Planning for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has reached another milestone. The province has named seven qualified professionals to adjudicate the design competition for the gallery, which will anchor a new Arts District on the Halifax Waterfront.

The jury will choose from the submissions of three design teams which were selected as finalists from 46 applications received from around the world.

“Planning is underway for the new gallery, which will bring an intriguing perspective to Nova Scotia’s urban landscape,” says Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine. “This is truly Nova Scotia’s new Art Gallery and it has a bold and exciting future ahead.”

The jury members who will adjudicate the design competition are:

  • Claude Cormier: landscape architect, principal associate, Claude Cormier + Associés, Montreal
  • Sylvia D. Hamilton: artist, filmmaker, writer, Inglis professor, University of King’s College, Halifax and Grand Pre, Nova Scotia
  • Gregory Henriquez: architect, managing principal, Henriquez Architects, Vancouver
  • Francine Houben: architect, founding partner/creative director, Mecanoo, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Ursula Johnson: interdisciplinary artist based in South Brookfield, Nova Scotia and originally from Eskasoni First Nation, Cape Breton
  • Nancy Noble: CEO and director of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax
  • Claire Weisz, jury chair, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, founding partner/principal in charge, WXY Architecture + Urban Design, New York City

The jury will meet in early October after the public has had an opportunity to see the three conceptual designs, both in person at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and online. Public feedback on the designs will be considered in the development of the project. The three teams selected to participate in stage two of the design competition will submit their final conceptual designs on Sept. 15. They will be available for public viewing soon afterward.

The new art gallery and vibrant public space will provide access to art, culture, world class exhibitions, events and programming for Nova Scotians and visitors to the province.

The three teams participating in stage two of the design competition are:

  • Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones
  • DIALOG + Acre Architects
  • KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar


With the help of Nova Scotians we hope to break the mold by redefining how a gallery serves communities. We want the public to engage with us throughout this process so that together we can shape a place that is reflective of our province and our people. The development of a new art gallery and vibrant arts district is a defining moment in Nova Scotia’s cultural sector, demonstrating the important role art plays in our community, culture and everyday lives. Sarah Fillmore, chief curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

This is an exciting and important next step in bringing the vision for a vibrant new arts district to life. We believe that for this new arts district to be a place for everyone, it must be designed with Nova Scotians. Once the successful design team is selected, we look forward to engaging with the public to make this an inclusive place for art and community that reflects and inspires us. Jennifer Angel, president and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • the winning submission will be chosen by a qualified jury of professionals, including architects, a landscape architect, artists and museum professionals in October
  • The Province, with its Professional Advisor for the Design Competition, Joe Lobko (DTAH Architects), sought a diverse jury with expertise related to this project, which brings local, national and international perspective, and have experience as jurors
  • the successful design team will carry out an ongoing public engagement process
  • in April 2019, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $30 million in the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia project through the New Building Canada Fund—Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component, National and Regional Projects
  • the Province of Nova Scotia has committed $70 million to this project

Additional Resources:

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia building website:

Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan