Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In/Visible: Recent Work by Charlotte Wilson-Hammond

Charlotte Wilson-Hammond In/Visible
Charlotte Wilson-Hammond is a longtime supporter and current board member of the Talent Trust. Her recent work, In/Visible, is at ARTsPLACE Gallery, 396 St. George Street in Annapolis Royal, until July 1.

For the past thirty years Charlotte has been an active advocate for the arts, both provincially and nationally. She was a founding member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, Eye Level Gallery and the Coalition For Arts and Culture.  

She’s served on the Board of Governors of NSCAD University, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC). She’s ex officio to the Board of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, as well as serving on the Board of the Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia. 

Charlotte currently sits on the board of the Talent Trust, and is our past chair.

Charlotte Wilson-Hammond and Curtis BothamIn 2004 Charlotte was awarded the Portia White Prize, a $25,000 award honouring a senior artist in the Province of Nova Scotia.  With part of the award she established the Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/Visual Arts Nova Scotia Scholarship administered through the Talent Trust. She's pictured here with Curtis Botham, the 2017 winner of the award.

We’re very grateful for her generosity, dedication, and her tireless work. 

Three years ago, Charlotte began a new series of conté drawings and shadow photograph/print/drawings, using herself as the subject. In this new work, she reflects on the fragility, vulnerability and yet the beauty and strength of this timeless human condition, noting that one of the most mystifying aspects of aging is that one’s presence is diminished within the general public, often to the point of invisibility. 

The final body of work, which can be seen at ARTsPLACE, consists of large (3'x 4 1/2') drawings using photographs of Charlottes’s shadow in the landscape. These are then digitally manipulated, printed on semi-transparent mylar with the resulting image then worked with coloured pencil.

For more information on the exhibition and directions to the gallery, visit the ARTsPLACE website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

See Maya Read in a Mini-concert at RBC

Maya Read performs at RBC mini concert

Maya Read will perform at the RBC main branch at 1871 Hollis Street in Halifax on Friday, June 22 at 12:15 p.m. 

Maya is representing the Talent Trust as the 2017 recipient of the RBC Emerging Artist Award. She also won the NSTT Lieutenant Governor award in 2017. 

Maya is grateful to RBC and the Talent Trust for helping her in her artistic studies. Since graduating from Ecole du Carrefour in Dartmouth, she’s been studying musical theatre at Sheridan College, where she recently completed her second year. 

Maya’s involvement in her community is considerable, from singing O Canada for the Olympic Torch Relay, to performing at Christmas Daddies, and opera at Dalhousie University. She’s participated in the Kiwanis Music Festivals, performed in community theatre in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Windsor, and on Neptune Theatre's main stage. Maya has taught musical theatre to kids in Dartmouth and, most recently, has performed at many open mics in numerous locations. 

During her RBC performance, Maya will present a number of songs which are part of her recent explorations of pop music. Some songs you know, some are recent popular songs, and some are her originals. 

The RBC Foundation has supported the Talent Trust and emerging Nova Scotia artists for the past nine years. Thank you, RBC!

This story is from the Talent Trust June newsletter. Click here to have the full newsletter delivered to your in box.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Aidan Zann-Roland and Chantal Peng at Awards for Creative Excellence

Aidan Zann-Roland and Chantal Peng appeared at the celebration of the Minister's Awards for Creative Excellence in the Arts in Halifax on June 13.

Aidan Zann-Roland was one of the finalists for the Charlie A’Court Scholarship for Excellence in Music (CASEM). Charlie A'Court was on hand (pictured with Aidan above, left) for the celebration.

Aidan is also one of the Talent Trust’s newest scholarship recipients. He started playing bass guitar in the Truro Junior High jazz band, then in the Cobequid Education Centre (CEC) band, and in the Nova Scotia Honours jazz program. 

While in Grade 10 he was a member of the jazz/funk band Shelter, which disbanded when the other members went on to university. In 2016 and at the age of 16, Aidan became the youngest member of the band Carry the Lost.

Chantal Peng (above, right) was on hand to accompany two of the Minister’s Awards for Creative Excellence recipients.

