TAC Leaders Lab

Application deadline: October 2, 2017

A large group of theatre artists stand against a brick wall
The Watah Theatre, Artists in Residence (2015). Photo by Paul Ohonsi

  • Application and Guidelines for this program will be available in July 2017

For questions about this program, contact Peter Kingstone, Program Officer


This exciting program, now entering its third year, has been created by TAC and The Banff Centre to enhance leadership capacity in Toronto’s arts and culture sectors. The program is designed for mid- to senior-level arts professionals who have demonstrated the potential to lead change in their organizations, communities or arts sectors. 

Participants will be selected in a competitive process managed by TAC. The ideal candidate will share a deep desire to challenge their concept of leadership and manifest change in Toronto’s arts sector. They will embrace the open exchange of ideas in a cross-disciplinary environment.

TAC Cultural Leaders will make a commitment to attend two orientation sessions in Toronto, a one-week intensive leadership retreat in Banff from April 16-22, 2017, and ten monthly activities and exchanges in Toronto in 2017-18.


The goal of the program is to build a network of open-minded, creative problem-solvers and innovative thinkers from across arts disciplines, who will explore concepts and practices of relational leadership. Our aim is to strengthen leadership capacity in the arts sector, by creating bridges, networks, tools and the space for exchanging different perspectives and approaches.  The TAC Leaders Lab aims to support individual leaders as they develop collaborative solutions to complex challenges. Finally, the program is designed to invigorate and inspire one of Toronto’s most vital assets – our arts leaders – and to ensure their future capacity to drive the health and success of the sector and the city as a whole.


Through a process led by facilitators from across disciplines and sectors, participants in the TAC Leaders Lab will enhance the skills, tools, networks and knowledge that will support personal leadership growth and new collaborative opportunities.

Participants of the program can expect to:

  • Engage in an intensive leadership process at The Banff Centre aimed at reframing personal perspectives and challenges;
  • Examine the multiple contexts of the Toronto arts ecology;
  • Identify key challenges in leadership development, and the necessary steps to create positive action;
  • Exchange information and ideas related to personal leadership, change strategies, creative place-making, equity, community engagement, collaboration and best practices in arts leadership;
  • Build an active network of Toronto peers working in different disciplines;
  • Share opportunities for participation in the activities of Leaders Lab participants;
  • Participate in ongoing evaluation of the program including surveys and interviews;
  • Engage with innovative leaders from the arts and other sectors about change-making initiatives;
  • Make a year-long commitment to the program that will include events in Toronto focused on skills and connections, and online engagement with fellow participants;
  • Challenge assumptions. 


All program costs will be covered by TAC and include the following: 

  • Return flight and transfers from Toronto to The Banff Centre for one-week retreat; 
  • All meals and accommodations at The Banff Centre; 
  • A stipend of $150 - $750 to cover business and personal costs during the program. (The stipend will vary according to the employment status of the individual leader; those on salary from an organization will qualify for the lesser amount).


This program is open to professional arts workers living and working in Toronto. TAC recognizes the diversity of artistic, administrative, generational and cultural leadership styles and backgrounds that make up the Toronto arts sector.

All applicants must: 

  • Be a permanent resident of Toronto; 
  • Be a professional arts worker; 
  • Be willing to commit to one week in Banff from April 16-22, 2017 and a minimum of 10 monthly gatherings in Toronto over a one-year period; 
  • Have demonstrated leadership qualities in the arts and culture sphere; 
  • Have demonstrated experience with community engagement; 
  • Not be an employee of the City of Toronto.


  • A multi-disciplinary jury of arts leaders will adjudicate all applications and recommend the final list of 18 candidates. 
  • Applicants will be notified by December 2016 as to whether they have been invited to participate in the program. 
  • Participants will be selected on individual merit and on the basis of building a group that reflects the diversity of experiences and perspectives that is Toronto.


Applicants will be notified by email when the results are available, and will be able to log in to TAC Grants Online to receive their results. Notification will be received within four months of the deadline date.

Discover more TAC grants


Learn more about the TAC Leaders Lab Fellows