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Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award

Program Information


Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is thrilled to announce the renewal of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award open to any emerging Canadian dance artist or company. We are seeking new voices, ideas, and approaches to dance that can be supported through this fund. This shift in the award’s focus is designed to foster a new and more inclusive opportunity to celebrate emerging and diverse voices in dance.

This prestigious award, presented by Banff Centre, was established in 1978 by the Clifford E. Lee Foundation to encourage the development of Canadian choreographers. The recipient of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award will submit a proposal for a work that explores a contemporary approach to dance through any style. The work should be approximately 50-60 minutes in length and use a creative team of no more than 15 artists/dancers/designers. 

The successful artist or company will be awarded with creation and production residencies at Banff Centre. Beyond this support, the artist(s) must show the ability to realize the new work through future presentations. Banff Centre will champion the artist(s) in their vision and realization of the work.

Past recipients include: Allen Kaeja, Andrew Giday, Bengt Jörgen, Benjamin Hatcher, Christopher House, Constantine Patsalis, Crystal Pite, D.A. Hoskins, David Earle, Donald Sales, Edward Hillyer, Gabrielle Lamb, Gaetan Gingras, Gioconda Barbuto, Heather Myer, Howard Richard, Jennifer Mascall, Joe Laughlin, Judith Marcuse, Lola MacLaughlin, Mark Godden, Martine Epoque, Mauryne Allan, Michael Downing, Peter Quanz, Randy Glynn, Renald Rabu, Robert Glumbek, Robert Stephen, Sabrina Matthews, Shaun Hounsell, Simone Orlando, Stephanie Ballard, and Wen Wei Wang. 

What does the program offer?

The Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award is a combination of a $14,000 CAD cash prize for the commission of a new work and the support of two residencies at Banff Centre. 

The residencies take place over a two-year period with an initial residency in studio in December during the Dance Artist in Residence program. The second, a production-focused residency in a theatre, will be possible the following year within the timeline of the production stream of the Performing Arts Residency Program. 

The cash award will be paid in two installments to support any aspect of the work that the choreographer sees fit over this two-year period (e.g., fees, set construction, travel for company members, etc.). 

The first residency will offer meals and accommodation for all company members and a studio with limited technical support. The second residency will provide the Margaret Greenham Theatre with three technicians (lighting, sound, and staging) for 7.5 hours a day for two five-day weeks. Additional crew, scenic construction, or technical support can be negotiated. 

The second residency is intended to support the production of the work, however, Banff Centre will not act as producer of the work. A final performance is expected at the end of the second residency.

Further opportunities to attend other Banff Centre programs in Dance may be available to the award recipient(s) as part of their professional development. 

Who should apply?

Applications will be accepted from emerging Canadian choreographers that currently are working with, or have access to, a company of dancers that can be utilized in the creation and production of the work. 

Any style of dance is welcomed as long as the artist(s) approach this style with a contemporary point of view.

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.

Full 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 Full Flex meal plan includes $41 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

Cash AwardRead MoreClose

The award recipient will receive a $14,000 CAD cash award paid in two instalments over a two-year period. There will also be a limited budget allotted to realize production designs.

Travel GrantRead MoreClose

A grant towards your travel costs to and from Banff (economy class airfare).

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

The Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award is a combination of a $14,000 CAD cash prize for the commission of a new work and the support of two residencies at Banff Centre. 

Application fee: $65 for individuals or groups.

Individual group members must pay an additional registration fee of $35 on acceptance

How to Apply

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


Two examples of recent work.

Project Proposal

Please include:

•    Description of new work 
•    How this project will impact your development 
•    What other support you are receiving 
•    What presentations are scheduled for the work/if any
•    Timeline of development
•    Physical and technical support needs of the work

Upload Your Materials

Award Application Deadline: May 20, 2020


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)