The Haliburton School of Arts and Design (HSAD) will have plenty of new courses as it opens its doors for summer workshops starting June 24. 

The school will offer more than 50 new courses for the season, including Indigenous history, symbolism and art, pottery, macramé and knitting with copper wire. In total, more than 300 short courses are running. 

School dean Shelley Schell said the new courses are important for returning students.

“I would say a little over 40 per cent are returning students, and we need to have something fresh and new,” Schell said. “It just keeps the program dynamic.”

Schell said registrations are high this year, with a record 700 on the first day. She credited that to the re-introduction of online registrations. 

“The school has a very good reputation in terms of quality and variety,” Schell said. “The second factor is the Haliburton Highlands … people love to be here.” 

Rhoda Payne is introducing a new course on scaling up painting, in which students will learn to work with larger surfaces. 

“It’s really a unique opportunity. I don’t know any schools that offer that,” Payne said. 

She said she has participated in many of HSAD’s summer courses for more than 10 years as a student. 

“I absolutely love it. I go back every summer,” Payne said. “For people from the city, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get away, be close to nature, to calm, to quiet and to beauty, and just totally immerse yourself in your work.” 

Registrations are open until the courses take place and can be done through or by contacting the school at shelley.schell@ Schell said the courses are accessible to everyone. 

“People shouldn’t be daunted or afraid to try their hand at something creative,” Schell said. “It’s a really valuable pursuit in terms of just general well-being. A creative experience is important and it’s good for people.”


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