The Greater Halifax Arts Coalition (GHAC) builds awareness of, participation in and support for arts and cultural activities in the greater Halifax area. We are comprised of 30 arts organizations from Symphony Nova Scotia to Mocean Dance, with budgets ranging from $500,000 to $6.2M. Participating organizations meet monthly to review common concerns, and to identify actions and initiatives that have the potential to increase the sector’s capacity and sustainability for the economic and social well being of the sector itself and the region as a whole.

Greater Halifax Arts Coalition Members are professional arts organizations that engage and employ professional artists. Creating art is our work. We are trained and peer-recognized for artistic excellence.

Every year our member organizations spend more than $22 million, mostly within the Halifax Regional Municipality. Members perform for more than 900,000 people every year, of all ages, from all walks of life, and in communities throughout the region. They employ more than 900 full time and part time people, most of them full-time residents. They attract investment — including more than $3 million in corporate support and more than $5.5 million from other levels of government.
Any way you look at it, the work GHAC members does is good for the economy, and helps Halifax to have a diverse and vibrant core surrounded by active and engaged communities.

Our Vision

Halifax Regional Municipality is a vibrant city with surrounding communities peopled by residents who highly value arts and cultural activities as an important part of their lives. Artists and arts organizations enjoy broad support from participants, volunteers, patron and champions, and all levels of government. Our coalition helps build awareness of the variety of high quality professional artistic activities available to residents and visitors alike. HRM’s arts sector is one of the reasons people, companies, and investment are attracted to our city, to Nova Scotia, and to Atlantic Canada.


Following the municipal election in 2012, Mayor Mike Savage, city councillors and city staff responded to the lobbying efforts of GHAC. One such success was the formation of The Special Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, who has since made several recommendations to council. The committee’s Special Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee Recommendations report (March 6, 2014) was accepted by staff and in turn influenced a report to the Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee. The result was $300,000.00 of new money allocated for professional arts organizations in HRM and the formation of the new arts advisory board known as Arts Halifax. Continuing to support the municipal public arts funding allocation, city staff have recommended that the granting process for professional arts grants be a peer assessed process.

Moving Forward

Acknowledging and building on the work that has already been done to implement the Special Advisory Committee on Arts and Culture’s recommendations, GHAC members strongly encourage city councillors to commit to the following items:

Continue the funding increases to the professional arts grants to reach the Arts Halifax recommended target of $768,000.00 by the end of 2018. This level of funding will bring Halifax up to the national average of per capita municipal spending on the arts ($18.62 per person).

Accept the Arts Halifax recommendation that public arts funding juries for these grants be comprised of peer recognized professional artists, and HRM pay a nominal fee to the assessors for the time they devote to the peer assessment jury process.

Support the evolution of Arts Halifax from advisory body to an arm’s-length arts council that would oversee the administration of professional arts grants in Halifax. This evolution should be complete in three years at the latest.

Recognize individual artists (in compliment to arts producing organizations) through the development of funding programs for professional art making.

Recognize non-profit organizations supporting arts activities (in compliment to arts producing organizations and individuals) through the access to public funding supports.

Members as of November 2014


  1. Reply

    When I look at your list of participating member organizations, I notice you have no representation of the visual arts. Is GHAC limited to representing theatre, music and dance? If not, perhaps you might be interested in PLANS, Professional Living Artist of Nova Scotia and the work we are doing to promote representational painting. Thanks!

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