In School Programmes

An ‘in school’ visual arts programme for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 inspired by community programming at Walnut Studios. Walnut Studios is a large warehouse in the King West Village that houses over 45 artists working in a variety of disciplines. Blank Canvases is an offshoot programme inspired by Walnut’s current mission to provide children in the TDSB and TDCSB  with authentic and sophisticated art lessons. This unique programme began as a partnership with neighbouring Niagara Street P.S. and has now expanded into other schools across the GTA. There is also a Blank Canvases After School Art Programme for children grades 1-6.

See Blank Canvases in action!


  • provide children  with an enriching experience of interacting with artists in their neighbourhood or community
  • provide education on and about local Toronto Artists
  • foster local cultural knowledge and identity
  • expose children to the artistic process in an authentic form
  • allow children to experience sophisticated arts programming they may not otherwise be able to afford or have access to
  • connect children  to the surrounding community through artistic engagement
  • use art to help students connect with social studies, local history, and other subject matter linked with the  curriculum
  • provide PD for teachers with extensions for further learning with their class
  • use art as a vehicle for creative and critical thinking

Themes and programme content

The programme uses the inspiration of both historical and contemporary Toronto artists as the inspiration for each lesson. At the beginning of the lesson, students see images and learn a bit about the art and life of the specific Toronto artist/art group. Afterwards, students are led through an art lesson inspired by the technique of this artist culminating in the creation of their own unique art piece. The lessons are designed by qualified art education specialists that meet the standards of the Ontario Ministry Curriculum.


Teaching Methods

The Blank Canvases Art Educator uses methods which allow for children to create and express their own individuality to their utmost capability. This includes best practices in arts education which reflect: open ended choice making, an encouragement of individuality, fostering of expression, and a focus on process rather than product. The lessons use art making as a vehicle to promote qualities of group camaraderie, mutual respect, positive self-esteem, critical and creative thinking skills.

Costing for one half-day blank canvases lesson

TDSB & TDCSB Schools Fee

$225.00 per workshop


Private Schools Fee

$300.00 per workshop

Plus 10% admin/handling fee


“I have heard nothing but positive feedback from staff regarding the Blank Canvases arts workshops in our school. It gave the students a tremendous opportunity to understand and appreciate artists as well as an opportunity to view themselves as artists. I still see students with their sketchbooks, drawing in their free time, sharing artistic ideas with friends. It was especially important for our many English Language Learners to be able to be express themselves through art when using the English language is difficult”

Miriam Zachariah, Principal/Directrice, Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School