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Program Information

Cardinal Studio

The Cardinal Studio at Leighton Artist Studios


Leighton Artist Studio residencies are geared to professional artists working on major research-creation projects or new bodies of work. The program is best suited to artists who are self-motivated, focused, and wanting time and space for introspection. The Leighton Artist Studios comprise nine distinct architect-designed studios suitable for individual artists working in the following disciplines: 

  • writing for stage and screen
  • composing and songwriting 
  • literary arts
  • visual arts 
  • critical and curatorial writing. 

A tenth studio, the Painter House, is suitable for groups of two to eight artists working collaboratively. Formal and informal collectives, ensembles, inter-disciplinary collaborators and Indigenous cultural groups are invited to apply for residencies at the Painter House between November 18 - December 13, 2024 and January 6 - March 28, 2025.

What does the program offer?

Independent residencies at the Leighton Artist Studios offer professional artists an inspiring retreat environment for the development of their work. The program offers secluded space and focused time for artistic research, experimentation and project development. Each unique studio is designed by a distinguished Canadian architect and provides a perfect setting for projects requiring focus and time for contemplation. 


Artists working in the Leighton Artist Studios can engage with the community on campus by attending talks, performances, exhibitions, and joining in the Participant Resources activity calendar.


There is no access to specialized production facilities, technical support, or equipment loans during a Leighton Studios residency. Please refer to each studio page to see what is included within the footprint of the studio, to decide if this is the appropritate residency for you. 

If your project requires production support, please consider applying to one of our other artist in residence programs in Literary Arts, Performing Arts, Indigenous Arts or Visual Arts.

Who should apply?

Projects must fit clearly within one of the artistic disciplines outlined above. The application must include a clearly articulated project description and a resume that demonstrates a strong record of accomplishment. Artists who have participated in a Leighton Studio residency in the past three years are not eligible to apply.


Artists of all ages (18+), cultural backgrounds, gender identities and expressions are encouraged to apply. Applications are adjudicated by a rotating panel of internal and external adjudicators. Participants are selected on the basis of artistic merit. The program is highly competitive given the limited number of studios available.


Please note nine of the Leighton Artists Studios are located in the woods and are accessed via a gravel pathway. Due to their remote location on campus they are currently not wheelchair accessible. Please contact us if you require wheelchair accessible accommodations.


Residency Dates

Individuals:  Individual residences may run for a minimum 2 weeks and maximum 6 weeks in lengthbetween September 30, 2024 - March 28, 2025. They must start on a Monday and end on a Friday, with arrival on the Sunday before and departure on the Saturday after. 

Collaborative entities: Group residencies may run for a minimum 1 week and maximum 3 weeks in length, between November 18 - December 13, 2024 and January 6 - March 28, 2025. They must start on a Monday and end on a Friday, with arrival on the Sunday before and departure on the Saturday after. 

Please note: for both individual and collaborative residencies, there will be no availability between December 16, 2024 - January 3, 2025 due to the Institutional Holiday Closure.

Dates are fixed and if accepted, cannot be changed or deferred. Please ensure to select dates that work for your schedule when applying.  

What's Included

Single Room Read more Close

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.

Meal Plan Icon
Full Flex Meal Plan Read more Close

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. Banff Centre can accommodate most dietary requests. 

The Full Flex meal plan is calculated at $70 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

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Studio Space Read more Close

Create in the privacy of one of our Leighton studios.

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Gym Membership Read more Close

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.

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Box Office Discounts Read more Close

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

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Participant Resources Read more Close

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.

Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives Read more Close

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives - Current Services

The Library is delighted to support Banff Centre Participants, Artists, and Faculty with the following services:

  • Open hours:  9:30 am to 1 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Access to collections, including program relevant books, scores, artists’ books, recordings, periodicals, and object library.
  • Library accounts for borrowing materials.
  • Digital Library, on campus and remote access.
  • Library research assistance, by appointment.
  • Archives research, by appointment only.

Please email or for more information or assistance.

Fees & Financial Assistance

You pay (two week residency*) with scholarship**
$1 092.00
Total program fee (two week residency*) includes studio, meals and accommodation
$3 507.00
Scholarship applied**
$2 415.00

Application fee: $65 for individuals or groups ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous). Application Fees are non-refundable.
Individual group members must pay an additional registration fee of $35 on acceptance.

* Program fees are per person, and are pro-rated by program length.

**Scholarship of 100% is available and will be applied to cover tuition, and 50% is available to offset meals and accommodation costs.

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

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.

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.

  • If you are applying as an individual, you must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application.
  • If you are applying as a collaborative group, the Group Leader must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application. Please submit only one SlideRoom application per group. There will be a $35 registration fee for each additional group member upon acceptance to the program.

Project proposal

A project proposal, including materials you are bringing to complete your project (2 pages maximum).


A resume describing academic, professional, and other relevant artistic experience.

For collaborative submissions - a resume for each member of the group should be uploaded within the Group Leader's application. 


  • Composers: audio or video files of your work
  • Visual artists: include eight images representative of recent work, plus catalogues and/or reviews. Provide links to digital images if appropriate.
  • Writers: include a selection of published work or manuscripts-in-progress. Writers who work in a language other than English should include a sample of their work in translation as well as the original (25 pages maximum).
  • Other artists: include appropriate examples of your recent work.

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid question in Slideroom to be eligible for financial assistance.


Applications are adjudicated by a rotating panel of internal and external assessors. Acceptance is based on the following criteria: quality of artist's work, the artistic merit of the project, the ability for Banff Centre to support the proposed project, and the benefit to be gained by working in a retreat environment.


We invite individual artists and small groups of collaborators to apply, whose projects fit within the footprint of a Leighton Studio and do not require additional support. 

Please note, those who have participated in a Leighton Artist Studio residency in the last three years are not eligible to apply.

International Applicants

Banff Centre welcomes domestic and international applicants for this program. Please note, Banff Centre programs do not meet Canadian Student Visa eligibility requirements, you must obtain a Visitor Visa to enter Canada. Accepted individuals are responsible for identifying and complying with the immigration requirements to enter Canada as a visitor from their country of origin. Current wait times to receive a visa are much longer than normal, so applicants who require a Visitor Visa should check the current expected processing times prior to applying.


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)