New Style of Arts Education Coming to St. Catharine's

Top Quote Comic creator and teacher Mike Gagnon is launching a new school in St. Catharines, Ontario. The school, called The Independent School of Arts and Business, exists to teach artists how to make a living on their art. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 11, 2015 - Arts and teaching professional Mike Gagnon is bringing a new style of arts education, one that includes business knowledge not included in many arts programs, to Niagara. He is doing this with the launch of The Independent College of Arts and Business, opening soon in the heart of downtown St. Catharine's.

    Gagnon, a professional author, illustrator and instructor, has 15 years of experience working for arts and media companies from New York to Tokyo. His previous clients include Marvel Comics, as well as being a current faculty member of Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art and Design in Toronto. His new school is the result of a long time passion of Gagnon's, to give new creative artists a head start on their careers and fill the gaps that aren't taught in many arts programs.

    "It hurts me to see young or inexperienced creative people get taken advantage of." Says Gagnon. "It's not unusual for me to hire a new artist or inexperienced artist to assist me on a creative job and when I ask them to send me an invoice to get paid for their work, they don't know how to. There are a lot of very talented artists and writers out there graduating from their programs with all the creative knowledge they need, but never given the tools to make a living at it."

    According to Gagnon, the mandate of ICAB is to fix that knowledge gap for artists of all ages, by providing that education through affordable workshops and programs, held on evenings and weekends, and artist assistance programs as an outreach to the Niagara arts community.

    "There are so many great artists trying to make a name for themselves, but they've never been taught things like creator rights, how and what they should get paid, trademark and copyright law, contract negation, how to sell their work…" Gagnon added. "I have 15 years of hard experience in those areas and if I can use that knowledge to help other creatives, I feel it's my duty to do so."

    The school will be located at 1 King Street in St. Catharine's, in a large space being renovated behind the existing Metamorphosis Beauty Group salon. The Salon will continue to operate as normal before and after renovations, with a shared foyer entrance for the two businesses. There is a school Open House and gallery showing scheduled for September 19th.

    The Independent College of Arts and Business will be offering weekend and evening classes in a variety of arts and business subjects such as; self-publishing, Arts Business Management, creative writing and more beginning on October 1st. Gagnon is working toward offering post-graduate degree day programs and online courses from the school some time in 2016. Aside from the career oriented goals of the school, additional children's programming will be available, as well as fun, pop-culture themed workshops, offering something for creative types of all disciplines and age groups.

    For more info and an upcoming schedule of events, including open houses and continuing education programs visit

    To request additional image or interviews, please contact:
    Mike Gagnon, Founder - The Independent College of Arts & Business, 905-401-6800, info ( @ ) theicab dot org

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