The Canadian Schools Art Education Program

Created to complement our Canadian Online Art Book Project, the country’s only digital art library, the Canadian Schools Art Education Program is a national resource that offers primary and secondary school teachers thematically driven teacher resource guides and independent student learning activities to facilitate the study of Canadian art through a wide range of subjects.

Today, there are over 5 million students enrolled in elementary and secondary school programs in Canada. Yet there is no program available nationally and in both the country’s official languages to inform teachers about Canadian art history or to offer students the opportunity to learn about a diverse range of subjects through art. We want to change this. Our goal is for all Canadian students to know the names of this country’s artists and to have access to their work.


Cultural expression is a human right—one so essential that the United Nations General Assembly enshrined it in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet when it comes to access to Canadian culture, the majority of this country’s students are separated from this fundamental necessity. Only a fraction of the Canadian art in museums has been digitized, restricting visual culture to those who are able to physically travel to where it is housed. Student knowledge of our country’s artists is largely limited to their access to bricks-and-mortar galleries. To address this situation, the Art Canada Institute is dedicated to making Canadian art history a contemporary conversation, with the Canadian Online Art Book Project and the Canadian Schools Art Education Program.


Our learning resources are accessible, inspiring, and interdisciplinary so that all educators, not just those who already have an interest in visual arts, will find them relevant and appealing. We offer easy-to-use guides for teaching a wide range of subjects. Each of our expert-authored guides follows national education recommendations and is available in both French and English. Every guide provides suggestions for class activities, individual and group assignments, and discussion topics. In addition to guides for teachers, we offer complementary independent student learning activities that are designed be distributed to students directly to use in online learning or at home.


This program is for primary and secondary school students across Canada—and their teachers. In high schools alone, there are 1.8 million active students in Canada in any given year; there are 3,400 public secondary schools and 215 private schools. As of 2017, there are 721,100 teachers, professors, and counsellors in Canada. The Art Canada Institute teacher resource guides can be used with the curricula of all provinces and territories.


Stay in Touch

We publish a bi-monthly newsletter that offers information about our guides and independent student learning activities (including new releases), special features on artworks that might be discussed in the classroom, and links to resources on Canadian artists you may wish to introduce to your students. Sign up below.


Advisers for the Canadian Schools Art Education Program include Sara Angel, founder and executive director of the Art Canada Institute; Peter Vietgen, Associate Professor of Visual Arts Education, Brock University; Hsiao-Cheng (Sandrine) Han, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia; and Joanna Black, Associate Professor of Art Education, University of Manitoba.


The Canadian Schools Art Education Program values the feedback of user experience. We are always looking to improve our educational materials and to make them as accessible and relevant as possible. We want to hear from you, the teachers and educators who are using our guides in your classrooms. Please send us your comments by email to

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The Canadian Schools Art Education Program has been made possible thanks to the support of the following lead benefactors who have generously funded this initiative:

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