About the Gallery

Established in the late 1970s, the Cape Breton University Art Gallery was originally located in the Campus Centre, adjacent to the Boardmore Playhouse.  In 1997, it moved to its current location off of the Great Hall in the Student, Culture and Heritage Centre.

The Gallery is a hub for visual arts activity and education on Cape Breton Island. The first and only full-time public art gallery on the island, the CBU Art Gallery is committed to promoting arts appreciation, visual literacy, and critical scholarship.  By providing members of the university and the community with exposure to a wide variety of artistic practices, the CBU Art Gallery works to broaden and enhance the knowledge, understanding, enjoyment and appreciation of contemporary and historical accomplishments in the visual arts.

The art gallery achieves its goals through the collection, preservation, interpretation, research, and exhibition of works of art, as well as through high quality programming and diverse educational opportunities.

The gallery is home to a significant collection of art which it holds in trust for the public. The care and preservation of this collection is an important function of the Gallery, and every consideration is given to its safekeeping for the enjoyment of future generations.

As an academic support unit, the CBU Art Gallery acts as a teaching and learning resource for the university and broader community. The Gallery is a site for visual arts appreciation, education, and research on campus. A small art library and comfortable research area are available for student and public use.


Volunteers are a very important, and very appreciated,  part of Cape Breton University Art Gallery. Gallery volunteers perform a variety of tasks as part of the public face of CBUAG. These tasks include front desk reception and gallery monitoring duties, working at openings and events, and maintaining notice-boards. For front desk reception duties, we ask a basic commitment of one three-hour shift at a regular time each week. Training is provided.  For more information please contact the gallery.

Student Employment Opportunities

Every summer, CBUAG offers a limited number of student employment opportunities with the assistance of Young Canada Works in Heritage. For more information on eligibility for these opportunities, please visit:


Art Gallery Student Society

The Art Gallery Society is a group of Cape Breton University students who are interested in the arts and the gallery itself. The Society exists to increase student involvement with the gallery. To this end, it creates opportunities for students to bring forward ideas for CBU Art Gallery, and organizes events for the student body of CBU.

The Society leads interactive initiatives for students and the general public. Currently, the Society hosts a DIY event where everyone is welcome to participate in a hands-on crafting experience. Supplies are provided and no experience is necessary. To find out more about Art Gallery society events, and to plug into the student voice of the gallery, visit the Society’s blog.

For more information about the Society or to get involved, message cbu.art.gallery.society@gmail.com.


The Cape Breton University Art Gallery strives to maintain a balanced exhibition schedule that includes contemporary and historical content. The schedule is comprised of high quality exhibitions from a variety of sources including touring exhibitions from other galleries and cultural institutions, works by professional contemporary artists and exhibitions derived from the permanent collection. Selection is determined by the curator according to artistic merit, scheduling and programming priorities and relevance to the Gallery’s mandate.

The gallery considers proposals from professional artists, freelance curators and other cultural institutions on an ongoing basis.  The exhibition schedule is developed a minimum of 12-18 months in advance. Due to the volume of applications we receive, only those applicants whose proposals are selected for further disucssion will be contacted.

Those interested in proposing their work to the gallery are asked to consult the following for more information:

Please note that the above guidelines do not apply to Proletariart.

Appraisals and Restoration

The Cape Breton University Art Gallery does not provide services for appraisals or suggestions about the possible value of works, nor do we do restoration of art work.

If you are looking for appraisal services visit the links below:

If you are looking for restoration services visit the links below:

Art Gallery Front Desk

Phone: 902.563.1342

Greg Davies

Phone: 902.563.1852

Catherine Arseneau
Director, Cultural Resources

Office: CE-271-A

Phone: 902.563.1326