Vancouver Summer Session

Make the most of the warm months by getting inspired by some of the best arts educators in the province at our state-of-the-art Granville Island home.

Week 1: July 2-5, 2024*
Week 2: July 8-12, 2024
Week 3: July 15-19, 2024
Week 4: July 22-26, 2024
Week 5: July 29-August 2, 2024
Week 6, 7 & 8: August 6-23, 2024

* Please note that this year, Week 1 is shortened due to the Canada Day holiday weekend.⁠

2024 Summer Schedules:

2024 Summer Programming:

Art & Design

3D Modeling & Animation

Ages 9-12, 13-17
Character design, storytelling, and world-building combine for students to learn the basics of digital sculpting and animation. They will be introduced to software such as Blendr and Unity to gain fundamental skills and see their stories come to life.


Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students learn the fundamentals of architectural design, from sketching to model making, developing their creative problem-solving sills as they lay out floor plans and build 3D structures using cardboard and mixed media. Classes for older students focus on developing more conceptually rigorous designs, through projects based on real-life urban design and architecture case studies.

Architecture & Environmental Design

Ages 13-17
Students create 3D architectural models, learning the conceptual and technical fundamentals of the architectural design process, exploring ideas in urban planning and theory, and discussing the relationships between natural and built environments. Real-world case studies are used to inspire projects and discussion on topics such as energy conservation, water management, and sustainability rating systems.

Art Start

Ages 3-5
Young artists begin their journey, creating 2D and 3D pieces across mediums and processes. Students are introduced to working with various materials such as paint, wood, cardboard, pastel, and pencil. Technical skills such as mark-making, colour-mixing, gluing, and building are also introduced.

Cartooning & Illustration

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students learn how to tell visual stories and draw distinctive and dynamic characters through comics, cartoons, and illustrations. Working with pen, pencil, marker, and ink, students learn to communicate sequential action, movement, story, and sound through the graphic conventions of cartooning and illustration. Students also learn panel layout, character sheets, speech bubbles, and hand-lettering.


Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students delve into the world of pottery and ceramic design as they bring concept sketches to life and explore contemporary approaches to an age-old practice. This class focuses on the technique of wheel-throwing alongside fundamental hand-building techniques such as pinch pot, coil, and slab work to create thrown or manipulated fired-ceramic objects and will also include the use of mixed glazes to finish.

Ceramics Intensive

Ages 13-17
The Ceramics Intensive is for students well-versed in ceramic techniques who are looking to hone their skills with wheel throwing, slip casting, glazing techniques, hand-building, mold making, and extruding. Students will also learn about the many uses and functions of ceramics and their historical and contemporary significance.

Clay Sculpture

Ages 5-6, 6-8, 9-12, 13-17
Students learn the entire process of clay sculpting from idea design to fired and glazed three-dimensional object, focusing on the use of essential hand-building techniques such as pinch-pot, coiling, and slab work to create experimental creative objects with a focus on texture, form and expression using glazing, hand-painting and mixed media to decorate and finish. As they build, students develop focus, recognizing self and others, and listening skills.

Clay Sculpture Intensive

Ages 13-17
In this half day, three week intensive, artist-instructors guide students in producing three-dimensional clay works inspired by influential clay artists and the world around them. Students will be encouraged to explore and refine their visual arts practices, looking to traditional and contemporary techniques, ceramic design, and more. Students also learn to critique work through group discussion and self-reflection. The program completes with a showcase in Arts Umbrella’s building upon completion of the course.


Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students learn to sculpt characters and props with plasticine, developing the model making and animation skills that are unique to this particular form of stop motion animation. Working at our camera stations to compose and photograph frame after frame, students develop an intuition for the principles of animation, from timing and spacing to squash and stretch. Students work with DSLR cameras and the industry-standard software, DragonFrame.

Darkroom Photography

Ages 9-12, 13-17
The basics of film photography and photo developing are introduced to budding photographers, using a 35mm camera to shoot and a fully appointed darkroom to develop images in black and white. Students will learn the principles of lens selection, lighting, composition through a variety of shooting scenarios including street and studio photography. They will also learn the fundamentals of image editing through analog techniques such as burning, dodging and blending and be introduced to more experimental darkroom processes and cameras.

