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Community Art is any art form which focuses on involving community members, who contribute a variety of talents, to design and create a public art piece. These projects are done together with a professional artist who passes on skills to the participants through the art-making process. The content of the artwork usually reflects local issues that have been identified by people within the community. Community art can use any art form including theatre, music, visual arts, literary arts, dance, media arts and more. The importance of the project is placed on the process of art making because of its ability to build relationships and involve all members of a neighbourhood helping to establish collective identity. The artwork, once complete, is exhibited, installed or performed for the community.

If you are interested in starting a community art project in your neighbourhood contact or for more information about community art contact:

Kate MacLennan
Community Arts Facilitator
Tel: (902) 490-4408

Halifax Art Boat Project

Art Boat renderingThe Halifax Art Boat is an incredible new community project that invites people of all ages and abilities to build a traditional cargo boat right on the historic Halifax waterfront. The boat will then be used as a year round performance art piece, sustainable off grid living model, artist-in-residence housing and waterfront art gallery. 

In the construction of this boat, youth and volunteer community members will work side-by-side with members of the maritime and arts communities in a historic shed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Art boal schematic with dimensionsWorkshops will offer the opportunity to participate in boat and rowboat building, power tool training, water safety and small boat recreation, sustainability workshops and a variety of creative arts that are sure to captivate the interests and imaginations of all. This is a rewarding and educational experience and offers many creative possibilities in woodwork, craftsmanship, fine and performing arts, and understanding the expressive heritage of Nova Scotian coastal communities.

The boat will be managed by a community-driven guild model, rewarding those who have put time and effort into creating and contributing to the Art Boat. It is our desire to ensure that leadership opportunities are developed among Nova Scotian youth as well, with a goal of 30% youth leadership by the end of our first year.

The Halifax Art Boat will be hand-built in the boat building shed of the Maritime Museum on the Halifax waterfront beginning in December 2013. To participate or for more information, send an email to or join the Facebook group at  


The Halifax Art Boat Project – Rollover Celebration

The Halifax Regional Municipality in partnership with the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Waterfront Development, Halifax Art Boat Project, Eyelevel Gallery and the Khyber Centre for the Arts, invites residents to celebrate a milestone in the Halifax Art Boat project, on Tuesday, February 18.   

The hull of the boat has been built and members of the public are invited to help “roll over” the boat, so construction can continue on the inside.  The boat will be rolled over by an enthusiastic team of volunteers. People of all ages are invited to come witness this turning point in the construction, meet Art Boat volunteers, enjoy a hot drink and some family friendly art inspired activities, and learn about this vibrant community project. 

When:    Tuesday, February 18.  Doors open 4:30 p.m. Rollover starts at 5:30 p.m. 

Where:   Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – South Boat Shed, Halifax Waterfront


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Placemaking Program

HRM’s Placemaking Program brings together community members to create public art that activates shared public spaces to give a sense of place and build communities. HRM is enthusiastic to work with neighbourhoods who are interested in leading a project in their neighbourhood. Intake for proposed projects is October 31st for projects happening the following summer.

Visit Placemaking for more information about this initiative.


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Open Projects: Community Arts

HRM invites community members and artists to submit proposals to Open Projects: Community Arts for community art projects that will result in public art sited in or on HRM’s public space including parks and open spaces. HRM is interested in commissioning projects that identify and capitalize on opportunities to reimagine, remake and reinvigorate its civic spaces. Civic spaces include free and publically accessible sites for interaction such as parks and open spaces, streets and sidewalks, libraries, museums, galleries and other public institutions, and privately-owned, publicly navigable spaces under certain conditions.

Open Projects: Community Arts fosters and strengthens relationships between individuals and groups. All proposals should include a strategy for making people feel safe and welcome, and an intended community or neighbourhood it is aiming to connect. All proposals should include community members as the primary decision makers of artworks content and creation.

For more information and application details visit HRM Cultural Affairs Opportunities.

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Special Projects

HRM's Community Art program started as a pilot project in the fall of 2006 as an initiative to provide opportunities for young people to be creative, connect with their community and heighten community identity through beautification. The program has expanded over its short lifetime to involve youth and community members of all ages. Special projects have been completed in Sackville, Spryfield, Clayton Park, Lakeside, Halifax, Dartmouth East, North Preston, Woodside, Central Dartmouth, Bedford, and Tallahassee.

To view past special projects visit the Community Arts Archive.

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Youth Graffiti ProgramSackville Community Art

In an effort to reduce graffiti HRM has partnered with the Community Justice Society (CJS) to offer the Youth Graffiti Program. Young people who are caught for graffiti vandalism and who are diverted to CJS will be offered this educational and experiential program. Youth learn about the full effects of graffiti on the individual, the victim and the broader community. Selected youth will additionally have the opportunity to give back to their community by creating a painted piece of public art.

Read the Graffiti Management Plan.

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Traffic Control Box Program

traffic box artCultural Affairs and Transportation and Public Works have partnered to create the Traffic Control Box Program. A diversity of local artists are hired each year to paint murals on the newly created or replaced traffic control boxes found at intersections. The boxes provide a desirable canvas for public art because they are highly visible to both pedestrians and road traffic. Each year citizens and visitors are exposed to the creative work of local artists enhancing civic pride and beautification. Through honorariums and exposure the program helps support our cultural economy. Artists have positive experiences of painting outdoors while receiving positive feedback from passers by. Their artwork has also been successful at reducing graffiti on the traffic boxes.

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Good Neighbours Great Neighbourhoods Community Art Tool Kit