Reading & Workshop Series and Workshops Archives

Our archives are listed in reverse-chronological order, from most recent to going back in time.


April 3, 2019 Drawing Classes ~ Melanie Craig-Hansford

Drawing Classes
with Melanie Craig-Hansford

Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
April 3 – May 22

Join artist and instructor Melanie Craig-Hansford on Wednesday afternoons for Drawing Level 1 & 2 classes, which offer participants a unique opportunity to learn about drawing in combined classes that are tailored to their experience level.

In this combined class, which takes place over 8 weeks, Melanie will split the class into two groups: beginner Level 1 and intermediate Level 2.

Drawing Level 1 is for those with limited or no drawing experience. You’ll start with the basics of drawing, work from still-life, and practice the art of “drawing what you see.”

Drawing Level 2 is an intermediate level course suitable to students with previous drawing experience. In this class, Melanie will introduce drawing with coloured mediums such as pastel and coloured pencil.

Individual drawing assignments will be designed for each student with their input.

Drawing Level 1 & 2 is offered on Wednesday afternoons, from 1:00-3:00 p.m., April 3 to May 22. Please note that this workshop takes place in the 2nd floor AX classroom, which is only accessible by climbing a flight of stairs.

Cost: $120 instruction fee for all 8 classes, plus $25 materials fee paid to instructor on first day of class
Pre-registration and payment required by March 28, 4pm. Contact AX at (506) 433-8351 or email

April 2, 2019 Mixed Media

Mixed Media Classes
with Melanie Craig-Hansford

Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
April 2 – May 21

AX is pleased to present a new workshops series, Mixed Media, which offers participants a unique opportunity to learn about a wide range of art making materials.

Over a period of eight weeks, artist and instructor Melanie Craig-Hansford will present the history of mixed media artwork and teach you how to incorporate the elements and principals of art into a successful composition. You’ll learn the basics of watercolour and acrylic painting, and work with combinations of ink, markers, pastels, coloured pencils, collage, and many other conventional and non-conventional materials.

Mixed Media is offered on Tuesday afternoons, from 1:00-3:00 p.m., April 2 to May 21. Please note that this workshop takes place in the 2nd floor AX classroom, which is only accessible by climbing a flight of stairs.

Cost: $120 instruction fee for all 8 classes, plus $25 materials fee paid to instructor on first day of class.
Pre-registration and payment required by March 28, 4pm. Contact AX at (506) 433-8351 or email

March 29, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ David Adams Richard

AX Reading and Workshop Series

Fri. Mar.29, 7:00 p.m.

Literary Reading and Q&A Session with David Adams Richards

AX is proud to announce a reading by David Adams Richards, followed by a question and answer period, as part of our ongoing AX Reading and Workshop Series.

Richards has received numerous awards and prizes throughout his career. Most notably, he is one of few writers in the history of the Governor General’s Literary Awards to win in both the fiction (Nights Below Station Street) and non-fiction (Lines on the Water) categories. In addition to these two wins, he was nominated for Road to the Stilt HouseFor Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down and Mercy Among the Children. Considered by many to be Richards’ most accomplished novel, Mercy was co-winner of the Giller Award in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Trillium Award and the Thomas Raddell Award. It also won the Canadian Booksellers Association author of the year and fiction book of the year awards.

The AX Reading and Workshop Series is in part supported by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. UNB Writer-in-Residence Phil Hall appears as part of our series in April, and children’s book authors Jennifer McGrath and Kelly Cooper appear in May, rounding out the first half of the series.

David Adams Richards’ reading will begin at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a question and answer period. Admission is free, seating is first come-first served. Chapters will offer a wide selection of Richards’ book, and he will be available for book signing.

AX is located at 12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB.

(506) 433-8351

March 7, 2019 March Break Art Workshop

Print making and contour drawing with Martha Hallyburton

Thursday, March 7, 1:00-3:00 pm

$20/child, ages 6-12

In this workshop, students will learn about different printmaking techniques, using various objects to create multiple prints with tempera paints. Participants will also have some fun doing contour drawing of themselves and each other, and then see what happens when they try to draw without looking!

Pre-register by calling (506) 433-8351 or visit 12 Maple Ave.

Martha Hallyburton holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a Bachelor of Education, and has taught art to youth aged 3 to 18. Martha is a regular youth instructor at AX.

February 16, 2019 Creative Writing Workshop ~ Gerard Collins

Writing Workshop

Saturday, February 16, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Cost: $30

Join award-winning author, mentor, and university professor Dr. Gerard Collins for a morning of creative writing about the life you’ve lived so far. You’ll draw on the places and people you’ve encountered to try your hand at memoir, fiction, and poetry. 

This workshop offers you the opportunity to write, share ideas with other writers, and ask questions about writing and publishing. Come out and do some writing in a cozy atmosphere at the AX gallery, surrounded by Gerard’s ongoing exhibition, The Book That Wrote Itself.

Please pre-register at AX, 12 Maple Ave., Sussex, NB or call (506) 433-8351 to register by phone.

Please note that this workshop is partially funded by the New Horizons Seniors’ Program, allowing AX to offer it at a discount.

January 17, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ Sean Michaels

Launch of the new AX Reading and Workshop Series

Join us at AX on Thursday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. as we welcome award-winning Canadian author Sean Michaels for the first event in our new reading and workshop series. 

Sean will read from his Giller Prize winning novel, Us Conductors, a story inspired by the lives of inventor Léon Theremin and musician Clara Rockmore. 

Joining Sean is Sonya Malaborza, who will moderate a discussion after the reading. Sean will also demonstrate the other-worldly sounds of the theremin — a unique musical instrument controlled without physical contact. 

