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PICK A PROGRAM: Learning opportunities abound this fall

Arts and cultural groups offering a wide variety of programs starting soon
Courtesy Kaleidoscope Theatre

Whether you’re ready to embark on a new career or explore a passion for the arts, there’s no better time than now to start learning.

From the performing arts to career education, languages to music, Greater Victoria offers a wealth of opportunities, with many programs set to launch new sessions this September.

Here we explore some of the many community education and career offerings around the city, with opportunities for students of all ages.

What will you be learning this fall? Here some programs happening around the City:

Train with Ballet Victoria!

A unique and educational dance experience awaits at the Ballet Victoria Conservatory.

A non-profit school operated by the Ballet Victoria Society, the Conservatory is committed to excellence in dance education. The school offers classical ballet training for all levels – recreational to professional – based on the Vaganova Methodology, as well as quality education in tap, jazz and contemporary dance.

The BVC faculty consists of Ballet Victoria’s top professional dancers, all graduates of professional ballet schools worldwide. Classes are small, ensuring each student receives the care, guidance and skills needed to achieve their personal best in a positive, nurturing environment.

Gail Takahashi/Courtesy Ballet Victoria

Since its inception in 2014, the BVC has prepared many young aspiring dancers to dance professionally. Students have had opportunities to perform on the Royal Theatre stage with Ballet Victoria, to the music of the incredible Victoria Symphony.

Learn more at

Sharing French language and culture

L’Alliance Française de Victoria, dedicated to the promotion of the French language and culture, has been operating in Victoria since 1904.

Groups and individuals enjoy a variety of French language courses taught by experienced professionals and adapted to the needs of learners. Group courses take place in community centres or in the workplace for government or corporate clients. Private lessons usually take place at the instructor’s home, but an instructor can come to students in most cases.

Along with language classes, L’Alliance Française de Victoria organizes many cultural events for the Francophone community, including a monthly lecture series, informal coffee and conversation meet-ups, book club, holiday fun and a yearly book sale.

Visit, email or call 250-389-2962.

VISA art programs on the move

The Vancouver Island School of Art is moving to the North Park community.

The fall semester opens Sept. 17, with day and evening offerings in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, art history, art appreciation and art writing.

Meghan Krauss/Courtesy Vancouver Island School of Art

As SD61 repurposes VISA’s current building, the school is excited to continue offering the stellar level of courses in the former North Park Bike Shop – a temporary home for two years while VISA awaits its permanent facility on Fifth Street in the Quadra Village, opening in September 2020. The North Park location will provide room for a classroom and studio area for those in the Diploma, Independent Studio Program and Senior Residency. The school is also looking for satellite space during the next two years.

Call 250-380-3500 or visit

Supports offered to future counsellors

CityU Canada’s Master of Counselling program in Victoria-Langford is delivered in mixed-mode format, combining the best of online learning with face-to-face instruction and practice at three-day residencies, twice each quarter.

The mixed-mode program allows students to integrate ongoing learning with their complex schedules and especially appeals to working adults who are driven to become counsellors.

Dr. Allan Wade, Program Director for Victoria, stresses that the training is rigorous and well-supported: “We regard students as colleagues who will contribute important services in their communities and ensure our graduates meet the highest practice standards.”

CityU faculty are practitioners known for high-quality work in the field, creating a focus on the realities of counseling work, balanced with theory and ethics.

“At CityU Canada, we emphasize socially just, ethical and inclusive practice across all of our programs,” says Dr. Steve Conway, Associate Provost of Canadian Academic Programs. “We are also very involved in the communities we serve, by offering low or no-cost pubic seminars on important topics for professionals and the community.”

CityU also offers Master of Education degrees in Leadership and School Counseling. “We embrace the cohort model, which creates strong learning communities that are often maintained for years after graduation,” Dr. Conway says.

Learn more at an information session Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. at #305 – 877 Goldstream Ave. RSVP to 250-391-7444.

40+ years of youth theatre

As the premier training institution for young artists on Vancouver Island, Kaleidoscope has a single mission: training young people to become highly skilled, confident, well-rounded performers.

Providing comprehensive artistic training in acting, musical theatre, singing and voice, acting for the camera and improvisation, Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Studio believes singing, acting, and dancing are life skills that develop creativity, collaboration and communication.

Kaleidoscope offers year-round training for ages two through 17 from its Richmond Road Campus and through Saanich Recreation, including private voice lessons, group theatre classes, camps and workshops, all carefully curated for young artists. Under the guidance of experienced instructors and mentors with a wealth of professional and educational knowledge, students develop technique with an emphasis on individual and small group work, with in-class and out-of-class opportunities to apply these techniques as they build performance and audition pieces.

Learn more at

SKAM School highlights acting classes for all ages

SKAM School of Performing Arts (formerly Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio) has offered quality acting courses for children, teens and adults in Victoria since 1996.

The school’s year-round programming includes afterschool and homeschooler classes, individual coaching, youth and teen performance companies, summer camps and adult workshops and courses.

The local, non-profit Theatre SKAM has played to theatre audiences in Victoria and on tour for 22 years.

Given that part of Theatre SKAM’s mandate is to encourage and employ emerging artists, taking over a well-loved, well-attended, and hugely respected school was an easy decision to make.

SKAM’s philosophy to encourage youth and adults to explore their creativity goes hand-in-hand with Kate Rubin’s viewpoint of theatrical learning. SKAM Studios create a homey and safe environment for students and professionals alike. Classes focus on acting and nurturing creativity, stagecraft, play creation, acting for film and television, and more!

For more information, head to, email, or call 250-386-7526.