Past Events 2016


Friday, November 25 | 10:00am-4:00pm

handmade-holidays-poster-2016-finalOrganized by CBU Art Gallery, A Handmade Holiday invites the funkiest, most exciting local crafters to participate in a seasonal campus celebration. The market attracts students, faculty, staff and members of the broader community for an afternoon of complimentary entertainment & treats and a festive holiday shopping experience. HH2016 will take place Friday, November 25, 10am-4pm in the Great Hall.
All of our proceeds from Handmade Holiday will go towards this year’s local charity, Loaves and Fishes.


Wednesday, November 9 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Cape Breton University Art Gallery, 1250 Grand Lake Road, CE266
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, November 1
Instructor: Sara Roth

Workshop Fee: $40/ $20 with Student ID

magazines-desk-work-workspaceVisual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) will be holding an Art Festival Proposal workshop at CBU Art Gallery. This workshop caters to artists who are interested in submitting an application to art festivals such as Nocturne: Art at Night (Halifax) and Lumière (Sydney). The workshop will explore the issues specific to art festivals and typical application guidelines for art festivals to help workshop participants develop their project proposals. The instructor brings a wealth of experience to this topics having been a participating (juried) Artist, Juror and Event Coordinator with Lumière, and exchange artist with Art in the Open, Charlottetown. Visit the VANS website for information about their other workshops or to register online.



Thursday October 27 | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Free admission


Cape Breton emerging filmmaker, Ashley McKenzie creates quietly compelling fictional films that examine the social complexities in everyday life. Often featuring disenfranchised or vulnerable protagonists – homeless youth, drug addicts, children and seniors – her films are stories and nuanced portrayals of love, friendship, tenderness and endurance. Join us at the gallery for a free film screening of McKenzie’s 4 short films: 4 Quarters (2015, 13mins), Stray (2013, 14mins), When you Sleep (2012, 12mins), and Rhonda’s Party (2010, 7mins). All of McKenzie’s works are filmed in Cape Breton. A Q&A period with McKenzie, the CBU Art Gallery Curator, and Guest Moderator, Parker Donham will follow the film screening.

Ashley McKenzie is an emerging writer-director from Cape Breton Island, Canada. Her 2015 short 4 Quarters screened at TIFF, VIFF, Stockholm IFF, Festival du nouveau cinema, and won Best Short Film at the Atlantic Film Festival. With her previous work, Stray (’13), When You Sleep (’12), and Rhonda’s Party (10), McKenzie has earned a spot on Canada’s Top Ten Shorts list by TIFF, been a three-time recipient of the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award from the National Screen Institute of Canada, and won CBC’s Short Film Faceoff. She is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab and co-owner of grassfire films. Werewolf (2016) is her first feature film.

Parker Donham is a semi-retired journalist and communications consultant who operated the Cape Breton Island Film Series from 2003 to 2013. For 26 weeks a year, the film series rented a theatre from Empire and showed independent films in Cape Breton.

Image credit: Photographed by Steve Wadden. © Chronicle Herald.



Saturday October 8, 2016

Artist Talk | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Workshop | 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM


In conjunction with the exhibition, “Shaping the Shore, From Here and Away,” there was an artist talk with local artist and expert quilter Anne Morrell Robinson (Margaree Valley, NS) who lead a discussion on her own artistic practice as well as the process involved with the artist and community collaboration project MEN DO NOT REALLY LOOK LIKE TREES AT ALL (2016). Project contributors include contemporary artist Diane Borsato (Toronto, ON) and members from the Ocean Waves Quilt Society (Cape Breton Island, NS).

Image (top): Anne Robinson, Pomegranate Medallion. Image courtesy of artist.

CBU Art Gallery @ Lumière

Lumière is an art-at-night festival that takes place in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The CBU Art Gallery has partnered up with Lumière to organize several exciting art projects and events. Check out the schedule on the Lumière website.

film lecture series poster 11x14 vers 2

D’Arcy Wilson | Artist Talk

Wednesday July 6, 2016 | 6-7pm
James McConnell Memorial Library
50 Falmouth St, Sydney

DArcy Wilson - Work in Progress

Documentation of work in progress by D’Arcy Wilson

For the first half of July, Halifax-based artist D’Arcy Wilson is artist-in-residence at CBU Art Gallery, where she will be creating new work to exhibit in the upcoming fall exhibition, Shaping the Shore: From Here and Away which will feature artworks by historical and contemporary women artists with a focus on cultural production in Cape Breton. For this talk, Ms. Wilson will discuss her current artistic practice and work in progress.

D’Arcy Wilson is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily with performance. She received an MFA from the University of Calgary (’08), and a BFA from Mount Allison University (’05). D’Arcy has exhibited her work across Canada in solo and group exhibitions, and has participated in various artist residencies. She sits on the board of directors at Eyelevel Gallery and she is also an art educator. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Department at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus (Cornerbrook, NL).

The talk is free and open to the public. This program is generously supported by Arts Nova Scotia.

Grant Writing 101

Saturday April 2, 2016 | 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Grant writing 101 poster - April 2, 10am-4pm.

Presented in collaboration with Arts Nova Scotia (ArtsNS), Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS), and CBU’s Shannon School of Business, CBU Art Gallery is offering two programs back-to-back focused on grant and proposal writing for artists.