Digital Media

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students build media and computer literacy through expressive creative projects, working with various software in our Mac Lab. Students learn to edit, manipulate, and create digital artwork using their own drawings and photographs as well as downloaded media, practicing internet safety. As students gain an understanding of the tools, techniques, and workflows of digital art and design they will move from using software such as Kid Pix, Photoshop and GDevelop to more in-depth tools such as Illustrator, Premiere Rush, and GarageBand.

Drawing & Painting

Ages 5-6, 6-8, 9-12, 13-17
Students explore methods of visual image-making, using a variety of drawing, sketching, and painting techniques inspired by reference, observation, and imagination. Purposeful play is used with the youngest students to develop the use of tools such as pencil, marker, pastel, paint, and ink, as well as life-skills such as confident self-expression, understanding feelings, and effective listening skills. As students progress, understanding is deepened through increased self-direction, discussion of artists, art history and the use of symbols, abstraction, and representation.

Drawing & Painting Intensive

Ages 12-15, 14-17
Create original work with technique and passion. In the Drawing and Painting Intensive, artist-instructors guide students in independent research into artists and history. From that, inspiration and knowledge informs original works. Investigate the ideas of your work, all while refining fundamental skills in your visual art practice, including composition, design, and colour theory. In conversation with your peers, the art of constructive critique is also explored and practiced.

Fine Art of Hanging Out

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Spend the summer creating art en plein air (in the open air)! Students travel by van across the city, finding artistic inspiration in sites such as the Bloedel Conservatory, Stanley Park, Trout Lake, Museum of Anthropology, and more. Art supplies, including pencils, pastels and watercolours, are provided. Students should be prepared for all weather as class will take place rain or shine.

Game Design

Ages 9-12, 13-17
Using PC laptops, students learn the theory and practice of game design, from world building, level design and theme development to the details of individual game mechanics. Students design graphic assets for their own games, and then add interactivity using software such as GDevelop.

Graphic Design

Ages 9-12
Students learn the art of combining text and image to tell a message by immersing themselves in the world of communication design. They will work on industry-standard software such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign to bring concepts to life through posters, logos, book covers, advertisements, labels, packaging, and more.

Graphic Design & Illustration

Ages 13-17
Students learn how to creatively combine text and image to communicate a message and convey ideas, feelings, and attitudes. They are introduced to fundamental design elements such as shape, line, space, balance, and typography as they develop technical skills with industry-standard software such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Through logos, posters, book covers, labels, and more, students learn to produce strong visual designs that share messages and bring ideas to life.

Graphic Novel

Ages 13-17
Students learn the fundamentals of graphic novel creation, from character design and narrative structure to page layout and lettering, working with standard tools for graphic novel illustration —like non-photo blue pencils, brush pens, and alcohol markers. Students further develop their skills, and their original stories, as they progress. At the end of the term completed short comics are scanned to print a unique creation.

Sculpture & Mixed Media

Ages 5-6, 6-8, 9-12
Students create 3D works (or bring 2D pieces to life with added 3D elements) by transforming and combining different materials including wood, textiles, paper, paint, thread, and more. Students are taught and encouraged to use fundamental design elements such as space, texture, and line and develop building skills such as cutting, sculpting, and gluing.

Stop Motion Animation

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students learn how to create posable paper puppets, and how to bring them to life on screen by arranging and photographing them frame after frame. This technique invites material exploration, and students work with a wide variety of materials, from hand-drawn characters and props to readymade objects, textiles, collage, and even special-effects animation of students themselves. Students work with DSLR cameras and the industry-standard software, DragonFrame.


Creative Dance

Ages 3-5, 5-6
Through play-based learning, students find joyful expression and confidence participating in dance without an adult. They explore basic dance vocabulary, movements such as marching and galloping, and respond to various styles of music individually and in groups. Students will learn to improvise movement with the help of stories, poems, and props.

Junior Summer Dance Intensive*

Ages 7-9, 10-12
This program is one of the few intensive summer programs for younger dancers in Metro Vancouver. Featuring ballet, character, modern, repertoire, and jazz with special guest instructors and Arts Umbrella faculty, the Junior Summer Dance Intensive is a comprehensive way to prepare for classes in September.

Teen Summer Dance Intensive*

Ages 13-15, 16-18
This five-day intensive program is designed for teen dancers who are seeking a high level of instruction to develop and maintain abilities acquired in the General Dance program. Featuring ballet, character, modern, repertoire, and jazz classes with Arts Umbrella faculty, the program also brings in special guest instructors. Dancers in the Teen Summer Dance Intensive will develop new skills, and maintain fitness and flexibility—all while having an inspiring and fun dance experience. The comprehensive way to prepare for classes in September.

