Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Karen Myatt in Thorgy’s Thorchestra! with Symphony Nova Scotia

Photo by Michèle Parent of Chèle Photo Couture

Karen Myatt is a busy woman. She's about to make her Symphony Nova Scotia debut as guest vocalist for the highly-anticipated Thorgy and the Thorchestra!

The show, part of Halifax Pride 2018, is described as a "thrilling, thoughtful, and hilariously theatrical show featuring the fabulous Thorgy Thor, famed worldwide from the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race." 

Performances are Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax. 

For tickets, call the Symphony box office at 902.494.3820, visit 6101 University Avenue, or you can purchase tickets online.

Karen received Talent Trust scholarships in 2003 and 2004. She studied at the Randolph Academy in Toronto and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.

Her appearance with Thorgy and the Thorchestra! follows a recent pair of soirées at the Halifax Distilling Co., with a third show in that series on August 17, plus an upcoming concert on Friday, July 20 at Sandy Cove's Zion United Church, which is part of the Cove Summer Music Series.

For more information on Karen's music and upcoming concerts, visit

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Violinist Jennifer Jones in Concert - Music at Three Churches, Mahone Bay

Jennifer Jones photo courtesy Symphony Nova Scotia
Jennifer Jones will perform in the Music at the Three Churches concert series in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia on July 20.  

Presented by the Mahone Bay Summer Concerts Society, the 2018 season begins with a program of string quartets by Mozart, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky.

Alongside Jennifer on violin will be Halifax musicians Philippe Djokic (violin), Etienne Chenard (viola) and Benjamin Marmen (cello).

Jennifer received Talent Trust scholarships from 1987-90. She studied at the Maritime Conservatory of Music and Dalhousie University, and completed her Master of Music degree in Performance and Pedagogy at Indiana University.

She’s performed as a soloist with the NSYO, Dalhousie Chamber Orchestra, Chebucto Orchestra, Saint John Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia. She’s currently Assistant Concert Master at Symphony Nova Scotia.

The String Quartets Concert takes place Friday, July 20 at St. James Anglican Church in Mahone Bay at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at Kinburn Pharmasave (Mahone Bay), Shop on the Corner (Lunenburg) or Strings and Things (Bridgewater). To reserve tickets call 902 634-4280 or e-mail

Monday, July 9, 2018

Barbara Hannigan Named Finalist for 2018 Masterworks Award

Barbara Hannigan Crazy Girl Crazy Masterworks Award 2018 finalist

Barbara Hannigan is among the five finalists for the 2018 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. She's nominated for her award-winning album Crazy Girl Crazy.

Crazy Girl Crazy is Barbara's debut recording, which was released in 2017. The work is a new arrangement of music from Gershwin’s Girl Crazy, and Berio’s Sequenza III for solo voice. 

Barbara combines the roles of conductor and soprano soloist throughout the album, which was recorded with the innovative musical collective LUDWIG Orchestra.

The New York Times named Crazy Girl Crazy one of the 25 Best Classical Music Recordings in 2017, which went on to win both a Juno and Grammy award for classical music in 2018. 

Barbara received a Talent Trust scholarship in 1993. She's carved out an impressive career since completing her studies, performing  with renowned orchestras such as The Berlin Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony, and at iconic venues including New York’s Lincoln Center and London’s Royal Opera House. 

She'll take on the role of Principal Guest Conductor with the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden for their 2019-2020 season. 

Barbara's won numerous accolades during her career, including the Order of Canada in 2016.

The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award recognizes the excellence of a work of art or design from any medium. The work must have made a significant impact through its public presentation and have contributed to the historical development and contemporary practice of the art form. 

The Masterworks Award was established by the Honourable Myra Freeman in 2005. To learn more about the five finalists for 2018, visit the Masterworks website.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

NAT chantel and Lux Habrich in VANS Mentorship Exhibition

NAT chantel and Lux Habrich are among the artists in Conversations, Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s 2017-18 Mentorship Exhibition. 

