Action Required

April 2020 Award advertising to commence
1 May 2020 Applications open (via Perpetual Guardian website)
30 June 2020 Closing date of Award applications for 2021 and 2022
31 August 2020 Selection Committee's decision re successful applicants to be made
First week in November 2020 Public announcement of 2021 Award Winner
First week in November 2021 Public announcement of the 2022 Award Winner




The wishes of Olivia Spencer-Bower were to encourage and promote artists and sculptors with particular emphasis on future artistic potential. She made it clear she did not wish to see any requirement as to the completion of a specified number of works either before or during the tenure of the Award. The recipients of an Award are to be left free to pursue their own particular art form. However, the Selection will clearly wish to ensure, so far as it can, that a recipient is the type of person who will honour the wishes of the Founder, and the Trustees will require a report, of no more than one page from each recipient in May and November.

1. Financial

1.1 The amount of each Award (currently $30,000) will be announced by the Trustees. The Trustees will also disclose to the Selection Committee the number of Awards that can be made in that year.

1.2 The Awards will be paid out monthly in advance commencing on 1st January.

2. Selection Committee

2.1 The Selection Committee is to consist of three persons being:

2.1.1 a woman appointed by the teaching staff of the University of Canterbury School of Fine Art (the word "staff" to include the Dean)

2.1.2 one man or woman appointed by Creative New Zealand or its successor and

2.1.3 one woman painter or sculptor appointed by the incumbent Director of the Christchurch Art Gallery.


2.2 Appointed members hold office until the 31st day of December next following his or her appointment and are eligible for re-appointment. No appointed member shall serve for more than two consecutive years, nor shall serve in excess of four years in any ten year period.

2.3 Application for the annual awards are called for on bi-annual basis:


Year of Application Years of Awards
2020: 2021 and 2022
2022: 2023 and 2024
2024: 2025 and 2026


3. Voting

3.1 Every member of the Selection Committee has one vote and all matters shall be decided by a majority of votes. In the case of equality the Trustees are entitled for that purpose only to exercise a casting vote. The quorum is two members present in person and the Selection Committee may act notwithstanding vacancies in its number provided the necessary quorum is present.

3.2 The Selection Committee is to meet at least once in each calendar year in which Awards are to be made.

3.3 Except as provided in the Deed of Foundation the Selection Committee is to make its own rules and adopt its own procedures.

4. Trustees´┐Ż Powers

4.1 The Trustees are empowered in exceptional circumstances to grant additional funds to the recipient of an Award.

4.2 The Trustees are to ensure that the requirements as to regularity of Awards is maintained.

4.3 The Trustees may revoke an Award if the recipient is guilty of grave misconduct or in the event of non-compliance with the terms of the Award.

5. Expenses

5.1 The Foundation will meet all reasonable expenses incurred by any member of the Selection Committee in attending meetings. It is anticipated this will extend to travel costs and meal allowances.

5.2 Travel expenses will be met by the Foundation for any applicant whom the Selection Committee desires to meet.

6. Meetings of Selection Committee

6.1 Copies of all application forms which must be received by 30th June will be forwarded to the Selection Committee in early July. It is proposed the first meeting of the Selection Committee in mid-July to identify those applicants the Selection Committee may like to meet. It is suggested this meeting could be by way of conference telephone call.

6.2 The second meeting may be in person at which selected applicants may attend. It is expected that the invited number of applicants will not exceed four, or twice the number of vacancies available, whichever is the greater.

6.3 The decision on the successful Awardees will need to be made in time for the Trustees to make public announcement no later than the first week of November of each year.



7. Overview

7.1 In brief, the late Olivia Spencer Bower wished the Foundation to give financial assistance to artists showing promise. She had a particular hope that women would receive favourable consideration as she considered this had not been done in the past and she also was firm in the view that it would be preferable if the recipient either had or was prepared to establish some links with Canterbury. In broad terms Olivia's intention was to benefit somebody like herself. In other words the Award is very much a personal reflection of what would have really been of benefit to her, if such an award had been available when she was young. This was an overriding concern and explains to a large extent the accent on regionality, painting and sculpture and a Selection Committee weighted in favour of women, but in no way excludes male award applicants.

7.2 Both the Trustees and the Selection Committee are bound by the precise terms of the Trust Deed. While it may be thought by some that these are unduly restrictive the Selection Committee and the Trustees have a legal and moral obligation to fulfil these requirements to the fullest extent. It is only on these terms that they take on their respective roles. The final terms of the Foundation were determined after months of detailed discussions and investigations, with all variables having been either considered and rejected or included in the final form.

8. Residential Qualifications and Intentions

8.1 To qualify for an Award an artist must have been in residence in New Zealand for a period of not less than five years at any time during his or her lifetime.

8.2 The recipient of an Award is not required to reside in any specific area but the Selection Committee is to give preference to:

* residents of Canterbury, or

* residents who are prepared to reside in Canterbury during the term of the Award, or

* persons who otherwise have connections with Canterbury either residential or otherwise.

8.3 An applicant for an Award is not required to have any formal qualifications in art or any other discipline.

8.4 Each applicant is to inform the Selection Committee of his or her intentions during the tenure of the Award, if elected; but is not to be called upon to submit any specific scheme of work prior to selection or to undertake or complete any particular work during tenure of the Award.