Since 1972, the Brucebo Fine Art  Scholarship Foundation of Gotland, Sweden (=BBF) has offered a fine art residency scholarship to younger, talented, emerging Canadian artists aged 40 or younger, preferably painters, thus providing an inspiring study and work stay  in northern Europe  on the island of Gotland located  in the middle of the crisp waters of the Baltic Sea.

The BBF fine  art scholarships  hark back  to the post-impressionist era in Europe – the 1880’s – a time when Paris  was the world  center  of artistic creativity . Two young  artists, Caroline Benedicks of Sweden and William Blair Bruce of Hamilton, Canada,  meet in Paris, marry and after living  many years  on the European continent , settle on history-laden Gotland Island , a Swedish  outpost approximately equidistant between  the Swedish  mainland and the Baltic state of Latvia. With the untimely death  of William ( in 1906), and that of  Caroline ( in 1935 ), the estate , in the early 70’s, created  the Brucebo Fine Art ( Scholarships ) Foundation, an organization promoting island-based cultural history and fine art. 

In order to commemorate the unique Swedish – Canadian link  of Caroline’s and William’s  marriage and impressive artistry, two annual fine art scholarships for younger, professional  Canadian artists were established  – the Brucebo Fine Art Summer Scholarship  and  the William Blair Bruce European Fine Art Travel Scholarship.

  • The “ Brucebo” funds a three months’ working residency   at the  Brucebo  studio cottage , Skälsö fishing village, 7 km. North  of  the Hanseatic and medieval City of Visby, a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scholarship covers transport expenses Canada – Gotland  (return ), the use  of the studio  cottage, a monthly  food stipend plus an  equipment grant. Total value: SEK. 25.000:-  plus . Upon leaving the island , the artist is invited  to deposit two samples  of her/his  Summer Fine Art works with  the Canadian Collection at the Gotland Fine Art Museum. Over the years, this  museum has built up one of the finest assemblages of contemporary Canadian Fine Art outside Canada.
  • The William Blair “Bruce travel” finances an  European  sojourn, to be undertaken  in the Fall 2011 , or the Winter Semester 2012. The tour must be based on an approved,  Fine Art -related investigative project . Total value: SEK.25.000:- plus . As a final , integral part of the “ Bruce Travel ” , the recipient  must visit Stockholm and Visby.  While  in Visby she/he will give a public lecture, sponsored  by the BBF, on  the investigative theme pursued  under the auspices of  his/her recent  European  travel.

Since 2002, the  scholarships are administered by Concordia University Faculty of Fine Art Associate Dean’s Office, Montreal, and on a more practical level  by Prof. Kathryn Lipke ( email:, Chair , Brucebo Fine Art Scholar-ships Evaluation committee .

For info. details, contact Dr. Jan O. Lundgren, BBF Liaison Officer in Canada , c/o Geography Department, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Que. Canada H3A 2K6 ;  email: jan.lundgren@ mcgill. ca ; fax: (514) 398–7437 ; tel: (450) 672-6096.