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Centering Ourselves

Writing in a Racialized Canada

Program archived

Program Information

Photo by Cory Woodruff.


This two-week literary residency nurtures a new frame of contemporary Canadian writing. Increasingly, today’s writer is participating in acts of acknowledgement, reclamation, restoration, and resurgence regarding minority, diasporic, and Indigenous histories. This year, 2017, provides an opportunity to take pause, pivot, and create space to think about these histories, and to write those necessary stories, poems, essays, and novels that speak from an interracial, interethnic, and inter-sectional point of view. 

This is what literary diversity looks and reads like; this is the literary landscape of Canada both of today and tomorrow. Through this residency we ask: What is Canadian literature becoming in the complex global present? How are writers negotiating the complicated politics of representation today?

What does the program offer?

Centering Ourselves will bring together 20 writers for an opportunity to gain key editorial feedback on specific self-identified areas of the participants’ manuscripts-in-progress. Participants will engage each other and faculty in critical conversations on the complex relationship of writing practice to racialization, Indigeneity, decolonization, migration, trans-national identity formations, and the role of art within a social justice movement.

Participants will benefit from the following program activities:

  • Four seminars led by program faculty
  • One-on-one meetings with faculty during the two-week residency
  • Editorial feedback on specific self-identified areas of the participant’s manuscript in progress
  • Editing time, revisions, and review by fellow program participants
  • Group conversation with the keynote guest for this residency

Who should apply?

Emerging writers in all creative genres are invited to apply. This program is designed for emerging writers and/or graduate students in creative writing or another humanities program who have a minimum of 20 pages published in trade journals. Exceptions may be made based on merit of submitted work. 

Centering Ourselves is designed for writers with a modest publishing record, and we strongly encourage applications from of-colour and Indigenous communities. The residency is seeking a diverse cohort of emerging writers who are representative of different generations, mixed race, queer, lesbian, transgender, cisgender, two spirited, and non-binary identified writers.

Applicants should be working on a specific manuscript in progress in any genre including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Applications from writers living abroad are welcome.


What's Included

Single RoomRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

Regular 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 Regular Flex meal plan includes $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

Showcase Your WorkRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in one of our performance venues.

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.

Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

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

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*
$1 915.91
Program fee with financial aid

Application fee: $65

*Financial Aid of 100% of the Program Fee is available for this program.

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

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.

Financial Assistance

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

Cover Letter / Project Proposal

Submit a one page cover letter explaining why you are interested in this program, what you hope to achieve by attending it, and how the program theme relates to your practice.

Work Samples

Submit up to three samples of relevant artistic work not exceeding 25 pages total. 

Project Summary and Bio

Provide a 100-word artist biography and a 100-word summary of the proposed project. These summaries will be used as a narrative for administrative and public use.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete.

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 the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)