NAT chantel Conversations exhibition
NAT chantel is an African Nova Scotian emerging artist in multimedia, textiles and sculpture. Her work speaks to imposed societal structures that inform identity, and the erasure of body and self through communication, and conditions within the environment. 

NAT was a contributing artist and instructor for the Peace Warriors Art and Wellness Festival in 2015, and participated in the group installation The Unkindness at IgNight the Night Art Festival that same year. 

She received a Talent Trust scholarship in 2017 to study privately with interdisciplinary artist Kate Ward. NAT had her first solo exhibit MUD at Afterglow Bridgewater Festival on September 30, 2017. 

Lux Habrich Conversations exhibition
Lux Habrich moved to Atlantic Canada from Montréal in 2012 to complete an Interdisciplinary BFA at NSCAD University. She received the NSTT Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/VANS Award in 2016. 

Lux finds frequent inspiration in her urban upbringing, mixed race identity and immigrant legacy. While at NSCAD, she discovered the immense narrative potential in craftwork, with its highly political nature as a domestic, feminine and often undervalued form of production. 

Founded in 2006, the VANS Mentorship Program pairs emerging artists with established artists in a 10-month mentorship. This working relationship provides emerging artists with an exceptional opportunity to develop both their creative process and professional skills, enabling them to build a foundation for a successful career in the visual arts. 

The Craig Gallery, Alderney Landing, Dartmouth, July 12 - 29 Opening reception: Wednesday, July 11, 6 - 8pm 
Mentee Artist Talk: Saturday, July 14, 2pm

This story originally appeared in the Talent Trust June newsletter. Click here to subscribe!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Lukas Pearse Hosts Musical Improvisation at the TD Halifax Jazz Festival

Halifax musician and artist Lukas Pearse
In addition to its feature performance space on the Waterfront Stage, the 2018 TD Halifax Jazz Festival has venues across the city during its July 10-15 run.

The Open Company Sessions, presented by Upstream, is a curated series that feature free improvisation. The sessions are hosted by Halifax musicians Geordie Haley and Lukas Pearse.

Lukas is a bassist, media artist, and sound editor. He received a Talent Trust scholarship in 2003.

He’s an award-winning film composer and member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada. He’s served as the Artistic Director of the Upstream Music Association since 2015. 

Lukas is also an experienced teacher, working with private students as well as through the Centre for Art Tapes and NSCAD University.

In the Open Company Sessions, local musical luminaries and visiting virtuosos meet onstage to create spontaneous music.

The sessions run from 11pm - 1am from Wednesday, July 11 through Saturday July 14 at ART BAR at 1873 Granville Street in Halifax. Admission is free.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Dance - Ballet Workshops with Hanna Mae Cruddas

Hannay Mae Cruddas
Hannah Mae Cruddas will conduct Ballet Workshops on Thursday, June 28 at East Coast Dance Academy, 5665 St. Margaret's Bay Road. The sessions are open to all studios and dancers.

7-9yrs: 5-6pm $15
10-12yrs: 6-7:15pm $20
13+ yrs: 7:15pm-8:45pm $25 

Teacher Observation: $10 for any workshop

Pre-register to reserve your spot:

Born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Hannah Mae trained at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts and The Leica Hardy School of Dance, before moving to Toronto at age 16 to graduate from Canada's National Ballet School. 

Upon graduation, she joined Canada's Ballet Jörgen and is currently in her seventh season with the company. She's danced in many of Jörgen's works including Anastasia (in the title role), Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Cinderella, and had the opportunity to create the role of the Lilac Fairy in Jörgen's Sleeping Beauty. 

During her time in Toronto, Hannah Mae has been privileged to work with many choreographers and repetiteurs including Bengt Jörgen, Svea Eklof, Robert Desrosier, Malgorzata Nowaka, Aszure Barton, Peggy Baker and Lindsay Fischer. 

She is honoured to have received various scholarships and awards, including the Janice and Brian Flemming scholarship and the NSTT Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. 

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 NSTT Lieutenant Governor award. 

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.