How to Prepare

Admission for P -12 classes - Thanks to the recent support of Canaccord Wealth Management, Primary – High school students from across Nova Scotia receive FREE admission when visiting with their class. Self-directed and guided groups must book ahead to participate in the Canaccord Free Access School Program.

Guided Tours - Our tours are conducted by a specially trained group of guides who will be making every effort to make your trip to the Gallery an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Self –Directed Visits - We strongly recommend that if you are bringing a group on a self-guided tour that you visit the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia before bringing your students. This will help you plan your tour and relay information to your chaperones.                 

Arrival - Please arrive on time but not more than 10 minutes ahead of your scheduled time. There are other groups visiting the Gallery and following your scheduled time will help with the flow of groups For guided tours, your guide will meet you at the main entrance.  Buses may stop on Hollis Street to let off and pick up your group - there is, however, no designated parking for AGNS.

Check in: Please have the group leader report to the front desk attendant. Be sure to inform them which school you are from and the head count of both students and adults.

School Staff and Chaperones – School staff and chaperones are responsible for the students. It is their responsibility to ensure that students and adults follow gallery rules. This ensures the safety of the students as well as the artworks. We strongly recommend dividing the class into smaller groups and assigning chaperones to oversee each smaller group. Please feel free to pre-assign students in small groups. Our maximum number of students per group is 15.

We require that at least one adult accompany your group for every 10 elementary students; or every 15 high school students; or every 8 students if it is a self-directed visit. There is a maximum ratio of 1 adult to 5 children. Any additional adults are charged ½ price admissions ($6). Lead teacher is exempt from this ratio.

Gallery Etiquette – This helps protect the art and our visitors!

1) Oil and dirt from our fingerprints leaves residue that over time causes deterioration and discoloration of the art. Touching could also cause immediate damage to artwork so please don’t touch the art.

2) Keep a distance of an approximate arm’s length from you and the artwork. This helps minimize potential touching or damaging the artworks. 

3) Food, drinks, and gum are not permitted in the Gallery.

4) Visitors are permitted to take photos without a flash. The light from the flash significantly and irreparably damages artworks.

5) Students may use pencils to complete their assignments or sketches but pens are not permitted in the Gallery

Coat and Backpack Check - We ask you to bring a minimum of things with you to carry. You will be asked to check all coats, bags, backpacks, umbrellas, etc.  Backpacks are not to be worn on your back in the Gallery. If they cannot be checked, they must be carried at your side. This prevents unintentional “bumps” into the artworks.

Scavenger Hunts / Worksheets – Pre-planned activities can be an important part of the students’ visit as they can directly connect with classroom curriculum. Please emphasize to students and chaperones that it is not a race! We suggest keeping the students in smaller groups under the guidance of a chaperone to complete the activity.

Lunch and Snack Time – We do have a space to allow groups to eat their lunches and snack. This space must be booked ahead of time as we have many groups visiting the Gallery and this space may already be reserved. Please contact the Assistant Curator of Education ahead of time about the availability of the space. One studio seats 30 students. There is a nominal fee of $10 to use the studio spaces.

Fire Alarm - In the event of a Fire Alarm, the General Assembly area for the AGNS is the Ferry Terminal (Lower Water St.). Unless otherwise directed, Docents/Guides/Staff will escort students & chaperones to the General Assembly area and remain with the students until directed to return to the building by the Chief Fire Warden.  

Cancellation - In the event of a tour cancellation, please contact Laura Carmichael as soon as possible.

Information, resources, and registration details:


Information Desk