Our Faculty and Programs

Welcome to Arts Umbrella, a destination for children and youth ages 2-22 to discover the visual and performing arts. Over the last 42 years, Arts Umbrella has served more than 600,000 young people, ensuring access to a high-quality arts education through bursaries, scholarships, distance-learning and donor-funded community programs.

Close to 250 arts educators and staff lead our programs in Art, Design, Dance, Theatre, Music, and Film. Every day, we witness wonder in our studios, seeing the difference an arts education can make in the lives of young people. Increased confidence, problem-solving, self-awareness, compassion, communication, and team-building—the benefits are wide-reaching and long-lasting.

Our pre-professional programs attract students from across Canada and around the world. Graduates present their work internationally, leading the way in their industries and promoting Vancouver’s reputation as a centre for the arts. More importantly, students have gone on to become creative and compassionate citizens in whatever path they choose.

Art & Design
Roxanne Gagnon, Artistic Director

In our Art & Design classes, young people learn how to develop ideas and reflect on the world around them. We offer programs in drawing and painting, photography, ceramics, architecture, animation, and more – ensuring that students first develop a strong foundation before moving on to more advanced techniques, no matter the age a young artist first encounters their craft. Our advanced level and scholarship programs are designed for young people who want to push, inquire, and develop a more in-depth practice.

Artemis Gordon, Artistic Director

Arts Umbrella Dance is dedicated to the development of relevant and wide-reaching dance arts and education. Our ballet-based program and approach is unique, nurturing young dancers to achieve their full potential. With graduates that go on to perform with prestigious companies around the world, Arts Umbrella students are lauded as valuable company members for their maturity and understanding of the tenets of professional dance.

Theatre, Music & Film
Paul Moniz de Sá, Artistic Director
Andy Toth, Associate Artistic Director

Our programs in Theatre, Music & Film nurture performers’ creativity and build skills that benefit young people on the stage and in everyday life. The curriculum—across classes as varied as acting for stage and screen, writing, singing, musical theatre, and more—is focused on process, and provides opportunities for collaborative and independent development. We also offer training in the technical aspects of theatre and film, such as lighting, sound, sets, and costumes.