Leighton Artists Studios Directory
Aba Wath Tech. Oki. Gwanistłi Naniya. Bienvenue. Welcome.
Canada’s Home for Arts Training and Creation
As Canada’s leading post-graduate arts institution, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity offers intensive training and career development programs for artists and leaders.
Banff Centre is located on Treaty 7 Territory. We acknowledge the past, present, and future generations of Stoney Nakoda, Blackfoot, and Tsuut’ina Nations who help us steward this sacred and protected land, as well as honour and celebrate this place. This is one of the reasons why you see the welcome on the top of this page and throughout campus in English, French, and the languages of the Indigenous Nations who have shared this land for generations.
Please enjoy your time at Banff Centre and take a moment to enjoy the beauty of Banff National Park and the exceptional artistic activities that take place on our campus. Whether it be a visit to our contemporary art gallery Walter Phillips Gallery or an evening performance, talk, or concert, you’ll be guaranteed to leave inspired and creatively refreshed.
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is supported by funding from the Government of Alberta through Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education, Alberta Infrastructure, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Arts programs are supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Arts Training Fund. The experience at Banff Centre is also enriched through generous support from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Banff National Park
In 1883, as the transcontinental railway reached the Canadian Rocky Mountains, railway workers stumbled upon hot springs first discovered by Indigenous peoples. This led to the area being declared Canada’s first national park in 1885.
Spanning 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows, and rivers, Banff National Park is one of the world’s most spectacular destinations. On its 100th anniversary, Banff was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
Banff is 1,397 metres (4,540 feet) above sea level. If you are not used to the elevation, or if you have a respiratory condition, you may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and/or dizziness. It may take a few days to acclimatize.
Wildlife: Facts & Tips
Banff National Park is home to 53 species of mammals including deer, elk, black and grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, and cougars. All of these animals are wild, and should not be approached or fed.
Each year, a number of visitors and locals are injured by elk. In early fall, September through October, elk mating season is underway. Male elk are aggressive at this time of year and may charge without warning. In spring/summer, May through July, elk calving season is underway. Female elk aggressively protect their young and may charge. Always stay at least 50 metres (35 yards) away from elk.
Signs of elk aggression:
- Head held high
- Teeth exposed
- Looking directly at you with whites of eyes showing
- Ears back
- Some aggressive elk have been ear-tagged or marked with a paint ball on the hip or shoulder.
- Aggressive elk may charge. If charged, get behind a tree or any large object.
Bear attacks are uncommon. Both black bears and grizzly bears are seen in and around Banff. Wild animals generally prefer to avoid people and bears are no exception. Here are some basics on how to avoid an encounter:
- Use officially marked paths and trails, and travel during daylight hours. Travel in groups if possible and never let children wander.
- Keep your dog on a leash at all times. Dogs can provoke defensive behaviour in bears.
- Make noise! Let bears know you’re there. Call out, clap hands, sing or talk loudly, especially near streams, dense vegetation, and berry patches, on windy days, and in areas of low visibility.
- Watch for fresh bear signs. Tracks, droppings, diggings, torn-up logs, and turned-over rocks are all signs that a bear has been in the area. Leave the area if the signs are fresh. If you come across large dead animals, leave the area immediately and report it to Park Wardens.
Information courtesy of Parks Canada. For more information about wildlife, visit the Parks Canada website, pc.gc.ca. For general information from the Banff Park Warden Service, call 403.762.1470.
About the Leighton Artists’ Studios
Located in a beautiful, secluded, wooded area on Banff Centre campus, the Leighton Artists’ Studios inspire and accommodate creative practice.
With serene forest views and thoughtfully designed interiors, the Studios offer 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’ Studios offer artists the ability to delve into their work as a solitary retreat, as well as the option to engage within Banff Centre's larger artistic community. The Leighton Artists’ Studios are home to nine distinct studios, appealing to a variety of disciplines: writing, composing, singer-songwriting, visual arts, screenwriting, playwriting, literary translating, curating, art theory, and conceptualization of a project.
