of a hunting scene onto the wall of a cave. The first cave art. Possibly the first art, period!

Five minutes later, the artist was teaching someone else how to do it.

Passing on the tradition.


Given the individual nature of artistic practice, mentoring is as relevant now as it was then.

Artist to Artist offers emerging and transitioning professional artists [of all ages] the guidance of a mentor with a lifetime of talent and experience to share. Our award-winning mentors have inspired, thrilled,  and empowered. They are still doing so today. And they want to empower the next generation of artists so that they also can change the world.

There is no cost to our program. In fact, we pay mentors for their time and cover mentees’ expenses.

Mentors and mentees must be professional artists. If you are not sure you qualify, read our criteria.

Artist to Artist was launched in 2014 through the generous support of founding donor Janis Neilson. It continued through the equally-generous support of Joan and Jerry Lozinski from 2017 to 2020.  We also receive support from TD Ready Commitment and Power Corporation of Canada.

CAN’s Mentoring Program is a proud sponsor of the Cayle Chernin Awards.

CAN is a signatory to the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct.

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The Creative Director of HXOUSE talks about mentoring

Mentors & Mentees

A discussion about an acting mentorship with mentor Sheila McCarthy and mentee Tamara Almeida

A discussion about a film mentorship with mentor Atom Egoyan and mentee Dorothy A. Atabong.

A discussion about a visual art mentorship with mentor Pierre Coupey and mentee Margarita Fainshtein

Types of Mentoring

a) Traditional one-on-one mentoring where an emerging or mid-career artist is paired with an experienced mentor.  

b) Mentoring by an individual to organizations, institutions, companies and schools in the form of workshops, seminars, lectures and other individually designed programs.

c) Mentoring residencies, with a clear learning component, at institutions, companies and arts training schools offered on a weekly, monthly or project basis.

d) Mentoring residencies focusing on career opportunities and strategies offered to communities with a group of mentors designing a program uniquely suited to the community involved.


One of the creators of Polka Dot Door talks about mentoring

How Typical One-on-One Mentoring Works

Together, the mentor and mentee:

  • Draft a Mentoring Plan that outlines their project, including the personal and professional goals of the mentoring, the timeline for achieving them, and a budget;
  • Sign Letters of Agreement with the Canadian Artists Network that identify the terms of the mentoring as outlined in the Mentoring Plan;
  • Submit a mid-term progress report through our online reporting system;
  • Submit a final report and evaluation of the program through our online reporting system;
  • Submit an impact statement one year after completion of mentoring evaluating the program’s personal and professional impact (mentee only);

Internationally-renowned portrait artist & CAN mentor talks about mentoring


Mentors must be at least 60 years of age with a minimum of 20 years’ professional experience.

Mentees can be any age as long as they are professional artists [as defined below], or are emerging artists having recently graduated from a professional school or professional artistic program.

Both sides must agree to spend at least seven hours per month on the mentorship.

The Canadian Artists Network is pleased to have helped make this film possible. Congrats to director [and mentor] Sheila McCarthy and producer/writer/editor/co-star Sarah O’Brecht [mentee].


Mentors will be paid for their work and mentees will be reimbursed for expenses. The payment to mentors is made possible by a generous donation from the Power Corporation of Canada. We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Joan and Jerry Lozinski, and our founding donor, Janis Neilson.

Mentors are paid $500 per month for up to six months; a total of $3,000.

Mentees have a lifetime maximum with the Canadian Artists Networkof $1500 to cover receipted expenses.

How to Apply

If you would like to be considered as a Mentor or Mentee, click on the appropriate link below fill out our online form [the link will take you to Survey Monkey to fill out the form]:

Mentees are encouraged to look over our Mentor Match section to find a possible mentor

If you prefer, you can contact us to obtain an application form in Word format. 

Mentor Match

Are you looking for a mentor?

Since the launch of our mentoring program, we have facilitated more than 100 successful mentorships. And we have many more whose skills and talents are available to their colleagues.

Welcome to MENTOR MATCH, a listing of all our available mentors and their skills.

The first thing you need to do is fill out an application form. You can apply online by clicking the button.

When you submit your application, tell us the number of the mentor you are interested in working with [for example, “Mentor #15”].

Mentor Match is divided into disciplines, with numbers beside each possible match.

What is a Professional Artist?

A professional artist meets at least three of the following criteria: 

  1.  Appropriate specialized training in the artistic field at a school, institution, organization and/or with a Master Artist. 
  2. Identifies as a professional and is recognized as such by peers (engagers, galleries, experts, critics, and/or artists working in the same artistic tradition). 
  3. Seeks compensation for the artistic work, including receipt of grants from relevant public and private arts funding agencies. 
  4. Has a history of presenting work to the public by means of exhibitions, publications, performances, readings, screenings, or by other appropriate means. 
  5. Membership in a relevant professional association of artists (such as TWUC, ACTRA, CAEA, CFM, CARFAC, etc).
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