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Banff International Curatorial Institute Fellowship Fall 2020

Visual Arts

Program Information

Curator Nicole Burisch in studio visit with Alexa Hatanaka during Craft as Contemporary Art program. Photo by: Don Lee.

Curator Nicole Burisch in studio visit with Alexa Hatanaka during Craft as Contemporary Art program. Photo by: Don Lee.


Program Overview

The Banff International Curatorial Institute (BICI) Fellowship supports established curators, arts writers, cultural critics, and researchers in focusing deeply on the continued development of their work. The program allows for self-directed research over an extended period of 12 weeks within the creative and intellectually stimulating environment of Visual Arts. Participants are selected by an international jury for this unique, fully-scholarshipped program.

In addition to focusing on their own practice, participants will engage with each other as well as artists-in-residence in Visual Arts programs—meet with them to grow their networks and expand their research, visit studios or hold office hours, join reading groups, share knowledge through presenting research in progress, as well as engage with Banff Centre’s curatorial and artistic staff. The BICI Fellowship coincides with the Banff Visual Artist Fellowship, and participants in both programs are encouraged to work closely together.

While in residence participants may work on the continuation of an existing project, the early development of a substantial new project, create work towards a confirmed external publication or exhibition, or conduct research involving BICI publications and Banff Centre’s permanent collection and archives. Projects and research that are timely, socially relevant, and of high artistic merit will be considered as well as participants who are generous and willing to engage with the creative community.

What does the program offer?

This program provides an extended period of time for writers, curators, and researchers to develop non-studio based work and pursue critical research.  Scheduled programming is light to allow for self-directed project development, and opportunities to connect and collaborate. 

Participants can attend talks and presentations by faculty and guests of Visual Arts residency programs and Walter Phillips Gallery, and expand networks through connecting with artists from around the world.

Participants will have a private office that is accessible 24 hours a day in which to work.

What length of residency is available?

This program requires a full time commitment with the understanding that absences will be minimal. Alternative dates cannot be considered.

Who should apply?

This program is open to mid- to- senior-level curators, arts writers, cultural critics, and researchers exploring original topics within visual arts.

Applicants should have an established exhibition/publication record, have completed formal training in visual arts at the post-secondary level, or equivalent experience and recognition from their peers. 

Learn more about the Banff International Curatorial Institute.

What's Included

Single RoomRead MoreClose

Participants will have a single bedroom in Farrally Hall, one of Banff Centre’s original historic chalets on campus. Residents have access to a common lounge and kitchen area with a TV, outdoor patio, piano, and fireplace. 

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Light Flex Meal PlanRead MoreClose

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Light Flex meal plan includes $23 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast and lunch in Vistas Dining Room.

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Work SpaceRead MoreClose

Curators, writers, and researchers in this program will have an office space in which to create their work.

Lecture SeriesRead MoreClose

A series of outstanding guest artists and curators will give free public talks and hold informal discussions. 

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Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym, and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music, and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.

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Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

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Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee
$12 615.50
Program Fee with Financial Aid*

Application fee: $65

Indigenous applicants: $35

*Financial Aid up to 100% covering tuition, light flex meal plan, and single on-campus accommodation is available (travel and other expenses are not eligible).

If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials. 

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre. View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.


A resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience. Maximum three pages. 


A one-page statement describing your work, current research, and intellectual interests.


A biography of no more than 500 words. This may be used as a narrative for administrative and public use.

Project Proposal

A description of the project you will be working on during the program, what you will complete and timelines, and where this work will be published or exhibited (three pages max).


  • Writers: three writing samples, no longer than five pages each (including images), in PDF format.
  • Curators: three exhibition texts, no longer than five pages each (including images), in PDF format.


Participants are selected by an international jury comprised of artists, curators, writers, and researchers.  

2020/2021 Jury

  • Xiaoyu Weng (The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, US)
  • Peta Rake (Senior Curator, UQ Art Museum, University of Queensland, AUS)
  • David Balzer (Freelance Author, Editor, Educator, CA)
  • Carolina Caycedo (Independent Artist exploring resistance, environmental justice, and human rights, Colombia/UK)

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete, approximately eight to 10 weeks following the application deadline.

Selected participants may be interviewed.

All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact Admissions

For questions on preparing your application, please contact Admissions:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)