Storytelling for Everyone

This workshop has been cancelled. Thank you for your interest.

Have you got a tale to tell? Come explore the art of storytelling, including personal stories, tall tales, folk tales, and stories for little children.

This workshop will engage with the technical side of storytelling including character, voice, audience participation, and narrative structure. The workshop will also look at the meaning of stories and how we use them. Participants will explore the research and writing (or rewriting) of stories, and learn how to make a story their own no matter where it came from. This course will include performance opportunities within the group, but no one will be pushed out of their comfort zone.

Course cost: $285     Supply fee: $0    STUDENT SUPPLY LIST

Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes.

CAT THOM is a professional storyteller and writer who was worked in museums, nature centres, schools, and libraries, and has performed throughout western Canada. She frequently combines her storytelling with music as part of the band Juniper Tree.

She has previously served on the board of Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada and spent seven years working with children through the nonprofit artsReach program.

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Clay Sculpture: Starting from a Cylinder

The intention of this class is to learn how to articulate a form or figure using slab structures.  The student should come to the class with ideas of the form or figure they wish to pursue.  It is possible that within two days a defined and fluid sculpture can be achieved.  This process usually starts with a cylinder and, with instructor assistance, the form is mapped out on the surface. Then the artist starts to shape the cylinder from within. Eventually, the shaping moves back and forth between the inside and the outside of the form.  This is a versatile and liberating way to work with the plasticity and expressivity of clay, and can lead to expressionistic or quite controlled results. The instructor works one to one, and will bring simple coloured slips for final surface treatments. Open to all levels.

Classes run from 9 – 4 pm each day. Studios are open after hours.

Course fee:  $285   Supply fee:  $3 

Tuition is listed in Canadian Dollars and includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes.

DEBRA SLOAN’s practice started as a 6-year self-directed apprenticeship in 1973. She attended VSA from 1979 – 82, and in 2005 achieved her BFA at ECUAD. She works with earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, using electric and gas kilns, and occasionally wood. She has attended six international residencies. Her work has been in many international survey exhibitions, and represented in six LARK 500 publications. She has presented many talks, most recently at the Tate St Ives, UK and received grants and awards from the BC Arts Council, the Craft Council of BC, and the Mayor’s Arts Award (Vancouver). Debra has taught sculptural ceramics for over 40 years, most recently at the Leach Pottery, UK. She includes students at all levels of experience and embraces a wide range of ceramic methodology. Debra prefers to problem solve with each student, within a broad theme. She views the ceramic material as a palette for expression.


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Mixing It Up: Mixed Media Explorations

In a playful exploration of mixed media students will create a series of pieces.  Drawing, painting, stenciling and collage will be applied to paper and wood surfaces. A process from sketchbook, onto papers and wood cradles combining soft pastel, acrylic, drawing materials, collage elements and stenciling will be used.  Students will provide their own preferred subject and have fun creating variations on the theme. Each new piece will involve being influenced by the previous one and changing things up for the next. All levels welcome.

Nancy invites you to stretch your imagination and ideas to add to your existing practice or provide you a first-time experience.

Classes run 9 – 4 pm each day. Studios are also open after hours.

Course cost: $285         Supply fee: $10

Tuition includes lunches and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes. 


NANCY SLAGHT reflects on everyday things like witnessing the birth of her grand-niece, music and ballroom dance, walks on the waterfront and watching bird antics from her home/studio in search of a metaphor that leads to inspiration resulting in whimsical notions.

After decades of working in soft pastel on paper she began a playful exploration on wooden cradles using pastel with acrylic, collage, created and found objects.  Adding new techniques to what she knew has been refreshing.  Nancy also began collaboration work with another artist to further stretch her imagination.

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Intaglio Printmaking with Tetrapaks

In this course students will learn how to use a Tetrapak surface to make drypoint prints. Students will be taken through the steps of how to open and cut juice boxes to expose the Tetrapak lining. They will then be introduced to a variety of mark making tools used to incise the Tetrapak surface.

Day 1 will consist of making plates and then drawing on them with a variety of tools and from a variety of sources; still life, plein air, etc. Students will have the opportunity to make a minimum of five plates to really explore what the surface can give them. Students will finish the day learning about printmaking paper and how to prepare it as well being given demonstrations on how to ink and wipe a plate and how to use the press.

Day 2 will consist of working in studio at the press. Students will learn how to dry their paper, register their images, adjust pressure on the press, and how to ink and wipe their plates for optimal results.  Good studio practice and cooperative work flow will be emphasized so that each student produces a well printed, small edition of each of their plates.

