Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Breagh MacKinnon Joins Nova Scotia Talent Trust Board of Directors

Breagh MacKinnon.
Breagh MacKinnon has joined the
Talent Trust Board of Directors
We're thrilled to tell you Breagh MacKinnon has joined our board of directors.

Breagh received the Talent Trust Chico Berardi Special Award for Excellence in 2013. She was a nominee for the Nova Scotia Music Best New Artist award as well as an East Coast Music Association (ECMA) Rising Star award that same year.

Breagh, Dylan Guthro, and Carleton Stone are making their collective mark as the band Port Cities. Port Cities has received five Nova Scotia Music Awards, a SOCAN #1 Award (for their song “Back to the Bottom”), and hit #1 on CBC and Spotify music charts. The band is also multiple ECMA award nominees.

They make their debut with Symphony Nova Scotia as part of the Halifax Pop Explosion this month, before resuming their concert dates across Canada. 

Breagh recently joined an all-star cast of Nova Scotia musicians for Halifax rapper Classified's acoustic version of his song, Powerless, which was released to support the IWK Hospital's SeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. 

She's also on the Music Studies faculty at the Nova Scotia Community College.

From Breagh: "As a recent recipient, I’m proud to say the Nova Scotia Talent Trust played an important role in supporting me as I finished my Bachelor of Music from St. Francis Xavier University, and embarked on my career as a professional musician.

"I have seen firsthand the impact that this organization can have on emerging artists. I am honoured to join the board, and look forward to engaging both new artists and NSTT alumni who continue to contribute to the thriving creative community in Nova Scotia."

To learn more about Breagh, visit

This story was first published in our October newsletter. Subscribe to get every issue delivered to your inbox!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Painter Jenny Johnson Brings her Scenes from the Multiverse to Halcon

Artist Jenny R Johnson.
Artist Jenny Johnson will sell her sci-fi/fantasy
art at Halcon, October 26-28 
Jenny Johnson will sell her prints and original paintings from her Scenes from the Multiverse series at Halcon in Halifax.

The sci-fi/fantasy conference takes place from October 26 - 28, 2018 at the Halifax Convention Centre.

Jenny is a realist painter who received a Talent Trust scholarship to support her studies in visual arts. Raised in Baddeck, Cape Breton, she holds a BFA from NSCAD University. 

In addition to her studio work, she teaches perspective drawing and colour theory in the Scenography program at Dalhousie University.

Jenny’s work ranges from figurative to landscape, but the underlying theme of her painting is to monumentalize brief, often overlooked moments in our lives; to reveal the sublime in the ordinary. 

Her paintings have been featured in a number of exhibitions in Nova Scotia, most recently at Argyle Fine Art Gallery in Halifax, and can be found in numerous private collections from Vancouver Island to New York City. 

Since its inception in 2010, Halcon has become a wildly popular community-focused conference. It's brought some of the best-known names in the sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming world to Halifax.

Jenny's booth can be found on the Ballroom Convention floor at B9-7/8, beside the autograph/photo-op area.

To learn more about Jenny and to see her work, visit her website at

Monday, October 15, 2018

Vocalist Janice Jackson in Debut Concert of Teleet Ensemble at St. Mary's Art Gallery

Janice Jackson - Teleet Ensemble.
Janice Jackson (centre), Arash Delavar and Mohammad Sahraei are Teleet Ensemble.
Their debut concert is October 21 at St. Mary's University Art Gallery

Vocalist Janice Jackson, Arash Delavar (acoustic, electric guitar), and Mohammad Sahraei (tar, setar, beghlama, and hand drum) are the members of the trio Teleet Ensemble. 

Their debut concert takes place Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s University Art Gallery

The performance is co-hosted by St. Mary’s University Art Gallery and Janice’s company Vocalypse Productions.

Janice received Talent Trust scholarship to support her voice studies and is also a Portia White award recipient. In addition to being an accomplished soprano, she’s a contemporary music specialist, producer, and vocal instructor and coach.

Janice has performed in over 200 world premieres, many works written specifically for her, and appeared with contemporary music ensembles and in concert halls around the world in cities that include Beijing, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Berlin, and Johannesburg.

She recently received the Friends of Canadian Music Award, during the Opera From Scratch gala concert at St. Matthews United Church in Halifax.

Teleet is a vernacular (and culinary) Farsi word used to refer to a blend, mix, jumble, or collage of different, even unlikely, ingredients. The Ensemble mixes Western and Middle Eastern instruments, Their songs range from classical to folk, originating from the Applachian Mountains to Iranian farmlands.

