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The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will move to a new, modern space on Halifax’s waterfront. The move, announced April 18, will enhance the province’s position as a leader in the visual arts, inviting the world to celebrate our culture.
The 142,000 square foot facility will feature large public spaces for Nova Scotians to enjoy and additional space to better showcase the dynamic provincial art collection, much of which has been in storage for many years.
“Culture helps to tell the story of who we are as Nova Scotians and we value the significant contributions the arts bring to the province’s economy through job creation, cultural exports and tourism opportunities,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia belongs to all Nova Scotians and benefits us all and we look forward to its expanded presence in its new home.”
The new gallery will be located at the bottom of Salter Street. It will be able to accommodate much larger exhibitions and a greater diversity of artists. Visitation is expected to grow from 64,000 to over 120,000 annually.
“Not only will it provide an enhanced and innovative experience for residents and visitors, it will support future artists and their businesses, showcasing Nova Scotia’s culture and excellence in visual arts nationally and internationally,” said Bernadette Jordan, federal Minister of Rural Economic Development.
“The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has a bold future ahead,” said Nancy Noble, gallery director and CEO. “For the past year we have been engaging with Nova Scotians to reimagine what it means to be an art gallery and a new facility will allow us to set a course that matches the province’s diversity and ambition.”
“We applaud this fresh approach to spreading the benefits of the arts to more people through the new build,” said Melanie Sturk, director of organizational development for Phoenix Youth Programs. “For over 18 years Phoenix has partnered with the gallery to offer an artistic workshop for youth. The benefits of this relationship have been truly immeasurable, and we are thrilled to hear that the new AGNS will open up even more opportunities.”
The federal government will contribute up to $30 million. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will lead a capital campaign which is expected to raise about $30 million. The province will cover the remaining cost of the project, at least $70 million, with the exact amount to be determined following competitive processes.
Next steps are preparatory work and the selection of a design team through a design competition. Develop Nova Scotia will also consult with Nova Scotians and major events hosted on the waterfront to get feedback to help shape high quality space as part of the new development and the waterfront overall.
Government will work collaboratively on a design competition and once complete, will issue the tender and begin construction.