instrument Bank - Musicain playing at The Banff Centre
Alumnus Magdalena Filipczak practices with The Banff Centre's Zygmuntowicz violin in the Rolston Recital Hall.

Music Instrument Bank

The Banff Centre’s instrument bank exists to provide quality stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello) and bows for use by outstanding Canadian string players on the threshold of a professional career. These artists will have had considerable association with The Banff Centre and its music programs.

The instrument bank loan allows the individual a quality instrument during the building of his/her performance career and provides time for the savings toward, and the search for his/her own quality instrument.


Eligible musicians must be:

  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • An alumnus of a Banff Centre music program.
  • A talented young musician of great potential, who has begun or is about to embark on an international chamber music or solo career, or,
  • A mid-career or established musician who already has an international chamber music or solo career and is in a key period with regard to career development.
  • Preference will be given to applicants under the age of 35 years.

Applicants must demonstrate that having a fine stringed instrument or bow at this point in their development will provide a major boost to their career and/or enable them to move to the next level in their career.

Applicants must have submitted any final or annual report related to a previous Banff Centre instrument loan, and must have no outstanding accounts owing to The Banff Centre.

Loan period

Instruments will be made available when The Banff Centre acquires a new instrument or when previous loans expire.

The loan period can be negotiated with the Banff Centre, but will last for a maximum of two years. The recipient of a loaned instrument may apply for one subsequent renewal of the same instrument. Anyone who has held an instrument for two loan periods (or four years in total) will no longer be eligible for that instrument, but may apply for another instrument loan in the Banff Centre collection.

There will be no fees applied.

Application Process

Applicants must provide the following:

  • A statement (maximum two pages) confirming your eligibility for a loan, outlining your concert/recital and professional activities over the past two years, and describing career plans (particularly over the next two to three years, including forthcoming performances).
  • A one-page explanation of how the loan of an instrument or bow would help you achieve your career goals, particularly on the international stage.
  • A description of the instrument you currently play (or bow you use, if you are applying for a bow): maker, year made, approximate value, and any other relevant details, including the name of the instrument or bow owner.
  • A description of your long-term plan of obtaining a permanent instrument or bow for yourself.
  • A description of the instrument case you use.
  • An up-to-date resume, including a list of your current repertoire.

Electronic applications can be submitted to:
Subject line: Music & Sound Instrument Bank

Hard copy applications can be submitted to:

Music & Sound Department
c/o Instrument Bank
The Banff Centre
Box 1020, Station 23
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1H5 

Conditions of loan

  • Recipient will take the utmost care to maintain the loaned instrument in its current physical condition and protect it from loss, theft, or injury. Payment for minor repairs will be your responsibility and The Banff Centre will cover the cost of major repairs, if discussed with and approved in advance by the Director of Operations, Music & Sound.
  • You will exercise the highest standard of care and use your best efforts to ensure that appropriate environmental and security precautions are taken during the rental period.
  • In the case of loss, theft, or damage of the instrument due to negligence, you will be responsible to compensate The Banff Centre up to the instrument's current appraised value. The resulting balance will become due and payable no later than the end of the stipulated loan period.
  • In all concert programs you will ensure that credit is given to The Banff Centre for making this instrument available to you. In January of each year, you will provide a report outlining your musical activities, achievements, and successes during the previous months. These reports are used as a basis for information regularly transmitted to The Banff Centre’s Board of Governors.
  • You will always inform Music & Sound of your current address and the location of the instrument. 
  • Cellos must always be transported on-board the aircraft (i.e. not in the baggage compartment). The borrower must purchase a seat in the cabin and is responsible for all associated costs.

Guidantus violin (made 1737)

Guidantus violin, made 1737

Current appraised/insured value: $100,000
Acquired: 1978
Available: May 30, 2015

Image not available

Zygmuntowicz violin, made 2011

Current appraised/insured value: $54,000
Acquired: 2011
Available: May 30, 2015

Dalphin violin (made 1982)

Dalphin violin, made 1982

Current appraised/ insured value: $13,000
Acquired: 1982
Available: November 30, 2015

Odoardi violin (made 1779)

Odoardi violin, made 1779

Current appraised/insured value: $75,000
Acquired (by donation):1999
Available: November 30, 2015

Unlabelled viola Maggini model (made circa 1820)

Unlabelled viola Maggini model, made circa 1820

Current appraised/insured value: $18,000
Acquired (by donation): 1999
Available: November 30, 2015

Prentice viola Guarneri model (made 2007)

Prentice viola Guarneri model,
made 2007

Current appraised/insured value: $12,000
Acquired: 2007
Available: May 30, 2013

Prentice viola da Salo model (made 2009)

Prentice viola da Salo model, made 2009

Current appraised/insured value: $13,000
Acquired: 2009
Available: May 30, 2015

Forster cello (made circa 1760-1790)

Forster cello, made circa 1760–1790

Current appraised/insured value: $150,000
Acquired: 1985
Available: November 30, 2015

Lucci cello (made circa 1950-56)

Lucci cello, made circa 1950–56

Current appraised/insured value: $75,000
Acquired: 2002
Available: May 30, 2013

‘English' cello  

‘English’ cello

Current appraised/insured value: $40,000
Acquired (by donation): 1999
Available: May 30, 2013




Voirin violin bow (circa 1850)
Current appraised/insured value: $2,000

W. E. Hill & Sons viola bow (#1)
Current appraised/insured value: $5,000

W. E. Hill & Sons viola bow (#2)
Current appraised/insured value: $4,500

W. E. Hill & Sons viola bow (#3)
Current appraised/insured value: $4,500

Dodd cello bow (circa 1830)
Current appraised/insured value: $15,000

W. E. Hill & Sons cello bow
Current appraised/insured value: $4,200

Bows available: November 30, 2012

*Instruments are available until a suitable candidate is found.