Banff Center for Arts + Creativity: The 50th Banff Playwrights Lab

The 50th edition of the Playwrights Lab in 2023 invites applications from playwrights and theatre makers examining issues, topics and stories related to land (sky/water); for example, through Indigenous lenses (sovereignty, history, displacement, ceremony), or in relation to climate, migration, ecology, borders, refugee crises, or environmental justice. The Lab supports writers and plays that tell stories not commonly told on Canadian stages; stories that embrace outrage and wrestle with wild ideas and images; and pursue challenging, multi-disciplinary, provocative approaches to telling stories.

Ten Canadian writers will be offered a two-week residency at Banff Centre. You may invite a collaborator to attend for up to four days to work with you on your project; this may be a dramaturg, director, digital creator, actor, designer, musician, choreographer, or translator. We encourage writers to consider inviting a non-theatre artist or individual essential to their creation process. Details of your proposed collaborator should be included in your application.

Applications are open to Canadians and Permanent Residents only. We welcome artists from all communities who are exploring land-based dramaturgical and creation practices, and encourage applications from artists working with Indigenous languages, incorporating multiple languages, and those working on projects with little or no language to apply. Please note, The Banff Playwrights Lab is conducted in English.

Application Deadline: November 30, 2022

Program Dates: April 17 - April 29, 2023

*Lab participants will receive 100% scholarship to cover the program fees, plus a travel allowance to help with expenses.

Residency Length
14 days - 14 days
Average Number of Artists in Residence at a Time
Collaborative Residency
Must apply and be accepted individually
Country of Residence
Only open to artists based in country the program is located
Family Friendly
Stage of Career
Any stage of career
Additional Expectations/Opportunities
Participate in open studio with fellow residents
Give artist talk or presentation
Accessible Housing
ADA Compliant
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Meals Provided
Some meals (at least 2 meals provided)
Studios/Special Equipment
Private Studios
Studios/Facilities Accessibility
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Type of Housing
Private bedroom in a shared housing facility on campus
Additional Eligibility Information
  • Applications are open to Canadians and Permanent Residents only.
  • We do accept plays that are commissioned by other theatres or producers; however, you must obtain written permission from the commissioning organization stating that they support your application.
  • We will consider projects that have been produced. The writer, however, must make a compelling case for a process of revising the project based on what they gleaned from the production, with the goal of making the play more prepared for future productions. A produced project is defined as a project that has been reviewed by critics. We do consider plays that have had a previous workshop, or developmental opportunities.
  • We will consider plays that are already scheduled for a production. Please include information on the production, including dates and creative team. In your artistic statement, please articulate your developmental goals for the project prior to rehearsal.
  • The Lab is unable to accept applications for projects that have been declined in previous years.
Number of Artists Accepted in Most Current Year
Artist Stipend
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Travel Stipend/Material Stipends
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Residency Fees
Fee Details

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

*Lab participants will receive 100% scholarship to cover the program fees, plus a travel allowance to help with expenses

Application fees are not refundable.

NOTE: Fees may be subject to increase in line with 2023 price increases.

*Regional maximums for travel expenses apply.


Grant/Scholarship/other Funding Support
Grant/Scholarship/Other Funding Support Details

Please visit the Fees & Financial Aid section of the program page to learn more about individual program's specific fees and funding availabilities. 

Application Fee
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Application Type
Open application