Creative outlet: Artist and teacher Michelle Atkins gets a helping hand from her son Quinn while touching up a painting on Saturday

No summer vacation for art, drama

School may be getting out for the summer, but for fine arts teacher Michelle Atkins, art is always in

School may be getting out for the summer, but for fine arts teacher Michelle Atkins, art is always in.

A School District #83 teacher since 2009, primarily teaching fine arts and drama, Atkins has offered summertime art and drama camps for the past four years.

Atkins earned a BA in arts, followed by a BA in education and studied art with her art teacher mother, at Vancouver’s Emily Carr School of Art and BCIT in a joint program between the two schools.

In her own art, Atkins is enjoying creating abstracts with watercolours.

With her students, Atkins likes to encourage individual creativity.

Her weeklong art camps are held at Shuswap Theatre, where students from six years to 12 experiment with art and engage in theatre.

“I cover the floors with tarps and set up art stuff with tables and supplies and we do drama in theatre,” Atkins says “We start with workshops and lessons and within a couple of days they’re working on shows and projects.”

Atkins stresses that day-camp productions are different from rehearsed plays.

“The kids do the work; they write, play, direct and come up with scenes,” she says with a smile. “I keep them on task, but there’s no must-dos. I try to let kids try out any idea.”

Each week, participants work towards a mini art show and drama performance.

Atkins says 70 to 80 per cent of her students are repeats and she encourages people to register their children soon as spots fill up fast.

This year’s camps run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 6 to 9  and July 27 to 30 for children ages nine to 12  and July 13-16 and Aug. 10 to 13 for  ages six to eight. Cost is $160 per child or $310 for two siblings, and includes  snacks.

To register a child, call 250-253-4346 or email

For more information, visit


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