Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s Professional Development Workshop Series is presented in an effort to keep members and visual artists informed of best professional practices in the visual arts.  Individual workshops will be available to VANS members for $40, and $55 for non-members, unless otherwise indicated. Members can also bundle and save!


1. ONLINE: Visit our shopping cart page to read full descriptions, register and pay by PayPal or with your credit card.

2. MAIL: Please print the attached Workshop Registration Form and send with payment to Visual Arts Nova Scotia at: 1113 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7

3. IN PERSON: Drop by our offices during regular business hours to register and pay in person. Please note we only accept credit cards, cash and cheques in the office.

4. BY PHONE: Call 902-423-4694 or 866-225-8267 (toll free) and register over the phone using a credit card during VANS office hours.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds of 75% of workshop fee will be given if cancellation occurs 72 hours or more prior to the beginning of the workshop. No refund will be given if cancellation occurs on the day of the workshop. If VANS cancels the workshop for any reason, registrants will be notified and given a full refund.



This workshop focuses on writing a convincing project description for Arts Nova Scotia and Canada Council creation grants as well as other applications. The instructor will discuss how to position yourself and your practice in a way that supports your proposal and what jury members look for when reviewing submissions, as well as navigating the new Canada Council portal. The workshop will not cover aspects such as CVs or artist statements, and does not guarantee success, but aims to improve grant and proposal writing skills.
Instructor: Becka Barker

Saturday, May 5, 1 – 4pm
Annapolis Royal: ARTsPLACE, 396 St George Street
Extended Registration Deadline: May 3


This workshop focuses on the preparation that artists need to do before their exhibition, including handling, packing, and shipping, and covers some of the more practical aspects of installation. It will include discussions on appropriate hanging/installation hardware, framing options, lighting considerations, safety, trouble shooting and the artist’s responsibility. Artists anticipating exhibiting their work will learn hands-on technical skills and tricks of the trade in this behind-the-scenes view of gallery installation from a professional gallery technician (from Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery).
Instructor: David Dahms

Wednesday, May 9, 6 – 9pm
Halifax: Visual Arts Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Rd
Registration Deadline: May 4


Let’s face it, the first place most people will see your work tomorrow is on a screen. Whether it’s on the desktop monitor of the artist-run-centre you’ve just submitted to or the smartphone of a new collaborator who found you on social media, the way your work looks in digital places matters! This workshop will offer an introduction to digital image editing using Adobe Photoshop, with an emphasis on how its tools and techniques can be applied to art documentation.

Together, we will walk through a series of step-by-step examples to learn how to address common issues and improve the appearance of art documentation on the screen. We will cover topics such as: white balance, exposure, colour correction, small object removal, lens correction, perspective correction and more– focusing on how to make digital images more accurate and professional reflections of your work. We will look at key examples of how professional artists and galleries use these techniques, and will allot time at the end of the workshop to address specific issues and questions brought in by participants.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring in their own images, especially those that they are willing to share, discuss and work on as a group!
Instructor: Ryan Josey

Wednesday, May 16, 6 – 9pm
Halifax: Centre for Art Tapes, 2238 Maitland St
Registration Deadline: May 11


This workshop will cover the dos and don’ts of writing an artist statement and bio that can be used for applications (for funding, residencies, exhibitions) and a website. Participants will learn best practices, have an opportunity to write a draft of their artist statement and bio and receive feedback from the group. All participants should bring digital images of 5 recent works, a copy of their CV and their favourite pen.
Instructor: Sarah Maloney

Wednesday, May 23, 6 – 9pm CANCELLED (due to low registration)
Halifax: Visual Arts Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road

Saturday, May 26, 1 – 4pm
Lunenburg: Lunenburg School of the Arts, 6 Prince Street
Registration Deadline: May 18


Do you feel daunted when you sit down to write an application for a grant, a residency, or exhibition? This workshop will break down applications into parts so that when you apply to your next opportunity you already have it half finished. Learn about crafting a project proposal, the difference between an artist’s CV and an artist’s resumé and what to include in each. This workshop will also cover what people look for in artist statements, artist bios and the importance of great visuals.
Instructor: Melanie Colosimo

Date: Wednesday, May 30, 6 – 9pm
Halifax: Visual Arts Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road
Registration Deadline: May 25


Comment préparer des demandes de financement
avec Natalie Robichaud

Samedi le 5 mai, 1 – 3pm
Pointe-de-l’Église: Galerie Le Trécarré,  Université Sainte-Anne, 1695 Hwy 1

Apprenez comment faire des demandes de financement de façon convaincantes pour les programmes de subventions de Arts Nouvelle-Écosse et du Conseil des Arts du Canada ainsi que d’autres programmes. L’instructeur discutera de la façon de vous positionner vous-même et votre pratique d’une manière qui appuie votre proposition et ce que les membres du jury recherchent lors de l’examen des soumissions. Cette session d’information ne couvrira pas des aspects tels que les CV ou les déclarations d’artistes, et ne garantit pas le succès, mais vise à améliorer les compétences en matière de subventions et de rédaction de propositions et demandes de financement.

RSVP en envoyant un email a vans@visualarts.ns.caCette session d’information est gratuite!


Sorting the Studio:
A panel discussion about dealing with a lifetime of work

with George Clarke and Ray Cronin

Date: Thursday, May 24 at 6pm
Halifax: Visual Arts Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road

As we get older, we often wonder: what will happen to all our artwork? In this panel session attorney George Clarke and curator and author Ray Cronin will discuss various ways aging artists can deal with what is in their studio. How can artists make decisions about what work to keep and what should be donated, gifted, bequeathed, or even tossed? What do artists need to know about estate planning to make decisions about their work that are right for them and their loved ones? This panel discussion will involve short presentations by both experts with lots of opportunity for discussion with the audience. Questions are welcome!

RSVP to this free panel discussion by emailing VANS.

Refunds of 75% of workshop fee will be given if cancellation occurs 72 hours or more prior to the beginning of the workshop. No refund will be given if cancellation occurs on the day of the workshop. If VANS has to cancel the workshop for any reason, registrants will be notified and refunded in full.

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For more information, please contact:
Carri MacKay
Programming Coordinator
Visual Arts Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
866-225-8267 (toll free)