The eight original studios were each named for the distinguished Canadian architects who designed them, 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 best suited for residencies in the Painter House.
Some famous alumni of the Studios include: Daniel MacIvor, John Adams, Ken Lum, Jonathan Dove, Yann Martel, k.d. Lang, Lawrence Hill, and Joni Mitchell.
History of the Studios
The Leighton Artists’ Studios is named in honour of David and Peggy Leighton. David Leighton was president of Banff Centre from 1970 to 1982.
During his presidency, the Centre became a year-round, fully independent post-secondary institution and conference centre, attracting artists and business leaders from around the world. Peggy Leighton worked closely with her husband to create the personal, friendly atmosphere and a Community Services department in which staff, faculty, and participants could be inspired and be supported.
In August 1985, Banff Centre's Leighton Artists’ Studios was formally opened by His Royal Highness Prince Philip. The nine studios quickly became the place for established Canadian and International artists to create new work.
More than 1,000 artists have used the studios to create novels, poetry, plays, songs, chamber works, and operas. They have choreographed dance and musical theatre, curated exhibitions and shows, and have created important visual art, films, interactive media, and television programming. Leighton artists contribute significantly to culture and the arts in Alberta, throughout Canada, and around the world.
Discover the Studios
The Hemingway Studio
Named after the designer Peter Hemingway. This studio's design is influenced by Haida architecture. Its floor plan is circular with a roof-line that rises in a conical shape, held aloft by 12 wooden columns. It is built primarily of cedar and pine. The west wall is an arced "light-wall." This floor-to-ceiling pane window, 3.7 metres long, serves as the primary source of natural light in the studio. Built into the middle of this windowed area is a glass door leading out onto a large, private balcony.
6 metres diameter
The Valentine Studio
Named after the designer Fred Valentine, the studio was designed as a composer's studio and contains a grand piano. It is also suitable for work in other disciplines. Needs for privacy, acoustic reverb control and natural light are all fulfilled. A "cathedral" space enhances the sound of instruments and the predominant use of wood for construction material adds to the acoustic quality of the studio.
4.8 metres wide x 7.3 metres long
The Henriquez Studio
Named after the designer Richard Henriquez the inspiration for this "studio in a boat" was derived from the desire to create a link with the past by bringing an artifact to Banff with a history of its own. The studio is in an old, refurbished fishing boat about 10 metres long. Its exterior has been restored to its original lines while the interior has been refitted to fulfill the functional needs of an artist: a small galley for snacks, a bunk area and a washroom.
2.5 metres wide x 10 metres long
The Evamy Studio
Named after the designed Michael Evamy, this "glass house" studio sits in a small clearing surrounded by a forest of spruce and pine facing a gently sloping ridge that forms the wall of a small ravine. The studio offers views along the forest floor. There are skylights overhead and windows in each wall. Each corner is glazed and opened to the sky with a diamond skylight. The balanced use of glass and cedar, juxtaposed with ridge and trees, creates an open but private workspace.
5.4 metres wide x 4.5 metres long
The Davidson Studio
Named after designer Ian Davidson this star-shaped studio provides maximum visual and acoustic privacy and has a grand piano. It has a multi-faced structure with a pyramid roof. The north side of the studio is windowless, both for privacy and energy conservation. The south side has large windows and a private outdoor deck, which add to the feeling of freedom and openness. Construction materials are almost entirely wood.
5.4 metres wide x 5.4 metres long
The Thom Studio
Named after the designer Rob Thom, the configuration for this visual art studio is simple and open to allow the greatest degree of flexibility in the arrangement of working components. Large skylights (basically north-oriented) offer plenty of natural light, supplemented by incandescent electric studio lighting on adjustable tracks. Interior walls are gyprock on 2 cm. plywood for hanging work with tacks or masking tape.
5.8 meters wide x 5.4 metres long
The Cardinal Studio
Named after the designer Douglas Cardinal, the design for this studio takes the form of a nautilus shell. Thick cedar-log walls and the absence of windows on the pathway side shut out external noise and disperse internal sounds. The introverted exterior design discourages inquisitive visitors. A large window and outdoor deck, facing the mountains and forest, provide an uninterrupted view. The studio contains an upright piano.
