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A new year brings new ideas, and perhaps a few new resolutions or intentions. Make this the year you really dive into what local businesses offer their clientele. Attending a few creative classes and/or workshops is a fun way to do this.

Whether you vow to meet new people, hone your creativity, or just try something different this year, any of the following creative classes will help you meet those goals.

Local Creative Classes

Soap Making

Using natural handcrafted soaps is all the rage these days. Even better if you are the one making it! There are a few businesses on Vancouver Island who can help you do just that.

Soak Essentials

Location: Parksville

Length of Class: Approximately 3 hours

Class Size: Maximum of 6 students per class in order to provide time for questions and one-on-one help.

Cost: $90.00 (plus GST) – non-refundable and due at the time of registration

What to Expect:
Each student makes 3 pounds of quality handmade soap, which cuts into approximately 14-16 bars to take home.

You get to choose a favourite scent from the selection of essential oils and fragrance oil, as well as an exfoliant (for example cranberry seeds, loofah, orange peel, etc.). You also have a choice of ten different natural colourants like clays, oxides, and ultramarines (you choose 1 colour to work with).

The class consists of 30 minutes of theory, with the remaining time left for soap making. No experience is required, and all supplies are included. All you have to bring is your creativity!

Island Rain Natural Soap

Location: Nanaimo

Length of Class: 2.5 hours

Class Size: From 1 – 4 people

Cost: Beginners class is $60; Advanced class is $50

What to Expect:

Each student will make a 4 pound batch of soap, which is equivalent to approximately 21 bars to take home.

Starting with rainwater and olive or coconut oil, these soaps are made from the best natural ingredients available. You also get to choose from the many essential oils, clays, and botanicals to make a custom soap to your liking.

Island Rain Natural Soap has both a Beginners class and an Advanced class available.  The Advanced class is for anyone who has already taken the beginner class and wishes to make more soap.

Vancouver Island Soap Works

Location: Metchosin

Length of Classes: 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on class)

Cost: Soap Making 101 is $78.75 (2 hours); Just Make Soap is $68.25 (1.5 hours)

What to Expect:

The soap that comes from Vancouver Island Soap Works is vegetable-based with no animal products. They also use local plant material and natural clays. Ingredients that are both good for you, as well as good for the environment.

They have two soap making classes available:

  • Soap Making 101 – where you will learn the art of soap making and design, and create 4 lbs of handcrafted soap (enough for you to bring home 18, one-inch bars).
  • Just Make Soap – this class skips the theory and gets right down to the business of making soap. You’ll create 4 lbs of handcrafted soap (enough to bring home 18 one-inch bars).

Cooking Classes

A great way to try out something new is in the kitchen. And I can’t think of a better place to start than learning from a professional. If you are interested in learning a new skill, take one of these popular cooking classes. There is bound to be one near you!

The London Chef

Location: Victoria

The London Chef offers a variety of cooking classes. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned cook, this premier cooking school will help anyone hone their kitchen skills. Students have their own cooking stations and will cook alongside the chef in real-time.

They offer private classes and an assortment of varying public lessons, as well as dining events.

Cook Culture

Location: Victoria

Cook Culture offers a variety of cooking classes for every interest and skill level. You will find everything from learning the basics in the kitchen, to tackling Rustic Italian. They offer hands-on instructional classes, where the chef guides you in making the courses; as well as demonstration classes, where you get to sit back, watch, and learn.

Kallayanee’s Kitchen

Location: North Saanich

Learn how to cook authentic Thai food from a master cooking instructor. The great thing about taking a class with Kallayanee is that you will benefit from free cooking support whenever you are trying to cook your new recipes at home. She is just an email away, and willing to help!

Deerholme Farm

Location: Duncan

A variety of cooking classes are available at Deerholme Farm. They have both hands-on classes for smaller groups, as well as larger demonstration classes. You will be working with the finest local ingredients, and each class is under the expert guidance of Bill Jones (author of 9 cookbooks).

Seraphina’s Oven

Location: Ladysmith

With years of experience as a bakery owner, a pastry chef at the Fairmont Empress, and head of the Professional Baking and Pastry department at VIU, Martin Barnett now inspires others through Seraphina’s Oven.  It is here that Martin, along with other talented associates, teaches classes at this community home-based bakery. There are a variety of Bread, Pastry and Confection workshops.

Parks and Rec Nanaimo

Location: Bowen Complex – Nanaimo

Nanaimo Parks and Recreation offers a variety of cooking lessons through their activity guide. Whether you want to learn how to cook Mexican, Thai, Japanese, or Punjabi, they’ve got you covered. And the prices are extremely reasonable too!

Stir Cooking School

Location: Lantzville/Nanaimo

Preparing healthier food options and feeding your family in a healthy way is the impetus for starting STIR Cooking School. Whether in a group setting or through private cooking lessons, STIR will help you create healthy recipes that also taste delicious! The cooking school is located in Lantzville, but they host many of their workshops/classes in the loft kitchen of Lucky’s Liquor Store in Nanaimo.


Decorative Furniture Painting Workshops

Have you ever wanted to paint a piece of furniture but were afraid to do so? Or how about creating your own statement piece. The following workshops can help you with both!

Revived Vintage

Location: Qualicum Beach

Revived Vintage has a variety of classes on decorative paints. There are Milk Paint workshops, Chalk Paint™ workshops, Refinishing classes, Make and Take Project classes, and Jam Sessions which focuses on skills and techniques.

Island-ish

Location: Nanaimo

Using Country Chic Paint, the ladies at Island-ish will help you create something beautiful! There are lots of workshops to choose from. Learn the basics of using Country Chic Paint in an Intro Demo; learn how to paint your kitchen cupboards; bring your own piece and learn the steps to refurbished furniture painting; or, make a rustic home decor sign using a popular Island-ish saying, or your own monogram.

Urban Night Signs

Location: Nanaimo

Urban Night Signs provides a fun night out with friends and family, as well as a great fundraising event that rewards with custom, personalized signs. Events are hosted at local pubs and allow everyone to experience easy custom sign making.


Zentangle® Art

Zentangle ® is an easy-to-learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns; in other words, patterned drawing. It can be done anywhere, with little in the way of supplies, and requires no specific artistic talent or previous training. People of all ages can enjoy Zentangle.

Zentangle brings relaxation, stress relief, mindfulness, increased focus and creativity back into people’s lives all while creating beautiful images. Zentangle designs may also be used to enhance projects in mixed media, pottery, quilting, card making… the possibilities are endless.

A Zentangle class is perfect for individuals, couples, corporate retreats or team building, family gatherings (reunions, bridal shower, birthdays), community or special interest groups. Taught by Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZT’s), classes can be tailored to your needs, or you may wish to sign up for an advertised event.

Zentangle® Instructors

  • Alexandra Zubot, CZT – Victoria and Greater Victoria Area

So, have any of these ideas ignited a creative spark yet?

If after reading this list you feel I have missed a Vancouver Island business that provides fun creative classes, please let me know in the comment section below.

If you are looking for even more ideas, make sure to read our post: Fun Friend Meet-ups on Vancouver Island

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Fun creative classes available to take on Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island View.