Visit the St. Mary’s Gallery Facebook event page for details.

To learn more about Janice and her work, visit

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Karen Myatt is the Feature Performer at Atlantic Fashion Week 2018

Karen Myatt at Atlantic Fashion Week.
Karen Myatt is the feature performer
at this year's Atlantic Fashion Week
Karen Myatt will be the feature performer at Atlantic Fashion Week 2018, which takes place in Halifax on October 18 - 20. She’ll be returning for her second straight year, performing with acclaimed pianist Holly Arsenault.

Karen received Talent Trust scholarships to assist with her studies in voice. She attended the Randolph Academy in Toronto, and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.

Karen has established a career with a very full schedule since then. Her summer has been particularly busy, debuting with Symphony Nova Scotia in the fabulous Thorgy and the Thorchestra! and most recently performing on Neptune Theatre’s Studio stage in her two-night, sold-out show Blues Deluxe.

She’ll follow her Atlantic Fashion Week performances with Jazz Noir at the Halifax Distilling Co. on October 26.

From Karen: “They bring the style, and we bring the swing. A nice mix of classic and contemporary jazz standards will complement the soirées and the amazing array of designs on display.”

Atlantic Fashion Week marks its 12th year in 2018. The three-day event supports emerging and established fashion designers of both the Atlantic region and nationally known Canadian designers. 

Showcases are at 350 Horseshoe Lake Drive in Halifax. Visit the Atlantic Fashion Week website for details.

To learn more about Karen and to catch up with her concert schedule, visit her website:

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Becka Barker and Stacey Cornelius Lead Professional Development Workshops for Visual Arts Nova Scotia

Becka Barker and Stacey Cornelius lead professional development workshops at Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) in October and November.

Becka Barker leads VANS grant writing
workshop October 17 & 20
Becka Barker’s Grant Writing workshop focuses on improving grant and proposal writing skills. 

Participants will learn how to write convincing project descriptions for Arts Nova Scotia and Canada Council creation grants as well as other applications. 

There will be two sessions: October 17 in Halifax, and October 20 in Sydney.

Becka received Talent Trust scholarships for film studies. Her work has been supported by the National Film Board of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Nova Scotia, and the Halifax Regional Municipality. 

Becka’s films have been shown at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Seoul’s EXiS (winner 2007, Best International Film), Images Festival (Toronto), Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal), KunstDoc Art Gallery (Seoul), Echo Park Film Centre (Los Angeles), Toronto Animated Images Society, WNDX (Winnipeg), and Struts Gallery (Sackville, NB). 

She's been on the faculty at NSCAD University since 2005 and was visiting foreign faculty in the Film and Animation Department at SoonChunHyang University in South Korea from 2008-2012. To learn more about Becka, visit her website at

Grant Writing workshop

Wednesday, October 17, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

VANS boardroom
1113 Marginal Road
, Halifax
Registration Deadline: October 11

Saturday, October 20, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design
322 Charlotte Street
, Sydney
Registration Deadline: October 13

For a full workshop description and to register, visit the VANS website.

Stacey Cornelius teaches technology & social
media workshop for VANS Oct 20 and Nov 3
Stacey Cornelius’s Websites, Social Media & Technology: Creating your Brand workshop takes a no-nonsense look at website building tools, email marketing and newsletter services, search engines, and social media. 

The three-hour session focuses on building a professional brand using the tools that work best for you, and knowing how to use those tools well. Participants will learn concepts and skills they can use with multiple tools and across platforms so they can work smarter, not harder.

Stacey received a Talent Trust scholarship to support her studies in visual arts. Her work has been in shows at the AGNS, Mary Black Gallery, and Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery. Stacey’s used her experience as a jewellery designer and maker to help other artists build their own professional creative practices. 

She currently works at the Talent Trust as Communications Coordinator, Scholarship Program Coordinator, and Events Coordinator for our 75th anniversary celebrations in 2019. To learn more about Stacey, visit

Websites, Social Media & Technology: Creating your Brand
Saturday, October 20, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

Halifax: Visual Arts Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road

Registration Deadline: October 22

Saturday, November 3, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Parrsboro: Main & Station
168 Main Street

Registration Deadline: October 29

For a full workshop description and to register, visit the VANS website.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sara Hartland-Rowe Leads Art Retreat at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, October 20-21

Artist Sara Hartland-Rowe.
Sara Hartland-Rowe leads an Artist Retreat at
Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, October 21 and 22
Sara Hartland-Rowe will lead an adult art retreat at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts in Canning, Nova Scotia on October 20 and 21. 

