The arts are an integral part of city building and City Builders introduces students to the ideas of city building and placemaking using the arts as the primary focus of exploration. The camp will give students a window into how cities have evolved, how they function, and how art and design are essential tools for development and transformation. The camp will be a combination of lectures, field trips, and workshops.


Why this camp?
Cities are increasingly in the spotlight. The global urban population is increasing, roads and pipes are in need of repair, and cities are the hotspots for innovation and creativity. Artists throughout history have represented the urban landscape and urban life. They have also been instrumental in what is now called ‘creative placemaking’.

Sometimes how cities work can seem remote and complex, but we need citizens who are interested in exploring and understanding them. We hope that the City Builders Camp will inspire students to engage in creative placemaking and city building, with a better understanding of the city and the value of the arts.

This project began as part of the 2014 Year of Urban Ideas and was renewed by the Winnipeg Arts Council in 2016. To find out more about what the students did at the camp in September 2014 please click here.

Investigations The camp will include four modules:

  • Art & the City: Learning the basics of art and architecture and visit City Hall.
  • Capturing the City: Urban design and photography. Build your own pinhole camera and develop your own photos.
  • Making the City: Learn about Landscape Architecture and Public Art, and visit a makerspace.
  • Art IN the City: Take a workshop with the Manitoba Printmakers Association and visit Artist Run Centres in the Exchange District.

These modules will complement students’ work in art, history, social studies, civics, and geography. Each week will include a brief introduction to the topic, field trips, and afternoons spent learning new skills like model building, photography, and map-making. Instruction will be provided by local artists, design professionals, planners, and city experts.

Each investigation will include four component parts:
• An introduction to the investigation topic
• A tour/outside time/exploration
• An introduction to a creative component
• Making/doing!

Specific activities
Participants will work with professional artists and members of Winnipeg’s creative communities in specific artforms (drawing, pinhole photography, sculpture, and linocut printing) as they gain an understanding of their city: its history, architecture, infrastructure, and how it works.

Where is the camp?
Many activities will be centered around Downtown Winnipeg and specifically the Exchange District.

What does it cost?
The camp is FREE! Applications are required (see download below). Lunch and snacks will be provided. Transportation to field trips is included, but transportation to and from the camp is the responsibility of the student.

Who should apply?
Students from across Winnipeg are invited to apply. Do you have an interest in the city, its history? How it works? How about an interest in art and design? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this camp is for you!

For more information please contact Dominic Lloyd, program & Arts Development Manager Manager at the Winnipeg Arts Council 204-943-7668 or use the contact form on our website.