The cast of the 2017 production of Disney’s Beauty and Beast - photo by Emily Cooper
Donor Funded


The Grant Burnyeat Student Series is an initiative developed by the Arts Club’s Education Department in collaboration with longtime theatre supporter and former Arts Club board member Justice Grant Burnyeat. The intention of this program is twofold: to provide meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in the arts on a more frequent basis and to strengthen relationships between the Arts Club and public Vancouver secondary schools and youth organizations.

The 2021 edition of the program has a very special offer for all VSB secondary schools. Each school is eligible for these free ways to engage with theatre:

Contact Hila Graf, Education & Outreach Associate, at for more information.

This competition asks students to consider three questions in an essay of 2–4 pages:

  1. Why is it important that students have access to live theatre?
  2. What contribution does live theatre make to our society?
  3. What was it about a production that you saw that meant the most to you?

Submit your essay by June 28, 2021, to All essays will go through an adjudication process. The two essays that best demonstrate considerable thought and insight regarding the impact of live theatre on youth today will be selected to receive cash prizes. The first-place prize is $750, and the second-place prize is $250. The winners will be celebrated in a special online event on July 8, 2021, where they will be invited to read their essays in front of a live virtual audience.

2020 Finalists

The awards ceremony was held digitally in July 2020. Congratulations to our winners!

1st place: Rachel Tan from Killarney Secondary, "Impactful and Inspiring Change"

2nd place: Lola Ross-McLennan from Point Grey Mini School, "My Battle with Theatre"

Watch the winners read their essays!

“What an amazing day, the tour, workshop, and show were amazing. My students loved the show, me too, so funny and amazing writing. Lots to talk about in class. Susan Bertoia was dynamite and the kids want her to come to our school to do more workshops. Great! And Ace’s tour was an eye opener, it so opened their eyes to ‘behind the curtain’, and that whole world.”
–Matthew Thiessen, Long Byng Secondary

“I wanted to offer a heartfelt thank you, on behalf of myself and our students, for organizing an amazing day. The tour and workshops were informative and inspiring and they really gave the students an insight into all of the hard work that goes into creating theatre. Please extend a thank you to the Hon. Grant Burnyeat. It truly was an a generous gift and we sincerely thank him for facilitating a love a theatre in future generations.”
—Maria Dimas, Winston Churchill Secondary

“Thank you SO MUCH for the tickets. I was so proud of my students yesterday. They were in awe of the sets and staging, they were on the edge of their seats during the whole show, and a couple of times they gasped and yelled at what was happening. During the intermission they were a buzz talking about every detail. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
—Brendan Sangster, Brittania Secondary

“In name of the Gladstone students and myself I wanted to thank Arts Club Theatre Company for providing us with a wonderful day! The pick-up by bus, the tour, the workshop, and the performance were great! I sincerely hope we can do this again.”
—Ineke Lievens, Gladstone Secondary