Cultural Leadership

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Cultural Leadership

Leadership Program

The deadline for this opportunity has passed.

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

Shifting public interest, the changing role of civic institutions in society, increasing emphasis on equity, a national commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, and the impact of technology are just a few forces altering what it means to be an artistic, creative, or cultural organization today. Leading such an organization is complex, and requires a profound understanding of the communities that an organization serves and the systems in which it operates.

Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership program is uniquely positioned to equip participants with the competencies, skills, and frameworks to navigate the complexity of—and explore leadership within—the Canadian cultural sector. The program builds skills, networks, and contextual knowledge to help leaders make a lasting impact.

This 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 participants throughout the year as learning coaches. In addition, for each session and topic area participants 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 cohort of cultural leaders to understand and explore the increasingly complex and interdependent cultural environment in which they operate.
  • Equip them with the competencies, skills, and conceptual frameworks to navigate the landscape of the Canadian cultural sector.
  • Develop awareness of and build networks that enable them to succeed.

Who Should Apply?

This program is primarily designed for Canadian leaders and/or leaders working in Canada, 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 within the artistic and/or cultural sectors, including both for and not-for-profit organizations, collectives, and non-traditional partnerships.

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 cultural leadership opportunities (roles or projects) of increasing scale and complexity.
  • Are outspoken, active, and recognized advocates within their respective artistic or cultural 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.

Most participants receive significant funding up to and including full program tuition, meals, and accommodation underwriting.

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

For more information or to apply, visit

For more information or questions, email

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