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Dance Residency Case Studies | The Banff Centre

“There is something about this magical setting that becomes a crucible for creation.”

In The Banff Centre’s powerful mountain setting in the heart of Banff National Park, exceptional artists and leaders from around the world create and perform new works of art, share skills and knowledge in an interdisciplinary environment, and explore ideas and develop solutions in the arts and leadership. The Banff Centre is a non-degree-granting, post-secondary institution for the continued education and training of emerging and established artists, and Arts programs are at the core of The Centre.

The Theatre Arts Department invites project proposals from artists, artistic collectives, and companies to develop new work in the Theatre Arts department’s facilities and in the Leighton Artist Colony studios. And The Banff Centre is committed to the commissioning, development, and production of new works in all major performance disciplines, not just Theatre Arts.

From Roxanne Miller, Program Manager, Theatre Arts
“The Banff Centre has been a place for artists for over 75 years and a leader in the creation and encouragement of dance for almost 65 years. The experience of attending a residency or participating in a program at The Banff Centre has often been referred to by the participant as ‘transformative.’ The very site The Banff Centre occupies on the lower slopes of Tunnel Mountain is considered by many of our indigenous persons to be a power place, a place of ritual. There is something about this magical setting that becomes a crucible for creation.”

“The Banff Centre is a village on a mountain in which the arts are the most important thing in the world. Theatre artists can meet and mingle with other artists from many different disciplines, including musicians, visual artists, writers, and film and media artists. Many unexpected collaborations are begun over a plate of scrambled eggs in the dining room. The opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration between artists is limited only by their imaginations.”

“Theatre Arts Residencies can take many forms. Creation residencies allow the artists to work on a new piece of dance or theatre in the privacy of the studio or rehearsal hall. Or, if a company is preparing for the final phase of a work prior to opening, a production residency in one of the theatres can offer them the most precious resources of time, the significant technical resources of the theatre, and the skilled production expertise of our crew and work-study participants. From world-class productions preparing to tour to emerging artists about to premiere a new work, the residency program provides an unparalleled opportunity to the artists for the creation of their work.”


  • Location: Banff, Alberta Canada
  • Residency length: 1 week - 3 months
  • Average number of artists in-residence at a time: 1 - 91
  • Residency season: October - April
  • Approximate % of residents that are dancemakers: 40%
  • Disciplines supported: theatre, dance, opera, musical theatre, Aboriginal arts, and playwriting
  • Facilities: The Theatre Arts Department offers three theaters: The Eric Harvie Theatre, a 946-seat main stage fly house; The Margaret Greenham Theatre, a 246-seat black-box theatre; and The Club, the 115-seat underground cabaret space (a licensed facility). In addition, there are The Leighton Colony Studios, a secluded enclave of 8 individual studios for creative work, including 3 studios with grand pianos. The Leighton Colony also includes The Painter House, specifically for collaborative groups (accommodating groups of 4 - 8 artists).
  • Public access: The Banff Centre showcases work in public performances, events, and exhibitions throughout the year, and presents the annual Banff Summer Arts Festival. Artists-in-residence have ample opportunities to show their work to other residents as well as the public.