The morning will feature a free information session by Program Officer Peter Kirby on the Arts Nova Scotia grant programs, the application process and what makes a good application.

The afternoon workshop led by Katie Belcher focuses on writing a convincing project description for Arts Nova Scotia and Canada Council creation grants as well as other applications including Cape Breton’s Lumière festival. 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. Participants are asked to bring in their partially completed applications for feedback. 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. While there will be a focus on grant writing, this workshop is also useful for students who are interested in pursuing a career in the arts or applying to art school .Bring a notebook, writing utensils, and sample proposal or application you would like to workshop.The registration fee for this workshop is $10 and includes lunch from 12 to 1pm.

To register and reserve a spot, please contact: or 902-563-1342. Space is limited.

Instructor bios
Peter Kirby received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design. Since graduating he has worked in the Nova Scotia arts community as a practicing artist and arts administrator. Kirby was seconded to the Nova Scotia Arts Council to manage the Grants to Individuals program later serving in the same capacity in the Culture Division prior to the creation of Arts Nova Scotia.

Katie Belcher is an artist and arts administrator. Her drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her most recent solo exhibition, In time’s furrows, was drawn on site at Queen Street Studios (Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2013). She has received both provincial and federal grants, and participated in residencies in Canada and Europe—most notably the Canada Council for the Arts studio at the Cité Internationale des arts (Paris, France, 2012). In addition to her artistic practice, Belcher works as a curator and arts administrator, currently directing Eyelevel Gallery, an artist-run centre in Halifax, Canada. She is also one of four managing artists for HERMES, a newly formed artist’s co-operative. Katie Belcher has served as President of the Board of Visual Arts Nova Scotia. She has been a writer Visual Arts News and sat on the Editorial Committee for several years.

Youth Art Connection Talks

Thursday April 7, 2016 | 6:30PM – 8:30PM

 YAC Talks YacTalks_Sydney_updatedis an event that consists of a panel, with youth artist experts, and business and political leaders all coming together on the same playing field to talk about the possibilities around youth arts entrepreneurship and continuing to capitalize on Nova Scotia’s thriving creative economy assets. This event is organized by Youth Art Connection, an non-profit organization that works with youth to create positive change through activating the power and appeal of various art forms, and the human passion that always accompanies quality art-making.

YAC Talks panel location: Multipurpose Room (off the Great Hall) on CBU Campus.

The CBU Art Gallery is pleased to be hosting the reception following the panel. Join us for refreshments from No Quarter Deli, a pop-up art show featuring work by YAC members, a sneak peak of the new YORODEO exhibition in progress, and a special musical performance by Glace Bay rapper, Mitchell Bailey.

This event is free. More information on the guest panelists to follow.

National Canadian Film Day

Wednesday, April 20 | 1:00PM – 2:30PM

Reel Injun
(1hr 26min, 2009)

In this feature-length documentary, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining and insightful look at the portrayal of North American Indigenous people throughout a century of cinema. Featuring hundreds of clips from old classics as well as recent releases, the film traces the evolution of the “Hollywood Indian.” Diamond guides the audience on a journey across America to some of cinema’s most iconic landscapes and conducts candid interviews with celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson and Jim Jarmusch.

This event is programmed as part of National Canadian Film Day, which is a nationwide celebration of Canadian film. For more information visit

Artist Talk: YORODEO

Saturday April 23, 2016 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Seth Smith and Paul Hammond

The CBU Art Gallery invites you to attend an artist talk by YORODEO, a Halifax based artist duo comprised of Paul Hammond and Seth Smith. This program is presented in conjunction with New Findings: An Exhibition by YORODEO on display at the gallery from April 22 to June 24, 2016. This event is free and open to the public.

Paul Hammond is an interdisciplinary artist and illustrator from Halifax, Nova Scotia. A significant focus of his work over the last 11 years has been with YORODEO: a collaborative studio practice with artist Seth Smith. They are well known for their vibrant, screenprinted gig posters and more recently their anaglyphic series, THREE DEE REALMS, which has been exhibited across Canada and the U.S. He co-founded Gallery Deluxe Gallery which ran independently out of the attic of his house for two years from 2005-2006 showing local and international artists. He also writes and draws a cartoon strip called Hey You Guys, which is published regularly in The Coast Weekly, and online.

Seth Smith is a interdisciplinary artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the past 10 years, a substantial part of his art practice has been with YORODEO: a design studio and collaboration with artist Paul Hammond. They are well known for their vibrant, screenprinted gig posters and more recently their anaglyphic series, THREE DEE REALMS, which has been exhibited across Canada and the U.S. In music, Seth performs as the primary singer/songwriter for DOG DAY with longtime partner Nancy Urich. Their music has topped national charts and has taken them across North America and Europe. After directing a series of shorts and music videos, he completed his first feature LOWLIFE in 2012. The award-winning film has been championed by critics and screened in over 20 cities in Canada and beyond. Seth currently works as Art Director of the OBEY CONVENTION Music and Art Festival, and the OUTLIER FILM FESTIVAL.

For inquiries please contact John Mathews at or 902-563-1342.


Greg Davies

Phone: 902.563.1852

Catherine Arseneau
Director, Cultural Resources

Office: CE-271-A

Phone: 902.563.1326