Course cost:  $285      Supply fee: $25  STUDENT SUPPLY LIST

Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes. 


ALAIN COSTAZ is a visual artist, art instructor and co-director of GZPS Ground Zero Printmakers Studio in Victoria. He is a BFA graduate of Concordia University in Montréal, studied at Université Laval in Québec City and Northwest Coast Institute of the Arts (NCIA) in Victoria. Currently Alain teaches drawing, painting and printmaking at the GZPS studio, in community classes, and as a diploma instructor at Victoria College of Art (VCA). In his Chinatown studio Alain works on printmaking and multi-media two & three dimensional pieces combining drawing, painting and collage.

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Exploring an Aesthetic

The foundation of strong artwork is working with a clear personal voice in any given medium: finding that voice can take a lifetime. This workshop will be a series of structured exercises using photography, reflective writing, material exploration, and discussion to develop or redefine an aesthetic. Participants will work through each level of exploration in a guided and safe environment to uncover meaning and the worldview underpinning their studio practice. This workshop will provide participants at any stage of their career with the tools and framework for further aesthetic development in any medium. A journal for writing and a camera or phone with photography capacity are required for this course. Open to artists in any medium.

Course cost: $285   Supply fee: $5        STUDENT SUPPLY LIST
Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes. 


RACHELLE CHINNERY is a ceramic and mixed media artist living and working on Hornby Island. Her studio practice is a blend of ceramics, photography, and writing with a special interest in the phenomenology of craft and the way ecological identity can be cultivated through craft practice.

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SAORI Weaving: Weaving without Boundaries

In this 2-day workshop students will be introduced to the SAORI Philosophy of Weaving where there are no rules and no mistakes:

  1. Consider the differences between machines and people
  2. Let’s adventure beyond our imagination
  3. Let’s look out through eyes that shine
  4. Let’s learn from each other in the group

This beautiful philosophy from Japan opens doors to new ways of exploring weaving, whether you have never woven before or have been weaving for many years.

SAORI looms ready to weave on will be provided and we will explore creativity, colour, texture and interesting freestyle techniques.  During the 2 days, students will be able to complete a weaving while learning about the philosophy of SAORI.  Students will have use of looms; weaving materials will be provided.

Course cost: $285     Supply fee: $50  STUDENT SUPPLY LIST

Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes.

TERRI BIBBY is a SAORI freestyle weaver and designer, creating one-of-a-kind asymmetric clothing, scarves, wraps, bags and wall hangings in the SAORI style. Her weaving is inspired by the ever changing colours and textures of nature that surround her.

In her studio in the woods on Salt Spring Island, Terri offers classes, workshops and retreats on weaving, warping and clothing design for all ages. She has had over 1,800 people “Weave for Peace” on beautiful peace banners that have been displayed around the world.

Since first seeing SAORI weaving in 2005, Terri has immersed herself in the philosophy and practice of SAORI weaving. She opened her registered SAORI studio on Salt Spring Island in 2007 and is a member of the SAORI Leader’s Committee based in Japan. SAORI Salt Spring is part of the SAORI Global Network.

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Pastel Painting En Plein Air

Where better to develop your en plein air painting skills than in this idyllic location?

Painting “en plein air” means being fully present to the experience of painting on location. As you observe and paint, every sight, sound, smell, and experience in the environment becomes part of your painting. That’s part of the joy that comes with working from life rather than a photo.

In this workshop, you’ll explore the process of painting on location, from how to choose what to paint, to simplifying the scene, to drawing up a thumbnail (a getting-to-know-you tool and one which will stand you in good stead in this process), to creating quick colour studies, to blocking in the big shapes, and then to moving towards more detail. We’ll go over the importance of understanding values and how this knowledge can liberate your colour choices and interpretation of a scene. All aspects of a successful painting will be covered including perspective (linear and aerial), composition, colour temperature, and edges.

The workshop will be held both in the studio and outdoors. Gail will provide demos, guide students individually as they work, and conduct group critiques at the end of each day. All levels welcome.

Gail says of her teaching style: “It’s to pass on all I know while at the same time encouraging the complete emergence of your own artistic voice and vision. It’s serious work with plenty of room for laughter and fun!”

Classes run 9 – 4 pm each day. Studios are also open after hours.

Course Cost:  $685   Class fee: $55   

Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes. 


GAIL SIBLEY, Born and brought up in Jamaica, completed a BFA (Fine Arts) and a Masters in Art History. Following university, she returned to her creative side. Experimenting with a small box of pastels, Gail was hooked by their vibrancy, immediacy, and luminosity. She takes pleasure in painting work inspired by our magnificent world, with subjects ranging from still life and figures, to landscapes and abstracts.