She’s studied with Professor John Hansen at Acadia University, and at Orford Musique in Quebec. She was the recipient of the Talent Trust Titje Zonneveld award in 2017.

Chantal placed first in the National Canadian Music Competition, and at the Great Composers’ International Piano Concerto Competition in 2016. She played at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2015. 

If you’re in the Wolfville area on June 23, you can see Chantal perform at their farmer’s market from 9:30 am - 12:30 p.m.

In partnership with the arts community, the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development established the Minister's Awards for Creative Excellence in the Arts to recognize grade 12 students who excel in visual arts, performing arts, digital multimedia and music.

Three $1000 scholarships are granted according to overall merit. The Charlie A’Court Scholarship for Excellence in Music includes a $500 award and a mentorship with musical artist Charlie A’Court. In addition, up to 15 students are selected as finalists and each receive $100.

All of us at the Talent Trust would like to congratulate the finalists and wish them all the best as they continue their artistic studies.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pearl Chan at Impressment Gang Celebration & Open Mic Reading

Pearl Chan, writer and editor, is one of the founders of literary magazine The Impressment Gang (IG). Tonight, June 15, will see a celebration marking the publication’s final issue after four years of publication.

Pearl studied at University of King’s College and was awarded the Talent Trust RBC Emerging Artist Award for literary arts in 2014.

The party is a free all-ages event that includes an open mic for anyone who would like to sign up to read. Back issues of IG will be available on a pay what you can basis.

The celebration takes place from 7:00 -10:00 p.m. at the Khyber Centre for the Arts at 1880 Hollis Street in Halifax. For more details, visit the IG Facebook event page.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Challenge Continues - Help us Win $10,000 for Scholarships!

Help the Talent Trust win $10,000 for scholarships

We're nearly halfway through the Great Canadian Giving Challenge. Sponsored by Giv3 and CanadaHelps, every $1 donated in June is an automatic entry for the Talent Trust (and other registered charities) to win $10,000.

If we win, that money will go directly to scholarships. Every penny.

There's a minimum $3 donation required. So if you donate $10, the Talent Trust will be entered into the draw 10 times. If you can donate $3, that still gives us three chances to win.

The Challenge ends June 30, 2018 at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The grand prize draw is on Canada Day, July 1, 2018.
Great Canadian Giving Challenge

This is important: only donations made on or through the website will be entered for the prize draw. (Complete details and regulations can be found on the Great Canadian Giving Challenge website.)

$10,000 would enable the Talent Trust to award five more scholarships of $2,000 each to emerging Nova Scotia artists. That can be a real boost to someone's studies, and a significant vote of confidence.

Want to help us make a difference? Click here to donate. Thank you!

Monday, June 11, 2018

William Kowalski and Writers Revolt Present Webinar for Self-published Authors

William Kowalski
Like any nonprofit organization, the Talent Trust relies on the work, largely behind the scenes, of a group of dedicated volunteers.

William Kowalski has shared his expertise on our scholarship committee, and has recently announced a new project with novelist Darren Greer called Writers Revolt.

William is an award-winning author of 14 books, including the international bestseller Eddie’s Bastard. His most recent work, The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo, is a self-published, crowd-funded book, based on the life story of his great-grandmother.

Writers Revolt aims to erase the stigma of self-publishing, and to do it by helping authors create high-quality, professional work.

Their first webinar is on Saturday, June 24: Hiring Creative Professionals. 

“Both Darren and I have conducted successful crowdfunding campaigns to hire professional editors, copy editors, proofreaders, cover designers, and layout artists to produce our books, and we want to show you how you can do the same. We believe that with the many changes in publishing over the last several years, self-publishing is a completely viable and respectable option. . . but too many authors are putting their books out before they're ready. We want to help raise the bar!”

Registration is $25. For more information, visit the Writers Revolt website.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Heemin Choi and Ifan Williams Perform Death and the Maiden - Presented by Theatre Arts Guild

On June 17 at 2:00 p.m. Theatre Arts Guild will present a live performance of the first two movements of Schubert’s concerto Death and the Maiden by Phillippe Djokic, Heemin Choi, Margot Aldrich and Ifan Williams. The performance is approximately 35 minutes. 