*Dancers can register for Week 1, 2, or 3 weeks.

Theatre, Music & Film

Acting: Film

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Acting for film requires a slightly different skillset than acting for theatre. In this class, students study the fundamentals of acting, such as goals, tactics, beats, and character journey, and then apply them to performing on camera, adding in considerations for angles, frames, and marks. Students also learn how to film a self-tape for auditions, both in front of and behind the camera.

Acting: Film Intensive

Ages 9-12, 13-19
Join a group of like-minded teens and get hands on experience working on camera to take your acting to the next level. Craft your performance in a scene using text and character work to exploring filming on set. Learn how to be in the moment, how to surprise yourself in your work, and hone your audition techniques for film and television.

Acting: Stage & Screen

Ages 6-8
Students will study character creation, staging, and story structure, using theatre games and exercises to develop vocal control, awareness of breath and body, and more. Students also study the fundamentals of acting, such as goals, tactics, beats, and character journey, and then apply them to performing on camera, adding in considerations for angles, frames, and marks.

Acting: Theatre

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students will study character creation, staging, and story structure, using theatre games and exercises to develop vocal control, awareness of breath and body, and more. As students advance, theatrical methods such as GOTE, Uta Hagen’s 9 Questions, and Eight Efforts are introduced.

Acting: Theatre Intensive

Ages 9-12
Take to the stage and trust your instincts! In this one-week program, you’ll hone your acting chops, and improve your rehearsal and performance skills. Through theatre exercises, character study, and voice work, you’ll learn to make strong, consistent choices about your roles on stage. It’s the best way to feel confident in front of an audience.

Creative Design

Ages 3-5, 5-6
Through play and imagination, students are introduced to the “behind the scenes” world of theatre and the role of costumes, sets, props, and more. Using different stories as inspiration, students build pieces that help bring that world to life. Students learn elements of design thinking and problem solving, and the balance of safety and play in a building environment is emphasized.

Creative Drama

Ages 3-5, 5-6
Little ones develop imagination, creativity, and self-confidence through games and theatre exercises, planting the seed for future theatre classes. Students explore storytelling and using their body to convey a story, discovering ways of relating to self, one another, and the world around them.

Creative Music

Ages 3-5, 5-6
Students will explore the voice and basic instruments, and are introduced to music terminology, tempo, rhythm, and scales. Using voice work and hand-held instruments such as drums and shakers, exercises encourage students to use their imagination, start to work with others, and build self-awareness. By Ages 4-6, students will be singing in rounds and are able to recognize the sound each instrument makes.

Musical Theatre

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Students train as a “triple threat” in dance, music, and acting, building technique and complexity over time. Curriculum encourages students to make connections between their physical self, music, and story, and students develop their sense of self through communication and expression via song and dance. As they progress, students understand how elements of musical theatre come together to tell a story, understand stage directions, and build strong objectives and characters. Older students tackle more complex material and explore more specific acting techniques such as the GOTE method.

Musical Theatre Bootcamp Intensive

Ages 11-16
Get rehearsal ready and learn everything you need to be able to jump into a professional or pre-professional theatre environment with confidence! Students will work on ensemble singing skills, including harmonies and counterpoints, script analysis, physical conditioning, and how to pick up different choreographic styles. As students progress throughout the week, they will learn to trust their instincts and make strong, individual choices that they can carry with them into their next performance opportunity.

Summerstage participants are strongly encouraged to take this boot camp to prepare for their program, and boot camp participants are encouraged to participate in Summerstage to apply what they have learned right away!

Musical Theatre Intensive

Ages 6-10, 8-12, 13-19
Join us for a full week in singing, dancing and acting, and experience the thrill of staging and performing a musical. Working with our director/choreographer, and musical director, students will be rehearse a number of ensemble songs as well as solo performances.

Stage Combat Intensives

Ages 9-12, 10-14, 13-19
Students will be guided through basic stage combat stance and posture, falling, blocks and parries, grappling and control, and more! Emphasis is placed on teamwork, approaches to consent and safety, coordination, agility, and a sense of play to bring a story to life. The program will culminate in an in-class showcase of work at the end of the week.

In the Movement Skills Intensive, students will learn some classic warm-ups, used to build stamina for fight-heavy shows. This class is all about moving. Following simple to complex movements, explore how your body can move! Focus is placed on enhancing dynamic movement, animal flow, and how to connect ensembles.

