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Spoken Word

Literary Arts
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Program Information

Spoken Word Participant, 2013.


Banff Centre’s Spoken Word program is the first of its kind, offering a unique setting for spoken word artists to explore and develop their voices and career paths. This intensive program investigates a variety of topics from the spoken word tradition, such as history, composition, performance, new and multi-media, production, business/touring, musicality, orality, sound, spirit, language, body, and theatre. Past participants have gone on to become poet laureates, literary award-winners, festival producers, touring artists, authors, actors, educators, editors and more.

What does the program offer?

The program offers participants dedicated time to develop a specific project with guidance from world-class faculty mentors and a place to connect with other artists in your field. Throughout the program participants will be able to take advantage of workshops, special events, public readings, studio recording time, one-on-one editorial assistance from experienced writers and the opportunity to engage with a vibrant network of international artists. Participants are able to design a personal program to reflect their individual arts practice.

Who should apply? 

The program is open to emerging, mid-career and established spoken word artists seeking a professional and artistic development opportunity to take their creation, production, and performance skills to the next level. We welcome applications from artists working in any form of performative writing including theatre, storytelling, or interdisciplinary work. Past participants have come from across North America, Europe and Australia. Applications from artists working in English, French, Spanish, or other languages are welcome.


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.

Regular 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 Regular Flex meal plan includes $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

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*
$2 067.98

Application fee: $65

*Financial Aid of up to 60% of the Program Fee is available for this program. 

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

Financial assistance

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


A current resume or C.V. detailing relevant creative, educational and/or professional experience.


Up to three samples of relevant recent artistic work not exceeding 25 pages in total.

Project proposal

Please describe your proposed project in detail (500 words max)


Contact details for two referees.


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.

Note: 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)