Heemin Choi (violin) completed his bachelor’s degree at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts under international award-winning Philippe Djokic, and is currently a master’s student at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Texas, studying under Paul Kantor, who is one of the most sought-after violin teachers in North America. 

Ifan Williams (cello) has performed with the New Philharmonia of London, London Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Chamber Ensemble, and the Classical Quartet of Montreal. 

He’s been Artist In Residence at the University of New Brunswick, Professor of Cello at Mount Allison University, and is the current Chair of Musique Royale and Opera Nova Scotia.

The play will begin shortly after the June 17 matinee performance. Death and the Maiden runs from June 7 - 23 at The Pond Playhouse in Halifax (audience note: suitable for adults only with explicit language that may be offensive to some. Gun shots will be heard.) For tickets, visit Ticket Atlantic.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Breagh MacKinnon Performs with Classified and Nova Scotian All-Star Cast for the SeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Breagh MacKinnon, Classified, David Myles. Photo by Mo Phung

Breagh MacKinnon (pictured above left) is one of a group of Nova Scotian artists assembled by Juno award-winning Canadian rapper Classified to create awareness for the SeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. 
The group came together in late April at the Sonic Temple recording studio to produce an acoustic video for Classified’s song “Powerless”. The original version of the song has received media attention across Canada for giving a voice to children and women who have suffered abuse, as well as murdered and missing Indigenous women. 
You can watch the just-released acoustic version of "Powerless" here:
The video features an all-star cast of Nova Scotian musicians including David Myles, Joel Plaskett, Rose Cousins, Elijah Will, and Neon Dreams.
The SeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre is based at the IWK Health Centre and offers a coordinated response for children who have experienced violence and abuse. For more information about SeaStar visit

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Summer Soirees - Vocalist Karen Myatt in Concert at the Halifax Distilling Co.

Karen Myatt celebrates summer with a series of themed concerts at the Halifax Distilling Co. at 1668 Lower Water Street on the city's waterfront.

On Saturday, June 16, The Karen Myatt Quintet presents Acoustique, an intimate evening of classic and contemporary melodies.

"These are some of my all-time favourite songs," says the vocalist, noting that the two-set soirée will include works by Cassandra Wilson, Jeff Buckley, Imelda May, Tom Waits, and many others. "We will be taking these tunes down a notch and showcasing the sheer, simple beauty of the music."

On Saturday, July 14, Myatt's Quartet presents Just Jazz, a two-set tribute to the genre's tremendous tradition.

"We are going back to basics with this concert, performing standards by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, and Nova Scotia's very own Holly Cole," she explains. "Purists — and those just discovering jazz — will love it."

On Friday, August 17, the Quintet returns with Calendar Girl,  showcasing the life and work of renowned American singer and actress Julie London. 

"We have been wanting to do this show for a long time," says Myatt. "The first set will overview her career, while the second set will feature her classic 1956 album Calendar Girl in its entirety."

More information on Summer Soirées, as well as ticket details, are available via Myatt's website:

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pianist Chantal Peng Performs at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market June 13 and 23

Pianist Chantal Peng will perform at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, June 13 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. and Saturday June 23, from 9:30 am - 12:30 p.m.

A talented young artist who's dedicated to her local community, Chantal has studied with Professor John Hansen at Acadia University, and at Orford Musique in Quebec. Under John Hansen’s instruction, she’s received a number of awards and scholarships at the provincial, national and international level. 

She placed first in the National Canadian Music Competition, and at the Great Composers’ International Piano Concerto Competition in 2016. She played at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2015.

And she’s just finishing high school.

Here's a video of Chantal in 2013 at the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville:
For details on Chantal’s performances, visit the events page.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Theatre director Luciana Silvestre Fernandes returns to Halifax

Theatre director Luciana Silvestre Fernandes
Luciana Silvestre Fernandes is a theatre director who’s returning home to Halifax.

