Free (Or Nearly Free) Ways to Unleash Your Creativity in Vancouver

Stuck in a cubicle from 9 to 5? Release your creative genius in these low-cost classes, meet-ups and events across Vancouver.

Take an improv class.

Think you could be the next SNL recruit? Instant Theatre offers $10 drop-in classes to test the waters. If you get hooked, you can sign up for longer courses at number of improv schools including Instant Theatre, Blind Tiger and Vancouver Theatresports. (Photo: HCMA Architecture and Design)

Discover the human form.

TILT Curiosity Labs at HCMA Architecture and Design offers free life drawing classes, with art supplies and refreshments by donation. Sessions are held every two months or so, with the next one planned for May 22. Follow and register for upcoming events at the Eventbrite page. Free, with snacks and drinks by donation.

Get sketchy.

Vancouver Urban Sketchers is a regular meet-up where drawing aficionados get together to sketch their surroundings. Past events have been held at the Vaisakhi Festival, Vancouver Art Gallery, Kits Beach and many more indoor and outdoor spaces. Free, but the annual $5 is due on your second meet-up.

Paint a watercolour.

If you’d like to discover your inner Monet, you’re in luck. For less than $10, you can drop in at the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre for basic instruction in watercolours. Classes are held every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. until June 27.

Find your voice.

Belt out a tune or your best spoken word performance at an open-mic night pretty much every night of the week in Vancouver. Get poetic at the Vancouver Poetry Slam every Monday at Cafe Deux Soleils, or share your musical talents at Fairview Pub on Mondays and Wednesdays, The Morrissey on Sundays, and the Manchester Pub on Thursdays. Prefer to crack a few jokes? Yuk Yuk’s hosts an amateur comedy night every Wednesday from 8 p.m., sign-up required the previous Thursday. (Photo: Eastside Flea.)

Buy and sell your wares.

Makers and artists can share their talents for a small price at a number of craft markets across the Lower Mainland. While bigger events charge more than $100 for a booth, some smaller shows (such as the upcoming Got Craft in May) charge around $10, and there are plenty of options in between. Other events worth checking out include Eastside Flea Market and Fort Langley Makers Market.

Get inspired at the gallery.

Cheap Tuesdays at the Vancouver Art Gallery are something of an institution. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., you can access the gallery’s latest exhibitions by donation, bypassing the usual $24 ticket fee for adults. Don’t miss the latest exhibit, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, on now until May 6.