The Swords Intensive is all about foundations; perfect if you have never held a sword before or are looking to work on fundamentals. Students will cover the basics of swords including footwork, parries, and attacks while introducing the safeties and techniques that are used to keep a fight flashy, fast and safe.

Shakespeare on Screen

Ages 12-19
Where classical acting meets the silver screen! In this 4-week immersive program, students will receive intensive training in classical acting techniques while adapting and producing The Bard’s work for film. Students receive acting, voice, and movement training while developing on-camera skills, operating equipment, and learning about set decoration, props, costumes, lighting, audio, sound and video editing, and much more. Previous acting experience strongly recommended.

Sketch Comedy & Improv

Ages 6-8, 9-12
Yes, and! Through classic improv games and exercises, students develop comedic scenes and scripts as well as skills for life such as teamwork, problem-solving, confidence, and accepting feedback. Curriculum is guided by the principles of Viola Spolin’s “Improvisation for the Theatre” and Del Close’s “Harold” format. Long form, theatre sports, and comedy-based improv are explored at higher levels, once foundations in Spolin-style improvisation are firm.

Sketch Comedy & Improv Intensive

Ages 9-12, 13-19
Be bold and take your comedic and improv skills to the next level with the Sketch Comedy and Improv Intensive. Through a mixture of improvisation and writing, young actors will gain creative thinking, team building, and communication skills that will benefit them on the stage and in everyday life. Industry professionals will help you develop your technique, discipline and artistry. Work with other creative minds to explore, devise, and create sketches that will have them rolling in the aisles.


Ages 6-8, 9-12
Learn the secrets of what goes on behind the scenes; how costumes, scenery, lighting and sound all work together with the actors create a production on the stage or the screen. Using age appropriate exercises, hands-on play and experimentation, students develop their understanding of the relationship between materials, design principles, and storytelling. Older students build on foundational skills with specific and more advanced techniques in scenic painting, prop building, lighting design and more.

Stagecraft Intensive

Ages 13-19
Building on skills developed in the Stagecraft General Program, students blend creativity with technical skill, learning design elements of how productions come to life and how to work safely in a scene shop and backstage. They will work directly on the public presentations our programs create throughout the year, with an emphasis on collaborative design and practical use. Led by a combination of talented teachers and guest designers, students will create props, build set pieces, find and create costumes, and design sound and lights.

Summerstage Musical Theatre Intensive

Ages 13-19
Summerstage Musical Theatre Intensive is designed for emerging teen actors who are looking for a boost to their skills. Whether you’re seriously considering a career in theatre or you simply love musicals, our small class size gives students one-on-one training and personalized education opportunities. The only Metro Vancouver musical theatre intensive to offer its students the opportunity to perform a full-length Broadway musical, Summerstage focuses on both process and performance. Professional instruction will give teens valuable ensemble and solo experience, with a focus on voice training, dance, and acting.

Theatre Sampler

Ages 13-19
Comedy, tragedy, Shakespeare, improv, mask work, scene work, character work, film work, voice work, mime and monologues. There are so many fascinating facets that the world of acting has to offer. It is collaborative yet personal. It is expressive, fun and most importantly, it is all about play and exploration. Join us for this 5 day theatre sampler and see what you discover.

Voiceover Intensive

Ages 13-19
In this intensive, students will work on trusting their instincts and following creative impulses to create dynamic vocal performances. Students will study proper mic technique and script analysis to record a variety of voiceovers including characters, non-fiction, and commercial work. At the end of the program, students will have produced a series of clips that can be included in a demo reel.

Lunchtime Transitions

We’re pleased to be again offering lunchtime transition packages this Summer. Supervision is included free of charge for students ages 6-12 registered for full-day programs at Granville Island. Caregivers can also add on transition packages for an additional fee for students registered in half-day programs.


Please refer to Schedules found at the top of this page for detailed pricing of each package and program.

Early Learning Programs: $225
Half-Day Programs: $330
Full-Day Programs: $660

Summerstage Musical Theatre Intensive (4-weeks): $2,600

Finances should never prevent a child from participating in the arts. As a non-profit organization, Arts Umbrella is committed to making our programs accessible to as many children and youth in our communities as possible. The Arts Umbrella Bursary Fund allows hundreds of children to register in tuition-based programs at a reduced rate, based on your family’s financial need.

