Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s Professional Development Workshop Series is presented in an effort to keep artists informed of best practices, methods and opportunities to develop artistically and professionally.

Workshops are $40 for VANS Members and $55 for Non-members, unless otherwise stated. Members can bundle two or three workshops (using discount codes at checkout) and save!

Please register today by calling 902-423-4694 (or toll free 866-225-8267) or register online securely using a credit card or PayPal.

Check out all our workshops here!



This workshop will address how to be engaged in the local community through art workshops, volunteering, open studios, and how collaborating with other artists, collectives, and with community partners/organizations can be an important part of your practice. Instructors Melissa Marr and Heather Wilkinson are artists, facilitators and the co-directors of Wonder’neath, which brings professional artists and local residents together in dynamic studio exploration. Wonder’neath is a charitable organization that supports artistic development, cross-pollination of ideas, and community dialogue through the arts.
Instructor: Melissa Marr and Heather Wilkinson

Wednesday, October 9, 6 – 9pm
Halifax: Wonder’neath, 2891 Isleville Street

Registration Deadline extended to: October 7

Register now!


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, what people look for in artist statements, artist bios and the importance of great visuals.
Instructor: Melanie Colosimo

Thursday, October 10, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Halifax: Art Bar + Projects, 1873 Granville Street

Registration Deadline extended to: October 8

Register now!


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, October 26, 1 – 4pm
Port Williams: Port Williams Community Centre, 1045 Main St
Registration Deadline: October 18

Register now!


This workshop will be an introduction to the concept and reality of residencies, exploring what they are about and why might artists participate. It will cover the different kinds of residencies, the pros and cons of getting paid for vs paying for a residency, and how to find the ones that are appropriate to your practice.
Instructor: Eryn Foster

Wednesday, October 30, 6 – 9pm
Halifax: Wonder’neath, 2891 Isleville Street
Registration Deadline: October 25
* This workshop can have up to 16 participants

Thursday, November 28, 6 – 9pm
Lunenburg: Lunenburg School for the Arts. 6 Prince Street
Registration Deadline: November 15

Register now!


Work smarter, not harder. This workshop will provide a clear, practical explanation of the core elements of marketing that’s tailored specifically for artists, whether you sell to shops, galleries, or directly to customers. We’ll explore newsletters, websites, and online selling. We’ll talk about how to make the most of both digital and print technology to create a professional presence, even if you’re on a tight budget. We’ll discuss how to use social media effectively. You’ll learn simple ways to focus on your target market, and tips on how to take the pain out of promoting your work. By the end of the session, you’ll see how the core elements of marketing work together to help you reach your best customers, and take away a set of strategies to develop a marketing plan that works for you.
Instructor: Stacey Cornelius

Wednesday, October 30, 1 – 4pm
Sydney: Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, 322 Charlotte Street
Registration Deadline: October 25

*Centre for Craft members pay the Member’s rate for this workshop

Register now!


How much should you be paid for your work? What price is the right price? How do you put a price tag on your work without second guessing yourself? In this workshop, you will learn how to calculate prices from a business perspective, and how labour and materials are just one part of the picture. We will explore the factors that affect pricing: where you fit into the marketplace, your target customer, as well as where, and how, you sell your work. There will also be a brief discussion about other types of artist income, such as teaching, and how to deal with inevitable requests to work for little or nothing — and how some of those opportunities can work to your advantage.

Instructor: Stacey Cornelius (artist, writer, and marketing expert)

Wednesday, October 30, 6 – 9pm
Sydney: Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, 322 Charlotte Street
Registration Deadline: October 25
*Centre for Craft members pay the Member’s rate for this workshop

Saturday, November 16, 1 – 4pm
Truro: Douglas Street Recreation Centre, 40 Douglas St
Registration Deadline: November 8
*Outsider Insight artists pay the Member’s rate for this workshop

Register now!


Have all your income tax fears extinguished in this DIY income tax workshop. This session will teach you hands-on how to use income tax applications, explain what receipts to file and define complex income tax jargon. Space is limited, so register early to participate.
Instructor: Nora Macnee

Saturday, November 9, 1 – 4pm NEW DATE!
Truro: Douglas Street Recreation Centre, 40 Douglas St
Registration Deadline: November 2
*Outsider Insight artists pay the Member’s rate for this workshop

Register now!

FRESH EYES: an evening art critique!

Date: Thursday, November 7 at 7pm
Halifax: Visual Arts Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road

Do you ever want some feedback on your work in progress? Head down to VANS to chat with your fellow artists for this evening of friendly, constructive art critique. Working alone in the studio can be isolating, so if you want to get out of your own head and get a new perspective, come join us and get some Fresh Eyes on your artwork!

VANS members can bring work in any medium or images of the work on a USB to show the group. VANS will provide a screen, projector, laptop, and snacks. Just let us know that you’re coming in advance so we know we have enough artists to run the session.

RSVP to this critique session by emailing VANS

RSVP now!

Becoming a PAINTS artist

with Andrea Ritchie, PAINTS Coordinator

Wednesday, October 9 at 5:30pm and
Wednesday, October 30 at 5:30pm
at Wonder’neath, 2891 Isleville Street, Halifax

Join us as Andrea Ritchie answers your questions about the Professional Artists in the Schools (PAINTS) program. If you are interested in becoming a PAINTS artist and teaching art workshops in schools then drop by for a short, free info session at Wonder’neath. No need to RSVP.