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Program Information

2022. The Steam Junk Treaties. Howie Tsui & Shary Boyle. Ink and gouache on paper. 76cm x 94cm

2022. The Steam Junk Treaties. Howie Tsui & Shary Boyle. Ink and gouache on paper. 76cm x 94cm


We invite artists to retreat to Banff and spend time quietly working alone, looking inward, connecting with the natural world, and engaging with others away from professional stress and pressure.

With a focus on studio practice, artists will be encouraged to reflect on “why” they are making art, for “whom”, and to “what” end? In what ways do market influences and institutional expectations consciously or unconsciously impact our work? How does making art heal or help the world? Visual Arts Thematic Residency – The System and Other Universes welcomes participants to consider new, unique, or radical paradigms for being an artist in shifting, uncertain times.

The aim is not to seek conclusions, but to welcome concern, curiosity, and the unknown into a safe and supportive environment.  Those who question the purpose and destinations of their practice and are open to exploring alternate routes and sources from which to create, are encouraged to apply.

This residency will be gently led, with an abundance of time to work in the studio and explore Minhrpa, Banff National Park, and Treaty 7 territory.

All manners and approaches of art-making are welcome.  

What does the program offer?

This program offers a structured space where visual artists come together to create work and discuss the pertinent theme, as well as time and space to delve deeply into their practice while away from the constraints of everyday life. Through peer interaction, studio work, formal lectures, and studio visits from world-renowned visiting faculty, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to creative exploration and professional development of their work.

Participants are provided with a studio, accessible 24 hours a day, as well as targeted access to our extensive facilities. Facility access is based on availability of facilitators, and priority access is given to those requesting their use in their initial application.

In addition, artists can build connections, create networks, and share their work with other artists-in-residence and the public.

Who should apply?

This residency is for visual artists who have completed formal education or training at the post-secondary level, or who have acquired equivalent experience through traditional knowledge and practices, and who have received recognition from their peers. 

This program is designed for participation over the entire program period. Variable dates will not be considered. Collaborative groups are welcome to apply. Groups no larger than two people will be considered.

Banff Centre invites applicants from anywhere in the world, and artists of all ages (18+), backgrounds, gender identities, and expressions. 

Banff Centre is grateful to the following supporters for making this program possible:

Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Outstanding Artist Program Endowment


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.

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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.

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.

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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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Studios & Facilities Read more Close

Create in one of our specialized studios and utilize shared production facilities in printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, digital media and more (subject to additional fees) Collaborative groups share studio space.


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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.

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Showcase Your Work Read more Close

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in an open studios event in Glyde Hall.

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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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Group Seminars/Workshops Read more Close

Join in group seminars/workshops.

Lecture Series Read more Close

Fees & Financial Assistance

You pay (fee after scholarship applied)
$2 796.50
Total fee (Tuition, Accommodation and Meal Plan)
$9 231.25
Scholarship amount applied*
$6 434.75

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.

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

Scholarship of 100% is available to Canadian Indigenous participants and will be applied to cover tuition, 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.


A one-page resume describing your academic, artistic, professional, and other relevant artistic experience.

Letter of Intent

A 500 word description of why you wish to attend this program, what you hope to learn or achieve and what impact it could have on your artistic practice. 

Project Proposal

In 500 words, describe the conceptual framework of your proposed project, your weekly execution plan, details of the mediums you propose to use and your level of knowledge in the processes required, and outline any specific technical or support requirements.

Resource Request

Outline all studio, equipment, software, facility, or staff support requested in our upload tool. Final resource allocation is at the discretion of the department.


Provide 10 samples of your artistic work. Curators and researchers must submit three samples of written work. File sizes and specifications are available in our upload tool.

Additional Information

Collaborative groups of no more than two are welcome to apply.

  • 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 duo, one artist must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application. Please submit only one SlideRoom application per collaborative duo. There will be a $35 registration fee of the second artist upon acceptance to the program. 


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators based on their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work and career will benefit from the program. Feasibility, scope, and the capacity of Banff Centre to help realize the project are also considered. Banff Centre’s values and strategic directions are reflected in program development and delivery.

Banff Centre respects the need for artists to plan ahead for their visit; applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete.

Priority will be given to applicants who have not attended a Visual Arts Program at Banff Centre within the last three years.


Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date.

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)