The Arts at YMCA Calgary

Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge: A Centre for Arts in Calgary



Dear Community Partner,

YMCA Calgary has been serving Calgarians since 1902. In that time, we’ve evolved to meet the changing needs of our city. Our organization is once again evolving to include the Arts at Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge.

YMCA Calgary now offers Arts programs for children and youth. We are running dance, drama and visual arts programs for children and youth aged 6-17. This is a great opportunity for young people in the NW Calgary community to try new activities and develop creativity.

YMCA is a leading provider of safe, accessible, and compelling programs for all ages, with a goal to building healthy and vibrant communities. Arts learning is a central means to this outcome. Our sports programs develop physical literacy. Our arts programs develop creative literacy! – programs that flex, strengthen and grow our imaginative muscles through creative expression and play.

We are thrilled to dive into the Arts with our new programs and promote happiness and health in youth and children through drama, dance and the visual arts.


Judy Lawrence, Arts Manager & Judith Mendelsohn, Arts Programs Director

Meet the Team!








Judy Lawrence, Arts Manager

Judy Lawrence brings a lifetime of building community through the arts. She has served as Executive Director for The Alberta Jubilee Auditoria Society (for both Calgary and Edmonton!), and for the International Fringe Theatre Festival in Edmonton. She has worked with Calgary Opera, Springboard Performance, Dancers Studio West, One World Festival, Calgary Arts Development, Arts Commons, Alberta Arts Festivals Association and more. She is thrilled at this bold new arts adventure with YMCA Calgary , and the huge opportunities to serve community in living joyous, creative lives.









Judith Mendelsohn, Arts Program Director

Judith is thrilled to begin a new venture as Arts Program Director. She has worked as a performer and instructor for Green Fools Theatre, Evergreen Theatre, Arts Commons, and Quest Theatre. Judith is passionate about creating and performing her own shows, dance, and can be found sometimes walking on stilts or wearing a clown nose!









Matt Dewald , Drama Instructor

Matt has formal training and experience as a teacher and a theatre director. He has worked with over a dozen different theatre companies and schools in Calgary as a director, actor, producer and educator. Much of his work has been with children’s theatre companies and directing theatre for young audiences. 









Natalie Lauchlan, Visual Arts Director

Natalie Lauchlan is an emerging artist, published and exhibiting across Canada, and over seas. Natalie has been working as a Studio Artist with the CBE for several years and is currently focusing on a B.Ed with the University of Calgary. In an exciting new partnership with the YMCA she hopes to bring the interests of her students to the forefront of every class, integrating the individualities of students into the practice of new skills and techniques. Natalie believes in providing equal opportunity, and bringing professional practices and techniques to the hands of children

Great Programs to Choose From!

Introduction to Drama
(Classes split by age: 6-8, 9-12, 13-17)

Let your inner performer take centre stage in this introductory drama class. You will learn the basic improvisational techniques used in acting, as well as work on character and scene creation. This is a great program for anyone looking to develop confidence in front of a crowd.


Introduction to Dance
(Classes split by age: 6-8, 9-12, 13-17)

Get an introduction to modern and classical dance! From hip hop to ballet basics, you will learn to express yourself in a variety of dance genres in a supportive setting. Participants will learn basic movements and apply them to both individual and team dance routines. You will develop spatial awareness, balance, strength, flexibility and expression through movement in this fun and social program. Previous dance experience not required.


Introduction to Art Making
(Ages 6-8, 9-12, 13-17)

Explore the basics of drawing, painting, mixed media and more! Participants will play with line, colour, space, light and shadow, brushstroke, proportion and perspective in a variety of formats.  You will exercise and develop your imaginative muscles as you build your skillset and discover the joy of self-expression through the creation of innovative art projects.  Previous art experience not required.

Arts Season

An exciting season to come!
Join us as we launch our inaugural season of performance at the beautiful new BMO Theatre at Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge! We are thrilled to announce that YMCA Calgary can bring you the show ‘We Are All Treaty People,’ April 21, 2018. This show is in partnership with Calgary’s premiere professional children’s theatre company Quest Theatre. It is also in association with Making Treaty 7 Society. Together Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists tell the story of the shared history of our land. This show is especially suited for children, and culminates in a Round Dance for all.