Gail loves teaching and offers workshops around the world. She has also begun offering courses online. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, winning awards along the way; collectors of her work can be found world-wide. Gail is a Signature Member with the Pastel Society of America and Pastel Artists Canada. Gail was a primary contributor to the recently published book, DK’s Artist’s Drawing Techniques (August 2017). She also writes a highly-regarded blog at and can be seen on YouTube.




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Painting with Wool

In this workshop students will explore the diversity of using wool fibers as a “painting” medium by diving into the world of two-dimensional needle felting.  Needle felting is a process that uses barbed needles to attach fibers to a base textile, often wool felt or linen. Dani will introduce techniques to help students learn how to create different effects with wool fibers, including how to blend, layer, and create different textures to compose beautiful fiber art.  Students will also explore how to use color in impactful ways.  Other topics will include useful tools for felting, exploring different materials and textiles, the forgiving nature and breadth of the medium, and framing and presentation techniques for wool paintings.  Demonstrations and various exercises will be available for those keen on practicing techniques.

Workshops run 9 – 4 pm each day. Studios are also open after hours.

Course cost: $665    Course fee:$12 

Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks. All prices are in Canadian Dollars and are inclusive of applicable taxes.


DANI IVES is a self-taught fiber artist based in Northwest Arkansas. Her inspiration comes from a love of nature, science and a past career as a conservation educator and working with animals. After indulging in needle felting as a hobby and creating hundreds of three-dimensional pieces, Dani discovered the thrill of felting two-dimensional images in 2014. She found this style more challenging yet more artistically fulfilling.  Over the course of a few years, Dani has developed a distinct style of needle felting that she calls painting with wool.  She attempts to mimic traditional painting and drawing practices with nontraditional materials like fibers and textiles and loves sharing these techniques with her students.  Dani has taught hundreds of students in workshops, classrooms and online courses across the US and internationally.

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Charcoal Noir: Creating Compelling Visual Narratives

Using baroque painting and Hollywood film noir as models, this workshop will introduce ways to layer meaning, enhance clarity and increase visual drama by applying film mis-en-scène principles when composing drawings and paintings. Working from still life and nude model in participants’ choice of willow (vine) or compressed charcoal, students will create painterly, atmospheric tonal drawings that resemble a film noir “still.”  The insights gained can be applied to any drawing or painting, figurative or abstract. No more mundane compositions or prosaic lighting!

Some of the topics to be covered include: How we “read” two dimensional images in drawing, painting and film; Implications of directional movement along X,Y & Z axes; Proxemics and blocking; Working with inherent physical forces and Light and shadow demystified.

Course cost: $285      Model fee:  $20  STUDENT SUPPLY LIST
Tuition cost includes lunch and daily snacks.

JOYCE KLINE’s interdisciplinary approach stems from her eclectic career as a visual artist, writer, playwright, dancer, storyboard artist and Leo award winning designer for film and theatre.  She has exhibited in public galleries and artist-run centres across Canada and Finland, received Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Canada Council visual art and art writing awards, and was a finalist in The Writers’ Union of Canada’s 2009 Writing for Children Competition.

 A lifelong learner herself, Joyce is a supportive and innovative instructor who has led workshops at Cinevic and Royal Roads University. She teaches drawing, installation & public art, and visual narrative for storyboarding at Victoria College of Art.

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Pinhole Photography & Cyanotype Prints

In our time together, students will explore a brief history of pinhole imaging before setting out to load their own pinhole cameras with photographic paper and head out around the school environment to make unique photographs.  From here, we will enter the darkroom where the latent (invisible) image is translated into a paper negative with tones of black, white and greys.

Once our prints are processed and dry we will have the option of scanning them or making positive images in the darkroom. To round out the course, students will explore a very accessible alternative process called cyanotype printing, which is similar to making photographs in a darkroom where the only ingredients are coated paper, ample sunlight and water.

All classes run 9 – 4 pm each day. Studios are also open after hours.

Course cost: $285     Course fee: $30

Tuition includes lunch and daily snacks and is inclusive of all applicable taxes.


BOB St. CYR was granted the Canadian Association of Photographic Arts Maple Leaf and Associate Fellowship Awards for photographic achievement, service and exceptional contributions to photography in 2010. He has also exhibited and won national & international awards with his fine-art images. Although Bob is familiar with digital photography and employs it from time-to-time, he primarily works with medium and large film format lens and pinhole cameras. He also enjoys the challenge of constantly working to better himself not only as a photographer but as a darkroom craftsman from processing film to printing archival processed silver gelatin fiber black and white prints.

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