Leighton Artists’ Colony

With serene forest views and thoughtfully designed studio spaces, we provide professional artists in all genres the time and space to create in a solitary retreat environment, free of daily pressures and distractions. 

The Cardinal Studio in the Leighton Artists' Colony

Leighton Artists’ Colony

Located in a beautiful, secluded, wooded area on The Banff Centre campus, the Leighton Artists’ Colony inspires and accommodates creative practice. With its serene forest views and thoughtfully designed interiors, the Colony offers an environment that is intense and stimulating; a location free of daily pressure and distraction; an ideal space for creativity and intense productivity. The Leighton Artists’ Colony offers artists the ability to delve into their work as a solitary retreat, as well as the option to engage within the larger artistic community of The Banff Centre. Some famous alumni of the Colony include: Daniel MacIvor, John Adams, Ken Lum, Jonathan Dove, Yann Martel, kd Lang, and Joni Mitchell.

The Leighton Artists’ Colony is home to nine distinct studios, appealing to a variety of disciplines: writing, composing, singer-songwriting, visual arts, screenwriting, playwrighting, literary translating, curating, art theorists, and performing arts professionals in the conceptualization or research stage of a project. The eight original studios were designed by and named for the distinguished Canadian architect who designed it, including: Douglas Cardinal, Ian Davidson, Michael Evamy, Peter Hemingway, Richard Henriquez, Guy Gerin-Lajoie, Ron Thom, and Fred Valentine. In 2009, the addition of the Painter House expanded the capacity of the studios to offer a place for a group of artists to engage in a retreat for collaborative work. Writers may prefer the Hemingway,Henriquez, or Evamy studios. Composers may prefer the Valentine, Davidson, or Cardinal studios. Visual Artists may prefer the Thom or Gerin-Lajoie studios. Collaborative groups are invited to apply for residencies in the Painter House. 

Leighton Artists' Colony Renewal Endowment 

The Banff Centre is committed to the revitalization of the Leighton Artists' Colony, and has set up a permanent endowment, established with a generous lead donation from David and Peggy Leighton.

I have never had such a productive and inspiring artistic experience. The natural environment, the resources at the Centre, the positivity and helpfulness of the staff, the array of inspiring domestic and international artists... 

I will never forget it.

Mark Berube, Leighton Artists' Colony artist