Indigenous Studio Practicum

Visual + Digital Arts
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Program Information

Summer Studio, 2017.


Studio Practicum programs are opportunities that expand and enhance participants' technical and conceptual skills, and increase knowledge in the various mediums supported by the Visual + Digital Arts areas. There are currently opportunities for Indigenous participants in digital media, printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics. An Indigenous artist will be selected for one, or all, of these mediums based on artistic merit and technical skill. Indigenous artists working through photography are encouraged to apply directly to the Photography Practicum program. 

Practicum participants will receive regular mentorship and feedback from Studio Facilitators and staff in support of their professional development. Under the guidance of experienced mentors, practicums assist staff in the delivery of Visual + Digital Arts residency programs and events, learn maintenance and safe operation of studio facilities, and provide assistance to artists-in-residency working in these areas. 

What does the program offer?

Practicum programs offer a dynamic combination of learning opportunities through workshops, demonstrations, and presentations; contact with professional staff, visiting artists, and faculty; and through collaboration with Visual + Digital Arts and other Banff Centre arts programs. Learning objectives are agreed upon in consultation with mentors at the start the program. Although the primary focus of the Indigenous Studio Practicum may be in a specific medium, learning opportunities may also be available in other Visual Arts disciplines.

The Ceramics Studio Practicum offers practical experience in ceramics techniques and building processes, kiln firing (electric, gas, soda, raku, and wood), and ceramics studio operation for the support of artistic practice. 

Program dates: July 2, 2018 - June 29, 2019
Application deadline: March 28, 2018

The Digital Media Studio Practicum offers practical experience in the areas of video production and post-production, audio, animation, interactive media, computational media, and digital fabrication for use in artistic practice. 

Program dates: July 2, 2018 - June 29, 2019
Application deadline: March 28, 2018

The Printmaking Studio Practicum offers practical experience in the areas of printmaking and papermaking including screenprinting, intaglio, lithography, typography, digital printing and software, fibre, papermaking, and related techniques.

Program dates: September 3, 2018 - August 31, 2019
Application deadline: May 9, 2018

The Sculpture Studio Practicum offers practical experience in tool maintenance and safety, woodworking equipment (table saw, band saw, planer, jointer, and miter saw), metal working and metal casting (bronze and aluminum).

Program dates: September 3, 2018 - August 31, 2019
Application deadline: May 9, 2018

Learning opportunities are primarily practical, hands-on experiences arising from the participant’s support of the Visual + Digital Arts residency programs. This provides participants the opportunity to improve their technical and artistic knowledge, decision-making and problem-solving skills, communication and critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills. In addition to the everyday responsibilities, participants will have dedicated time to realize their individual learning objectives in consultation with their mentor.

Who should apply?

Enrolment to this program is limited to individuals of Indigenous descent (status, non-status, Métis, or Inuit). This program is ideal for recent graduates of studio-based programs (undergraduate or graduate) wishing to gain professional experience within an institutional context.  Candidates must possess a solid foundation in one of the studio areas mentioned above. As Visual + Digital Arts is a multi-disciplinary facility, it is an asset if candidates have foundational skills in one other studio area in addition to their primary area. 

Candidates for the Ceramics Studio Practicum program must possess a solid foundation in this area with knowledge of various ceramic techniques, including an intermediate level of experience in at least two of the following: kiln operation, fabrication techniques, mold-making, slip-casting, and ceramic materials (clay bodies, glaze chemicals, etc.).

Candidates for the Digital Media Studio Practicum program must possess a solid foundation in this area with intermediate experience in: digital imaging, digital audio, video editing, real-time or rendered video and motion graphics, general computing, and some knowledge of CAD, 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC machining, simple electronic circuit design, programming for microcontrollers, mobile device, and desktop computers. Knowledge of video game engines and VR is considered an asset.

Candidates for the Printmaking Studio Practicum must possess a solid foundation in this area with an interest in papermaking and related techniques.

Candidates for the Sculpture Studio Practicum program must possess knowledge of various woodworking techniques including an intermediate level of experience in at least two of the following areas: use of heavy woodworking equipment, foundry techniques, metal fabrication (welding, cutting, etc.); digital fabrication, or mold making (plaster, rubber).

What's Included

Subsidised HousingRead MoreClose

You are eligible for Banff Centre housing (based on availability). You are responsible for your own room and board costs. Current rates for Banff Centre accommodation are $8.06 / day (shared) or $16.12 / day (single) and will be deducted from your living allowance. 

As space is extremely limited, Banff Centre housing is available for practicum participants only. 

Living AllowanceRead MoreClose

You will receive a living allowance of $425 per week.

Note that financial assistance and stipend awards are considered taxable income for Revenue Canada.  

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 (per week)*
Weekly Living Allowance
Program Fee with Financial Assistance

Application fee: $35

*The weekly program fee is covered 100% by financial assistance from Banff Centre.

You will also receive a weekly living allowance while part of the program (see What's Included for more information).

How to Apply

Cover letter

A one-page letter of intent explaining why you are interested in the practicum program.


Include artistic activities and achievements, as well as education, volunteer, and employment history.


Contact details for two referees, including email and telephone numbers. Applicants should include one artistic/academic reference and one from a previous employer.

List of technical skills

Identify each skill as:

  • Beginner = little to no experience, 
  • Intermediate = have completed an introductory course in this medium, 
  • Advanced = have worked with this medium in a significant capacity and produced a body of work demonstrated in my portfolio submissions.

Personal statement

Outline what you would like to achieve during your program. Please explain how your participation in the Studio Practicum program will support your future career goals (point form, max. 250 words).


Upload 10 samples of your artistic work. Please include description of work, title, date created, mediums, and size.


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.


Enrollment to this program is limited to individuals of Indigenous descent (status, non-status, Métis or Inuit). 

As this program exceeds six months in length, enrolment is limited to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. This is due to changes made by the Government of Canada to international student visa regulations, effective June 1, 2014. 

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)