“There is no knowing or sensing a place except by being in that place, and to be in a place is to be in a position to perceive it. Such knowledge, genuinely local knowledge, is itself experiential… one with lived experience. To live is to live locally, and to know is first of all to know the places one is in… Perception at the primary level is synesthetic, an affair of the whole body sensing and moving.” –Edward S. Casey
The history of place-making is often rife with nation building; claiming territory, oppression, conformity, and exclusion. How might a place acknowledge or remember the lived experience and collective enterprise of Indigenous peoples? Might our experience of place shift if we recognize the knowledge inherent in materials themselves, and design practices that promote alternate ways of seeing and knowing? Architecture has the potential to be more than a closed system of structures or containers in which people and things inhabit. Can we create ephemeral experiences, temporary and permanent structures, actions and interventions that expand our understanding of each other and the collective, respect local knowledge and relationships to the environment, and strengthen our connection to place?
This five-week program will explore several global Indigenous perspectives on architecture, traditional design methodologies, and materials. Participants will delve into the history, function, and contemporary explorations and appropriations of Indigenous design and architecture. As artists, architects, designers, and community leaders, we will discuss our respective roles in the process of place-making. Participants will bring their own diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and will discover other types of knowledge and processes that can inform their studio practices, public art, community, and architecture based practices.
What does the program offer?
Residencies offer structured programs where artists, curators, and other arts professionals come together to create work and discuss pertinent themes. Through peer interaction, discussion groups, studio work, formal lectures, and studio visits from world-renowned visiting artists and curators, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to creative exploration and professional development of their work.
Who should apply?
Visual artists, designers, and architects of Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds are welcome to apply. Applicants should have an exhibition/publication record, formal training in visual arts, architecture, or design, or equivalent experience and recognition from their communities.
When applying, choose between staying in a single or a shared 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.
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 Light Flex meal plan includes $21 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast and lunch in Vistas Dining Room.
This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in an open studios event in Glyde Hall.
A series of outstanding guest artists and curators will give free public talks and hold informal discussions.
Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open 6 days a week.
Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.
Fees & Financial Assistance
Application fee: $65
*Financial aid up to 50% of the program fee is available. Additional financial support is available for Indigenous applicants.
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
Detailed Project Proposal and Timeline
In 500 words, describe the conceptual and practical framework of a project you hope to work on while in this program: details of your weekly execution plan, the mediums you propose to use and your level of knowledge in the processes required, and outline any specific technical or support requirements.
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, approximately 8-10 weeks following the application deadline.
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.