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Registration is open for Emily Carr Teen Art Programs

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is opening the creative doors for artistic middle school and high school students this spring, summer and throughout the school year with a number of teen art programs
Supporting your teens' arts education with ECU’s year-round art programs can open doors to endless creative career opportunities ahead. Photo via Emily Carr University

ECU Continuing Studies offers teen art programs year-round, providing hands-on instruction from professional artists, access to state-of-the-art studios, portfolio development, and preparation for future careers.

From the moment your child began drawing masterpieces on the walls and furniture of your family home, you knew they had an aptitude for art. Now that they’re growing up, their next step is to broaden their creative horizons and advance their future career as a professional artist.

As a parent, what can you do to help your artsy teens in the pursuit of their creative dreams? Every day counts, which is why encouraging your child to take advantage of their vacation breaks by honing in on their art and design education will make a huge difference.

As the #1 university in art + design in Canada, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU)  recognizes that encouraging young talent early makes a difference in enriching their careers in professional art. With that in mind, the university is giving prospective teen students the opportunity to reap the benefits of post-secondary learning with a preview of what studying at art school is like.

During spring break, summer vacation, and throughout the school year, ECU Continuing Studies offers a number of teen art programs, created specifically with youth of all levels of art experience in mind. Through hands-on art, media and design courses, teens receive instruction from practicing professional artists, have access to Emily Carr’s state-of-the-art studios and equipment, connect with like-minded peers, develop their portfolio of work for university applications, and become better prepared for post-secondary education and their future careers.

Spring break art camp for teens

Designed for students ages 15 to 18, or enrolled in Grades 9 to 12, the Spring Break Art Camp instills foundational creative skills through the exploration of popular studio practices in art and design. ECU has curated a collection of courses across a wide variety of studies, including drawing, painting, illustration, character illustration, environment concept art, storyboarding, stop motion animation, and industrial design.

The art camp is scheduled to run throughout the course of the two weeks of spring break, with the first week running from March 18 to 22, and the second week running from March 25 to 28. Offering a mix of in-studio sessions and online studio streams, ECU has made it easy and flexible for all interested students to enroll. 

Registration for the Spring Break Art Camp at ECU is open until March 11, 2024.

By equipping your teens with the support they need to kickstart their arts education now, you’ll be ensuring that they have access to endless opportunities in their creative career journeys. Photo via Emily Carr University

​Summer Institutes for Teens

This July, middle school and high school students can enroll in the Junior Arts Institute and the Summer Institute for Teens to build on their foundational skills, explore a wide range of art, media and design practices, and be exposed to new mediums, methods and perspectives that will broaden their creative expression.

The Junior Arts Institute is a two-week immersive exploratory program for middle school students ages 13 to 15, or who have completed Grade 7 by July 1, 2024. The offered courses cover a multitude of art practices, including drawing, painting, illustration, animation, motion graphics, and experience and interaction design. 

“I appreciated how welcoming, inclusive and kindly we were treated,” describes a Summer Institute for Teens student about the 2023 program. “We were given the chance to create well, being given helpful critiques and ideas on how to fix things. We had open conversations and incredible help with our art.” - Summer Institute for Teens student, 2023.

Completion of the Junior Arts Institute is a segway into participation in the Summer Institute for Teens, which is a one-month immersive exploratory program for high school students ages 16 to 18, or who have completed Grade 10 by July 1, 2024. ECU offers a wider breadth of art disciplines for the teen program, with courses that cover drawing, painting, traditional illustration, digital illustration, digital photography, graphic design, animation, game development, and industrial design. This rigorous pre-university program also prepares high school students for post-secondary applications, with workshops on developing creative portfolios and preparing for higher education in the arts and their creative careers.

At the end of the programs, students will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a public exhibition in ECU's Michael O'Brian Exhibition Commons.

Art courses and workshops for teens

In addition to the spring and summer programs, ECU also offers teen art courses and workshops year-round on weeknights and weekends throughout the school year to supplement their current secondary art education. 

Designed for high school students ages 15 to 18, or who are currently enrolled in Grades 9 to 12, these courses and workshops give teens even more opportunities to work with other art and design peers and meet potential mentors in the industry who instruct these sessions. Classes highlight a range of art practices, including painting, life drawing, perspective drawing, character illustration, graphic novel production, communication design, surface design, and environment concept art.

By equipping your teens with the support they need to kickstart their arts education now, you’ll be ensuring that they have access to endless opportunities in their creative career journeys. 

Go to for more information on ECU’s teen art programs.