Closure alert: COVID-19 updates

Dear ARA community

We want to thank each of you for your cooperation and patience as we work together to make a difference in the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe strongly that these temporary disruptions to our normal routines will help keep the most vulnerable people in our communities safe, and lessen the strain on our healthcare system.

In accordance with Ontario's ongoing state of emergency, the Academy of Realist Art will remain closed until March 31, 2020.

The situation continues to change rapidly, but we are committed to following the advice of our public health leadership. We will update you again on March 30 with next steps, including whether the closure will be extended.

Please continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and be mindful of the things you touch. We also invite you to keep checking in with each other and with your extended networks to stay connected during these difficult times.

We look forward to welcoming you all back to ARA once it is safe to reopen our doors.

We’ve moved to the Columbus Centre! Our first classes at our new location start Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Wow we are exhausted but ecstatic! It’s hard to capture all the energy, love, and nostalgia of moving our entire school in one day, but this image of a sea of easels that represents our community comes close.

THANK YOU to all our moving day volunteers. We could not have accomplished this without you. It felt like a well-oiled machine that just kicked into high gear all on its own. Everybody knew just what to do, from unloading the trucks, to organizing the items for the elevator, to distributing items to all the right rooms. It’s honestly hard to find words to describe these moments.

Biggest congratulations to our fearless leaders Colleen Johnston and Fernando Freitas who were tireless in their efforts to find us the perfect forever home and then make this all happen. They haven’t taken a day off in months, allowing us to stay open during the renovations and the move.

We had an incredible amount of help from our enthusiastic community every step of the way, and we can’t thank you all enough.

Special thanks go out to our MVP Cruz Anderson, our champion of everything in getting this new location ready. It just wouldn’t have gotten done without you.

Special thanks also to Susan Sorger who planned out our space and helped us visualize it for its full potential. The countless measurements and precise specifications for every square inch were invaluable.

Bonus thanks to Colleen’s brother John and Liliya Zholudev’s husband Sergey, without whom we would not have our new walls, and to Jenny Misener who pressed and sewed all our new curtains by hand. We also have to thank Anita Van Zeumeren and her husband Ben for bringing their truck and trailer today and shuttling so many things over, because it made everything go so much faster having a second truck. You guys are awesome!

There have truly been countless moments that have made the process of moving into our forever home worth it. There have been so many long days, but also so much great company while we all pitch in to create this space.

We will open our doors for our first classes on Saturday, November 2, 2019.

We are now located on the third floor of the Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Avenue West. The move has put us in the same building as a rich community of arts, dance, fitness, and more!

We accept new students at any level of ability. There are no entry requirements, just a willingness to learn! Learn more about our regular program here.