Ensuring that all children have the opportunity to develop life skills by exploring their potential through arts experiences.

artsREACh painting workshopOur Impact Why We Exist

ArtsREACH is a not for profit organization created to provide high quality visual and performing arts training to young children, regardless of their financial means. To reach the children who would benefit the most, we deliver free 60-90 minute workshops in public elementary schools identified as having a high percentage of low income families. 

Since 2005, more than 25,000 children have participated in an artsREACH workshop delivered at their public elementary school. The workshops are taught by professional artists, actors, dancers and filmmakers.

Our Story What We Do

The OCTA Collective Society was founded by Marilyn Sing in 2004. While working for a company contracted by the BC Government to help people on welfare and unemployment benefits to gain skills that would help them become more employable, Ms. Sing realized that the most effective time to nurture such skills is when people are young, so that the skills can develop into natural behaviours.  The OCTA Collective Society launched artsREACH in-school and after-school programs to support development of these critical skills.

Research has clearly demonstrated the benefits of an arts education to the social, emotional and physical development and health of children. Study after study offers evidence that children given hands-on experiences in the arts are better able to master reading, writing and math than those who only study the academic curriculum. Research has also clearly shown that an involvement in the arts develops valued employability and life skills, including: personal management, teamwork, critical thinking, communication, problem solving and acting independently.

Ms. Sing and other founding board members were motivated to establish an arts education organization because of the extensive and compelling research demonstrating that participation in fine arts programs is particularly beneficial to children from lower socio-economic groups.

Our Programs How We Do It

artsREACH provides in-school workshops and after-school programs.

The in-school workshop program provides a 90-minute drawing, painting, printmaking or dance workshop to a class of students during regular school time.

The after-school program provides 12 children with a more intensive and focused experience in visual arts, theatre arts or filmmaking arts and runs weekly for a period of six weeks.

In our artsREACH workshops, the children participate in workshops taught by professional artists, actors, dancers and filmmakers, who are hired and trained to teach creative techniques and skills in a positive and encouraging learning environment.

Through these workshops children:

  • Develop artistic and creative skills
  • Gain an appreciation for the arts
  • Improve their self confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop teamwork, communication and personal management skills

What You Can Do

Through artsREACH, those children least likely to have access to arts experiences are also able to benefit from the development of critical life skills that are learned as part of the artsREACH workshops. To ensure children from low-income families continue to be able to participate in artsREACH workshops, your support through donations, sponsorship, fundraising events and/or volunteering would be greatly appreciated.

For donation information and impact:

Interested in sponsorship? Contact

Check out upcoming and past fundraising events:

Buying or selling real estate? Now sponsored under the DFH Sponsorship Referral Program, clients using a participating DFH agent for real estate transactions can designate artsREACH as the beneficiary of 10% of earned commissions. Contact Carol Crabb at DFH to be connected to a participating DFH agent and for further information on this program: "carol" (at) "dfh" (dot) "ca" or 250.477.7291


Anne Nilsen
Board President
Charitable Number: 863881074RR0001

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Finance & Governance


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