Alan Syliboy

Artist Summary

Alan Syliboy was born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia. Living in the Millbrook First Nations community, he journeys through his life with a demeanor of strength. An established Mi’kmaq artist, Syliboy’s artistic vocabulary is inspired by the indigenous petroglyphs of Nova Scotia.

Full Biography



1971  Private Study with Artist Shirley Bear

1975  Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Halifax Nova Scotia


2018  2020 Indigenous Games – Drum image selected in Provinces successful bid application

2018  Interview by Jeff Bear for his Series “13 Indigenous Artists” to be released January 2019

2017  Parrsboro Film Festival – entered Syliboy Films.

2017  Buffy Sainte-Marie interview by Alan Syliboy Decoste Centre Pictou NS

2017  Lunenburg School of the Arts – Joint Art Instructor with Todd Labrador – Making and Painting First Nation Hand Drum.

2017  Sherbrooke Village Exhibit – First Indigenous Artist to make appearance.

2017  Halifax Common Art Installation – Mi’kmaw Signpost

2017  Reveal Indigenous Art Award Winnipeg – Received a $10,000.00 award

2017  Received Honouray Doctorite from STfx University

2016  My book,”The Thundermaker”, has been shortlisted and is in contention to become the First Nation Communities Read  reading selection for 2016-2017.

2016   2016 Coady Chair in Social Justice at StFX University

2016  The Path We Share Exhibition –  AGNS Halifax NS & Yarmouth NS.

2015  Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative (ACHH).

2015  Released Childrens Book “The Thundermaker” publisher Nimbus

2014-15 Thundermaker Multi-Media Exhibit – Touring 10 Nova Scotia Libraries

2014 Dorje Denma Ling – Instructor – Direct Perception

2014 Correctional Service Canada – Exploring Culture through Art – 6 Institution Tour

2014 Short Listed for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award

2014 Selection committee for the New Brunswick Art Bank

2013 Galerie D’art Louise et Reuben-Cohen – Aboriginal Voices Exhibit

2013 Beaverbrook Art Gallery- Open Thundermaker Exhibit

2013 Mural Installation – Halifax Stanfield International Airport

2013 Featured artist – Festival Des Arts Visuel en Atlantiq

June 26-30 Caraquet New Brunswick.

2013 Instructor – Direct Perception Program, Dorje Denmaling

2013 Lone Cloud Featured performance Shakespeare in Victoria Park – Mid-summers Night’s Dream

2013 Lone Cloud wins ECMA for Best Aboriginal Album

2012 Juror for Canada Council for the Arts – Ottawa

2012 Elected to the Board of the East Coast Music


2012 “Snapshot:  East Coast Contemporary Aboriginal Art”, Curator, Khyber Centre for the Arts & Wagmatcook Cultural Centre.

2012  Awarded Canada Council Project Grant for production of  “Little Thunder & The Stone Canoe” Exhibit

2012  “Brain with Headdress”, 4’ x 4’, glass and metal collaboration with Janice Lewis

2011  Live Art & Lone Cloud performanace on “The Candy Show”

2011  Launch “The Dream Canoe” Animation

2010  Shortlisted for the Lieutenant Governor’s Masterworks Art Award for  People of the Dawn

2010  Recipient of a Canada Council grant for his work in “Brainstorm” a collaboration with Nance Ackerman (NFB) and Dr. Ivar Mendez

2010  Presented Queen Elizabeth II with portrait of Grand Chief Membertou

2010  Quill Basket Mural, 10’ x 10’ sold to Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery

2009 “Ekpahak”, A survey of New Brunswick artists, Curator, Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery

2009 “People of The Dawn”, twelve 4’x8’ paintings, Commissioned Mural/2010 Olympics

2009   Lead artist of a Group Sculpture, entitled “Keepers of the Eastern Door” for Vancouver 2010 Olympics

2009  Collaborated with Nance Ackerman (NFB) and Paton Francis to create Animation, “Little Thunder” for Vancouver 2010 Olympics

2007  Atlantic Canadian Export Award from Atlantic Canada Cultural Exports, for “Export success 2007”

2007 Workshop, Introduction to Mi’k Maq Culture, Pequot Museum, Connecticut

2007  Illustrated The Stone Canoe: Two Lost Mi’k Maq Tales, Gaspereau Press

2006 The Perfect Tree, published by Nimbus, a short story written by Alan Syliboy

2006  The Halifax 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Advisory Committee

2006  Participated in Indian and Northern Affairs Art Acquisition Program

2005  Art Demonstrations at Ludwig Beck Store, Munich, Germany

2004  Member of “La Francophonie” trade mission to Paris, France

2003  Featured in The Artists, Halifax, Mora Dianne O’Neill

2003  Juror for Canada Council for the Arts

2003  Muiniskw, CBC animation special, artwork by Alan Syliboy

2003  Featured Artist, Aboriginal Consultant, Drum!, CBC-TV

2003  Featured in APTN, “Eastern Tide” TV series

2002  Awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal

2002  Producer, Songs from the Red Earth

2002  Juror, National Aboriginal Achievements Foundation

2001  Commissioned by the Town of Windsor to create a multi-panel mural

2001  Parks Canada, use of images for Tourism brochure

2001  Nations in A Circle, Aboriginal Arts & Cultural Festival

2001  Juror, Canada Council for the Arts

2001  Juror, National Aboriginal Achievements Foundation

2001  Juror, New Brunswick Arts Council

2000  Commissioned by Valley Elementary School, Truro, NS, for a multi-panel piece to commemorate the Millennium

2000  Commissioned to create a piece for the Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough, Ontario

2000  Founding Member, Eastern Aboriginal Artists Collective

1999  Commissioned for design of $200.00 22kt Gold Coin for Royal Canadian Mint

1998  Commissioned for Mural by Sable Offshore Energy Inc.

1998  Recipient of Nova Scotia Arts Council Grant

1997  Member, Board of Governors, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

1996  Two Murals, Youth Correctional Centre, Waterville, Nova Scotia

1996  Member, Board of Directors, Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry

1992  Member, Board of Directors, Cobequid Arts Council

1992  Delegate, Department of External Affairs (Canada) Trade Mission to Japan

Exhibitions & Projects:

