Nēhiyaw (Cree) Elders and Knowledge Keepers say that when young males were ready for their rite of passage into adulthood, they would go out into the wilderness and await a visit from their spirit animal. This was often referred to as a Vision Quest.



Students learn some of the common personality traits of Alberta animals and how a specific animal might represent them. Using recycled materials, students create their own mixed media representation of their animal, reminding them of their personality strengths, positive characteristics, and their ability to face future challenges

Learning outcomes:

Students will:

  • Learn to draw the visual qualities of a specific animal found in Alberta, along with their specific environments
  • Learn about MEAM(Métis Ecological Arts Message) developed by Métis artist and instructor Heather Shillinglaw
  • Learn about the importance of using recycled or reusable materials in artwork to keep it out of landfills and protect the land for people, plants and animals, all of whom depend on the land for survival

Curriculum Links:

First Nations, Métisand Inuit: Indigenous identities, connections, expressions, preservation, protocol, Elder and Knowledge Keeper oral histories and land-based learning.

Art: Develop realistic treatments and refine forms.

Social: Alberta’s geography, history and culture, Canada’s geography.

Science: Wetland ecosystems, forests and trees, observing and interpreting evidence of human and animal activity, ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Suggested field trips to pair with:

First Nations, Métis and Inuit at the Musée Héritage Museum

In-School Field Trip:

Due to the amount of supplies required for our Indigenous Visual Art programs, we require you to book two or three classes of the same program on the same day.

Kindly email registration@artsandheritage.ca or call 780 459 1163 for more information regarding booking an in-school field trip.

Preparation for In-School Field Trip:

We require a large room with paper-covered tables and access to a sink for the whole day if offering more than one in-school field trip in a day.  Your instructor will arrive 30 minutes early to set up the room and prepare for the field trip start time indicated on your confirmation letter.  Parent volunteers are required to assist instructors with handing out supplies and clean up.

In-School Fees:

  • $9 per student (minimum class fee based on 16 students)
  • Added travel fee of $65 for St. Albert and $95 for Edmonton (Please request a quote for all outlying areas)

Studio Fees:

  • $9 per student (minimum class fee based on 16 students)

Virtual Fees:

  • $9 per student (minimum class fee based on 16 students)
  • Includes Art Kit with free pickup at Art Gallery of St. Albert or added fee of $60.00 for delivery in St. Albert and $90 for delivery in Edmonton (Please request a quote for all outlying areas)


We’ll send an invoice to your school within one month—please don’t bring your payment to the workshop.

Please make cheques payable to Arts and Heritage St. Albert. Include invoice numbers and mail to:
Arts and Heritage St. Albert, Suite #200
20 Perron Street
St. Albert, AB  T8N 1E4

For account inquiries, contact us at 780-459-1163 or registration@artsandheritage.ca

Information and Policies


What People are Saying about Virtual Animal Connections

“We loved this field trip! I already recommended it to a colleague (“come see what we did today! You should do something like this.”) and I am looking at booking another field trip program.” – Nicole Eisenkrein, Namao Elementary



Total Time

1.5 hours


Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Curriculum Link

Art, Creative Expression, Cultural, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Science, Social Studies


In-school field trip, Virtual field trip, Visual Arts Studios, St. Albert Place