The Halifax Art Boat Project

The Halifax Art Boat is an incredible new community project that invites people of all ages and abilities to build a traditional cargo boat right on the historic Halifax waterfront. The boat will then be used as a year round performance art piece, sustainable off grid living model, artist-in-residence housing and waterfront art gallery. 

In the construction of this boat, youth and volunteer community members will work side-by-side with members of the maritime and arts communities in a historic shed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.  Workshops will offer the opportunity to participate in boat and rowboat building, power tool training, water safety and small boat recreation, sustainability workshops and a variety of creative arts that are sure to captivate the interests and imaginations of all. This is a rewarding and educational experience and offers many creative possibilities in woodwork, craftsmanship, fine and performing arts, and understanding the expressive heritage of Nova Scotian coastal communities.

The Halifax Art Boat is being hand-built in the south boatshed of the Maritime Museum on the Halifax waterfront To participate or for more information, send an email to or join their Facebook page.  

Current hours are:

Tuesdays 5-8pm (building time)
Thursdays 5-8pm (building time)
Saturdays 2-5pm (open house)


Launch Day!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kick off begins around 1:15 pm, with art and music activities, with official ceremony and launch beginning at 1:45 pm

May 2014:

May 3

Halifax Art Boat crew hauling out of the boat shed onto the Acadia wharf on the waterfront.

April 2014:

The Art Boat has finally taken shape with the building of its cabin walls and roof earlier this month! Now that the weather is warming up, we're getting enthusiastic volunteers  coming in off the streets of Halifax to participate. Also, over March Break, the Art Boat hosted the Sea School for a week long workshop, and on the first week of April hosted a workshop for a local boy scout club. 

It’s been a wonderfully vibrant place of activity, and excitement is rising the closer we get to our construction goals. There’s still plenty left to do and we would love to see you at the shed to help us complete the boat and get it water tight before we move to dry dock at the end of April.

May will find the Art Boat on the waterfront dock by the CSS Acadia, where we will keep working on the detailing and finishing. Come by on May 10th, 12-4pm, for Open City to check out the boat and share your design ideas for our upcoming community painting day on June 6th.

The Art Boat has a wish list of materials we still need for this project. We greatly appreciate absolutely any donations!

Updates: Check in on a regular basis to see what’s going on!

December 23rd, 2013.

Work continues in the south boatshed on the preliminary phase of the project.

Kate MacLennan applies glue to internal structural beams. Kate is a local artist and the Community Arts Facilitator for HRM Community Recreation and Culture.

Richard Driedger carefully traverses the sides of the art boat during a survey.  Richard is a local musician and artistic builder.

Kate Romain drives stainless steel screws into the art boat structural framing.

Photos courtesy of Daniel Collins/The Halifax Art Boat Project

YouthNet & YAC @ MMA to build the "Art Boat"

On Tuesday December 10th, teens from St. George's YouthNet visited the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to help design and build the new "Art Boat". In a visit coordinated by Youth Art Connection, a dozen teens from the North End's YouthNet created mini floating models of the Art Boat design. The actual boat, being built this winter by sailor Daniel Collins and a group of dedicated volunteers (with support from HRM), will be a floating art gallery and performance space on the Halifax waterfront upon completion.  

The YouthNet group, who are the first youth to visit the boat building site (a shed donated for this use by the MMA), decorated their boat models in imaginative ways, and also took a safety course on using wood craft tools. Youth and other volunteers who complete the full safety course will have the opportunity to help build the actual boat. Youth are also invited to be part of designing the programming and artistic installations once the boat is floating in the harbour.

It was a great event, and all the youth really got into to the boat building activities. They expressed interest in learning more about the history of boat building in Atlantic Canada and in helping to create Halifax's Art Boat! 

picture credits: Ann Denny, Youth Art Connection