New summer camps come to New West

Trying to figure out how to keep your kids busy and out of your hair this summer? Here’s an option—Urban Academy is offering all sorts of summer camps this year, right here in New Westminster.

The arts-infused school is excited about this new offering and sees it as a natural extension of their arts-infused curriculum.

this is a picture of a woman dressed in a costume that is somewhat fairy and somewhat Mother Nature. She is gesturing with er hand and making a funny face. She is outdoors in a park.

“We’re looking forward to opening our doors for camps this summer,” says Michael Bouchard, Urban Academy’s head of school, in a press release. “We’ve got something for everyone, and it’s a great way for kids to continue to learn and have fun when school’s out.”

The full-and half-day camps are all a week long and will run throughout the summer at Urban Academy, in the former Robson Manor. Topics include French, drawing, painting, science, clay, and music theatre and options are available for kids from five to sixteen years-old.

All of the camps will be led by teachers from Urban Academy, except for the Clay Creations one which will be taught by an established artist.

Camp details are as follows:

  • Creative Puppetry, ages five to seven, July 11 to 15, 9 a.m. to noon, $126
  • Become a Puppeteer, ages six to 11 years, July 11 to 15, 12:45 to 3:45 p.m., $126
  • Music Theatre, ages five to 12 years, August 22 to 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $226
  • Clay Creations, ages six to 11 years, July 25 to 29, 9 a.m. to noon ,$130
  • Fun in French, ages six to 12 years, July 25 to 29, 12:45 to 3:45 p.m., $126
  • Introduction to Photography and Pinhole Cameras, ages 11 to 16 years, July 4 to 8 or July 11 to 15, 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., $315 (materials included are valued at $60 per student)
  • Drawing and Painting 101, ages 11 to 16, July 18 to 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $290 (materials included are valued at $60 per student)

The comprehensive camps give kids a unique experience and go beyond what many similar camps do. For example, in the photography camp, students will build a darkroom, take a photography tour of downtown Vancouver, and visit a print shop where they will print a short series.

Limited spaces are still available for most camps but are selling fast. More information is available at

Please call the school at 604-524-2211 to register and secure your child’s spot.

Christmas Magic at the Manor Craft Sale

Urban Academy will host its fourth annual Christmas Magic at the Manor Craft Sale on Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The popular sale will raise money to support the non-profit school’s activities, including its Art, Drama, French, and Music programs.

What makes the sale extra-special is that it’s held in what used to be Robson Manor—a Victorian-style home that has been converted into a JK-Grade 10 school (with plans to expand to grade 12). Parent volunteers put in countless hours emptying out all the desks, books and school supplies to transform the building into an exquisitely-decorated setting for the sale.

Urban Academy's annual Christmas Magic at the Manor Craft sale will be held in the former Robson Manor, now home to the school. Photo Pamela Findling

Over 25 crafters will be selling their wares at the craft sale, including Cottage Creations, Bowtterflies, Messy Kid, and A Christmas Family Affair. The variety of crafters mean there will be something for everyone, whether you’re looking for jewelry, knitting, soaps, skincare, bags or ornaments. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts for that special someone on your list (or yourself).

Adding to the Victorian Christmas feel, the sale also features an old-fashioned tearoom staffed by student volunteers who will serve up tea, coffee, sandwiches and cookies. For many shoppers, the tearoom is one of the highlights of the day and a great way to get them in the holiday spirit.

Urban Academy students Lily Hamilton and Jaxon Findling demonstrate their tea pouring skills in preperation for the old-fashioned tearoom. Photo Pamela Findling

The sale was started four years ago by two parents who wanted to come up with a creative way to raise money for the school. It was an instant success and attracts over 1,500 people a year, with the numbers continuing to grow each year.

Christmas Magic at the Manor is now one of the major annual fundraisers for the school. It supports Urban Academy in providing a well-rounded, arts-infused program with affordable tuition rates and an aggressive tuition assistance program for families who need financial support.

Admission to the event is by donation to the school. Urban Academy is located at 101 Third Street.