She’s here to participate in Neptune Theatre’s Chrysalis Project, which provides practical experience and mentorship to emerging artists within the structure of a professional theatre as well as exposure to the broader theatre community.

Luciana received the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award in 2016. She was artistic director for Taboo Theatre as well as working with independent companies such as Villains Theatre, Child's Play and Doppler Effect. 

Luciana completed her undergrad education at Dalhousie University, then relocated to British Columbia to pursue her MFA in directing at UBC.

Her work “embraces the philosophy that artists are artisans of reality. In shaping how audiences perceive the world, we can shape how they interact with it. It is through our choices of representation, what we normalize and what we challenge, who we give a voice to, and what questions we deem worthy asking that we challenge unconscious or semi-conscious dogmas of our audiences”.

She brought this philosophy to her most recent work as director of French playwright Jean Anouilh's Antigone, a devised movement-based expressionist adaption of Sophocle's Classic titled Antigones, and Thomas Middleton's Jacobean era play A Yorkshire Tragedy.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Devin Huang and Alex Yang Shine Bright at the Kiwanis Music Festival

The Gala Recital for the 2018 Halifax Kiwanis Music Festival took place on May 5 at the Music Room in Halifax. Two Talent Trust scholarship recipients received accolades for Junior Piano.
Gordon Murray Rising Star winner Devin Huang and teacher Lynn Stolola
Devin Huang (pictured with his teacher Lynn Stodola) received the Adjudicator’s Recommendation to the 2018 Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival for Junior Piano. 
He was last year’s recipient of the first ever Gordon Murray Rising Star Award. He captured first place in each of his seven piano repertoire classes, and received an unprecedented mark of 98 in his Chopin class. 
Devin’s achieved great things during the past year. He was one of the winners of the 2017/18 Chebucto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, an honour which gave him the privilege of performing with the Orchestra on April 21, 2018.
2018 Gordon Murray Rising Star winner Alex Yang
Alex  (Zixuan) Yang received the 2018 Gordon Murray Rising Star Award, which was presented at the May 5 Kiwanis Music Festival  Gala.
Alex plays at the RCM level 7/8, and was named as the Alternate to Devin Huang for the Provincial Festival Recommendation in Junior Piano.
He was a Canadian Music Competition national finalist in 2017, were he also received an Honorable Mention in the Scholarship Competition for Junior Piano.
The Provincial Music Festival Competition dates are Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2, 2018. The Gala Concert will be held on Saturday June 2 at 7pm at Denton Hall Auditorium, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

This story was first published in our May newsletter. Subscribe to have all our monthly news delivered to your inbox!

Friday, May 25, 2018

An operatic Talent Trust reunion in La finta giardiniera on May 25 and 26

On May 25 and 26 at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax, Opera Nova Scotia presents La finta giardiniera, a story Mozart set to music for Munich at the age of 18. 

The cast of seven soloists, directed by David Overton, features four Talent Trust scholarship recipients


  • Top left: Lindsay Connolly as Cavalier Ramiro 
    (Portia White Award 2015)
  • Top right: Marcel d'Entremont as Don Anchise 
     (Portia White Award 2013) 
  • Bottom left: Jennifer Farrell as Arminda
    (Portia White Award 1999) 
  • Bottom right: Suzanne Rigden as Serpetta
    (Portia White Award 2007)

The title La finta giardiniera roughly translates into ‘the would-be, or supposed, (finta) gardener/gardener’s, girl (giardiniera)’, and we’re told a more nuanced translation contains spoilers.

The work is multifaceted, with shades of Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well and Much Ado About Nothing. It will be presented fully staged with orchestra: arias in Italian, narrative in English.

The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. on both evenings. 

For more information (and spoilers), visit the La finta giardiniera Facebook event page. 

For tickets, contact the Dalhousie Arts Centre box office.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Andrew Son Wins Atlantic Young Artist 2018 Competition

Andrew Son 2018 Atlantic Young Artist Competition winner
On April 21, five talented pianists from the Atlantic provinces participated in the 2018 Atlantic Young Artist Competition held at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. After recital programs of contrasting works, Andrew Son was declared the winner.

