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Who the
program serves

St. Jude’s serves individuals age 18 and older who have intellectual and/or physical challenges, by integrating them with “able” peers. The program employs professionals in the area of theatre/drama, music, dance, and literacy. Through this collaboration and artistic experience, participants gain life skills, social skills, independence, and self-esteem in an inclusive environment.

What our program offers:

Our dramatic arts program provides an opportunity for self-expression and promotes self-confidence. 

Our music program allows clients to express their individual and collective vocal talents.

Our arts and crafts program provides an opportunity for visual expression.

The Academy’s performances strengthen the connection between intellectually and/or physically challenged individuals and their community. These performances also promote awareness and a positive view of the disabled within the community.

  • We provide all clients with an inclusive opportunity to interact and collaborate with able youth in a variety of artistic, academic and social activities. This provides each client with a smooth transition from the familiarity of the high school program to the world of the adult; thus illustrating our Motto which is “We Can Live as One”.

  • Our visual arts program provides sensory stimulation and fosters the development of fine and gross motor skills.

  • Clients are able to express their individuality through movement in our dance program.

  • Each year participants have the opportunity to perform at our You Are the Light of the World Youth Rally which invites thousands of youth to participate.

  • We foster the growth and development of body, mind and soul of all who attend.

  • Our staff assists in the development of life skills and independence by leading classes in cooking, money management, computer skills, and facilitating group discussions.

  • Participants learn literacy and math skills.

  • Snoezelen Multi Sensory Environment

  • Daily physical activity is incorporated into our program to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • The summer program serves youth ages 15+ and includes weekly fieldtrips and swimming.


We have dedicated a room for SNOEZELEN a Multi-Sensory Environment which incorporates various lighting equipment and materials that offer a broad range of sensory experiences. SNOEZELEN offers a relaxed atmosphere with pleasant surroundings, soothing sounds, captivating aromas, tactile experiences, vibrosonic sensations, and gentle movement. Interesting light effects and comfortable seating allow an individual to self regulate by choosing sensations.  It is specifically designed to offer individuals that opportunity to exercise choice. It bridges cognitive, perceptual, behavioral, physical and other conditions to provide a sense of empowerment.



St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre initiated a day program called St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts on December 8, 1997. It was established in response to a need for more effective day programs that provided clients with an inclusive environment with “able” youth. At St. Bernadette’s, we believe that each individual we serve develops best in a welcoming environment within the community. Therefore, we have successfully developed programs where individuals with special needs are part of collaborative learning with “able” peers. Our top priority is to enrich the life experience of each client we serve through programs which focus on personal growth and development of body, mind and soul.

We believe in greater independence through freedom of expression. We aim to empower each participant by allowing them to enhance their own unique gifts.  St. Jude’s success is attributed to our focus on the arts, literacy and the development of life skills. Through our inclusive programs and mentoring, all participants learn and collaborate with each other. St. Jude’s offers continuity in programming once the individual leaves the high school learning environment. This method of learning fosters community education and acceptance of all individuals. This effectively demonstrates our motto, “We Can Live As One”.

Our program has become an effective role model for other day programs within the community. Due to our nurturing and loving environment, we have witnessed many miracles.

Registration Procedures

Those interested in our day program are required to set up an appointment, which will enable the potential client to visit the program site, find out more about what is offered, and complete the registration process.

Upon acceptance, authorization forms are to be signed. The duration of the registration process varies according to the potential client’s needs. All clients are subject to a two-week trail basis to ensure that the program is suitable.


St Jude’s Academy of the Arts
1795 Lawrence Avenue West
North York, Ontario M6L 1E3

(St. Bernard de Clairvaux Hall)

Intersection: Lawrence and Jane


Monday through Friday

9am - 3pm

For information and/or to register, please call
(416) 740-7187

Subsidy available to those who qualify.

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