Sara received a Talent Trust scholarship to support her studies in visual arts at NSCAD University. She holds a BFA from NSCAD, where she currently teaches drawing and painting, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

She’s been awarded grants from Arts Nova Scotia and the Canada Council, and was shortlisted for the Lieutenant Governor's Masterworks Award in 2016. 

Sara has exhibited across Canada, in the US, Europe and South America. Her work is in private and public collections.

Participants can attend both Sara’s visual arts workshops, or choose from Making Art from Sticks and Stones (using materials in the local environment to make pigment, charcoal, and dye) on October 20, and Watercolour Monoprint (using intaglio and silk-screen processes) on October 21.

No experience is necessary to attend the workshops.

For more information and a full description of the art retreat, visit the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts website.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Congratulations to Shauntay Grant on her Governor General’s Literary Award Nomination

Halifax writer Shauntay Grant is nominated for a
Governor General’s Literary Award  for her book Africville
Shauntay Grant is nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award.

Shauntay’s book Africville, illustrated by Eva Campbell, is nominated in the Young People's Literature-Illustrated Books category.

Africville is nominated alongside At the Pond by Werner Zimmermann; Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes by Wab Kinew and Joe Morse; Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers; and They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki.

Africville launched on September 29 at the Africville Museum in Halifax.

Shauntay received a Talent Trust scholarship to support her studies in visual arts. She later switched disciplines and is now a writer and storyteller who teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University. 

As Halifax's third poet laureate, she organized Canada's first national gathering of Canadian poets laureate. 

Shauntay has presented her work at events including Canada’s national Word on the Street festivals, the Vancouver Writers Festival, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Australia's National Young Writers’ Festival, and the Jamaica Poetry Festival. 

Her plays have been presented by 2b theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, and Neptune Theatre in Halifax, Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal, and b current in Toronto. 

Africville tells the story of a young girl who visits the site of the former community in Halifax and imagines what it was once like: a place of brightly painted homes and children playing throughout the neighbourhood.

Approximately 1,400 Canadian titles were submitted for this year’s Governor General’s Awards. Africville is one of the 70 finalists. The winners are chosen by peer assessment committees.

The Governor General’s Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest literary awards programs, with total annual prizes of $450,000. Winners each receive $25,000. Non-winning finalists receive $1,000, and the publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. 

The program, founded 82 years ago, is currently funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. Winners will be announced on October 30, and the awards will be presented in Ottawa on November 28.

Africville is available to purchase online at Indigo Books and Amazon. To learn more about Shauntay, visit

Africville by Shauntay Grant nominated for 2018 Governor General's Literary Award

Monday, October 1, 2018

James Maclean and Véronique MacKenzie in KAMP, a co-production of Eastern Front Theatre and Neptune Theatre

KAMP with James Maclean and Veronique MacKenzie.

James Maclean and Véronique MacKenzie are part of the talented company that presents the world premiere of KAMP.

The darkly comedic musical about a group of homosexual prisoners interred in a WWII Nazi concentration camp in 1943 is a co-production of Eastern Front Theatre and Neptune Theatre. KAMP is part of Eastern Front's 25th anniversary season. 

KAMP will run on Neptune’s Scotiabank Stage from October 23 - November 11.

Actor James Maclean.
James Maclean plays Creutz in KAMP
James Maclean plays Creutz, one of the prisoners who survive the horrors of captivity and torture by producing a secret cabaret.

James received a Talent Trust scholarship to help support his theatre studies. He’s a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. 

His acting credits include The Villain’s Theatre production of The Duchess of Malfi, Halifax Theatre for Young People’s David for Queen (starring role), and the Shakespeare by the Sea productions of  Merchant of Venice and Taming of the Shrew.

James recently teamed up with his colleagues in the Tea Time Creation Co. to present an immersive theatre experience called Gina is Dead at the Halifax Fringe Festival.

Choreographer Veronique MacKenzie.
Véronique MacKenzie is the choreographer for KAMP.
Photo credit: Véronique MacKenzie
Véronique MacKenzie is the choreographer for KAMP. Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Véronique received a Talent Trust scholarship to assist with her dance training. 

Her background includes modern dance (York University and the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre), jazz and ballet (The National Ballet School/R.A.D./Checcetti/Vagonova), visual art (NSCAD University), clown and fool-work (Laban International School), creative movement (Virginia Tanner School/USA), and theatre (University of New Brunswick and Theatre New Brunswick). 

Véronique has served on faculty at NSCAD University, Neptune Theatre School, the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University, and Halifax Dance.

For more information about KAMP and to buy tickets, visit the Neptune Theatre website.