2018  Exhibit – The Daily Drum Series – Université du Québec à Chicouitim

2018  Thundermaker performance – St. Andrews United Church Halifax NS

2018  Thundermaker performance – Solar Festival Halifax Central Library

2018  Thundermaker performance – Open Water Festival Halifax NS

2017  DAREarts Project leader Atlantic Region

2017  New Band “The Thundermakers performed at Stanfest July 1, 2017

2017  FAVA Indigenous Art Exhibit – Caraquet NB

2017  Halifax Common Sign Post Installation – My Common Woods Project

2017  Thundermaker Exhibit Cape Breton University

2016 AGNS Exhibition Halifax & Yarmouth Branches– The Path We Share

2014 Vivid Art Show Halifax NS

2014 Solo Show Fraser Cultural Centre Tata. NS

2012 Lone Cloud CD Release Venue: The Museum of Natural History Halifax NS

2011  4’ x 26’ Mural commissioned by Antigonish Regional Library

2010   Retrospective Exhibit, Klu’skap Art Gallery, Moncton, NB

2010  Art exhibited at the Red Cross Humanitarian Award Dinner

2010  Solo Exhibit at Argyle Fine Art

2010  Dr. Jerry Lone Cloud exhibit at the Ingrid Mueller Art & Concepts

2009  Little Thunder is Leaving Home, Solo Exhibit Nova Scotia Community College

2008 Stories From the Winter Camp, Solo Exhibit

2007 Ouro Preto, Solo Exhibit, Halifax, NS

2007 Marks on the Ground: New and Old, Solo Exhibition for Lorenzo Society, UNBSJ, Saint John, NB

2006   A113 000 Moons, Solo Exhibition at the Marigold Cultural Centre, Truro, Nova Scotia

2003  Group Show, Puy-de-Dome, France

2002  Private Show, Pilar Shepard Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

2001  Journeys, Group Show, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

2001  Solo Show, Houston North Gallery, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

2001  Homeboys, Joint show with Alex Janvier, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

2000  Hands of the Ancestors: An Assembly of Algonquin Artists, South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, Massachusetts

2000  “Indian Summer”, Royal Museum of Art & History, Brussels, Belgium

1999  At the Great Harbour, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

1999  Shifting Boundaries, Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1998  Alan Syliboy and Nancy Ackerman, Journey, Multi-cultural Arts Resource Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1996  Solo Exhibition, Spectrum Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1995  Group Exhibition, Bay of Spirits Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

1994  Solo Exhibition, Gallery Connection, Fredericton, New Brunswick

1993  Group Exhibition, Pel ATuKwey: Let me… tell a story, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1992  Exhibitor, Calgary International Arts Festival, Calgary, Alberta (1993-1996)

1992  Solo Exhibition, Family, Quest, Strength, Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

1989  Solo Exhibition, “A” Gallery, Truro, Nova Scotia

1989  Solo Exhibition, Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick

1989  Group Exhibition, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

1987  Group Exhibition, Maritime Native Artisans’ Coop The Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1986  Group Exhibition, Group/Exhibition, Gallery One, Moncton, New Brunswick

1986  Alan Syliboy and David Brooks, Manuge Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1985  Atlantic Region Indian Art Juried Exhibition, Manuge Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

1984  Alan Syliboy and Phillip Young, Doomsday Studios,  Halifax

1983  Maritime Indian Art Exhibition, Doomsday Studios, Halifax

Red Crane Studios:

P.O. Box 492

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

B2N 5C7

Telephone: (902) 893-3866


Web Page:


  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada     
  • Town of Windsor, Nova Scotia
  • Innu Nation
  • Canadian Canoe Museum
  • National Aboriginal Achievements Foundation
  • Mashantucket Pequot Indian Nation
  • Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • Sable Offshore Energy Corporation
  • Bank of Montreal (featured on cheques)
  • Canada Post Corporation
  • Art Collection of the Dept. Of Indian and Northern Affairs
  • Owens Art Gallery
  • Nova Scotia Community College

Artist’s Statement

“I see making art as a way of organizing chaos. Sometimes within the chaos of making a painting, a symbol in the shape of a moose or a caribou will walk through my consciousness in a form that resembles an ancient petroglyph. My work is inspired by the ancient petroglyphs which were carved in stone by my ancestors on walls in caves. This was their way to capture and respect the spirit of the subject. When I paint these images, I feel I am channeling a way to bring their spirits back into our consciousness.  At one time, these drawings were predominant and lived within our culture. Today, most are no longer visible in their original environments, but I believe the earth has a memory of the spirits they contained. My work lives in the moment but is profoundly influenced by the past; this gives me my bearings as an artist, and as a human being. My ancestors have provided me with a spiritual global navigation system, and I like to believe that what I do helps to keep the spirits evolving.”  Alan Syliboy