4.5 metres wide x 7.3 metres long
The Gerin-Lajoie Studio
Named after the designer Guy Gerin-Lajoie, this bright studio was originally designed for visual artists and is now used for a wide range of projects. A stepped roof-line harmonizes with the rock formation of the surrounding mountains. The work area provides large walls and open space suitable for hanging work. A large horizontal window provides a view and feeling of openness.
5.4 metres wide x 11.5 metres long
The Painter House
Named after the celebrated architect who designed it, Walter Painter, The Painter House provides opportunities for established artists to work in a more spacious studio setting, or for a group of artists to work collaboratively on such projects as the creation of a new play, a musical composition, or a performance work.
The Crich Studio
Named after nature photographer Vic Crich, this unique studio sits apart from the rest of the Leighton Artists Studios in the vibrant and media-rich environment of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Building. This studio offers stunning views of the Bourgeau Mountain range with ample desk/working space and black-out blinds for media and photography work. This studio also has an attached, private and fully-functioning dark room.
3.14 metres wide x 7.62 metres long (main studio)
2.53 metres wide x 4 metres long (attached dark room)
For any assistance with your studio, please contact the Leighton Coordinator at Leighton_coordinator@banffcentre.ca. For any out-of-hours or urgent maintenance, please contact the front desk, by calling 0 from the phone in your studio. For emergencies, or if help is required going to or heading back from the studio, call Security via the front desk.
We ask that treat your neighbours, as well as our facilities and equipment, with kindness and respect. We’re delighted to have you in residence and hope that you’ll feel at home in your studio.
Smudging at Banff Centre occurs across campus, with the exception of the Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation. Should you wish to smudge in your guest room, please advise the front desk who will place signage on your floor. If you choose to smudge in your studio or meeting room, please contact your Program Coordinator who can assist you with signage. This is necessary to reduce incidents of false smoke and fire reports in campus buildings.
Smudge kits are available in each studio. Please contact the Program Coordinator if more supplies are needed.
- Before your residency is complete, your assigned studio must be returned to its original condition. This responsibility is shared by all artists occupying a studio.
- Destruction of studio furniture is forbidden.
- Permanent marker is forbidden for use on studio walls, furniture, etc.
- Drawing/painting directly on studio walls is forbidden unless first approved prior to commencing work.
- Each studio has a humidifier, please leave in the studio and do not take to your bedroom.
- We have provided flashlights and winter weather footwear aids in each studio, please if you remove them please return them before you leave.
- Spills can be cleaned with paper towels; or for major spills, please contact Leighton_coordinator@banffcentre.ca to organize a visit from the custodial team.
Kitchen Policies & Recycling
- Artists are responsible for cleaning and putting away the dishes they use. Dish soap and towels are provided. Please clean-up after using the kitchen area.
- Please wipe out the microwave when food spills.
- Keep food in properly sealed and labeled containers and stored in a refrigerator. Artists are discouraged from eating in their studios as it may attract rodents.
- Dispose of food in the garbage bins
- Please remove all food from the refrigerator before you vacate the studio at the end of your residency.
- If you bring any Banff Centre dining room dishes, equipment or supplies into the studio, please return them at the end of your residency, in order to maintain a clutter free studio space for all participants.
The custodial team will clean the studio upon request. Please contact the Program Coordinator to arrange cleaning.
Thank you for your cooperation in maintaining a clean, healthy, and enjoyable studio environment.
Your Leighton Studio Piano
- In order to support you in realizing your artistic goals, we endeavour to keep our pianos in the best shape possible. However, we can’t always get around to the pianos as frequently as we would like to, so if something should go wrong with your studio piano please let us know right away and we will take care of it as quickly as possible. If your piano needs tuning, regulating, or voicing, please contact us, either directly or through your Program Coordinator, and we will schedule a service appointment.
Temperature and Humidity
- Two important principles apply here: 1) generally speaking, if you are comfortable your piano will be comfortable; and 2) when the piano’s environment changes the piano changes. Please set the thermostat in your studio so you are comfortable. There will be some temperature fluctuation as the heaters cycle on and off, but once you find the temperature setting that works for you, do not make large or frequent changes to it. And please do NOT leave any windows open overnight. Your studio piano may have a humidity control system under or inside the piano; please do NOT move or unplug it. This humidity control system helps provide your piano with a stable environment, which helps the piano stay in tune and in regulation.
- Please do not place or leave any vessel containing liquid on any part of any piano. All it takes is one accidental move, and we could have many thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs to do. It can happen to even the most careful individuals.
- One word: DON’T – for insurance and other reasons. If the current arrangement of your studio is not working for you, please contact us. We will work with you to find a suitable arrangement, and will do the moving for you.
- If you plan to use any extended techniques, including the placement of objects in the piano, the plucking, strumming, or striking of the strings (or any other piano part), or the marking of strings, dampers, or agraffes with any object or substance, please contact us first to let us know what you’re planning to do. Most extended techniques are harmless and will be no problem, but we need to know what you’re doing so that if there is any chance of damage to the piano, we can work together to find alternative methods of achieving what you’re trying to achieve.
Performing and Recording in Your Studio
- While you are more than welcome to invite people to come and enjoy an intimate performance in your studio, and to record anything you want to record in your studio (including the piano), please be aware that your studio was not designed to be a performance venue or a recording studio, and that your piano is not a performance or recording piano. It is provided primarily for your use as a tool in the creative process and as a practice instrument. We don’t want to give you any unrealistic expectations. If you do want to stage a performance or do some recording, and you would like the piano tuned, please give us lots of notice.
How to Reach Us
- By e-mail: email@example.com
- By phone: extension 6249 if calling from a Banff Centre phone; 403-762-6249 if calling from an external phone.
- Normal working hours are Monday to Friday, 9-ish to 5-ish.
Jenny Belzberg Theatre lobby
Noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday
On ticketed performance days, the Box Office will remain open until performance time. If there is a ticketed performance on a Sunday, Monday, or a holiday, the Box Office will open at least two hours prior to the event.
Tickets for Banff Centre events can be purchased:
Please help us live responsibly in our mountain environment by recycling glass, aluminum, and paper in the blue recycling bins in your room, and elsewhere on the property. In guest rooms, if you need fresh towels, please place used towels in the bathtub. If you will continue to use your towels, hang them on the racks. Banff Centre’s “no idling policy” states that no vehicles or motorized equipment will be stationary with the engine operating for more than two minutes. The goal is to help reduce fuel consumption and lower the production of greenhouse gases.
Complimentary parking is available for all registered guests. Guests are required to register
their vehicle with Front Desk. Park only in designated, long-term parking areas around campus. Parking in front of the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre is a two-hour only zone, which is enforced by the Town of Banff bylaw department. If you are having problems finding parking, please see the Bell Desk or Front Desk for assistance. Banff Centre is not responsible for any tickets incurred by guests parking in “no parking” or “two-hour parking” areas. Banff Centre is not responsible for items left in vehicles on the property.
For the health, safety, and comfort of our guests, Banff Centre has designated all bedrooms, balconies, public areas, classrooms, performance spaces, and service areas as non-smoking. Smoking is permitted only in Banff Centre’s designated outdoor smoking areas; please contact the Front Desk for locations. Smudging and sweetgrass ceremonies associated with Banff Centre programs are exempt from the non-smoking policy.
Mountain weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Call 403.762.2088 or visit weathernetwork.com for today’s conditions, as well as short-term and long-term forecasts. To view conditions atop Sulphur Mountain in Banff, visit explorerockies.com/banff-webcam
Banff Centre’s campus comes to life at Maclab Bistro. With a lively crowd, full-service bar, and eclectic menu, Maclab Bistro is the perfect place to grab a meal with friends or cozy up on the fireside patio. Enjoy stunning panoramic views and healthy, creative comfort food inspired by fresh, local ingredients. Located in the Kinnear Centre.
