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Program Information

‘I sing of the sea I am mermaid of the trees,’ Ayesha Hameed, 2021 (detail) courtesy the artist.  

‘I sing of the sea I am mermaid of the trees,’ Ayesha Hameed, 2021 (detail) courtesy the artist.  


Co-led by Ayesha Hameed and Xenia Benivolski with guest faculty Kite and Jota Mombaça, this visual arts residency welcomes artists who are interested in exploring music, language and rhythm as they affect the geological, bio-political, and the mnemonic through media, performance, language, and writing.

In Wild Seed, Octavia E. Butler figured the crossing of the Atlantic in shapeshifting Anyanwu’s transformation into a dolphin, swimming with her kin along a slave ship. Fred Moten and Stefano Harney see ‘the weapon of theory’ as ‘a conference of birds’, while Deleuze and Guattari describe birds as artists, and birdsongs are expressions of territorial milieu. If territories listen to and speak back to their singing underwater and in the air, what misunderstandings, reverberations, feedback, and echoes are produced in the space between? How do we trace histories of slavery, colonialism, revolution, and resistance through sound, and their differential uses and abuses of the sonic? Revisiting music as a document of geological, political, biological, social and industrial change allows us to re-evaluate entangled technological relations between humans and nature, and to examine how music operates as a memory machine and centrifugal force that draws remembering bodies together.

This residency will examine artistic practices exploring melody, language, migration, acoustics, musicology, acoustemology, cross-species communication, soundscapes, the body, and sonar/radar activity as ways to evaluate histories of change, violence, membership and resistance in the world. 

What does the program offer?

This program offers a structured space where visual artists come together to create work and discuss the pertinent theme. Through peer interaction, discussion groups, 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.

Through historical and contemporary musical records, sonic practices, texts, sounds, fieldwork, songs and readings, participants will be guided through a series of workshops, lectures and events that create new space for social and artistic practices while making tangible connections between sonic and visual materials that coalesce historically.

Who should apply?

This residency is for visual artists with an exhibition/publication record who have completed formal training in visual arts at the post-secondary level, or who have equivalent experience and recognition from their peers. Collaborative groups of no more than two are welcome to apply.

For full details on vaccination requirements, masking, safety protocols, and COVID related policies please visit:   

This program is generously supported by the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Outstanding Artist program.


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 respond to most dietary requests. 

The Full Flex meal plan is equivalent to $58 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

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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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Showcase Your Work Read more Close

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work.

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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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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.

Lecture Series Read more Close

A series of outstanding guest artists and curators will give free public talks and hold informal discussions.

Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives Read more Close

Limited access to the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives.

Although the doors remain temporarily closed, you can still access a wide range of books, periodicals, recordings and scores through our digital databases available on the digital resources page, and physical items through our curbside pick-up service. 

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee
$7 183.50
Program Fee with Financial Aid
$2 414.00

*Application fee: $65 ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous).

*Financial Aid of 100% is available to cover tuition, and 50% is available to offset food and accommodation costs.

All accepted participants will receive the above financial aid package.

* Application fees are not refundable.

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.

Cover Letter

A one-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in this program and what you hope to achieve by attending it.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.

Detailed Project Proposal and Timeline

In 500 words, describe the framework of your proposed project in relation to the residency theme, 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.


Artists must submit 10 samples of work. File sizes and specifications are available in our upload tool.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudication 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. 

Please note, application fees are non-refundable and go towards supporting the review of each program application and the adjudication process. All submitted applications are reviewed by a panel of adjudicators, and due to the competitive nature of Banff Centre’s programs, we do not provide feedback on applications or guarantee acceptances into programs. All applicants will be notified of their application status via email following adjudication.


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)