Bernard Riordon

Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Bernard Riordon was born in Bathurst, New Brunswick. He attended St. Thomas University in Fredericton and St. Mary's University in Halifax.

Bernard began his career working at the St. Mary's University Art Gallery and in 1973 became curator of the Centennial Art Gallery, Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art, which was the Power Magazine located in the Halifax Citadel, with over 200 works of art in its collection. In 1975, he became the founding Director of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

In a long and prestigious career, he has worked in many fields of Canadian art. He has 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. He implemented a satellite gallery, the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Mr. Riordon retired from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in November, 2002, and at that time became Director and CEO of The Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton.

Riordon is the author of Nova Scotia Folk Art: Canada's Cultural Heritage,and Joe Norris: Painted Visions of Nova Scotia. He has written many magazine and journal articles. At the Beaverbrook Art Gallery projects have included the Atlantic Canadian Artists: A Selection I; Atlantic Canadian Artists: A Selection II; Bruno Bobak: A Legacy of Art; Glenn Priestley: Variations, and Studio Watch: Emerging Artists Series. In 2006 he edited the book, Bruno Bobak: The Full Palette, which won the award for Best Atlantic Published Book for 2006. He has also spearheaded a number of successful fundraising events including Guess Whose Coming to Dinner, the Bruno Bobak Roast, the Roméo Savoie Gala, Tom Forrestall Gala, the Fred Ross fundraising event and the Molly Lamb Bobak gala.

In 2002 he was awarded the Order of Canada. On October 18, 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Saint Mary’s University, Fall Convocation, and in May 2010 was bestowed a lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association (APAGA)

Bernard and his wife Lillian are parents to four children, Melissa, Thomas, Edward and Jillian and four grandchildren.

Mr Riordon has been with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery since November, 2002 and looks forward to the challenge of developing the Gallery towards its full potential as the official provincial art gallery of New Brunswick.