Andrew is currently in his first year at Dalhousie University, studying with Lynn Stodola. He plans to major in neuroscience while completing a minor in music.

He was recently awarded the Piano Rose Bowl in the 2018 Kiwanis Music Festival in Halifax. He represented Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association National Piano Competition in Vancouver.  As the Atlantic Young Artist for 2018, Andrew will complete a short concert tour of the Atlantic region in the fall.

The competition and tour are projects of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations and its provincial counterparts in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. Instrumentalists between the ages of 16 and 25 and singers between 16 and 27 who are studying with a registered music teacher are eligible to enter. 

This story was first published in our May newsletter. Subscribe to have all our monthly news delivered to your inbox!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Rachel Hastings in Art Attakkk - Three Short Plays for Kids by Halifax Theatre for Young People

Rachel Hastings is a member of the cast and creative team of Art Attakkk, three short plays inspired by original Nova Scotian art and written by Nova Scotian playwrights.

Rachel, a graduate of Dalhousie University's acting program, wrote and performed Red Fish, a comedy about the pitfalls of being a teenager in 2016, with her colleague Taylor Olson. The play originally appeared in Halifax's Fringe Fest and is currently touring in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Described as a “vibrant and fascinating mix of art and theatre”, Art Attakkk is a funny and endearing set of works that feature a hip hop musical, the story of an unexpected encounter at the art gallery, and a eulogy for a cat. 

The show “hits kids where they live and demonstrates that art and creativity can help us understand, accept, and express our emotions and connect with others. Ages 9-12”.

June 2, 11:00 a.m.
Tickets: $10.00
Neptune Theatre Scotiabank Stage

Tickets and Festival Passes can be purchased at the Neptune Theatre Box Office (telephone 902-429-7070), online, or in person at 1593 Argyle Street in Halifax.

Art Attakkk is a Halifax Theatre for Young People production, presented by Eastern Front Theatre as part of NextSTAGES Theatre Festival for Families.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gina Burgess Presents an Exclusive Quintet Premiere at the Halifax Central Library

For this year's Obey Convention, Gina Burgess has created a new and unique piece which she will present at the Halifax Central Library. 

Gina is a four-time ECMA award winner with the gypsy-jazz outfit Gypsophilia, fronts her own klezmer band Der Heisser, is one fifth of the Iqaluit-based Arctic rock band The Jerry Cans, and is a regular collaborator in flamenco and Arabic music ensembles. 

Inspired by the minimalistic compositional tradition of Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Gina has also infused elements of traditional Inuit throat singing, poetry, trance, and Gregorian/Indian chant in her latest composition.

The quintet will feature Gina (violin) Susanne Brown (viola) Norm Adams (cello) Lukas Pierce (double bass) and Janice Jackson (voice).

The premiere will take place Halifax on Thursday, May 24 at the Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library. 

The show starts at 6pm. Admission is free.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Emily Doolittle and Wind Quintet International Present a Free Workshop on Her Latest Composition

Composer Emily Doolittle Halifax-born composer Emily Doolittle and Wind Quintet International will present a free workshop with Nova Scotian wind quintet Fifth Wind.

The workshop features Emily's new composition for the Forecasting the Canadian Wind project.

When & where:
Wednesday, May 23, 1:00 p.m. 
MacAloney Room (Room 406) 
Fountain School of the Performing Arts
Dalhousie University, Halifax

Emily grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and attended Dalhousie University, Indiana University, Princeton University, and the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, where she studied with Louis Andriessen with the support a Fulbright fellowship. From 2008-2015 she was an Associate Professor of Music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She now lives in Glasgow, UK, where she is an Athenaeum Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

She's written for such ensembles as Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto), Symphony Nova Scotia, the Vancouver Island Symphony, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, the Motion Ensemble and Paragon, and soloists such as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc, Janice Jackson, Patricia Green and Helen Pridmore, pianist Rachel Iwaasa, violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel, viola d'amorist Thomas Georgi and viola da gambist Karin Preslmayr.

For more information: