Students are what makes Arts Umbrella a vibrant and magical place. Since our new building at 1400 Johnston Street on Granville Island is going to be used by thousands of young artists, we thought we should ask them what they’re looking forward to when we move in. After all, they’re the ones we’re doing this for!

Rest easy, our future is in good hands, thanks to the thoughtful, creative, and occasionally outrageous ideas these kids have for our new space. From food (read: junk food) to specialized classrooms to storage solutions (yes, really) here’s what Arts Umbrella students are saying about their future home.

Young children in our Visual Arts classes have a wide range of ideas on their wishlists, including rooms dedicated to animals, access to food, and supplies. Our teen students in performing arts programs are taking the new building (mostly) seriously with requests for better storage, and purpose-built spaces. Here’s a breakdown of some of our favourite requests so far.



  • Library
  • Guitar room
  • Dinosaur room
  • Animal room
  • Jewellery room
  • First aid room
  • Choir room
  • Theatre
  • Costume room
  • Quiet workspace


  • Free milkshakes (on Wednesdays)
  • Chipotle
  • Vending machines
  • Kids only lunchroom
  • Chocolate fountain
  • First aid room
  • Tea and kettle

Supplies and Equipment

  • Pottery wheels
  • Bigger kilns
  • Better brushes
  • Different types of clay, including sandy clay and rainbow clay
  • More glazes
  • High-powered blow-dryers


  • A teleportation machine
  • Cool secret passageways and tunnels
  • A set design program
  • Less fan noise
  • A swimming pool
  • A Ferris wheel
  • A statue in the front entrance
  • Building tours for the public
  • An Arts Umbrella store for supplies AND merch



The more we talked to our students, the more excited they got. While there was plenty of fun, cheeky ideas, some requests were a little more robust, and the conversations among groups of kids really got going. Here’s what they have to say.

“Will we have a bigger art studio? What if it’s too big?” —Bella, age 6

“When I was in younger grades, I’d do performances in [Studio] 101, and it would always feel small and cramped, so I wondered what it would be like to be in a big theatre. I’m super excited for younger kids, they can actually have the experience of performing on a stage earlier on.” —Veronica, grade 9

“The thrill—when I was really little—of going up to the costume lockup was awesome. It’s what everyone is looking forward to from the beginning [of their classes]. So having it more accessible, and way easier to go through, is going to be great.” —Asha, 14

“I think one of the common problems with [schedule] management in past years has actually been space management. A new building solves a lot of that and lets not just more things happen, but everything can be done better. Getting our own theatre space is really cool because that lets us actually work in a space where we know what our boundaries are, and what we can do with the space.” —Paterson, 17

“I want more photography classrooms. Digital photography. Classes that teach you how to be really good with a camera and photo editing.” —Grace, age 12

“I think having a space for resources—things like verb sheets, Shakespeare lexicons, stuff like that, that’s really useful in rehearsal. It could be for all the different departments. Having an organized space for those things would be very useful.” —Jasmine, 17

Want to share an idea? Ask your children what they’re most excited about and share it with us on social — @artsumbrella on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.