• 604-241-0141
  • info@www.theartsconnection.ca
Our Story

OUR STORY

We are proud to be one of the leading centres in the lower mainland that provides a high quality and innovative hub of child care, arts and educational programs to an engaged community of families

As a school that started as a home-based business, we have come a long way from our humble beginnings. While we have grown immensely since then, remaining true to our roots has guided our course for the last three decades. We are still a family business at heart. We are as dedicated today to positively impacting our community and as committed as ever to each family, child and employee who come through our doors.

WE RESPECT OUR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

As a school that started as a home-based business, we have come a long way from our humble beginnings. While we have grown immensely since then, remaining true to our roots has guided our course for the last three decades. We are still a family business at heart. We are as dedicated today to positively impacting our community and as committed as ever to each family, child and employee who come through our doors.

WE ARE A PEOPLE BUSINESS

We have a people-first philosophy, having built our success through developing and maintaining outstanding relationships with our customers and employees. We believe in taking care of our people so that they can be successful in taking care of our families. Our leadership style is on the ground, working alongside our staff as equals and fostering an environment where everyone can achieve their personal best.

WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT BEING OUT OF THE BOX

Our ability to thrive and survive changing times has always been about transforming what is already good into something truly great. We are always looking for ways to innovate and to launch new programs and services that best serve the changing needs of our clients and the community. We are not content with the status quo and know we are at our best when we push boundaries that continue to make the company stand out in every way.

HOW WE GOT HERE

1975
Linda Shirley opens home-based music studio teaching piano.
1
1975
1990
The Arts Connection is conceived and opens its doors in a small 1,200 sqft space, offering visual and performing arts programs in Steveston.
2
1990
1993
Due to rapid growth, The Arts Connection moves from its original location into a 3,500 sqft renovated heritage building on 1st Avenue in Steveston. Paddington Station, a play-based preschool concept with an arts focus is launched.
3
1993
1996
A second Paddington Station location featuring flexible daycare options opened at Unit 1 in a 2,000 sqft space at our current Richmond location.
4
1996
1997
Our 1st Avenue location was re-renovated to expand the School of Dance program and the School of Music was moved to the downstairs of Unit 1 at our current location.
5
1997
2006
The School of Music was moved to the Minato Village Shopping Centre to accommodate the growing Paddington Station daycare program.
6
2006
2010
Paddington Station undergoes an overhaul and is rebranded as Renaissance Kids, offering an expanded academic curriculum complimented by an enhanced arts program.
7
2010
2011
After leaving our heritage 1st Avenue location in Steveston Village, The Arts Connection relocates its School of Dance and administration office to the Minato Village Shopping Centre. Renaissance Kids acquires Unit 2 at our current location, expanding its programs and enrollment.
8
2011
2012
Renaissance Kids opens a second location in Tsawwassen and SPARK!, our before and after school care program officially launches in Richmond as we reach the final stages of our expansion at our current location, adding Units 3, 4 and 5 (an additional 10,000 sqft).
9
2012
2013
The Arts Connection leaves Minato Village to join Renaissance Kids at our current location, finally coming together to create a 17,000 sqft. facility. This fulfills Linda Shirley’s long-term vision of creating an interconnected hub of programs and services under one roof.
10
2013
2014
Ink and Easel Studio Gallery opens, officially becoming home to our School of Visual Arts.
11
2014
2016
6,500 sqft. of space is added to the east wing of The Arts Connection, creating dedicated space for the SPARK! Program and additional classrooms for Renaissance Kids.
12
2016
Today
Growing faster than ever within a cumulative 30,000 sqft of space but always remaining true to our roots, our mission and our core values.
13
Today
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