The Esplanade offers a wide variety of creative and engaging programming for children, youth and school groups throughout both the school year and summer months. Below, you’ll find a brief outline of all our educational offerings. For more in-depth information, and the register, please visit our individual program pages. For individuals, click here. For school groups, click here.


Art Classes

Esplanauts (Ages 6-8 and 9-12)

Sensory Art Explorations for Tots (Ages 2-3 with Parents or Caregivers)

Sensory Art Explorations for Preschoolers (Ages 4-5)


Art classes draw inspiration from the current exhibitions in the Art Gallery. Two dimensional and three dimensional art projects are designed to give children the opportunity to explore a wide variety of ideas in a diversity of media. Projects and art activities challenge children while instructors offer plenty of encouragement to provide for a safe environment that promotes exploration, creativity and expression. Eight week-long sessions run in the Fall, Winter and Spring.



PD Day Programs


These programs for the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education and School Division #76 are offered in partnership with the Hive Artists’ Hub Society. Kindergarten/ELP students and students aged 5-11 spend their day experimenting with various art materials and techniques while developing and refining their skills as young artists. They also have the opportunity to think critically and stimulate their senses as they create, interpret, and express themselves visually. This fun filled day begins with an engaging morning in the welcoming Discovery Centre. An afternoon field trip to the Hive allows students to learn from professional practicing artists. Both drop-off and pick-up take place at the Esplanade’s Discovery Centre. Each Board-specific PD Day has different content so students may enjoy coming back more than once!


Summer Art Camp


Week-long day camps for children and youth run from 9 am – 4 pm and provide parents with affordable, challenging, creative and fun summer art projects for their children. Held in the Esplanade Discovery Centre, camps utilize the Art Gallery, Museum, and local environment for inspiration. Projects have been as diverse as glow in the dark painting, painting on records, silk screening, creature sculptures, papier-mâché buildings, watercolour graffiti, and puppetry.  There are many fun outdoor activities including daily trips to the park, exploratory hunts, and field trips to various locations around the city.


Youth Open Studio


For one week during every summer, the Esplanade offers a program to Medicine Hat’s youth aged 13-15. Participants are invited to experience open-ended projects across all mediums in a studio setting. Projects include figure drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. Participants also plan and host a small exhibition of their best work produced during the week.


Birthday Parties


Did you know that the Esplanade runs art themed birthday parties? Our two-hour long parties include a custom art project based on your child’s interests created and facilitated by one of our Visual Arts Instructors, as well as the use of our fun art-making space: the Discovery Centre. Please call for more details.


Medicine Hat Culture Days


On the Friday of the Alberta Culture Days annual event, the Esplanade offers a Kids Culture Walk free of charge to school groups. This walk includes stops in various downtown locations allowing students to experience the wonderful cultural sites in our community. Teachers can sign their classes up for one of eight spaces on this fun-filled day!


Theatre Performances for Schools


Throughout the school year, Esplanade Education looks for opportunities to offer a daytime theatre performance for school groups. Calgary Opera, Red Sky, Kelowna Ballet, and STOMP have been among the theatre showings provided for school groups. Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Cenovus Energy, the Esplanade is able to offer these performances at a low cost.


Reggio Emilia Inspired Outreach Artist Program


Created in partnership with School District #76 in 2010, the Esplanade hosts a portion of the schools’ Outreach Artist program on site. SD76’s Outreach Artist provides Reggio Emilia inspired art instruction to 15 different school in 40 Kindergarten and Early Learning Program classes. The Reggio Emilia approach is a child-directed approach to education, in which the child is seen as a resourceful, imaginative, curious and competent learner that possesses a desire to interact and communicate with others. It focuses on a child’s natural development, and holds the philosophy that learning must make sense to the student in order for it to be effective and meaningful. Every class within the program has the opportunity to visit the Esplanade’s Art Gallery. This is followed by a hands-on art activity held in the Esplanade’s Discovery Centre, relating to what they learned through their visit to the Gallery.


Artist in the Classroom Program


The Esplanade’s Artist in the Classroom, Wendy Struck, is able to come in to a school’s classroom to facilitate an art program of their choosing from her predetermined options. This program is a great resource for schools that are unable to visit the Esplanade, but would like to enhance their visual arts programming.


Tours and Exhibit Related Programming


Esplanade Education provides tours with exhibit interpreters and programming for school groups throughout the school year. Art Gallery Tours can be combined with an art workshop in the Discovery Centre. In addition to our school tours, we also offer group tours for adult or community groups.

Artist Workshops are programmed for various audiences in collaboration with visiting artists, community groups, community events and areas of the Esplanade including the Theatre, Archives, Museum and Art Gallery.