Applications for bursary funding are open to everyone. To view eligibility and submission details, please visit our Scholarships & Bursaries page. Your privacy matters to us. All applications are held in confidence.


Program Changes

Instructors or program content may change at Arts Umbrella’s discretion, without notice. Information on our online registration system should be considered the most up-to-date. Some programs and classes may have specific requirements and policies. Please contact Student Services for details.


Applicable program fees must be paid in full upon registration. A charge of $25 will apply to returned cheques. Payment can be made by cheque, cash, VISA, American Express, or MasterCard.

Withdrawal Policy

As of June 1, 2020, withdrawal requests must be received in person, by phone, or in writing 2 weeks before the first class. Withdrawal requests within this period will be refunded less 10% of the tuition fee. After this period, no refund will be provided upon withdrawal.


Instructors are subject to change without notice. Arts Umbrella will strive to provide a substitute rather than cancel a class in the event of instructor illness. In the case of such a cancellation, a replacement attendance date will be scheduled. If it is not possible for Arts Umbrella to schedule a replacement attendance date, a pro-rated refund will be supplied to all affected students. No refund or make up is eligible for students who miss class.

Class Cancellations

Arts Umbrella reserves the right to cancel classes that do not meet minimum enrolment and will cancel classes with insufficient enrolment. Minimum enrolment numbers depend on studio capacity and availability of materials. Cancellations may be expected happen one to two weeks prior to the start date. For classes with close to minimum enrollments, classes will run for up to two weeks plus two days before a cancellation decision. Families will be notified via phone and email. Students from cancelled classes may be transferred to another class or withdraw from the class and receive a pro-rated refund with no 10% withdrawal fee deducted.

Natural disasters and severe weather events

Amounts paid for classes or class attendance dates cancelled due to circumstances out of Arts Umbrella’s control, such as natural disasters and severe weather events, are not reimbursed.

Removal for Conduct

Arts Umbrella reserves the right to remove any student who fails to comply with its rules and regulations or who engages in any activity the Directors deem contrary to the fulfillment of Arts Umbrella’s objectives and Student Code of Conduct. In such an event, Arts Umbrella will be owed the fees for the complete session or school year. Bursary recipients will be asked to reimburse the full value of any bursaries used toward their current registration.

Illness or Injury

Due to COVID-19, if your child is registered for an in-person class and becomes ill and needs to withdraw from the class you will be eligible for a pro-rated refund without a signed physician’s note.


Students enrolled in session-based programs must be the age of the specific class by session start date. Students enrolled in year-long programs must be the age of the class as of December 31. Arts Umbrella reserves the right to withdraw students who have been registered in an incorrect age category.


For the courtesy of our faculty and other students, we can only accept students who are potty-trained. Pull up diapers not allowed.


Every child who attends a class at Arts Umbrella must be registered. Instructors do not have the ability to register students. Attendance is taken at the beginning of each class and unregistered students will be directed to Student Services.

Accessibility and Medical/Learning Needs

In order to ensure our programs are accessible to all students, parents/guardians are required to inform Arts Umbrella at the time of registration of any allergies, or physical, emotional, or learning needs their children may have. Student Services will contact those who indicate such needs to ensure the appropriate accommodations are made for your student to have a positive classroom experience. We welcome any questions and feedback regarding accessibility and any other support for Arts Umbrella students.

Advertising and Publicity

Arts Umbrella reserves the right to photograph and film students and their work for advertising and publicity purposes. Arts Umbrella reserves the right to use student artwork for exhibition at no charge. Parental permission is requested at time of registration.

Mask Policy

In accordance with current direction from the Provincial Health Officer, masks are optional at Arts Umbrella. We encourage caregivers to have a conversation with their student(s) on their family’s expectation for mask wearing while in classes.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Some Arts Umbrella students have life-threatening allergies. In consideration of these students, we ask that parents/guardians please not pack any of the following in snacks/lunches for consumption at Arts Umbrella: Peanuts, tree nuts, nut products, or shellfish.

Additionally, Arts Umbrella requests that strongly scented products not be used within Arts Umbrella’s facilities such as perfumes, soaps, beauty products, or cleaning products.

Support Arts Umbrella

Arts Umbrella donors, volunteers, and sponsors share the same belief: that arts education can transform a child’s life. Whether attending an event, making a monthly gift, or donating time, our supporters are vital to helping us inspire creativity for good through the arts.