Student tour activity, 2014.

School and Community Tours

To inquire about or to book a tour, call 577 6427 or email our Educator Denise Smith

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is a non-profit, public art gallery with a Permanent Collection of more than 1600 works of art. This collection focuses on Canadian, Aboriginal and regional artists. Annually, we show 20-25 exhibitions, including exhibitions on loan from other Canadian galleries.  Our exhibits change approximately every 2 months, so there is always something new and exciting to explore! Our tour and workshop programming reflects this dynamic environment. For current tours and workshops, click here. More teacher information below poster.

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Tours and workshops are free of charge for the Thunder Bay Catholic and Public School Boards. To ensure optimum learning conditions during the tour/workshop, we prefer groups to consist of about 20-25 students. If your group is larger, please let the Educator know in advance to ensure accommodations can be made. A large group will be divided into two smaller groups. While one group tours the exhibitions, the other creates in the workshop, switching half-way through the visit to allow a complete experience for all students.

Curriculum Connections

Our tours touch on curriculum content for grades 2 – 12. We aim to make learning about art fun and relevant for students of all ages and use inquiry and experiential methods. By delving into the exhibits and exploring aspects of art such as techniques, stylistic issues, themes, ideas and anecdotal content, students also develop skills in language and critical thinking. Our tours often touch on multiple areas of curriculum, such as science, social studies and technology. We readily adapt our programs for adult learners in community, college and university classes

What to Expect

The gallery visit takes 1 to 2 hours including a tour and an art workshop. Each tour involves an age-appropriate exploration and discussion of the artwork on display, the artists, and their artistic practices. Students appreciate the hands-on workshop, which connects to the exhibits and might involve printmaking, painting, sewing, photo transfer or woodworking. We use quality art materials and supplies to give students a complete art experience. Does your class have specific educational needs? We are happy to discuss customizing our tours to best meet them.


We may be in the middle of the city, but our building is nestled in the forest!  The outdoor sculptures provide an additional learning environment during favourable weather. Indoors, we are a fully-accessible facility with three gallery spaces, a workshop room, accessible restrooms, and a spacious lobby with a coat room for jackets and backpacks.


Parents and caregivers are welcome to join us on the tour and lend a hand during the workshop at no extra charge. A visit to the Gallery is a great opportunity to spend some creative time with a child/grandchild.

Community Groups

We welcome any local or visiting groups, clubs, organizations or businesses to schedule a tour at the Gallery. If your group is holding a meeting at the gallery you are welcome to request a short 5-10 minute introduction to the gallery and a look at some artwork. All guided tours are led by a trained staff member and/or docent, a volunteer tour facilitator. A scheduled visit is tailored to suit specific age groups, abilities, interests, dates or times (5 to 60 minutes). There is an optional art workshop inspired by a current exhibit. We have hosted book launches, Thunder Bay Tourism, groups from LU and Con College, Master Gardeners, EcoSuperior, Girl Guides, Brownies, church groups, summer day care, CIBC, tourists, and many other groups and local businesses.

Gallery Etiquette

1. Photography of artwork is not permitted, however there are sculptures outside the front of the Gallery and we encourage group shots and selfies in that space.
2. Food, drinks and backpacks are not allowed in the gallery spaces. You are welcome to bring your own beverage to consume in our lobby or meeting room.
3. Please refrain from touching the artwork. Oils from our fingers cause damage.
4. Discussion is encouraged but in a quiet manner.

Lakehead Public School Board FREE* FREE*
Catholic Public School Board FREE* FREE*
Regional Schools $5 per student $8 per student
Community Groups** $5 per participant $8 per participant
College/University Groups** $3 per student $5 per student

Adult groups pay HST*Annual “fee for service” grants from Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board provides free admission for their students.

For more information, or to book your tour, please contact our Gallery Educator, Denise Smith at (807) 577-6427 or