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Art kits delivered to at-risk kids in Surrey during pandemic

Arts Umbrella program switches gears in partnership with Opus Art Supplies
A girl holds an art kit delivered by Arts Umbrella. (submitted photo)

Kids in Surrey have had some “Artful Afternoons” during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a non-profit that believes every child should have access to an arts education.

Art kits have been available for curbside pick-up to families who access an Arts Umbrella program called Westminster Savings Artful Afternoons, a free after-school session typically held at the Park Place Towers at King George Skytrain Station.

To help inspire creativity during the pandemic, more than 200 of the kits have been given to kids in Surrey and Vancouver, in partnership with Opus Art Supplies.

The Artful Afternoons program gives at-risk children “a space and high-quality supplies to express themselves.”

The art kits include crayons, pastels, blank sketch pads and other items.

“Each year more than 7,000 young people access our donor-funded Community Programs at no cost,” Paul Larocque, president and CEO of Arts Umbrella, said in a news release. “These programs were cancelled from March to June due to the COVID-19 crisis, and we wanted to find a way to provide for this vulnerable community during such a difficult time.”

Arts Umbrella ( has four locations in Vancouver and Surrey, in addition to donor-funded programs at schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses and health-care facilities across Metro Vancouver.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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