Inspiring kids for life through the arts!

About Arts Umbrella

About Us

Arts Umbrella's mission: Inspiring Kids for Life Through the Arts!



Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit arts education centre for children and youth ages 2-19. Arts Umbrella is committed to delivering the highest quality visual and performing arts education to young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.


Since its inception by five young artistic parents in 1979 with only 45 students, Arts Umbrella has maintained a trail-blazing, forward-looking and community-focused spirit. It has grown consistently and now reaches more than 21,500 children and youth annually through tuition-based and free-of-charge outreach programs. Demand for Arts Umbrella's programs continues to increase and, as funding permits, programming grows and evolves to meet this need.


Arts Umbrella relies on community support to continue its mission to inspire kids for life through the arts. Tuition revenues cover 48% of the organization's annual operating budget. The remaining 52% comes from fund development, including corporate, individual and foundation donations, government funding and fundraising events.


High-quality - Arts Umbrella caters to children of all artistic interests and skill levels- from Early Learning to advanced pre-professional training. More than 1,000 tuition-based classes and numerous free-of-charge outreach classes occur every year. Innovative and high-quality instruction in visual and digital arts, music, theatre and dance is provided by over 150 dedicated artists and arts educators. Using the best-quality instruction and materials, classes balance fun and creative expression with rigour and discipline.


Accessible - Arts Umbrella strives to ensure that arts education is accessible to as many children as possible. Each year, more than 14,000 young people who may face geographical, cultural or financial barriers to accessing arts education, participate in Arts Umbrella programs free of charge or at a reduced rate through bursaries, scholarships and outreach programs.


Outreach programs harness the Arts Umbrella magic, expertise and experience and deliver free-of-charge programs to students in communities across Metro Vancouver. Outreach classes, performances and workshops provide opportunities for young people to explore their creativity while overcoming barriers to their participation.


Impactful - Numerous studies indicate that people who receive arts education early in life reap many tangible, long-term, life-changing benefits. From enhanced critical thinking, improved self-esteem and ability to collaborate, to improved scores in math and science, children gain skills that can help them well into adulthood.


In its first 35 years, Arts Umbrella has grown from a dream of a few young, artistic parents to a highly respected model for children's art organizations around the world.


The story of Arts Umbrella is a story of inspiration, determination, hard work, vision, community, generosity, professionalism and above all, magic. More.

"The hope for our world is in these young children who come to us, because they will make the future good and wonderful....That's what it is all about."
- Carol Henriquez, O.C., cofounder of Arts Umbrella, honorary chair of the Arts Umbrella board of directors.