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Nova Scotia’s Home for Art

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in Atlantic Canada. Since 1908, the Gallery has been a gateway for the visual arts in Atlantic Canada by engaging people with art. It is committed to this mission as an agency of the Province of Nova Scotia and one of the premier arts institutions in Canada. The Gallery is also responsible for acquiring, preserving and exhibiting works of art, and for providing education in the visual arts. The Gallery’s Permanent Collection currently holds over 19,000 works.


Ula amalwikikemkewey ewokom etek Mi’kma’ki, aqq kepmitetk Kinamasuti aqq ta’n telolti’kp ula wakmikek. Menuekeyek kitapttultinew aqq msit skuwijinu’k siow mimajin aqq siow kinutmasin Kjipuktuk. Wujisapa’sik sankewoti aqq kitapinaq Ki’samatimkewey ta’n Mikmawaq aqq Ma’lisitaq ta’n nujiwi’kmitp ukjit l’ekewit, mu iknmuatikpn waqmikew kisna kowey. Ki’samatultipnik ukjit maw lu’kitinew.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia stands on Mi’kma’ki (Mi’kmaq Territory) and supports arts, culture, and education on this land. We strive for meaningful partnerships with all the peoples of this province as we continue to live and learn in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Through the Peace and Friendship Treaties, which the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), and Passamaquoddy Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725-1726, there was no surrender of lands nor resources. Agreements within these Treaties outline a path for the ongoing relationship between Nations in mutual respect.


The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is an inclusive public gathering place that connects people with art to inspire new ways of thinking.


The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia seeks to present the most vital and engaging contemporary art from around the world. We will embrace tradition and the past by applying a contemporary viewpoint that addresses relevant issues and challenges perspectives.


Be Welcoming

Tell stories that reflect community, create understanding, and generate meaningful thought. Our approach is inviting: Celebrate art and artists and invite all to view, experience, and create.

Be Relevant

Present the most vital and engaging contemporary art from around the world while addressing relevant issues, and sparking curiosity. Embrace tradition and the past by reframing it and applying a contemporary perspective to its presentation.

Be Intriguing

Work in provocative and unexpected ways, using art to impact each visitor by actively expanding the way they see the world, and provoking discovery and thought.

Be Ambitious

Passionately represent our community by pursuing acquisitions, funding, relevant artists, and new areas of expertise. Constantly adapt to and evolve to remain relevant, intriguing, and innovative.

Our history

With a history dating back to 1908, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has grown significantly from its past life as the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts, which was entrusted to maintain the Crown’s 200-piece art collection on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia.

In 1975, the Museum was renamed in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act. Shortly thereafter, the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia implemented educational programs, started developing its collection, and began looking for a permanent home after years of using small non-Gallery spaces.

The Gallery officially opened the doors to its new home in 1988 situated in the heart of downtown Halifax. This gave the Gallery a home and permanence in the city and province.

A decade later, in 1998, the Gallery grew again when two floors of the neighbouring Provincial Building opened. This expansion made room for the Maud Lewis House and Gallery, collection storage, office space, café facilities, and extended space for all other services, plus additional gallery space.

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