The Boots and Shoes Practicum program builds the basic skill set required for boots and shoes work in the theatre industry. The program will develop participants’ existing experience, as well as explore new techniques adhering to the theatre industry’s safety and aesthetic standards.
Specific projects will largely be determined by the summer performance programming at Banff Centre. Project work as required by the shows will include soling, repairs, paint, alterations, and leather work.
Participants are encouraged to engage in the broad range of workshops offered by other departments during the practicum program. Exposure to a wide range of perspectives and approaches is essential to the collaborative nature of theatre.
What does the program offer?
Participants will start in the Wardrobe department with the Wardrobe practicums, learning and expanding on foundational sewing skills and wardrobe practices. They will then move on to specific boots and shoes work.
Participants will explore various techniques and materials, and will learn to take measurements and perform shoe fittings, work with leather adhesives and paint, sew leather, draft for footwear alterations and repurposing, check for safety concerns, and perform repairs.
The program will also explore design research, historical research, and production techniques specifically related to footwear.
Who should apply?
A strong creative ability and visual sense are required, as demonstrated through a portfolio or photo summary of past projects. As theatre is a fast-paced, collaborative environment, strong self-motivation, an interest in a range of perspectives, and a desire to explore unfamiliar materials and processes are essential. A willingness and ability to perform highly physical work is essential.
Strong basic hand and machine sewing skills and an ability to visualize both in two and three dimensions are assets. Alternately, basic drafting skills and an ability to manipulate a range of materials outside the wardrobe scope are also assets, as such skills are transferrable.
Successful applicants will need to bring:
- Closed-toe leather work shoes or boots (steel toes are not necessary)
- Long-sleeved work shirts and long work pants that can get dirty
- Toolkit with any sewing tools and other small tools they have
- Laptop (would be an asset)
You are eligible for Banff Centre housing (based on availability). You are responsible for your own room and board costs. Current rates for Banff Centre accommodation are $8.06 / day (shared) or $16.12 / day (single) and will be deducted from the living allowance.
As space is extremely limited, Banff Centre housing is available for practicum participants only.
You will receive a living allowance of $427 per week.
Note that financial assistance and stipend awards are considered taxable income for Revenue Canada.
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.
Fees & Financial Assistance
Application fee: $65
*The weekly program fee is covered 100% by financial assistance.
You will also receive a weekly living allowance while part of the program (see What's Included for more information).
How to Apply
Start dates for this program may be flexible. Please note your availability in your personal statement.
Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to technical merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the technician’s career will benefit from the program.
Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete.
International applicants: Government of Canada international visitor visa regulations limit participation to no longer than six months.
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.