With summer winding down and the back to school buzz of September on the horizon, the sense of yearning for the nostalgic feeling of new knowledge begins to inspire us to seek opportunities for learning.
While you might not be off to school, you can stimulate the life-long learner in you by taking art workshops in your community. Not only can you learn a new skill, explore your creativity and expand your horizons, but you’ll be supporting local education at a grassroots level.
Arts education is prominent throughout the province of BC – in every community there are artists, makers, culture creators, and institutions promoting the growth and preservation of arts and culture through education.
Explore your creative side and learn something completely new, or master your skills by working alongside a professional artist. Whatever your goal, there’s an art workshop, class or experience out there for you.
Community lead art workshops and classes are a unique learning environment where arts education happens through a multi-generational, multi-cultural lens, inspiring creativity and imagination throughout the process and engaging both your critical mind, and your curiosity to explore.
Cultural Centres and galleries often offer educational experiences lead by professional artists and makers in a variety of areas of specialty. Many local artists open their studios to lead educational art workshops in everything from drawing, painting, ceramics, to jewellery making, metalwork, textiles, and even acting, dance and performance art.
As you begin to consider discovering a new passion, take a look at the workshops featured on Art-BC.com.
On the island, check out Argentum Jewellery School & Supply in Victoria and learn the traditional art of silversmithing, creating your own pieces of artful adornment.
Also in Victoria, the Flux Media Gallery provides educational videos on using their available equipment and supporting locals to create film and media projects.
Throughout the remaining summer months, or planning for next year, check out Missa the International Summer School for the Arts where local, national and international instructors provide professional courses in a diverse range of media.
Up island, the Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery offers a studio space and a range of classes including regular course schedules, one night classes and even online classes for folks that aren’t local.
On the mainland, check out the Dundarave Print Workshop where courses are offered throughout the year in the art of printmaking.
In all of their locations Opus Art Supplies offers a plethora of classes and workshops lead by local artists and makers. Locations include Opus Vancouver with stores on Granville Island and downtown, Opus Langley, Opus Coquitlam, Opus North Vancouver, Opus Kelowna, and Opus Victoria. Check out your nearest Opus for a list of upcoming workshops and classes.
In Burnaby, painter Jane Appleby provides a regular schedule of workshops and classes for beginners to those looking to refine their skills. Connect with Jane to learn alongside this professional Canadian artist.
In Coquitlam, the Place des Arts is a cultural hub offering year long programming in a variety of areas with a mission to inspire the artist in everyone. Check out their listings for classes in dance, music, theatre, and visual and literary arts, for all ages and skill levels.
Also in the Tri-Cities, the Evergreen Cultural Centre is another arts and cultural hub. Their mission is to provide our community with engaging, quality entertainment, exhibitions, and arts programs in a welcoming and inclusive environment. The Evergreen also provides arts education programs for schools and teachers, and free public programs for our community.
In New West, check out a must see education institution – the Fraser River Discovery Centre. The FRDC’s mission is to bring together the many voices of the Fraser to discover, celebrate, and inspire passionate stewards of the river. In partnership with the Musqueam Band, the Fraser River Discovery Centre will become xʷtatəl̕ləm, a Place of Learning about the Indigenous heritage and teachings of the Fraser River.
In Langley, the Bez Arts Hub offers year round performances, educational workshops, artist in residency programs and more. Move and shake, express and explore with their expert instructors.
Artist Wendy Mould in Langley offers a variety of workshops and classes, including private lessons for those passionate about learning to draw in the wild. Wendy is a wildlife artist, art writer, teacher, and presenter. Contact Wendy for private lessons, demos or presentations on Art Techniques and Art Marketing or check out her regular course schedule.
Elsewhere in BC discover local artists who are doing big things for arts education.
On Bowen Island, Marie Neys offers expertise gleaned from her long artistic career in a selection of classes and workshops happening throughout the year. With an individual approach, Marie believes “Instructor’s role is to understand the student and gear the lessons to each individual…find what works and encourage it.”
Located in beautiful Madeira Park, on the Sunshine Coast and hosted in a collection of yurts is the Fibreworks Studio + Gallery. From April to November, take a class in the workshop which provides educational opportunities in different mediums and techniques from Beginner to Master Courses led by professional artists. Or join a community-based social & educational gathering like Slow Sundays and monthly Spin In groups.
On the scenic Pender Island, Ptarmigan Arts is a local arts organization that delivers innovative and inspiring workshops, classes and events in music, theatre, dance, film, and visual arts. An inclusive organizaion, Ptarmigan Arts wants to invite participants with barriers and challenges to experience arts education. Learn more about their programs on their website.
No matter the artistic endeavour you wish to pursue, there are an incredible wealth of professional artist in BCn hosting small-scale, intimate and unique educational experiences. Explore your inner maker and tag us at BC’s Guide to Arts and Culture, we want to celebrate you, along with supporting arts education in our beautiful province! On instagram and facebook tag @artbcguide to continue to help us build up local arts and culture in creative communities across British Columbia.