Banff Centre unveils summer programming with an Ottawa connection

Mînowin by Margaret Grenier will open the NAC Dance season It will also be on stage at the Banff Centre this May. Photo: Chris Randle

Ottawa and Alberta may not always be on the same page politically but there is a certain sympatico growing between the National Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Evidence of the cultural connection can be found in the new summer season that the Banff Centre has just announced.

Two major productions being staged in the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary have some roots in the NAC.

Both the production Ghost Opera which is being produced by Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop and Mînowin by British Columbia’s Dancers of the Damelahamid have been recipients of funding from the NAC’s national creation fund.

And in the case of Minowin, the production will open the NAC Dance season in 2019 as the centre celebrates the launch of its Indigenous Theatre department.

The connections between Banff and the NAC have already been seen this season, most recently with the Kidd Pivot production Revisor which was funded by the creation fund and developed in the hot-house environment in Banff.

The other Ottawa tie in involves Chamberfest and the Gryphon Trio. The Trio has been appointed to run Banff’s summer classical music program starting in 2020.

The Banff Centre will present 26 ticketed shows and more than 100 free events this summer if you are in the area. You can read more at

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.