Foundation Program

Foundation Program 2
About the Foundation Program

This yearlong, twice-per-week program is for students who are ready for a more in-depth and focused approach to their art practice where they can build skills, discover their interests, and form a community of like-minded artistic peers. Students are grouped in cohorts by age: 7-8 years, 9-10 years, and 11-12 years and will benefit from expanded learning opportunities including special group exhibitions and field trips.

The Foundation Program is designed to provide a well-rounded multidisciplinary experience for students with an emerging interest in Art & Design. They will learn key concepts of craft and technique and develop a strong base of visual literacy, communication and design. Using their familiar interest as a base, they will be exposed to related creative disciplines and experiment with new forms of working.

The Foundation Program offers the choice between two core focus disciplines: Drawing & Painting and Digital Media.


The Foundation Program is supported by the Poseley Family


Digital Media

Students will take Cartooning, Animation, and Illustration as their electives alongside their yearlong Digital Media core class. This pathway is designed for students who wish to explore established, new and emerging technologies and connect those creative practices to the essential elements of storytelling, world-building, and personal voice to develop a digital and media-literate foundation in Art & Design.

Drawing & Painting

For the Drawing & Painting core focus, students have a further choice in their elective package between Printmaking and Sculpture (Package A) or Architecture and Ceramics (Package B), with Digital Media a required class in both options. This pathway is designed for students who wish to expand beyond the traditional practices of Drawing and Painting and experiment with different tools, materials, and mediums to develop a multidisciplinary, tactile and material-based foundation in Art & Design.

Class Descriptions

Students explore both traditional, stop-motion and digital methods of animation as they consider all aspects of the creative process from narrative structures and storytelling to character design and world-building. They will use image and video editing software including Adobe Photoshop, Animator and After Effects to delve deep into the unique mechanics of time, motion, sound, and special effects.

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.

In this class, students create text and image-based narratives through the creative conventions of cartooning. Fundamental Art & Design elements such as composition, visual balance, movement, and scale are considered in close detail. Through pen and ink or pencil and marker, the fine motor skills of breathing life into the combination of character, story and illustration are central to the art of cartooning.

Digital Media
Students work in the exciting realm of digital technologies to create original or composite images, graphics, and animations that explore fundamental aspects of digital media such as space, time, light, sound, and motion. Technical skills are honed through the use of cameras, computers, tablets and sound recorders in combination with creative software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Rush, GarageBand, GDesign, Pixel Art, and more. Students will learn to edit, manipulate, and create original digital media and gain a strong understanding of the all tools, techniques, and shortcuts necessary to become creative media artists.

Drawing & Painting
Students will hone their technical skills and explore new modes of representation using traditional and non-traditional methods. Students will use the basic elements and principles of Art & Design to engage in a variety creative and experimental approaches to art-making. They will produce work from a variety of perspectives including reference, observation, or imagination to discover the transformative potential of marks on a surface.

Students explore various printmaking techniques including block printing, monoprinting, digital, engraving, stencils and more. Students will learn the entire printmaking process from sketching to plate creation, and printing to collage. This course encourages students to consider design elements such as space, texture, design and pattern as well as working with multiples or in a series.

Students create three-dimensional works using a variety of carving and modelling techniques to shape, combine, craft, and construct freestanding artworks with a variety of sculptural tools. They will explore certain principles of Art & Design such as space, form, scale, texture, and balance and work with diverse media including wood, plaster, clay and wire. Through this, students will explore different modes of representation and abstraction inspired by contemporary and historical artists and consider the role and function that sculpture and ceramics play in our lives.


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.

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