This event is FREE, thanks in part to a grant from the province. 

About Sean Michaels:
Sean was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1982 grew up in Ottawa, Canada. Apart from stays in Edinburgh and Kraków, he has lived in Montreal since 2000. Sean founded Said the Gramophone, one of the earliest music blogs, in 2003. His writing has also appeared in The Guardian, The Believer, the Walrus, Pitchfork and at McSweeney’s.


December 22, 2018 Kids' Holiday Art Workshop

AX is offering a new Holiday workshop for kids! 

Saturday, December 22 from 1-3 pm

$20/child, ages 6-12

Are your kids looking for something to do while you’re out running last-minute errands? Bring them to AX for an afternoon of art making!

Martha Hallyburton will lead the group through a series of winter-themed projects. Using mixed media and a variety of techniques, participants will make a “gradation” recreation of the northern lights, tape art birch trees, snowflakes collages, and more!

Enrolment is limited, so sign up now – call 433-8351 to register over the phone, or visit us at 12 Maple Ave., Sussex, NB.

October 20, 2018 Children's Workshops

Children’s Workshops 

AX is hosting Kids’ Art Workshops again this fall! Ages 6-12, cost $90 per child for four Saturdays of instruction. Workshops will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., October 20, 27, November 3, and 10.

Each session, an Expert Instructor (Martha Hallyburton, Rosanna Armstrong, Shaun Chown, Erin McKenna) will teach a new type of art to the children. Lessons and mediums will vary, and participants will be exposed to a wide range of arts and crafts including painting, fibre art, and music.

You can register in person at AX, 12 Maple Ave., or over the phone at (506) 433-8351. Space is limited, so register soon!

July 28, 2018 To Be a Good Writer - Gerard Collins

Do you have an interest in writing and channeling your inner creative? Join us at AX for a creative writing workshop with award-winning Newfoundland writer (and occasional AX Choice Cutshost), Dr. Gerard Collins.

Gerard’s “To Be a Good Writer” workshop will help strengthen your commitment to your own artistry and inspire great writing habits. Come take part in encouraging discussions, writing prompts, and voluntary sharing of personal works that you create on the spot.

“To Be a Good Writer” takes place on Saturday, July 28, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for a cost of $85.

About Gerard 

Gerard Collins is an award-winning Newfoundland writer living in Southern New Brunswick. Besides teaching at MUN and at UNB, he has offered creative writing workshops and retreats in Ireland, Italy, and England, as well as throughout Atlantic Canada.

Gerard’s novel, Finton Moon, was honoured with a Dublin IMPAC international Literary Award nomination in 2014, among other accolades, while his short story collection, Moonlight Sketches, won the 2011 NL Book Award. He is working on several new projects and has been invited to facilitate workshops during Youth Week next summer at Lilydale, New York, as well as to launch a new exhibition at AX in 2019, entitled The Book that Wrote Itself.

April 21, 2018 Cyanotype Photography Workshop

Cyanotype Photography Workshop

with SilverFish photographers Karen Ruet and Denise Rowe

April 21, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $55, including materials 

Register by April 12 to use your own images. All registrations due April 17.In this workshop, you’ll recreate feathers, translucent objects, and materials from the natural world into cyan and deep navy blue images with the light of the sun.

Karen Ruet and Denise Rowe, professional photographers and participating artists in our current exhibition, will demonstrate mixing chemistry, coating paper, and show you the materials needed to get you started using this technique at home. You’ll also have the option of a short field-trip outdoors to select your own pieces of nature to work with, although it is not a requirement as the instructors will also provide materials. 

If you register by April 12, you can send your own 5×7 image to the instructor, who will prepare it for your use at the workshop. Limited spots available. Must register for the workshop no later than April 17.

Register at AX: the Arts and Culture Centre of Sussex, 12 Maple Ave, Sussex NB, or by calling us at (506) 433-8351. To guarantee your spot, please pay when you register. We can process credit card payment over the phone.

March 10, 2018 Writing Workshop with Colleen Murphy

Writing with Emotional Punch

March 10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join us at AX for a writing workshop with UNB’s Writer in Residence, acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and librettist, Colleen Murphy. 

A workshop and discussion on how to create complex characters and how to use them to tell stories that offer the reader an emotional experience. Suitable for all genres and levels.

Cost: $35This workshop is partially sponsored by UNB, Canada Council for the Arts, and AX‘s programming.

Register at AX,12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB or call (506) 433-8351.

Note: Colleen will do a reading and question and answer session at AX the night before, March 9, 7:30 p.m.

About Colleen Murphy

Colleen is a two-time Governor General’s Literary Award Winner for Drama. In 2016 she won for her play Pig Girl, and in 2007 she won for The December Man (L’homme de décembre). Twice she has won the Carol Bolt Award for Best Play. In 2017, Colleen had four world premieres in Canada including The Breathing Hole at the Stratford Festival, Oksana G. at Tapestry Opera in Toronto (composer, Aaron Gervais), and The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at Rumble Theatre in Vancouver. 

Other plays include I Hope My Heart Burns FirstArmstrong’s WarThe Goodnight BirdBeating Heart Cadaver and The Piper.  Other libretti include My Mouth On Your Heart(composer, August Murphy-King). She is also a filmmaker and her distinct, award-winning films have played in festivals around the world.

Colleen has been Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London, U.K., Necessary Angel Theatre and Factory Theatre in Toronto. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Regina, the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence at McMaster University, the University of Guelph, the Edna Staebler Laurier Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University, the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, and is currently Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick.