The School
Home > The School

Welcome to the Island School of Building Arts. . Did you know that ‘isba’ means log house in Russian, pure coincidence?

Our ISBA campus is located on isle of the Arts, Gabriola, an island in the Salish sea between the beautiful city of Vancouver and au natural West Coast, with hourly ferry and flights it’s the best of both worlds.

ISBA was established in 1997 as a Training Provider for the Log and Timber Frame Construction Industry, and we’ve never missed a day! Our primary focus is Housing, teaching traditional, structural, Big Wood and Stone joinery.  ISBA supports local Housing Initiatives through donations of project buildings. We are involved in Housing and Educational initiatives with Aboriginal First Nations throughout Canada with site-delivered courses. Our Instructors are master shop Teachers, industry Specialists, indentured Tradesmen, experienced Professionals capable and Approved. Hundreds of competent ISBA graduates have passed our gates. We have an unblemished Safety record and sterling Student testimonials.

ISBA curriculum is sanctioned by the International Log Builders Association ILBA; the Timber Framers Guild TFG; and the British Columbia Log and Timber Building Industry Association, BC LTBIA.
Our ISBA logo shows the Virtual timber hidden inside a log, Centerline referencing and the Scriber and Square for Layout… its the essence of what we do.

ISBA campus is a six-acre craftsman village of traditional Log and Timber and Stone huse, surrounded by a log Piece-sur-Piece walled fortress (Fort ISBA). We believe environment stimulates learning.  ISBA is part of a larger island community of schools, medical, shops and businesses, artists and artisans, enlightened philosophers, thinkers and doers, poets and musicians, activists and enthusiasts, with all the prerequisite cafes serving coffee and wifi, restaurante au couture, pubs and speakeasies. An Artist’s island in a marine park with whales, eagles, deer, seals, clean water and air, where the locals don’t lock their doors.

We welcome a wide range of ISBA students from all over the world, all passionate for building with wood and stone. Some are also wild ‘activists’ who like to golf, kayak, sail, surf, ski, skateboard or paraglide on the weekends. Some are casual ‘passivists’ who like to swing in a hammock, sweat in a sauna, play pool or contemplate the ultimate design in their spare time. More than a few are bohemian ‘yakivists’ solving joinery puzzles around the fire till the wee hours… At ISBA we like fires, we have ten fireplaces!

ISBA is the perfect refuge for personal focus, with the best climate, sacred scenery, master instruction and tools included! We offer a total submersion in Wood and Rock… fire surrounded by water… live the Experience and gain Skills, Certificate, Confidence and Friends!

Build it and they will come,
James Mitchell,

BC Log and Timber Building IndustryILBA LogoILBA Logo

The School