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The people of St Mary's are excited to announce the first event as part of our 2018 Centre For Community project: After Hours Arts (AHA!), a series of Wednesday evening workshops in poetry, improvisational music and storytelling—with a soup supper to kick off each evening. The first After Hours Arts series will take place May 30, June 6, 13 and 20, with a final cabaret celebration at the June 27 After Hours Coffeehouse.

It is our vision that, through more events like After Hours Arts, The Centre will offer a safe, inclusive space to share life together, and experiences that will develop personal skills within a community context.

From bookshop to coffeehouse to After Hours Arts

The Church of St Mary the Virgin has been a place of worship and community service in Oak Bay for over a century. Generations after its beginning, we are still community members committed to the present and future health of our neighbourhoods, municipality, city and world.

The emerging St Mary's Centre for Community is rooted in this commitment and the exciting activities already taking place that put it into action. Churchmouse Books—its impeccably organized offerings cleverly shelved on beautiful rolling shelves that once were pews—is for anyone with a reading habit, and anyone with books to share. Its proceeds support local charities such as the food bank at St. John the Divine, as well as community activities initiated at St. Mary's, including the popular, monthly After Hours Coffeehouse.

Now, After Hours Coffeehouse host Anita Lahey, performer Stephanie Khoury, and acclaimed storyteller Anne Glover are coming together to offer the first set of workshops at After Hours Arts (AHA!), the Centre for Community's first foray into a new, community-minded approach teaching and learning. AHA!'s spring workshops are not just for the mind and the creative spirit, but for our need to connect with one another. In person. Over words, music, stories...and soup.

Find more information on the After Hours Arts event, and plan to join us for an After Hours Arts Open House on May 9, 7:00pm.