Banff Centre response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

Updated April 3, 2020

Like many in our broader community, Banff Centre has been responding, often in real time, to announcements of restrictions on activities by local, provincial and federal governments which have evolved quickly in Banff to protect the regional population from illness. Alongside these protective measures, there continues to be intense economic fallout in our region.

  • On March 12, the Government of Alberta announced initial restrictions on public gatherings which directed Banff Centre to cancel all public events for the foreseeable future
  • On March 15, the Government of Alberta announced the suspension of all in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Banff Centre responded by sending home faculty, participants and practicum students who were on campus, and proactively communicated a cancellation of programs until May 31st
  • On March 17, the Town of Banff and Province of Alberta declared a state of emergency for the town and province respectively, and enacted further restrictions on activities
  • On March 18, the Federal government announced the closure of National Parks and further limitations on travel
  • On March 25, Banff National Park was officially closed to non-residents
  • As of March 25, the Government of Alberta has put additional, legally enforceable, restrictions on gatherings
  • Throughout this time, conferences on campus were cancelled until July, severely impacting a large portion of our total operating revenue, and the financial hit to our institution remains very severe. The week of March 30, we learned that approximately 85% of residents in the town of Banff have been laid off

The location of our campus has long been a gathering place within Treaty 7 territory. On the side of Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain, we respect the power of this place and the Stoney Nakoda Nations, the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina, and the Métis, among many other peoples and nations who have come here for generations.

In just two weeks, the energy of this place of assembly – the town, the valley, and the mountains - has shifted into stillness.

With the uncertainty of when this will start to resolve, Banff Centre has had to make some very difficult decisions, like many of our colleagues across the country.

Banff Centre has suspended all scheduled post-secondary arts and leadership programs and related events on campus until September. The summer season is typically our busiest period with more than 120 events and courses occurring between May and August. Not knowing when it will be safe and legal to reopen our campus to the public, we cannot properly plan or resource a Summer Season.

With virtually no activity on campus in our main business streams – conferences and hospitality, arts and leadership programs, and presenting shows – we have also had to temporarily lay off a significant number of our excellent employees.

We are working on plans to revive our activities and courses, and bring back our teams as soon as we are able.

For scheduled conferences on campus, we are monitoring the lifting of government restrictions and hope to be offering services as soon it is safe and legal to do so, presumably when Banff National Park reopens to visitors. Please reach out to conferences@banffcentre.ca for more information.

In the interim, we are exploring ways to share knowledge and inspiration from Banff Centre while our campus is closed, including amplifying the inspirational work being done by our alumni and faculty. We have also compiled a list of resources that could be helpful to you during this period.

It is heartbreaking to abandon the plans created for this summer, but we are encouraged by our history. Banff Centre has faced many challenges over our 87 years. Founded in 1933 during the Great Depression as an expression of hope, our mandate as a school for arts and leadership education is as vital as ever.

Throughout this crisis we are thinking of the health and well-being of our colleagues on and off campus, working and not working, our faculty and residents, our friends and neighbours in Treaty 7 territory, our international artistic communities, and connections around the world. Please be mindful of our collective health, the best means of supporting communities in need, and know that our limitless imagination will enable us all to reach beyond our physical separation.

As Alberta and Canada’s largest post graduate arts and leadership school, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity has faced many challenges over its 87 year history. Founded in 1933 during the Great Depression as an expression of hope by the Government of Alberta, Banff Centre’s mandate as a school for arts and leadership education is as vital as ever.

Information for Program Participants and Faculty

Updated: April 3, 2020

With so much uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, when restrictions will be lifted, and the lingering economic impacts, Banff Centre has made the very difficult decision to suspend all summer programs and events until the end of August.  The busiest period for Banff Centre is typically the summer season when more than 120 courses and events are held.  These will sadly not happen this summer.

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 our Fall/ Winter programming has been temporarily suspended during this period.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of the Registrar by email: registrars_office@banffcentre.ca

Public Events

Updated: April 3, 2020

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

For those who have already purchased tickets to ongoing shows, refunds will be automatically processed by our Box Office; you will receive an e-mail from the Box Office once your refund has been processed.

The Box Office will contact those who made purchases in cash that they are not able to process automatically. For any questions you might have regarding this process, please feel free to contact the Box Office by e-mail at box_office@banffcentre.ca.

Restaurants, Hotels and Campus Services:

All buildings on campus are closed, except the Professional Development Centre. Please contact guest services for information.

Three Ravens, MacLab and Vistas restaurants are closed until further notice

The Sally Borden Fitness Centre is closed until further notice

The Paul D. Fleck Library is closed to the public until further notice

The Walter Phillips Gallery is closed until further notice

We hope to reopen campus and hospitality services when it is safe and legal to do so, presumably when Banff National Park reopens to visitors and government restrictions are lifted.

Conferences

For scheduled conferences on campus, we are monitoring the lifting of government restrictions and hope to be offering services as soon it is safe and legal to do so, presumably when Banff National Park reopens to visitors. Please reach out to conferences@banffcentre.ca for more information.