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Cultural Leadership - Online 2022


Program Information

Cultural Leadership

Cultural Leadership November 2019. Photo credit: Jessica Wittman


This experiential learning opportunity supports future-focused leaders as they navigate shifting contexts and undertake transformational change at the level of system, organization, and self. Grounded in the teachings of Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing, and the vital role of art and artists in society, Cultural Leadership - Online brings together a community of change agents and community builders that reflect a diversity and intersectionality of lived experiences and leadership practices. Through this online program and in an extended community of inquiry, practice, and care, participants will approach leadership as a collective capacity and explore how to imagine and facilitate resilient new models.

What does the program offer?

Participants in Cultural Leadership - Online will:

  • Engage in faculty mentoring, peer-to-peer working groups, and critical self-reflection to examine the relationship of self to system and learn to respond to an evolving cultural context
  • Develop deep listening skills and an appreciation of Indigenous wise practices
  • Design governance and business models that are equitable and sustainable
  • Cultivate the ability to navigate uncertainty, embrace paradox, and make wiser, more responsible decisions
  • Debate and challenge assumptions around the role of cultural leaders and institutions in our ecology
  • Learn how to form and sustain values-based partnerships and alliances
  • Build the capacity to articulate vision, measure the intangible, and inspire through authentic storytelling
  •  Explore the power of place, the digital moment, and a hybrid future for the arts

A core ensemble of facilitators (including the program director) will be with participants throughout the program as learning coaches. In addition, for each session and topic area, participants will be joined by guest lecturers and faculty, domain experts, experiential educators, and artists from across disciplines, sectors, and the world.

Who should apply?

This program is designed for those with active leadership roles in Canada’s cultural sector, working nationally or internationally for Canadian institutions, entities, or independently. We welcome artists, administrators, policymakers, education and engagement specialists, creative producers, and community-based cultural workers to apply. Our Cohorts are outspoken, active, and recognized advocates within their respective artistic or cultural communities who are actively pursuing projects of increasing scale and complexity.

This program is inclusive of and welcomes applications from all gender identities, sexual orientations, race, creed, age, national origins, economic positions, and physical and mental abilities.

Our philosophy is that cultural leadership is a collective capacity. We invite more than one application from any individual organization or entity, as well as applications from teams working in co-leadership models. Applications will be adjudicated on an individual basis. If you are applying in a co-leadership structure or if more than one individual from your organization is applying, please reference this in your application. If more than three leaders from your company intend to apply, please contact LeadershipAdmissions@BanffCentre.ca



Cultural Leadership - Online includes three, six-day learning intensives in January, February, and March, with the following themes:

January 16-21, 2022: Advancing Leadership as a Collective Capacity: Transformational Change at the Individual and Organizational Levels

February 13-18, 2022: Reckoning with Present Harms and Collectively Imagining a More Equitable Future: Racial, Gender, Disability & Climate Justice in the Arts 

March 20-25, 2022: Worldmaking Now: Research, Experiments, Prototypes, and Pilots aimed at Fostering Necessary Institutional Disruption & Change

Synchronous sessions will value presence and stay mindful of how we virtually gather. Participants will engage deeply with key topics and learnings of the curriculum through workshops, small group projects, plenary discussions, listening circles, and case-studies. Cultural Leadership – Online also includes ongoing engagement beyond these three intensive weeks, with asynchronous readings, assignments, presentations, reflective practices, and embodied experiences. 


A sample schedule for a six-day learning intensive looks like this (subject to change):  
Day 1 Sunday: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. MST 
Day 2 Monday: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. MST 
Day 3 Tuesday: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. MST 
Day 4 Wednesday:  1:30-3:30 p.m. MST 
Day 5 Thursday: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. MST 
Day 6 Friday: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. MST  

As you apply, please consider the time, energy and focus that you can dedicate to this reciprocal community of inquiry, practice, and care. ​


Technical Requirements

To facilitate synchronous and asynchronous participatory experiences and learning a selection of digital platforms will be used. These platforms include (but are not limited to): Zoom, Mighty Networks, Microsoft Sharepoint, Miro, Gather. 

The following will be required:
•    Desktop or laptop computer with working microphone, audio playback (headphones or speakers) and camera.
•    Reliable internet connection.

Support will be available to ensure participants are comfortable utilizing new platforms, but a base-level understanding of Zoom, e-mail and Microsoft Office is expected.

What's Included

Lecture SeriesRead MoreClose

Lecture series

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Group Seminars/WorkshopsRead MoreClose

Join in group seminars/workshops.

Individual MentorshipRead MoreClose

Individual Mentorship

Asynchronous LearningRead MoreClose

Asynchronous Learning

Online CommunityRead MoreClose

Online Community

Fees & Financial Assistance

$1 500.00
Program Fees with Financial Aid*

Application fee: $65 ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous)

*Participants will receive 100% scholarship to cover the tuition fees. 

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

Banff Centre will issue official tax receipts for eligible tuition fees and financial assistance and awards as required by the Income Tax Act. You will receive a T2202 (Tuition and Enrolment Certificate) for eligible tuition fees paid and a T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) for applicable financial assistance and awards.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.


A current resume that illustrates your leadership trajectory and experience working in the cultural sector

Statement of Purpose

A bio or personal statement (150-300 words or 1 min video)


Please submit a reference letter in support of your application from someone who can speak to your capacity for cultural leadership and why this opportunity would be meaningful to your development at this time. This can be from a professional working in your field, a community mentor, or someone from within your organization. (one page max). 


1.    Please write a response or record a video reflection drawing from the prompts below that resonate most with you. (Recommended length: 500 – 800 words, or a video of no more than 5 – 7 minutes in length.)

  • Why are you interested to participate in the Cultural Leadership Program online and why now? 
  • What is the role of the cultural sector in our society and how do you locate or describe your place within it? 
  • What are the challenges or hurdles you are grappling with in your work today, and what do you feel you need most to address them? 
  • How does this program intersect with the work you are currently undertaking? 
  • What are the personal, professional, or community goals you would like to advance through your participation in this program? 
  • Which leadership values, skills and capacities do you have already, and which do you hope or imagine this program could help you develop?

2.    What is one leadership-related experience that has meaningfully impacted and/or transformed you and the way you approach your work?  (Recommended length: 250 words, or a 3-minute video recording).

3.    What change are you most interested to catalyze? In yourself, in your organization or network, or in the arts and culture sector more broadly. (Recommended length: 250 words, or a 3-minute video recording).

4.    As you apply, please consider the time, energy and focus that you can dedicate to this reciprocal community of inquiry, practice, and care. If you would like to indicate any potential factors that would impact your participation in this program, please do so here. (Recommended length: 100 words). 

Financial Assistance

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


Participants will be adjudicated by Core Faculty Ensemble, Program Producers and representative Alumni on the basis of submitted material. Consideration will be given to the likelihood that the individual is at a point in their career where they will be able to benefit from the program.

This program is inclusive of and welcomes applications from all gender identities, sexual orientations, race, creed, age, national origins, economic positions, and physical and mental abilities.  

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

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)