7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily
Vistas Dining Room
Our 370-seat dining room offers buffet dining, reinvented. The diverse menu is inspired by fresh local ingredients. Enjoy the view of the Bourgeau Mountain Range, and choose from a selection of hot entrées, a well-stocked fresh salad bar, delicious house-made desserts, plus vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Located atop the Sally Borden Fitness & Recreation Centre.
Breakfast: 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Banff Airporter is the official airport shuttle provider for Banff Centre, providing door-to-door transportation to the Calgary International Airport.
Brewster Airporter is a supporter of Banff Centre and provides shuttle service to and from the Calgary International Airport.
403.762.6767 or 1.877.266.7292
What to do at Banff Centre
Event brochures are available in the lobby of the Professional Development Centre, Lloyd Hall, Eric Harvie Theatre, and Margaret Greenham Theatre. For the most up-to-date information, visit banffcentre.ca/events
Walter Phillips Gallery
The Walter Phillips Gallery is exclusively committed to the production, presentation, collection, and interpretation of contemporary art, and is dedicated to developing a thoughtful and stimulating forum for visual art and curatorial practice. The gallery develops exhibitions, commissions new works, and engages in dialogues about curatorial practice through symposia and workshops.
12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday
Closed in between exhibitions for installation purposes and on public holidays.
Voice Mail Messaging
All Banff Centre telephones are equipped with voice mail messaging. If your message light is on, this indicates there is a message waiting for you.
To pick up messages:
In your room, lift up the receiver, press the message button. If you have any problems with the message button, call 6644 and you will also be connected to your messages.
Outside your room, call 6644 using any house phone and wait for the recording. Press star (*). To pause a message press 8 during a message. Press 8 again to continue.
From outside Banff Centre, you can call locally at 403.762.6644 and press star (*).
To retrieve your messages once connected:
Enter your room number including building code and press pound (#) Enter your password (see below) and press pound (#)
Your password will be the first four letters of your last name (must be the last name that was registered at check-in). For example:
Jane O’Neil: ONEI would be 6634 Sam Ho: HO would be 46
If you are having any difficulties using your voice mail or telephone, please contact our switchboard at zero (0) for assistance.
Wireless Internet Access
Complimentary wireless access is available in guest rooms and meeting spaces at Banff Centre. The name of the Banff Centre guest Wi-Fi is “BanffCentre”.
If you are experiencing a problem accessing the Banff Centre public wireless network, try the following to remedy connectivity problems. If after troubleshooting you are still unable to connect please contact Guest Services for assistance.
To connect to the Banff Centre public wireless Internet connection click on the wireless network connection icon typically found on the right-hand side of the taskbar. Windows will search for any nearby Wi-Fi networks. Click on “BanffCentre” and choose to connect.
Make sure wireless is turned on via the switch on the laptop or the “Fn” button and wireless key (usually a function key e.g. F5). If wireless was turned off try connecting again, otherwise continue to step 2.
Right-click on the Wi-Fi icon on the taskbar and click on “Troubleshoot Problems”, follow any suggested steps, and then check the Wi-Fi connection to see if you are now connected.
To connect to the Banff Centre public wireless Internet connection, click the AirPort icon in your menu bar, and you should be presented with a list of visible wireless networks. Select the “BanffCentre” network and it will automatically connect. When you’re connected, the AirPort icon will change from a ‘light grey’ color to a solid black. The number of solid black lines indicates the signal strength.
Launch Network Diagnostics. To do this, choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Network. Click Assist me, and then click Diagnostics.
The Network Diagnostics utility will guide you through a series of questions and tests, ranging from checking your Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection to network configuration and DNS servers. Sometimes the utility can repair problems itself; when it can’t, it usually provides more detailed information about the nature of the problem and offers suggestions for solving it.
To connect to the Banff Centre public wireless on your mobile device make sure “Wi-Fi” is turned on in settings, then choose the “BanffCentre” wireless network.
Navigate to Wi-Fi settings toggle Wi-Fi off and back on again, then attempt to connect.
If you still cannot connect, power the device off and on again.