It’s Elementary: Dreams Become Reality

What began as a dream five years ago became a reality when we opened our doors at 1720 McTavish Road (North Saanich) on May 9, 2016 as the McTavish Academy of Art.

MAOA is a bold adventure by a group of young entrepreneurs, that will see the 18,000 square foot former McTavish Elementary School, and the adjacent agricultural land, transformed into a vibrant centre dedicated to the advancement of the living arts.

With easy access to classes, workshops and events (both free and fee based), focusing on a wide spectrum of mediums, the McTavish Academy of Art will enable the exploration and discovery of new ways to create. A destination for art, music, dance, mindfulness, creative expression and sustainable agriculture close to home, MAOA will maintain a focus on the enhancement of body, mind and soul.

The arts will be incorporated as a vehicle to empower and inspire our local and Island communities, and to facilitate connections with a diverse and international community of artists. Personal and professional endeavours will be supported in a creative and collaborative atmosphere.

Beginning this month, MAOA will offer studio classes and workshops in yoga and meditation; the arts such as canvas arts, design, sketching, drawing and other mediums; dance instruction; practice; and rehearsal.

A gymnasium (complete with stage), meeting space, classrooms and common area will be available for events such as educational talks, Artists in Residence, drop-in activities and recreation.

McTavish Academy of Art recognizes the need for education in sustainable practices in our shared environment in order to become a self-sustaining entity supporting the generations to follow.

Over time, the ALR land will be integrated in a manner that will complement the Academy goal of education and promotion of locally-produced food, goods and services in a sustainable manner. The Get Fresh Guide is dedicated to connecting eaters with the growers, producers, suppliers and supporters of fresh, local food and drink and will play a key role in our continued growth.

Upcoming Events and Regularly Scheduled Activities

Saanich Peninsula Studio Tour: Saturday June 4 and Sunday, June 5

Tuesday Film Nights: viewing of creative documentaries and films through the ages to provoke curiosity and engagement in the arts

Wednesday Art Nights: Drop in and create with other like-minded artists. Open forum/uninstructed

Thursday Music Nights: Drop in to listen or jam with other like-minded musicians. Open forum/uninstructed

Looking for more ways to get involved? If you have gently-used equipment that you are wishing to repurpose, we are happy to create a home for it, for community use in our drop-in programs.

My thanks to entrepreneurs Lucas Copplestone and Carl Joosse for sharing this dream with me and to the many friends of the Collaborative, for the inspiration and commitment in pursuing our dream; also to the Joosse Family, whose unwavering belief and support has made this adventure possible.

To contact us, and learn more about these and other activities, please email