Banff Centre | Cultural Leadership | Leadership Program




Canada's arts and culture sector is undergoing rapid transformation, creating an exciting opportunity for leaders who are committed to and passionate about strengthening this field. 

Several forces are altering what it means to be an artistic, creative, or cultural organization today, including the changing role of these institutions and initiativeswithin society, an increasing emphasis on equity, a national commitment to truth and reconciliation, and the impact of technology on the way we work and the way we serve our communities.

In this program, you’ll gain the skills and establish the frameworks to navigate the complexity of the Canadian arts and culture sector, and explore leadership roles within the sector. You’ll gain a stronger understanding of who you serve and the systems within which you operate as you build competencies and networks to help you make a lasting impact.

The Cultural Leadership program was developed and is offered in collaboration with Canada’s first Artistic Leadership Development Program at the National Theatre School in Montreal, QC. Significant funding is available, up to full program tuition, meals, and accommodation underwriting. To request financial assistance please see additional information in the How to Apply section, below.

What does the program offer?

Cultural Leadership includes four on-site intensives (three in Banff, one in Montreal) as well as workshops, seminars, and projects that may take place virtually or across Canada. The seven-month program features applied learning, small group work, reflective practice, large group forums, interactive processes, lectures, and case-study analysis. 

The program director and facilitator will be with program participants throughout the year as learning coaches. In addition, for each session and topic area you will be joined by academic guest lecturers and faculty, domain experts, experiential educators, and artists from across disciplines, sectors, and the world.

Cultural Leadership is designed to:    

  • assist a group of leaders in diverse traditional or non-traditional leadership roles to explore and better understand the increasingly complex environment of the Canadian arts and culture sector
  • equip you with the skills and contextual intelligence to navigate the landscape of the sector
  • develop awareness of networks – and build networks – that enable you to succeed

Who should apply?

This program is primarily designed for Canadian arts and culture leaders and/or leaders working in Canada (in traditional and non-traditional leadership roles), as well as leaders working abroad but for Canadian institutions. However, we recognize that all arts leaders are part of an increasingly global system, and international applicants will be considered in respect to building a diverse, broad cohort and network. 

All applicants should be interested in honing and developing a comprehensive set of competencies to prepare them for significant leadership roles in a variety of capacities, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, collectives, non-traditional partnerships, and as entrepreneurs.

We are seeking applicants who:

  • have some demonstrated leadership experience, and an ability to recognize opportunities and design and implement solutions
  • are actively pursuing or considering arts and culture leadership opportunities (roles or projects) of increasing scale and complexity
  • are outspoken, active, and recognized advocates within their respective communities
  • are willing to take risks, reimagine possibilities, and are curious and eager to learn
  • approach work and relationships with a spirit of sharing and generosity
  • believe in the role of cultural organizations as civic institutions that foster community growth, development, and wellbeing

About Banff Centre Leadership programs

Banff Centre Leadership programs integrate the power of the arts, the wisdom of Indigenous practice, and the extraordinary beauty of Banff National Park to prepare and empower the next generation of leaders.

The Cultural Leadership program is generously supported by BMO Financial Group, The Globe and Mail, and Thomson Reuters.

Banff Centre Leadership programs are developed with support from the Peter Lougheed Leadership Initiative.


Application Deadline: September 10, 2019
Program Dates: November 10, 2019 - June 11, 2020


8 months
Sunday, November 10, 2019 to Thursday, June 11, 2020
Significant funding is available, please see the 'Fees and Financial Aid' section of the webpage.

Cecelia Leddy, Recruitment & Alumni Officer, Arts & Leadership
Phone: 403-762-6383