Hands On Learning: Woodworking Classes in Canada

Education Classes: How better to hone your skills or learn some new ones than by taking a course? There are all sorts of woodworking courses, classes, seminars and workshops across Canada to jump start your passion for woodworking.


Hands On Learning: Woodworking Classes in Canada

Lead Photo by Ron Barter

Listed here are many of the informative and entertaining woodworking and wood-related classes that Canada has to offer. The list is by no means exhaustive; many courses are found only by word of mouth.

Sometimes a master craftsman is happy to take a private student if you just ask. I found a woodworker at a local lumberyard who was willing to give me private lessons.

Also included here is the contact information by province for learning more about taking classes and pursuing an apprenticeship in the wood trades: carpentry and cabinet making. These two trades are both considered “red seal” trades. Once you get certified, your certification is accepted across Canada without the need for further testing.

From Sea to Sea – Lee Valley offers in-store seminars across the country ranging in topic from beginner scroll sawing to picture framing, and much more. They’re an affordable way to get acquainted with a subject. (Photo by Lee Valley Tools)

The main purpose of this article is to list “hobby” or non-trade woodworking classes. Some classes are small and some are large. Some have a cosmopolitan international group of students (Inside Passage and Rosewood Studio), and others have an international group of teachers (Black Forest Wood Company). Some classes are usually one-on-one (Birchbark Canoe Company). Most welcome woodworkers of all skill levels.

Canadian Krenov – Inside Passage, just outside of Vancouver, B.C., offers a seven-week ‘artisan program’ and a nine-month ‘Craftsman Program’ based mainly on the teachings of the late James Krenov. (Photo by Inside Passage)

Fine Furniture – Rosewood Studio, in Perth, Ont., offers classes ranging in duration from a weekend to nine months. It also brings in many woodworking experts to teach focused classes. (Photo by Ron Barter)

Music to Your Ears – The Canadian School of Lutherie offers classes on building and repairing guitars. Classes range in duration from one day to one year. (Photo by The Canadian School of Lutherie)
The variety of woodworking courses that exists is surprising. The Nova Scotia Wildlife Carvers have a course just on carving fish. The Island School of Building Arts has a course on building custom doors. A little homework reveals that there are courses to suit everyone’s taste, schedule and wallet.

In addition, clubs and guilds almost always offer short seminars on different techniques. So joining a local woodworking club, association or guild is a great way to improve your skills as well as network with other woodworkers. Keep in mind that classes sponsored by a club usually have a very low or negligible cost if you’re a member. Definitely join your local guild.

It’s great if there’s a course near you, but don’t let distance stop you. Make it a holiday to take a class and explore a part of Canada you haven’t seen. Hone your skills, learn something new, and most of all, have some fun.

Provincial Education Resources
Alberta: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Apprenticeship and Industry Training 780-427-8517 ext 4

British Columbia: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Industry Training Authority 778-785-2400 itabc.ca/site3.aspx

Manitoba: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Entrepreneurship, Training, and Trade Toll Free: 877-978-7233 manitoba.ca/tradecareers

New Brunswick: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Apprenticeship and Occupational Education Fredericton, New Brunswick 506-453-2260 gnb.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Division of Institutional and Industrial Education 709-729-2350 ed.gov.nl.ca/app

Northwest Territories: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Department of Education, Culture & Employment Programs, Government of the Northwest Territories 867-873-7552 ece.gov.nt.ca

Nova Scotia: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Labour and Advanced Education 902-424-5651 nsapprenticeship.ca

Nunavut: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Adult Learning & Post Secondary Services Arviat, Nunavut 867-857-3050 edu.gov.nu.ca

Ontario: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities Toll Free 800-387-5514

Quebec: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle Toll Free: 866-393-0067 

Saskatchewan: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Apprenticeship & Trade Certification Commission Toll Free: 877-363-0536

Yukon: Government Trade Certification for Woodworking Trades Training Programs Toll Free: 800-661-0408 education.gov.yk.ca

Woodworking Schools Across Canada
Lee Valley ToolsLocations across Canada800-267-8761
Black Forest Wood CompanyCalgary, AB403-255-6044
NAITEdmonton, AB877-333-NAIT
Quiet WoodworkingCochrane, AB403-870-8331
Inside PassageRoberts Creek, BC877-943-9663
Island School of Building ArtsGabriola Island, BC250-247-8942 logandtimberschool.com/courses.php
Selkirk College8 Locations in BC888-953-1133 ex. 245
Summit SchoolQualicum, BC888-901-9903
The Copper Nail Wooden Boat ShopSlocan, BC250-355-0035
The Joint WoodworkingStudioVancouver, BC604-877-2255
Wood to WorksCourtenay, BCBowRiverWoods.com
Pembina Valley LuthiersLa Riviere, MB204-242-2695
Prairie Carvers AssociationWinnipeg, MB205-489-0149
Canadian School of LutherieToronto, ON416-333-7557
Nova Scotia Wildlife Carvers and Artists AssociationHalifax and Truro, NS902-835-8846
Bear Mountain Boat Shop Peterborough,ON705-740-0470 bearmountainboats.com
Bear Wood CanoesParry Sound, ON705-732-1273
Birchbark Canoe ShopWhitefish, ON705-929-4299
Lado Musical, Inc.Lindsay, ON705-878-3472
Mapleseed GalleryOwen Sound, ON519-270-5531
Marquetry Sociaty of CanadaCourses in ON and AB905-643-4327
Canadian School of French MarquetryCowichan Bay, BC250-748-1033
MacLachlan Woodworking MuseumKingston, ON613-542-0543 woodworkingmuseum.ca
Mohawk CollegeHamilton, ON888-385-4295
Passion for WoodActon, ON519-853-2027
Pat Wolfe Log Building SchoolLanark, ON613-256-4997
Paul Ross WoodturningBloomfield, ON613-393-1795 paulrosswoodturning.com
Rosewood StudioPerth, ON613-264-9900
Bruand LutherieLongueuil, QC450-679-2631
Timeless InstrumentsTugaske, SK888-TUGASKE timelessinstruments.com

Cynthia White


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