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ArtStarts on Saturdays & ArtStarts at River Market

Looking for fun, free things to do with kids in the Lower Mainland? ArtStarts is pleased to offer free arts-based events for kids and families each month—in both Vancouver and New Westminster. Join some of the best artists working with young people for performances and workshops that explore a wide range of cultures and artistic disciplines. Each 45-minute workshop takes place twice, at 11am and 1pm. Please arrive a little early as this is a popular program. Ideal for ages 5 and up, but all are welcome. Free! Donations welcome.


  • ArtStarts offers us something special each month we always look forward to it.
  • My daughter says it was awesome and she wishes she could do it every day!
  • This was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with my son—making art!
  • Thanks for bringing this to our hood. You are helping us to raise active and bright kids.
  • What an incredible performance! It was thoroughly enjoyed by our kids and by us, the parents. Thank you!
  • Wonderful, inspiring and fun workshop! Will use the skills at home, too.
  • Coming to ArtStarts in my community is always the highlight of the weekend.
  • The kids loved it and dad really got into it too - surfaced some amazing hidden artistic talents!
  • Great! Educational! Fun! Artistic!
Gord's Guitars with Gord Grdina

Gord's Guitars with Gord Grdina

One person, seven guitars and an oud, Gord takes students on an exciting musical, social and geographic journey through the history of guitar with Arabic, classical, country, blues, jazz, and rock styles. Through the evolution of the instrument we see how music crosses borders to facilitate cross-cultural learning. With loops, percussion and projections, Gord engages students through listening games, audience participation and visual learning aids. You'll sing, clap along and dance to everything from traditional Egyptian to Johnny Cash, and Muddy Waters to AC/DC. All Ages.

  • VANCOUVER: Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 11am & 1pm at the ArtStarts Gallery, 808 Richards St, Vancouver (map)
  • NEW WESTMINSTER: Sunday, August 26, 2018 at 11am & 1pm at River Market at Westminster Quay, 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster (map)
Wild Heart in Motion with Desirée Dawson

Wild Heart in Motion with Desirée Dawson

Desirée Dawson, Winner of the 2016 CBC Searchlight Contest, brings you a music-based workshop filled with exploration and creativity. Desirée's journey with music has led her to a place she calls her Wild Heart space, where she is fully tapped into the flow of her creative spirit. Desirée finds that she can be at her most Wild Hearted when she's having genuine connections with those around her and when she's connecting and spending time with the beautiful traditional, ancestral and unceded coast Salish Territory that she lives and plays on. She believes that when our Wild Hearts are in motion, so much is possible. Come get into the flow of your own Wild Heart with movements of your body, voice, and words. All Ages.

  • VANCOUVER: Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 11am & 1pm at the ArtStarts Gallery, 808 Richards St, Vancouver (map)
  • NEW WESTMINSTER: Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 11am & 1pm at River Market at Westminster Quay, 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster (map)
On Now at the Gallery

On Now at the Gallery

While at the ArtStarts Gallery, check out our exhibition of young people's art, Beyond Words: Stories of Our Time showcases artwork created by students from schools across BC exploring Indigenous ways of knowing and learning. From bentwood boxes to hip hop music videos, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike reflect on what it means to be a young person in this moment in Canadian history. Through the power of art, they express what their words alone cannot — on until July 2018.
More Fun Down the Block

More Fun Down the Block

If you're joining us at the ArtStarts Gallery in Vancouver on the last Saturday of every month, also be sure to also stop by the Contemporary Art Gallery, located just two blocks away (at the corner of Richards and Nelson). The CAG invites all ages to drop-in for short exhibition tours and free art making activities that respond to our current exhibitions. CAG Family Art Day events are planned on the last Saturday of the month from Noon to 3pm. Learn more.
More Events

More Events

Discover more upcoming events, and read stories about our past community events.


Westminster Savings supports ArtStarts at River Market.

Westminster Savings is committed to increasing access to active living and the arts in our communities through their Project Better Balance.
The City of Vancouver supports ArtStarts on Saturdays.

The City of Vancouver appreciates the value that the arts brings to the lives of citizens and the life of the city. They support non-profit arts and cultural organizations through a variety of grant programs.