Aboriginal Visual Arts

This program provides you with skill development in the traditional and contemporary crafts of the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik and Passamaquoddy peoples. You will learn the Aboriginal history of the Atlantic region and work one-on-one with Aboriginal artists.

In addition, the program introduces you to a wide-ranging overview of the foundations of the visual arts. As a student, you will also explore two of the College’s studios: Ceramics, Digital Media, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Jewellery/Metal Arts, Photography and Textile Design. You will gain hands-on experience via a project-based curriculum with an entrepreneurial focus.

Through applied research, critical discourse and self-reflection, you will engage in experimentation and creative problem solving, learning about written and visual communications for artists and entrepreneurs, art history, drawing and 2D/3D design. Assignments are designed to create a portfolio that celebrates the power of your imagination and can be used to launch your artistic career.

The Aboriginal Visual Arts (AVA) program is completed in 6 semesters from August to June over 2 years. It is unique in Canada for its emphasis on the traditional learning of the Atlantic region — New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Interested in finding out more?
Contact: The Registrar’s Office, toll free, 1-877-400-1107 or email nbccdregistrar@gnb.ca

Areas of Study
  • Ash and Birchbark Basketry
  • Quillwork and Beading
  • Drum and Traditional Paddle Making
  • Wood Carving and Sculpture
  • Drawing, Colour, 2D/3D Design Principles
  • Aboriginal History
  • Anthropology
  • Communications
  • Digital Media
Course List

Fall 1

  • AVVA 1028 Aboriginal Media: Beads, Quills, Basketry and Drum Making
  • AHST 1052 Aboriginal Art History
  • AFFA 1024 Colour Study
  • AFFA 1057 Drawing from Observation
  • AFFA 1059 2D Design
  • COMM 1188 Communications and Student Success

Winter 1

  • AHST 1053 The Land, The Spirit, The Art
  • AFFA 1030 The Creative Process
  • AFFA 1058 Drawing from Observation: Form and Expression
  • AFFA 1032 3D Design
  • AFFA 1062 Media Explorations III

Spring 1

  • AVVA 2903 Aboriginal Media: Individual Exploration
  • AHST 2902 Archaeology: Prehistoric Craft and Culture in the Northeast
  • AVVA 2901 Aboriginal Iconography Mixed Media

Fall 2

  • AVVA 2907 Aboriginal Studio: Making Your Mark
  • HIST 3905 Exploring Canadian Art
  • AVVA 2904 Traditional Oral Story Telling
  • ANTR 2900 Entrepreneurship: Aboriginal Networking
  • DSGN 2901 3D Design: Shaping Space
  • COMM 2900 Communication for Visual Artists

Winter 2

  • AVVA 3903 Aboriginal Studio: Refining Your Style
  • AHST 2901 Archaeology: Ethics and Practice
  • AVVA 3902 Aboriginal Carving and Sculpture
  • ANTR 3900 Entrepreneurship: Business Planning
  • AVVA 3909 Myth and Reality: Bringing Aboriginal History to Life

Choose one of the following four:

  • AVVA 3908 Designing Bodies
  • DRAW 3000 Painting in Acrylics
  • DSGN 3001 Creative Design Exploration
  • DSGN 3916 Book Art Design

Spring 2

  • AVVA 3907 Aboriginal Studio: Major
  • ENTR 3121 Digital Communication and Marketing
Admission Requirements
  • $50 Application Fee (1)
  • One of the following official transcript of marks (2):
    • High School Diploma (3)
    • GED
    • Adult High School Diploma
  • OR Equivalent experience (4)
  • Interview

(1) The $50 application fee is in Canadian dollars, applies to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents and is non-refundable and subject to change without notice. International applicants pay a $100 Canadian application fee. See International Students for more information.

(2) If your official public high-school transcript indicates a modified level in English and/or Mathematics, your application will be processed under Special Admissions.

(3) We accept a grade 11 or 12 interim transcript until your final grade 12 transcript is available. The minimum English levels of 122 or 123 are required and Financial and Workplace Mathematics 110 or Foundations of Mathematics 110.

(4) Equivalent experience is determined by the College assessing your combination of learning and experience through recognition of prior learning. If you are 21 years of age and have past experience, you may be assessed as a Mature Applicant.

The College may contact you for an interview, it is important to consider why you want to study with us and your future goals.

Career Possibilities

Here are a few of the many potential career opportunities for Aboriginal artists:

  • Artisan and/or Craftsperson
  • Marketer
  • Business Owner
  • Teacher
  • Painter, Sculptor or other arts
  • Educator
  • Theatre, Museum or Gallery Manager
Instructors & Technicians


  • Elizabeth Demerson, Coordinating Instructor
  • Judie Acquin-Miksovsky


  • Leigh Merritt
Apply Now

Go to the Admission Requirements to start the application process. This page will also provide more details and info on where to mail your transcript of marks, cash, cheques and/or money order.

Jensen Singer Knockwood Carving Patricia Barlow Visiting Artist Angela Beek
Jensen Singer Knockwood Carving

Study Aboriginal arts and be part of our family at NBCCD!

View All Key Dates

Aug 30

FVA Orientation/Registration (FVA / 1st Year AVA)

Sep 1

Diploma/ASP Orientation/Registration (Diploma / Grad Studies / 2nd Year AVA)

Sep 4

Labour Day (College Closed) (All Students)

Sep 5

Fall Term Begins - Classes Start (All Students)

New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

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