Arrival & Departure Information

Check-in begins at 9:00 am and closes at 3:00 pm.

  • Upon arrival, students must proceed to the Academy Office for their housing assignments and class schedule information.
  • The cafeteria will be open for Lunch on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.  All students are required to attend the orientation meeting in the Recital Hall on Tuesday, August 2 at 7:00 pm. Classes begin on Wednesday, August 3.
  • Return transportation from Victoria International Airport or from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Brentwood College will be provided by the Academy at a cost of $70 CAD. A one-way transportation option is also available at $35 CAD. Please call or email the Admissions Office before July 1st with your travel plans if you would like to be placed on our van pickup schedule.
  • Students must check-out in the office and complete the Check-Out Form no later than 9:00 am on Tuesday, August 16. Breakfast on that day is the last meal served at the Academy. Requests for early departures can be accommodated.
  • Return transportation from Brentwood College to Victoria International Airport or from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal will be provided by the Academy at a cost of $70 CAD. A one-way transportation option is also available at $35 CAD. Please call or email the Admissions Office before July 1st with your travel plans if you would like to be placed on our van pickup schedule.
Getting to VIMA

VIMA is hosted by Brentwood College’s oceanfront campus, which has an international reputation that matches their educational profile as one of the world’s great boarding schools. Sheltered on the pristine coastline of Vancouver Island, the College’s 77-acre campus has over one kilometre of waterfront facing the Gulf Islands and stunning views of a snow-capped Mount Baker. The College is located forty kilometres north of Victoria and is adjacent to the village of Mill Bay (population 3,250). It is less than one hour's drive from Swartz Bay Ferry terminals and Victoria International Airport


Students are housed according to age and gender in large residence houses. Minors are chaperoned by live-in resident assistants (counsellors).

Each residence has two single beds, closets, desks and chairs. Bath towels and hand/face cloths are supplied daily. Full bedding is supplied and refreshed once mid-stay. Each residence house has coin operated laundry machines. Single occupancy requests will be accommodated for students at a surcharge of $838 CAD.

Each residence house is situated to provide easy and quick access to the Arts Building, sports facilities and cafeteria. The houses are also grouped in close proximity to each other, allowing students the opportunity to socialize with friends and siblings. Each of these houses have been newly renovated in the past five years. These buildings are modern and comfortable with spacious kitchen and eating areas, wireless internet access, televisions, and common areas for socializing with friends from other houses. Each house has its own character and unique traditions that help foster lifelong friendships.

Food Services

All students who register for “on-campus” tuition will be provided three full buffet-style meals per day for the duration of the Academy. All students who register for “off-campus” tuition will also have the option to register for full cafeteria privileges. Please indicate this on the application form if applicable to you, and fees will be advised on request.

The Food Services at Brentwood offers a large variety of delicious foods for every meal, and will cater to any specific dietary restriction. Indicate any specific nutritional/dietary/allergy requirements in your application.

Any student over the age of 18 who is living on campus has the option of using the common-area kitchen in the residence house to prepare light snacks. No student under the age of 18 can use the oven in the kitchen.

Campus Life

Private Lessons and Classes

All VIMA classes will take place in the Arts Building. Each student’s daily schedule depends on their assigned studio classes and individually scheduled events. Students will have the opportunity to indicate their private teacher preference on the application form, along with the classes they want to take during the Academy. Students must arrange their individual practice time on their instrument in the intervals between the Academy’s scheduled events. Attendance at all scheduled concerts are mandatory throughout the Academy. Time free from lessons, chamber music and orchestra rehearsals, coachings, masterclasses, guest artist events, accompanist’s rehearsals, concerts and off-campus trips is designated as leisure time and may be used for any activity of the student’s choice.

Chamber music

Students who are registered for the Chamber Music and Ensembles Program at VIMA will receive a minimum of six coachings with faculty members. Placement is established according to your chamber music experience that was described in the submitted student’s application. At the discretion of the Director and Faculty, students may be moved from groups as necessary due to individual music ability, group dynamics, or coaching preference.

