Unofficial school motto: ‘Art is dope’
Best cheap eat: The Dill Pickle is a soup and sandwich take-away restaurant that is located directly across from NSCAD’s Fountain campus. The Dill Pickle offers a 10 per cent discount to any NSCAD student.
Best hangover breakfast: Robie Street Station
Favourite watering hole: NSCAD’s very own Art Bar or the Local
Perks: Easy to get involved and find amazing communities to join
Best place to study: NSCAD’s small library is a lovely, quiet place to do work. Halifax’s new public library is also a great spot, with two cafés inside.
Best campus event: Weekly art openings at the Anna Leonowens Gallery
Best giveaway: NSCAD’s Love Dumpster, located in the student lounge on Fountain campus, where students drop off slightly used clothing, art supplies, books and lots more. (It’s great for Halloween.) And NSCAD’s food bank (also located on Fountain campus) is free and open
to all students.
Best live music venue: Gus’ Pub or the Seahorse, both located in Halifax’s North End
University Insider: Emma Steen, 23, Art History and Indigenous Studies
Students have all sorts of reasons for being drawn to NSCAD from across Canada. For me, it was the small but impressive art history program. I started my university career at the University of King’s College before transferring to NSCAD. I felt the school would be better aligned with both my academic and personal interests. It boasts a strong student union (SUNSCAD), diverse groups and a thriving art scene.
Each of NSCAD’s three campuses offers an array of courses and gives students a long list of options. Classes range from Feminist Film to Digital Textiles, to the many courses that are part of the new minor in Indigenous studies. Navigating between the campuses of NSCAD can be overwhelming at first, as they sprawl out across the city. But when you master the city’s tricks and turns, you soon feel part of something exciting and moving. Every day, something different seems to appear on your route or a new shortcut reveals itself to you.
Building relationships within the student body is easy, as NSCAD gives ample opportunities to engage with the tight-knit community. Professors are also always free to talk during their office hours, making a point to create strong relationships with students to help whoever may need assistance or questions answered.
Though NSCAD is a great place to come to learn and grow as makers, artists, activists and art historians, it is also important to mention that it is not fully accessible to all. Two out of three campuses are practically unusable for anyone who is differently abled, and tuitions have been on a steep increase.
The student body at NSCAD is heavily engaged with politics, both in the Atlantic region as well as nationally, with opportunities for students to get involved in important causes or simply learn more about what’s going on around us. There are also great collectives that meet weekly, such as those focused on the queer, feminist, latinx and Indigenous communities. They are always open to new members.
NSCAD also offers many opportunities for its students to get engaged in the Halifax art scene, with student shows going up weekly at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, named after NSCAD’s founder (you may recognize her as the author of memoirs that inspired the musical The King and I). Students get experience at installing and curating the shows.
Halifax is the largest city in Atlantic Canada, with a huge student population attending its many colleges and universities. The community combines the perks of living in a big city while maintaining a sense of being connected and intimate (pretty much everything is within walking distance). Halifax has an active nightlife, a large music scene and tons of bars, pubs and breweries that keep the city lively for students and locals alike.
Turn to the Coast (thecoast.ca) for events, news and gossip.