The Arts House
'A Space to Create'

145 Church Street, Antigonish. Nova Scotia
(Behind Sobey’s and next to Boston Pizza)

Our Vision is to Create…
1. A space where all people will have access to the benefits of a creative environment.
2. A space where creative people are employed and able to share their skills, passion, and vibrancy with others.
3. A space that will continuously meet the needs of our community ensuring that we retain and attract people to Antigonish.

The Arts House opened its doors for its first programming in the summer of 2018. As an exciting new endeavour, taken up by the team working at the Antigonish Art Fair, this space is a product of months of volunteer time by numerous artists and organizers who are determined to provide the resources for a flourishing artistic community.  During the months of July and August 2018, The Arts House ran children’s art and pottery camps. These first class courses were taught by experienced and passionate artists and instructors. Since then we have been continuing and expanding our programming into exciting and innovative avenues.

Our dream is to have a home for the arts in our community that will continue to grow in years to come. If you are interested in art, in learning how to paint, dance, sculpt, and create please see our available courses and get involved. We welcome you to The Arts House and to the community of artists and organizers involved in this space. 

How did we get to this point?
The acquisition of our building started through a partnership with the Visitor Information Center. They were moving out of this space and we received an offer. The Art Fair Team had long discussed the need for a space so when the building offer came up, we knew that we needed to take the leap. We then received a generous donation from Highland Building Supplies, which allowed Mike and many others to put in thousands of in-kind volunteer hours to prepare this building for use.

What is happening at The Arts House?
This building is available from 9 in the morning, until 9 at night. 12hrs/day, 7 days a week. We have classes for youth and adults ages 8 and up. These classes are offered during the day, after school, in the evening and on weekends.  They include pottery on the wheel and hand building, animation, creative 3D printing and digital art, fundamentals of drawing, and studio art. Beyond this we have artists and groups renting studio space for their projects, we are organizing open-mic singer songwriter events, qigong sessions, yoga, highland dancing, as well as general community events and meeting space.


Nancy Turniawan is an artist with 30 years teaching experience in Visual Arts. She assures you that young people thrive and grow when working and learning from artists whose work they admire. Nancy works with natural materials to create sculptures and mosaics. Problem solving is part of the fun. Nancy's graphic design background makes it possible to teach problem solving using a wide variety of materials.

Pat Foote has 18 years of experience in teaching pottery to adults and young people
(7 to 14 years). She has also had 10 years of experience in production pottery. Pat has been teaching youth pottery lessons here at the Arts House for a number of months and will continue sharing her talent, creativity, and craftsmanship throughout the 2019 programming. 

Leigh Gillam likes to draw, paint, involve others in story-telling and make art in different forms. She is currently illustrating and animating a project dealing with deep geologic time. She completed her BFA at Concordia University in drawing/painting and sculpture, worked as a theatre designer and mosaicist and studied animation at Studio Technique in Montreal. She completed a visual and media arts MFA at Emily Carr University of Art + Design where she facilitated collaboration for stage and interactive media installation. Her work has been recognized across three provinces in cultural institutions such as Art Mûr, L’Atelier Circulaire and RedBird Studios in Montreal; Minarovich Gallery, Elora; the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto and at the Charles H.Scott and Concourse galleries in Vancouver. She teaches Introductory Animation at StFX University.

Teresa Dunnigan Says this about herself, "My experience as an artist started at a very young age when I would ‘sit’ for my mother’s drawing assignments. Later I began my own explorations with drawing, painting and soft sculpture. It was only in my late teens when I took an evening course in pottery and the instructor melted everyone’s precious ‘art’ pieces that I fell in love with clay as a way of expressing myself through art. When I saw the melted mass, I saw possibility. The melting had changed everything! The colour, shape and the visceral reaction everyone had. Although I took a short detour to take science in university I soon came back to clay. Many mentors, many classes and finally two years of ceramic technology in college gave me a place to discover and play. Research and design using many different clays available and the whole middle section of the periodic table is where my passion lies. The endless possible combinations and results of metals combining with the alkali and the firing process is what makes clay unique as an art form. Pottery and Ceramics, from the lowly mug to a sculptured masterpiece and everything in between, that is it! Anyone can play with clay!"

Chloe Sinclair Fortin graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University with a Bachelor of Fine Art (interdisciplinary) with focus on painting and drawing. Since graduating in 2009 she has been teaching art all over Canada,  from Alberta to Vancouver. She has  experience working  with a wide variety of mediums and has taught people of all ages. She is always excited to share her passion for art and creativity. Chloe believes that making art is for everyone and that creativity is important for the health of the people and the community. Chloe moved to Antigonish and became a new mom last year. She is excited to get back into the art scene after a bit of a break  and to contribute to her new community. 

Laura Teasdale is an actor, musician, cartoon voice, playwright and teacher. She has been working professionally for over 27 years. Laura wrote the plays: Woodswalker, Home Child and Being Hank & Patsy which was presented by Festival Antigonish this past summer. She lived in Quebec for 25 years where she studied and wrote about local history. She taught theatre, music and creative writing in the elementary school system for 10 years and is very passionate about the place of Art in kids’ lives. She moved back to Nova Scotia just over a year ago and is so happy she did!

Cori MacInnis is a mother of three and self-taught watercolour artist. She specializes in portraiture and has recently been offered membership to the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. This is her first foray into the world of teaching and she is very excited to share her passion for painting!

More to come soon…



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