Most students will be assigned to one chamber music group for the duration of the Academy. Some strings and piano students will have two groups. Chamber music groups will consist of duets, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, and octets if necessary. Advanced students are responsible to schedule and manage their own daily rehearsals, but help is available for the younger groups. There will be a chamber music competition for a performance spot in one of the final concerts of the Academy.


All strings students are automatically registered to the Orchestra Program. There will be several chamber orchestras of varying levels in the Academy. Placement in an orchestra will be determined by the short recording that accompanies each student’s application. 

The orchestras will perform regularly in various on-campus venues. The rehearsal and performance schedule is rigorous, and performances are at a professional standard.

The orchestras will be coached and conducted by select faculty members and guest conductors. Soloists will include guest artists, faculty members, and student competition winners.


Students are highly encouraged to perform in as many concerts as possible. Your Academy teacher and the Director select which students perform in concerts. All concerts are free and open to the public. Please be aware that student performances are subject to change or cancelation at any time. There are daily indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) concerts held at various locations throughout the campus. Evening concerts at the T. Gil Bunch Concert Hall are held on Fridays and Saturdays. Each concert will require mandatory attendance from each student. Concert program information is available on the day of the performance.


The daily schedule and performing demands at VIMA are rigorous, and students are expected to have sufficient practice time every day. Students should also feel assured that they will find more than enough free and recreation time during each day.

The vast majority of student bedrooms are large enough to also serve as their practice room. There are other areas (including common areas) in the residences that could be used for practicing as well. Some strings and all piano students will have a practice room assigned to them in the Arts Building.


There are a variety of on-campus activities. Our Recreation Program offers basketball and tennis courts, track and field, cardio and weight rooms, as well as use of paddle boards and kayaks (with special approval at specially designated times). Please note with regards to any water sports activities: as there is no lifeguard on duty, any water sport activity including swimming, paddle boards & kayaks can only be used under full adult supervision for students under the age of 18. Brentwood College will supply all the necessary equipment for every recreational sport and activity. Each residence has a common area with cable television. The entire campus has Wi-Fi. Sundays, time permitting, allow for more off-campus trips, sightseeing, hiking, church services and shopping.

What To Bring And What Not To Bring

Please consider looking up the historical weather patterns for Vancouver Island in August (average temperature up to 23°C, with August being the best month of the year to visit the Island!) when selecting items to bring. Most days will be warm and sunny, but be prepared for some mild and rainy days too. Casual clothes are worn except for concerts, which require students to wear suits/sport coats or dresses/dressy pants. All bedding, including bath towels and hand/face towels are provided.

Here is a list of things to bring to get you started:
  • Instrument (for string players only)
  • Scale and Etude books
  • Performance pieces and piano parts for the accompanists
  • All orchestra and chamber music and other scores that have been sent to you
  • Metronome and tuner
  • Extra sets of strings– mandatory
  • Music stand – portable, attach a name tag (for string players only)
  • Mute (for string players only)
  • Pencils, erasers and tape
  • Rain gear
  • Stationery
  • Alarm clock
  • Insect repellent
  • Plastic drinking cup or mug
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap shampoo, brush)
  • Extra pair of glasses or contacts (if necessary)
  • Sun protector appropriate to your skin type
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Beach towel
  • Swimsuit and any other water activity wear
  • Concert wear (including shoes); suits/sport coats or dresses/dressy pants.
  • Footwear (suggest running shoes and hiking boots)
  • T-shirts (also to make sure to have long-sleeved shirts for outdoor activities)
  • Rain coat
  • Sweaters/sweatshirts
  • Hat
  • Prescription medication, if necessary
  • Health Card
  • Personal items (writing paper, books)
  • Water bottle
What NOT to Bring

The following items will be confiscated and returned at the time of departure:

  • Weapons of any kind (pocket knives, guns etc.)
  • Drugs of any kind
  • Cigarettes or any other smoking paraphernalia
  • Alcohol (for students under 19)
  • Air Conditioners / Dehumidifiers
  • Cooking equipment
  • Coffee Makers
  • Refrigerators
  • Candles, matches, fireworks, incense
  • Desktop computers
  • Furniture
  • Gym Equipment such as bar bells or treadmills (small hand weights allowed)
  • Clothing needing to be hand washed, air-dried, or dry cleaned