ART Open Studio

Express yourSELF through ART Open Studio

The Oceanside Community Art Council is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a grant from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and Parksville-Qualicum Community Foundation to offer free art therapy group sessions to members of our local Oceanside Community. These will all be facilitated by professional and registered art therapists with co-facilitation and support provided by a volunteer art therapy practicum student.

The goal of these art therapy programs is to help people in the Oceanside Community build connections and learn how creative practices can help them cope with the feelings and stress experienced in difficult times.

Art therapy provides a safe and welcoming space for community members to use creative expression to cope with times of stress and uncertainty, as well as build social connections with others who are having similar experiences. 

This is an opportunity for participants to:

  • Be creative and spontaneous
  • Express feelings and concerns
  • Develop insight, self-awareness
  • Share experiences, stories, insights, challenges
  • Cooperate in group activities
  • Give and receive social support
  • Experience relaxation and mindfulness
  • Laugh and have fun

No art experience is required to participate. We are reaching out to members of our community who are struggling with the pandemic and social isolation We don’t want technology or income to be a barrier. Each participant will receive a complimentary mini art kit that can be picked up at the MAC or arrangements can be made to have the supplies delivered. There is also an opportunity for those people not yet familiar with or comfortable with online technology to receive assistance in learning how to use the platform that the sessions will be delivered on. Participants will need access to a smartphone, tablet or computer with a camera and microphone with internet access.


Registration for these sessions is open to residents of Oceanside (including the municipalities of Parksville and Qualicum Beach and four electoral areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo).

You may register for as many sessions as you would like. Please pre-register for each session at least 24 to 48 hours prior to the session. Once you have registered you will be contacted and receive a link to our private online Zoom meeting room in which these sessions will take place. For those in need, a mini-art kit and/or technology assistance will be provided.

You will need a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet access to participate. These sessions are confidential. By participating, you agree you will not discuss who else is in the group, talk about their artwork, or anything that they have shared in the sessions.

This is a practicum placement for a graduate student from the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute (KATI). Although your identity will be kept anonymous at all times, the student art therapist will be asking you to sign a consent form granting permission for:
• your art to be shown to students and professionals for supervision and educational purposes.
• the use and verbal description of photos of your artwork for academic assignments, including case studies.
• your artwork to be used by the student for research purposes.

 Register in any or all of the weekly sessions being held online via Zoom on the following dates:
(click on images for full class descriptions):

 Art Therapy Group Sessions in the Studio at the MAC

 If you are interested in attending in-person sessions at the MAC, please contact the MAC to have your name, email and phone number on an interest list.

 If you have any questions or need assistance navigating the technology to participate, please email [email protected] or call the MAC at 250-248-8185

Many thanks to The Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply for their support of the Art Open Studio program.