A new art and education centre combines cultures, languages and arts with an innovative approach to after school care.
Ocean Rain International Arts & Education Centre at 3941 Shelbourne St. officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by business leaders and dignitaries, including Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell. The centre, which includes Ocean Rain International Daycare, offers daycare, after school care, academic tutoring and performing arts instruction services in English, French and Mandarin.
The centre is the vision of Ocean Liu, a former dancer who came to Canada in 1999. After earning her masters degree in economics at the University of Victoria and teaching at Camosun College School of Business, she opened a dance school in 2008. She was inspired to launch the new academy through her work with adopted Chinese children.
“I was truly touched by the determination these children had to keep their Chinese heritage and culture,” she said. “I wanted to open an academy that embraced that.”
While the academy will continue Chinese dance, children’s choir and music programs, Liu has broadened the scope to include daycare and after school care and tutoring in three languages that puts a priority on completing homework.
“That way after the parents pick the children up, they can go home and spend quality time together,” she noted.
Atwell said he was pleased to welcome Liu and the new centre to Saanich.
“Innovative new businesses help grow the economy and keep the community vibrant,” he said.
John Wilson, CEO of the Wilson Group of Companies, said Liu brings great passion and energy to everything she does.
“Adding more daycare helps fill a real need in the community,” he added.