We are thrilled to announce our Rivers of Solidarity programming, which includes comprehensive 2.5-year Art Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, and Dual Diploma programs in our Rivers of Solidarity: Social Justice Lens stream. We also offer a one-year Expressive Arts Certificate. 


Our Rivers of Solidarity programming will engage participants in reflection, personal practice, and action on issues of identity, relationship, and social transformation. We will explore ways culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability weave through systems of power, oppression, and privilege, as well as ways to engage in social action towards liberation and equity. Participants will be invited to deepen their awareness, understanding, capacity, and skills, working with the lived embodiment of systems and their transformation. 

A diverse group of teachers will support participants to explore identity and self in-relation, journeying towards braver and safer creative spaces. Together we will grow capacity to weather the storms of change relationally, deepen our embodied skillfulness  to generate solidarity, and weave social justice practices in the midst of all  that is turbulent. This is collaborative, creative heART work. We will explore structural and systemic layers, as well as the relational and personal internalized aspects of oppression and change. We will cultivate inquiry into resistance, rebellion, and revolution from a place of love and creativity. In this work we need each other: this is the practice of creative solidarity. 

Affinity group spaces will be offered to support participants in intentional exploration and community building with others whose identities and positionalities most align/share resonance. Affinity groups allow a sacred and co-created space for connection, vulnerability, and examination of shared identities. This time together in smaller groups often helps members safely explore some of their shared experiences without fear of causing harm and impact when coming together in a larger community where diverse lived experiences, positions, and culture are present. We hope these groups will become places where elements of shared identity often masked from the overculture and within systems of systemic oppression can be expressed and resonated with. Groups will be led by a facilitator with peer support from amongst the WHEAT community. Arts-based explorations will be offered as well as other restorative and circle process tools designed to support ongoing safety and container building, individual integration, and collective connection.

All participants and faculty will be supported to experience their own brilliance and magic in order to step deeply into their own power in ways that enhance and support others’ full becoming. As Warriors and Grandmothers, Poets and Artists, Dancers and Dreamers, Educators, Helpers, and Healers, we envision a world without racism or any form of violence: a world of harmonious relations where we care for each other and Mother Earth. We aim to hold sacred space for new beginnings. Come dream with us and practice loving, inclusive ways of being in the world together through the incomparable power and nuance of the arts.

The time is now. The need is great. Be a part of the change. 

For more information please contact WHEAT Institute at info@wheatinstitute.com Applications are being accepted for the second intake of our Rivers of Solidarity Art and Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma and Expressive Arts Certificate programs this October 2022.

WHEAT-Rivers of Solidarity Poster 2022_update Aug 26-FIN.png

Rivers of Solidarity Art Therapy Diploma


With a firm basis in psychodynamic theory and developmental psychology, art therapy provides a creative, empowering and inspiring approach to address social, emotional and psychological difficulties. This is an intensive program spanning the course of two summer intensives and two full academic years. In addition to the summer intensives, it includes online coursework, 700 hours (300 direct client contact hours) of practicum experience, ongoing individual and group supervision and support in the development of a thesis in your particular area of interest. 

The WHEAT Institute program meets the Educational Standards of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA).  Graduates will have the necessary requirements to work as art therapists, join CATA as professional members and work towards registration as Registered Canadian Art Therapists (RCAT).

Rivers of Solidarity Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma

The field of the Expressive Arts provides an interactive, dynamic and creative approach for amplifying wellness and addressing emotional and psychological difficulties through the therapeutic, multi-modal use of the visual art, movement, drama, music, poetry and spoken word. The field is divided into the areas of therapy, as well as personal, community and educational development, with the respective roles of Expressive Arts Therapist and Expressive Arts Consultant Educator/Practitioner. Multi-modal expressive arts therapy is grounded in phenomenology and prioritizes the use of the imagination in problem solving and enhancing one's experience of life. The inter-play of different arts modalities and media, combined with a holistic approach honouring mind, body, spirit and emotions, supports arriving at fresh insights in a holistic, integrated way. Expressive Arts training in personal and community development work supports Consultant / Educator / Practitioners in sharing the therapeutic use of the arts in healing arts classes, personal growth settings, schools, and agencies, which use creativity as a tool for self awareness and personal empowerment as well as social change.


This is an intensive program spanning the course of two summer intensives, online coursework during the academic year, several studio immersion courses mid-academic year, practicum experience, ongoing supervision, and academic and writing support in the completion of a thesis in an area of personal interest. Graduates of this program will have the training necessary to begin the registration process as professional members of the Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA registers Expressive Arts Therapists with a 500 + hours training program plus thesis / final project), as well as the  the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association as either Registered Expressive Arts Therapists (REAT) or Registered Expressive Arts Consultant/Educators (REACE).

Rivers of Solidarity Dual Diploma in Art and Expressive Arts Therapy 

This is an intensive program spanning the course of two to three summer intensives, online coursework, practicum experience, ongoing supervision, and academic support to specialize in an area of personal interest through the preparation of a final project and a final thesis. You will complete all of our compulsory courses in this combined art therapy and expressive arts therapy diploma program to receive training in both Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy! This is a 700+ hour program. Students will complete the Art Therapy practicum requirement of 700 hours (300 direct client contact hours), plus an additional 200 direct client contact hours to meet the Expressive Arts Therapy practicum requirement. 

Rivers of Solidarity Expressive Arts Certificate

The program can be done in one or two years, during weekend and summer courses, and includes Multi-modal Studio classes, Therapeutic Arts Weekends in the Content Areas of Music, Movement, Drama, Poetry and Mindfulness, as well as a Practicum Skills class. Participants typically apply the skills acquired in the program in their workplaces and personal lives. Unlike our diploma programs, with their formal supervised practica, students take a Practicum Skills class, which allows students to begin practicing their skills in expressive arts. Students bring examples from applied expressive arts in their workplaces, and learn the application of their developing skills in their own real-world situations and at WHEAT Institute. Students learn the difference between the expressive arts therapist and consultant educator / practitioner roles in terms of scope of practice. This program attracts guidance counsellors resource teachers and classroom teachers, as well as clergy, artists, community activists and others from a variety of walks of life, who are interested in understanding and utilizing expressive arts.


Amber inspiration 3.jpg
Katriona inspiration 2.jpg

Current Requirements

For Diploma Programs


A Bachelor's or Master’s degree is required in either counselling, social work, fine arts, psychology or an equivalent field with a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) completed to determine equivalencies.

Prerequisites include Developmental Psychology (3 credits) and Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology (3 credits). This work may also be completed during the course of study, but must be completed in order to call yourself an art therapist upon graduation. WHEAT recommends the completion of these courses prior to the beginning of our program.

As part of their learning process, students will be required to receive art therapy prior to or during the program for a minimum of 25 hours. Due to the psycho-dynamic nature of the program, we recommend students have the experience of receiving art therapy support during the program. 

For Certificate Program


The Rivers of Solidarity Certificate is open to artists, healers, helpers, therapists, cultural workers, social workers, educators, and community activists with some arts background. Participants may enter as artists and community activists with some arts background or with a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as counselling, education, social work, fine arts, psychology, OT, recreation, or divinity. A written application indicating your background is required.


Current Application Process

Application Deadlines: Applications are being accepted for the second intake of our Rivers of Solidarity Art and Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma and Expressive Arts Certificate programs this October 2022. There are a limited number of seats available, and spots will be reserved as applications are received. 

For Diploma Programs

Applicants are selected based on past academic records, a 500-word letter of intent and three letters of recommendation.

Applicants must also submit: Documentation of previous art-making experience, current Resume (reflecting some experience in clinical, rehabilitative and/or educational settings), Child Abuse Registry and Criminal Record Check. Registration fee of $225 is due at that time. The Director and/or selection committee will interview potential participants. Confirmation of acceptance to the Diploma Program will occur within two weeks of application. Training completion fund of $234.90 plus materials fee of $200 are due upon acceptance and signing of the Tuition Contract.

For Certificate Program

Applicants are selected based on their written application statements, resume, and an art portfolio.

July 2022 Update: We are pleased to offer a combination of in-person and Online offerings. Manitoba courses may take place at Painted Sky Studio in St. Laurent. Information on accommodation is located HERE


Harmonized Art & Expressive Arts Therapy


"An incredible week of hands on learning in a beautiful setting!"

Harmonized Art Therapy Student, July 2022

"This program is fun, inclusive and inspiring. I think it is one of the best learning experiences I have had as a child or adult. I feel the learning spilling over into who I am in my life in a very positive way, like a new thing has started to sprout in me. I imagine the vast possibilities of this in a therapeutic setting."

Harmonized Expressive Arts Student, July 2022

"It was the most beautiful experience I could have ever been a part of." 

Harmonized Art Therapy Student, July 2022


Current Fees - Rivers of Solidarity Programs

There is no GST or Tax on any of our fees or tuition. All diploma fees are listed in Canadian (CAD) dollars. Training is tax deductible, see more information here


Tuition Fees for Rivers of Solidarity Art Therapy or Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma$23,490.00 CAD


Tuition Fees for Rivers of Solidarity Dual Diploma: $29,490.00 CAD

The payment schedule is calculated on the course hours completed each term and tuition installments are due yearly on August 23 (for the 2022 cohort), December 15, March 15, and June 1. An estimate will be provided to students upon acceptance.


Additional Diploma Fees:

$225.00 CAD Non-refundable Registration Fee due upon registration (part of the application process)

$200.00 CAD Non-refundable Supply Fee due upon acceptance 

$234.90 CAD or $294.90 CAD for Non-refundable Training Completion Fund (TCF) fee due upon acceptance. 

$2000.00 CAD for Affinity Group Fee

$50.00 CAD Graduation Fee due in final term


Practicum and/or Thesis Extension for all Diploma Programs:

Students will be considered graduates following completion of their Practicum as well as having completed and received a passing grade on their Final Project or Thesis. There is an additional fee of $100 per supervision hour for any supervision required beyond that included in the program. There is a fee of $1000 for students wishing to extend their Final Project or Thesis for an additional year. This will be accompanied by additional research support.

Tuition Fees for Rivers of Solidarity Certificate: $9,800.00 

240 hour program

Canadian and American participants will pay in their home currency (CAD and USD, respectively). Participants from outside Canada and the United States are invited to contact WHEAT as program fees will be adjusted for residents from Category II and III Countries based on the Human Development Index. 
The payment schedule is calculated on the course hours completed each term and tuition installments are due yearly on August 31, December 15, and March 15. An estimate will be provided to students upon acceptance.

Additional Certificate Fees:

$100.00  - Non-refundable Registration Fee
$100.00  - Art Supply fee 

$50.00  - Graduation fee