The purpose of the AIRS program is to enable all children to have access to  the transformative power of the arts in their learning and for their lives. 

Here are some reflections on the AIRS program from students, parents and school teaching staff. 



“I love the Art Room!” Kindergarten student, Trudeau

“I can’t believe this is learning.” Grade 3 student, Nightingale

“So exciting…the paint! We use a roller to put the paint. Then we put white paper and black paper. I make a clam!” Kindergarten student, Trudeau

“I am glad I got to be a real artist. It brought me joy.” Seymour elementary student

“This has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.” Grade 7 student, Grandview 



“Our students and school community are so fortunate to have such creative and explorative learning in this age of technology and cuts to education.” 

"The confidence and ability that my child has expressed and experienced is priceless.  I wish every child could have the opportunity to explore their creativity in such a way.”

“When I saw the photographs for the first time, I was blown away by the professional look of the photos. It was incredible to see how the students were able to transform something so simple as patterns into art.” 


“The most distractible, agitated children in my class are calmer when they do art. Two students in particular are blossoming with the calm, hands-on, judgement-free opportunities to draw, explore ideas and take on new challenges.” 

Alison Diesvelt, Grade 6/7 Teacher

“This enabled me to return to my pre-public-school-teacher roots of using art to build community and identity.”

Laura Atkinson, Grade 4/5 Teacher

“Seeing patterns in nature up close and personal kept my learners focused and engaged. The art-making process really centred and grounded my kids.” 

Rosa Oudt, primary teacher


“My students are among the most at risk children in the Vancouver Public School system. The art studio is like a combination of brain development and therapy for them. These children gradually learn to step out of their hurt and to create something that they are proud of. School is the usually the only place where these student experience art and healthy mentor like relationships. As we have witnessed here at Nightingale, the benefit of an artist in residence for children at risk can be life changing.” 

Deb Routledge, SEAD program

“During my many visits to the Art and Discovery Studio I witnessed students who may otherwise have been unmotivated and/or behaviorally challenged, emerge as excited artists. Through the arts, these students became confident and empowered. One grade two student, who had just completed 20 weeks of intensive reading support, had written and illustrated a book for his final project. When I commented on the outstanding illustrations he interrupted politely and proudly exclaimed “I learned to draw like that right here!” as he pointed around the Art and Discovery Studio.“ This moment reinforced for me the absolute necessity for students to explore, create and observe the arts due to the complete, student engagement it brings; social emotionally and academically.” 

Christine Chambers, resource teacher




“Our dynamic and diverse student population has been able to benefit from the differentiated instruction, opportunities for self-expression and ability to grow and express themselves as artists. It was wonderful to observe students fully engaged, participative, enthusiastic and proud.” 

Megan Davies, Principal, Queen Alexandra FAMILY School

“Trudeau students have embraced the studio program. This new opportunity has given many students another way to express themselves under the guidance of an experienced artist. We have also noticed that this expression through the arts has been particularly beneficial for students socially and emotionally. A sense of calm comes across the room as children are working and exploring their sense of belonging which was this year’s theme.” 

Angela Hughes, principal, Trudeau Elementary