Collaborative leadership for transformational change at the New Brunswick Museum

Today, May 18th is a special day celebrating museums and heritage, not only in New Brunswick but worldwide as International Museums Day is recognised around the globe. This day also marks a new beginning for the future of New Brunswick’s provincial museum, as the New Brunswick Museum (NBM) welcomes its new leadership.

NBM Acting Board Chair, Dr. Kathryn Hamer, and Tourism, Heritage and Culture (THC) Minister, Tammy Scott-Wallace are pleased to announce that a transitional CEO for the NBM, Mr. Bernard Riordon, has been hired to work with the NBM Board and THC together towards building a new path and future for the NBM in spirit of collaboration.

The collaboration of both NBM and THC will accomplish long term solution for facilities renewal towards a new revitalized NBM; and national funding campaign for both infrastructure and endowment.

This collaborative approach for the future of the NBM will benefit the overall remarkable heritage of New Brunswick.

“As an Order of Canada recipient in 2002, an author of over 50 books and publications on art and artists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and extensive experience in this sector, Mr. Riordon brings a valuable combination of knowledge and expertise to this role,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace. “With his wealth of relevant knowledge and experience in the art and culture sectors, we look forward to working collaboratively with him as the museum establishes a new path forward.”

“Bernie Riordon is well-known across Canada for his visionary leadership at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton. The New Brunswick Museum now looks forward to significant advancement under his direction, and we congratulate him on his appointment,” said Dr. Kathryn Hamer, NBM Acting Board Chair.

Bernard Riordon was born in Bathurst, NB and resides in Pokeshaw, NB. Riordon attended St. Thomas University in Fredericton and St. Mary’s University in Halifax.

Riordon has vast experience in professional museum leadership, administration and governance; development, fundraising and capital campaign management; facilities expansion, stakeholder and community engagement, strategic visioning and planning, among several other strategic experience, with proven success in arts & culture, heritage and tourism initiatives in New Brunswick, Canada, the U.S. and internationally.

In a long and prestigious career, Riordon has been a catalyst for the success of many notable Canadian Art organisations. He provided the leadership for the establishment of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, for its first permanent home in downtown Halifax in 1988 and for the Phase II Expansion ten years later in 1998, later the establishment of a branch gallery in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and also the significant growth of the organisation’s collections.

Riordon retired from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2002, and became Director and CEO of The Beaverbrook Art Gallery (BAG) in Fredericton. From 2002 to 2013, he increased the permanent collection of the BAG, led $30 million Beaverbrook campaign, and managed and administered major fundraising campaigns. Upon his retirement in 2013, Riordon continued his leadership role as Director Emeritus & Capital Campaign Director with the BAG with continuous enhancement of the Gallery, as he planned, implemented, oversaw and secured campaign goal of approximately $30 Million in 2017, and expanded community involvement.

Riordon has received many awards and honours including, in 2002 he was designated an Officer of the Order of Canada. On October 18, 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Saint Mary’s University, and in May 2010 was bestowed a lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association (APAGA)

Riordon has authored over 50 books and publications on art and artists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and is currently working on a book chronicling his 50 years in the art world in Atlantic Canada titled “CLOSED ON MONDAY”.

Mr. Riordon has carried on an active career. Since 2013, he is the President of BL Riordon & Associates, consulting services in management and fundraising leadership for arts, cultural and heritage organizations. Since 2016, he became the President of BLR11/135 FARM LTD., leading community advocacy to develop local wind farm and development of agriculture and lumber products. He is the Co-Chair of the Founding Cultures Museum in Grande-Anse, and President of the Pokeshaw Lions Club.

“I am very proud and honoured to be the CEO of this great museum with its incredible collections, research capacity and expertise. I look forward to being a part of continuing to move the museum forward with confidence in recognition of the culture and heritage of New Brunswickers.”, says Bernard Riordon, NBM transitional CEO. “ I look forward to working with the Province of New Brunswick, the dedicated and passionate Board of Directors, professional and committed staff and volunteers.”

The NBM and THC are excited about this new approach focusing on the spirit of collaboration that will benefit the past, present and future as the leaders in natural and cultural history, and art.


For more information:

New Brunswick Museum
Caitlin Griffiths or Aristi Dsilva
Communications and Marketing,
(506) 654-7059 or (506) 643-2358