COVID-19 Update

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Banff Centre response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

Updated Aug 5, 2020

Since 1933, Banff Centre has been offering a retreat and space for artists to hone and develop their craft.

In 1954, the institution developed a vibrant hospitality business which has in recent years generated close to 40% of our revenue to support the arts and leadership programs in a social enterprise model.  

And since 1972, we have been offering Indigenous management and leadership programming to prepare and empower leaders to make an impact in a rapidly shifting world. Our programs integrate the power of the arts and the wisdom of Indigenous practice.

2020, like many arts and cultural organizations, as well as post-secondary institutions, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We look forward to moving ahead with on-campus, world-class programming across all disciplines when our facilities can open, and our revenue model can be restored. 

On April 3rd of this year, due to the economic fallout and restrictions on activities, we suspended all activities on campus including classes, conferences and hospitality services, and performances to do our part to flatten the curve in our region.

Social distancing and gathering restrictions continue to make it difficult, and in some cases prohibitive for Banff Centre to re-open its normal business at this time. Banff Centre will open our facilities and spaces when we are confident that we can ensure the health and safety of everyone on our campus.

Post-secondary institutions in Alberta are, for the most part, not reopening to in-person classes, with many shifing to online delivery. Banff Centre, along with many technical education institutions that rely on hands-on training, is able to offer only a limited number of programs online. Banff Centre’s Arts and Leadership programs will be launching 14 courses for online delivery from September to December, 2020. This represents two programs per discipline in Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Performing Arts, Indigenous Arts, and Indigenous Leadership to be delivered digitally.

We will also be offering some events as online experiences including National Indigenous Peoples' Day, Banff International String Quartet Festival, and the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Banff Centre's conference and hospitality services, as well as our performance spaces, fall within Stage 3 of the Alberta Relaunch Strategy, which meant that those business and revenue streams also remain closed for now.

This represents a greatly reduced level of activity for our institution. As a result, Banff Centre has had to make some difficult business decisions. We have had to reduce our staffing complement by laying off many of our skilled and talented employees. The decision is based on Banff Centre’s activity levels and financial position at this time.

A core team will remain in place, as well as a group on temporary layoff who may return if work becomes available. 

We continue to adapt, often in real time, to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on activities to support the health of our communities, and changes in consumer confidence. 

We are so thankful for the many supporters and donors who continue to assist us through this period. We acknowledge and thank our Board of Governors and Foundation Board Members, and our Board Chair, for their strength and wisdom. And we thank the artists and leaders who continue to demonstrate resilience and creativity in the face of adversity. 

We cannot wait to welcome you all back to Banff Centre again.

Information for Program Participants and Faculty

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Banff Centre has made the very difficult decision to suspend all in-person summer and fall programs and events.  

We will be offering online programs and events across artistic and leadership disciplines between September and December, 2020 to continue to serve our community in a new way. As part of this work, we will explore how an online model can serve artists and leaders in the future to fulfill our mandate as Alberta and Canada’s largest post-secondary arts and leadership institution.

From January-March, 2021—Banff Centre is intending to open up some artist residencies, with the intention of in person classes re-opening gradually through the spring of 2021.

As per our cancellation policy, you will be offered a full refund or credit if applicable for your program fee including your confirmation fee. Refunds and credits will be processed by the Office of the Registrar who will reach out to you in the coming weeks to make arrangements. 

Invitational residency programs can be deferred until a later date when it is safe to re-open campus activities and the Office of the Registrar will reach out to those individuals as we have confirmed information when programs will resume.

Given the unusual nature of this situation, and the volume of transactions, we thank you for your patience and understanding. Refunds will be processed program by program based on program start date.

Please note that recruitment for programming has been temporarily suspended. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of the Registrar by email:

Public Events

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions on gatherings, we will be cancelling all events on campus until further notice. 

Banff Centre is planning to present online events including National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21, 2020), the Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival (Sept 1-5, 2020) and the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival (Oct 31 - Nov 8, 2020)

For any questions you might have, please feel free to contact the Box Office by e-mail at

Restaurants, Hotels and Campus Services:

All buildings on campus are temporarily closed to the public. Please contact guest services for information.

Three Ravens, MacLab and Vistas restaurants are temporarily closed

The Sally Borden Fitness Centre is temporarily closed

The Paul D. Fleck Library is temporarily closed

The Walter Phillips Gallery is temporarily closed


Social distancing and gathering restrictions make it difficult, and in some cases prohibitive for Banff Centre to re-open its normal business at this time.

Banff Centre is following the guidance from the Province of Alberta, and Health Canada with safety being our top priority. As we move into Phase 3 of the Alberta relaunch strategy, we will work directly with conference planners regarding our conference services.

Please reach out to for more information.