Summer Camps for Creative Youth 2021

By Katie Wilde, GAC Volunteer

May 27, 2021

Keeping in mind (as if we could forget!) that things may change, it’s wonderful to see how many creative summer camps are still happening in one form or another this summer.

Young actors show off high energy in their GBTC t-shirts. Photo courtesy of Great Big Theatre Company.

Embrace drama with Great Big Theatre Company’s virtual and in-person summer camps for kids ages 4-5 and 6-14. The content is different each week so campers can register for multiple weeks with no risk of boredom.

Musically inclined kids have several week-long rock experiences to choose from this summer. Jam School’s Summer Rock Camp welcomes older kids ages 8-13 while CMA Music calls on mini rockstars ages 4-11 to join their Rock and Roll Camp (details at bottom of their homepage). Both camps will be in-person, restrictions permitting.

Got ants in your pants, like me? Toddlers to teens can dance away some of that pent-up energy this summer in size-limited groups as part of various camps offered by Guelph Academy of Dance and Performance Dance Academy.

What about those visual and tactile youth who like to get messy and make stuff? The designers, the planners, the make-it-up-as-you-goers?

The Art Gallery of Guelph is running Camp-to-Go, a series of six different week-long camps for ages 7-12 that combine virtual instruction and social opportunities with hands-on creativity. Take-home supply kits are provided ahead of time. Blue Amber Arts Academy’s summer art courses, Elements of Design and Acrylic Pouring with Colour Schemes, run once a week for 8 weeks, for 10-15 year olds. At Focus on Nature’s Guelph Summer Camp, kids ages 8-13 will enjoy some welcome fresh air while they sharpen their photography skills.

Budding photographers pose for Focus on Nature group shot. Photo courtesy of Focus on Nature.

PortPrep offers summer art camps that help teens and young adults who are serious about animation, illustration  and architecture build the skills they need as they prepare portfolios for competitive post-secondary programs.

PortPrep Animation Summer Camp 2017 group photo. Photo credit - Garth Laidlaw

Lego-lovers, budding sculptors and mischievous engineers can make things that move at Brick Works Academy. Their virtual and in-person camps for older kids and tweens teach the computer side of creativity, from graphic design to music production, animation, games and comics. Guelph Gryphons rec centre will virtually facilitate a lego/clay animation camp for 8-11 year olds and a filmmaking camp for kids aged 11-15. Supplies provided. Play with Clay in downtown Guelph keeps it quick and cheerful in their morning-only day camps. Kids ages 5-16 are supported from start to finish as they build and glaze their pottery masterpieces from scratch.

Brick Works Academy Summer Camp students. Photo courtesy of Brick Works Academy. 

Did you know that the Guelph Public Library has a staggering wealth of programming beyond the written word? GPL is always home to bookworms and storytellers taking advantage of everything from playwriting workshops to Summer Reading Clubs, but there is a range of craft, tech, music and other activities to be had there as well!

For young ones with special needs KidsAbility has put together this helpful list of participation programs like Rainbow Day Camp.

Camper artworks created at Guelph Dance Arts Explosion Camp in 2019. Photo courtesy of Guelph Dance.

Knowing our history is knowing ourselves, and although they’re not presenting camps in any strict sense, Guelph Museums and Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) can help connect both parents and kids to important sparks of inspiration and understanding. With their video series, workshops, and recommendations - such as GBHS’s top 100 list of books, movies and more, there is much to explore together. 

In addition to the organizations mentioned above, there are many more that have offered arts camps in the past and will again as soon as possible. Keep them on your radar via newsletters and social media, and ask them about subsidies or discounts for early registration for future camps like fall PD Days and March Break 2022. and PD Days to think about too, so you’ll want to hear when things are taken off ‘pause’!

Guelph Arts Council wishes everyone a safe and happy summer.

Summer Camps 2021

(As of May 27, 2021 - according to their websites)

Taking registrants for 2021

Book your camper while spots remain!

Jam School Summer Rock Camp ages 8-13
CMA Music Rock and Roll Camp ages 4-11
Great Big Theatre Company virtual and in-person  ages 4-5 and 6-14
Guelph Academy of Dance multiple options multiple age groups including teens
Guelph Dance Festival Dance Explosion Camp
Performance Dance Academy multiple options, multiple age groups including teens
Art Gallery of Guelph Camp-to-Go (virtual) supplies provided ahead of time, ages 7-12
Focus on Nature Guelph Summer Camp (in person outdoor) ages 8-13
PortPrep architecture and design (virtual) - older youth preparing portfolios
PortPrep animation (virtual) - older youth preparing portfolios
Brick Works Academy virtual and in-person various age groups 6-14
Play with Clay morning-only day camps (in person), ages 5-16
Guelph Public Library multidisciplinary arts programming
Blue Amber Arts Academy Elements of Design (virtual) ages 10-15
Blue Amber Arts Academy Acrylic Pouring with Colour Schemes (virtual) ages 10-15

Tailored to special needs Rainbow Day Camp and more (see helpful list from KidsAbility)

On pause

Follow, support and stay tuned as things come off 'pause'!

Great Lakes Music Camps
Guelph Dance Festival - Dance Explosion Camp
Kat Studios Triple Threat Summer Camp (Sing, Dance, Act)
Guelph United Performers Theatre Camp.
The Acting Centre
AJ Camps Youth Rock Camp (Elora)
Elora Centre for the Arts
Guelph School of Art
Creative Spark Workshop
Childrens Art Factory

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