Nova Scotia Initiatives

The Arts-Based Research Network at Acadia University was formed in 2011 through a grant from the Harrison McCain Foundation. The ABRN provides a platform for researchers at Acadia and beyond who share interests in arts-based research to connect.  In October 2012, the ABRN held a successful symposium on arts-based research, and hosted a Speaker Series during the 2013 winter term.  To learn more about the ABRN please visit their blog at

Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is a collaboration between the local arts community and GASHA Public Health, which began at the Sustainable Antigonish (SA) Roundtable in January 2013. There was recognition by those at the table of a need to acknowledge, value and respect the immense contribution of the cultural sector to community vitality, vibrancy and health. Afterwards, several champions of health care and the arts came together to establish a working group, leading to an inspiring new community partnership - AHA!

Dance Nova Scotia, the province’s umbrella organization for dance and dancers, has developed what we believe may be the first professional development workshop in Canada for dance teachers interested in working with older adults. 

Dalhousie University was the first medical school in Canada to create a Medical Humanities Program, now called the Medical Humanities-HEALS Program focusing on Healing and Education through the Arts and Life-Skills. HEALS includes a broad range of arts-based activities, including visual arts, narrative, history of medicine, and performing arts, particularly music.

The Alexander Society for Special Needs is a non-profit society based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, that provides arts-based educational programs to children, teens and adults with special needs and their peers. The Creative Arts programs enhance the cognitive, social, physical and emotional well-being of the participants through drama, storytelling, movement, music and visual arts.