UNB has a long tradition of encouraging the fine arts and has directed its resources into sustaining diversified cultural activities.
On the Fredericton campus, courses in the fine arts, offered in a variety of departments, reflect the philosophy that in a modern university the creative and intellectual aspects of life must be closely integrated. Fine arts facilities and activities include:
- UNB Art Centre. Founded in 1941 by Pegi Nicol MacLeod and Lucy Jarvis, the UNB Art Centre is considered one of the oldest art centres in the Atlantic region. It remains a focus for a range of informative and stimulating exhibitions and programs. It is home to UNB's student art group, ARTZONE. The UNB Art Centre is the custodian of the UNB Permanent Collection, which totals more than 2000 artworks assembled through the generosity of alumni and benefactors. The collection is on display throughout the Fredericton and Saint John campuses. The Art Centre also houses two small gallery spaces with rotating exhibitions.
- The Centre for Musical Arts, Established in 1992, is under the direction of Richard Hornsby. It offers credit and non-credit courses, practice facilities, instruments for student use, a Concert Series, a Young Musicians Program, Atlantic Sinfonia, and a Summer Music Camp and an affiliated professional Music Festival (New Brunswick Summer Music Festival). There are also many ensembles available to students such as the Concert Choir and instrumental ensembles (concert band, brass ensemble, flute choir, jazz band). The Musician-in-Residence program has existed since 1962. The most recent Musicians in residence have included: Robert Kortgaard, Richard Raymond, Peter Allen, Julien LeBlanc, Geoffrey McCausland, Greg Harrison, Olivia Brayley Quackenbush and Nadia Francavilla.
- Drama at UNB. UNB offers a number of courses in Drama, providing students with training in acting, directing, design, set instruction, lighting and stage management. Theatre UNB produces up to 5 mainstage productions annually at Memorial Hall, including faculty-directed class productions and student-directed productions open to participation by anyone with an interest in theatre. The activities of Theatre UNB are organized by Len Falkenstein (Director of Drama). Drama course can be found in the Drama and English sections of the Calendar.
- Music on the Hill. Music on the Hill offers an annual concert series featuring international, national and regional artists. This is a cooperative endeavour of the Centre for Musical Arts and a cross-disciplinary committee with representation from UNB and STU.
- Film, Media, Game and Video. A series of courses in film, media, game, and video studies is offered by the Department of English and the Department of Culture and Media Studies. These may be taken as elective courses, as part of the Media Arts and Cultures Program (housed in the Department of Culture and Media Studies) or as part of the Interdisciplinary Film Studies Minor Program. State of the art digital facilities, including a student film production studio, can be found in the Eaton Multimedia wing of Marshall d'Avray Hall, where faculty from the Media Arts and Cultures program are housed. Since 2012, the Department of Culture and Media Studies has housed an occasional Media Artist-in-Residence (filmmaker Ryan O’Toole, musician and performance artist Henry Svec, and videogame artist Chad Comeau).
- Writer-in-Residence. Since the 1960s, the Department of English has hosted a Writer-in-Residence who is available to consult with writers from the university and the wider community. Early Writers-in-Residence included Norman Levine, Dorothy Livesay, Alden Nowlan, and David Adams Richards. Since 2000 the position has been held by Colleen Wagner, George Fetherling, John Steffler, Anne Simpson, Ken McKoogan, Erin Mouré, Catherine Bush, Karen Solie, Patricia Young, Gerard Beirne, Fred Stenson, John Barton, Sue Sinclair, Joan Clark, Douglas Glover, Jeramy Dodds, Naomi K. Lewis, Rabindranath Maharaj, Kerry-Lee Powell, and Colleen Murphy.
- The Fiddlehead Magazine, Canada's oldest continuing journal of poetry and short stories was conceived more than three decades ago by Alfred Bailey, and grew from a few mimeographed sheets of poems by students and some faculty to include short stories and book reviews. It has been called a Who’s Who of Canadian Literature, and various faculty members have edited it over the years, including Fred Cogswell, Kent Thompson, Roger Ploude, Peter Thomas, Robert Gibbs, Don McKay, and Ross Leckie. The editor as of July 2018 is Sue Sinclair. Although its emphasis is on Canadian prose and poetry, The Fiddlehead is open to good writing in English from contributors around the world.
- Memorial Hall is the site for on-campus as well as touring drama and music productions. It also houses the UNB Art Centre and the Centre for Musical Arts.
- Special events and programs. Concerts, music master classes and workshops, summer music programs, writer’s conferences, exhibitions, poetry-readings, and drama productions are arranged or sponsored by the UNB Art Centre, the Centre for Musical Arts, Theatre UNB and Music on the Hill. Readings by visiting Canadian writers occur throughout the academic year and are organized by the Department of English.