When the Burnie Civic Centre was officially opened in 1976 it was the first purpose-built fully professional regional arts centre in Tasmania. In 2009 it was renamed as the Burnie Arts & Function Centre (BAFC).
In 1978 the Burnie Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) was opened in the same building. BRAG houses a nationally significant permanent art collection with a focus on paper in recognition of the region’s history of paper making.
In 2007 the establishment of the biennial Burnie Print Prize confirmed Burnie as a printmaking hub and the acquisitive prize remains one Australia's richest for printmaking.
In the same precinct, the Burnie Regional Museum (BRM) focuses on Burnie’s beginnings; Federation Street is a perennially popular attraction. The museum recently acquired The Advocate Gift, a vast collection of 1 million negatives from the newspaper's extensive archive.
The Burnie Arts Council Inc (BAC) is the original branch of Tasmanian Regional Arts. Its mission is to raise and consolidate the profile of Burnie as the arts hub for the region. Their biannual 'paper on skin' competition and exhibition attracts attention from around the country.
The Burnie Coastal Art Group is a community-based, not for profit organisation whose undertaking is to develop and nurture artistic pursuits by holding exhibitions, art classes & workshops at Studio 2 eleven.
In 2017 Tasmania’s international arts festival Ten Days on the Island, relocated its festival headquarters to thenorthwest coast.
In 2021 the Council began to refurbish the existing Burnie Arts and Function Centre into a contemporary, integrated building that encompasses art, history, functions, events and performing arts, under the one roof. Stage 1 of the new Centre is complete and is open to the public. Stage 2 of the building is expected to be completed and officially opened in early 2025.