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Indigenous Curatorial Research Practicum – Walter Phillips Gallery

Program archived

Program Information

Becca Taylor in conversation with Patricia Deadman for the exhibition A Light Left On. Rebecca Belmore’s Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to their Mother (1991) in view. Photo Rita Taylor.


The Indigenous Curatorial Research Practicum is designed for emerging curators to enhance knowledge, build day-to-day administrative skills, and provide work experience in the area of arts administration. This hands-on opportunity allows individuals to work with the director of Visual and Digital Arts and the curator of Walter Phillips Gallery. The participant will receive direct mentorship on research practices that support the presentation, production, and critical analysis of contemporary art.  The practicum candidate will have access to the archives and collection of Walter Phillips Gallery to produce an exhibition and other public presentations of this material. Further, there will be opportunities to connect with Banff Centre’s Indigenous Arts and Leadership departments. 

Occasionally this position will focus on activities that support and assist in the organization of Visual Arts programs related to the ongoing activities of the department, including Creative Residencies, Walter Phillips Gallery, and the Banff International Curatorial Institute.

Opportunities to attend formal lectures, workshops, discussion groups, and other cultural events including community outreach initiatives are all part of this program.

What does the program offer?

Learning opportunities also arise through attendance at formal and informal lectures and discussion groups. The practical experience portion will primarily focus on activities that complement the learning objectives of the program through the various opportunities associated with the ongoing activities of Walter Phillips Gallery.

Benefits to the participant include enhanced decision-making and problem-solving expertise, as well as mature communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills. In addition to the work component of the program, participants have one day each week dedicated to their personal research activities.

Who should apply?

Enrolment to this program is limited to individuals of Indigenous descent (status, non-status, Metis, or Inuit) who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. This program is ideal for recent graduates of art history, museum studies, or curatorial practice programs to gain professional experience. It is also a perfect opportunity for arts administrators to take a break from current employment or formal advanced studies to focus on personal development. If you are a committed self-starting individual who thinks independently and creatively, we would love to hear from you!

What's Included

Subsidised housingRead MoreClose

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 your living allowance. 

As space is extremely limited, Banff Centre housing is available for practicum participants only. 

Living allowanceRead MoreClose

You will receive a living allowance (stipend) of $427 per week.

Note that financial assistance and stipend awards are considered taxable income for Revenue Canada.  

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 6 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 per week*
Weekly living allowance

Application fee: $35

*The weekly program fee is covered 100% by financial assistance from the Banff Centre.

You will also receive a weekly living allowance while part of the program (see What's Included for more information).

How to Apply

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


A one-page C.V. describing artistic, curatorial, academic, professional, and other relevant experience.


Contact details for two references, one artistic/academic, one from a previous employer.

Critical writing sample

Relating to art (max 1500 words).

Statement of learning objectives

Outline what you would like to achieve during your program (point form, max. 150 words).


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material and consideration will be given to the likelihood that the participant will benefit from the program. We'll let you know the outcome of the adjudication approximately three weeks after the deadline.


Enrolment to this program is limited to individuals of Indigenous descent (status, non-status, Métis, or Inuit) who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

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)