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By Marna Smith, Executive Director Metchosin Summer School of the Arts

This summer, MISSA, the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, celebrated their 35th year on the campus of Pearson College UWC. What started as an idea back in 1984, by Robin Hopper, a Pearson art instructor, and some artist friends, has blossomed from 5 workshops and 50 people to 40+ workshops and over 400 people! The combination of high caliber art instruction, mixed with creative people, fantastic food and set in a stunning natural environment, has created an experience that we like to call, “MISSA Magic”. It only happens for 14 days each summer.

From 22 June – 5 July 2019, MISSA “took over” the campus! Over 450 participants partaking in 44 workshops spread out across campus, using almost every classroom space and all four available student residences (East House was out of commission due to the ongoing renovations).

The hub of all things MISSA is, as usual, their front desk in the dining hall, where participants, visitors and the campus community can browse through MISSA merchandise or select their very own MISSA mug, a very popular MISSA tradition.

Highlights of this year included:

the Studio Open Tour, where the community could catch a glimpse of all the workshops on campus, MISSA Talks, where the instructors shared insights into their own artworks,
Celebration of the Arts, celebrating 35 years of MISSA with delicious food and a silent auction, GUMBO, the annual fundraiser event for the Ceramics program, where pay for a meal and get to keep the handcrafted bowl, Yoga, for participants on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before or after class, and of course, the Wrap-Up Party, to cap off another amazing year at MISSA.

But MISSA is more than just creating art. “We are building community, supporting creative expression and meeting new people all the while having a really great time.
– Marna Smith, Executive Director, Metchosin Summer School of the Arts