Spoken Word

Literary Arts
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Program Information

Overview

Banff Centre’s Spoken Word program is the first of its kind, offering an unrivalled setting for artists to explore and develop their voices and career paths. 

This intensive residency provides space to write and time to develop strong performance dynamics. Participants will benefit from mentoring, performance opportunities, studio recording time, access to special events, and engagement with a vibrant network of international artists – all amidst the breathtaking Canadian Rockies.

World-class faculty present challenging workshops on topics from the spoken word tradition such as history, composition, performance, multimedia, production, business, musicality, orality, sound, spirit, language, body, and theatre. 

What does the program offer?

The two-week program offers dedicated time to develop a specific project with guidance from faculty mentors, as well as a place to connect with other artists in the field of spoken word. 

Daily workshops explore a vast array of topics from writing techniques and elocution to project funding and tours. One-on-one editorial assistance from experienced writers supports project development and long table discussions address current topics in spoken word. 

Each participant works from a private studio hut nestled in the forest and has access to writing and audio equipment. In addition, there is the option to work closely with an audio engineer on studio basics and individual recording leading to a takeaway demo. There are also opportunities for performance practice, peer feedback, open mic, and a final public performance at Banff Centre. 

The most powerful benefits of this residency are the networking and profound camaraderie that emerge among the artists, as well as the instilled confidence that can lead to a higher level of professionalism in the arts.

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 poetry, storytelling, theatre, hip hop, dub, or interdisciplinary work. Please submit your most accomplished print, audio, and video support material; it does not need to relate to your project proposal. Applications from artists working in English, French, or other languages are welcome.

Faculty

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 six 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 *(single room)
$2 218.22
+GST
Program fee with financial assistance (single room)*
$1 109.11
+GST

Application fee: $65

*Financial Aid of up to 50% 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.

Resume

A current artist resume detailing education, professional work, publications, productions, grants, awards, critical reviews, teaching experience, and any other relevant arts experience.

Portfolio

Up to three samples of recent, relevant artistic work. Spoken word is an interdisciplinary practice, so we suggest any combination of print, audio, and video support material. Print work should not exceed 15 pages in total.

Project proposal

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

References

Contact details for two referees.

Project Summary and Bio

Provide a 100-word artist biography and a 100-word summary of the proposed project. These summaries and bios will be used for administrative and public purposes related to your program. 

Adjudication

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.

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)
1.800.565.9989