Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Adam V. Clarke: Building a Musical Bridge between Europe and Canada

Adam Vincent Clarke is a contemporary music and sound artist from Nova Scotia who is now based in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2015, he received a Talent Trust scholarship for composition and went on to win the Kenneth Elloway Award.  In a recent interview on Eastlink Magazine, Adam spoke about the impact the Talent Trust had on his journey to become an established artist: 

"As a direct result of the Talent Trust, I ended up getting my first official commission as a composer just after graduation and it opened up the opportunity of me moving to Antwerp in Belgium.  Without the Talent Trust's help, that wouldn't have happened.  It wouldn't have given me that start."

Adam recently returned to Nova Scotia with his project Est-Ouest, a musical presentation that brings together the folk traditions of Canada and Bulgaria and fuses them with contemporary classical compositions. Together with fellow composers Svetlin Hristov from Bulgaria and Liam Elliot from Canada, the trio created three works for the Silakbo Ensemble  based on the musical traditions of each other's country, combined with their own contemporary perspectives of Canadian and Belgian folklore. 

The Canadian tour of East-West launched on Nov. 1 in Montreal at Jeunesses Musicales Canada’s Joseph-Rouleau Hall, with a perfomance in Ottawa on Nov. 3, and Toronto on Nov. 5 and 7.  The tour concluded with two Nova Scotia performances on Nov. 10 in Wolfville and Nov. 13 in Halifax.  Est-Ouest was performed by the Ensemble Silakbo, which includes Adam Vincent Clarke playing Bulgarian bagpipes, Mikko Pablo on cello, Angelina-Ogniana Gotcheva on clarinet, Yoanna Bozhkova on soprano, Bogdan Ivanov on piano, and Edgar Gomes on violin.

During this tour, Adam was interviewed by Eastlink Community TV for Eastlink Magazine:

Adam is the co-founder of the music and dance-theatre company Âmok/Âmok. and has collaborated with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and Spanish choreographer Daniel Domenech.  He is also composer-in-residence with Ensemble Silakbo and was nominated for the 2022 East Coast Music Award for Classical Composer of the Year. For more about Adam, his works, and performances, please visit his website.

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The Talent Trust would like to acknowledge the support of Eastlink Community TV in providing the above video, and for airing our Special Awards Ceremony each December/January.  Thank you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Seven Talent Trust Alumni ECMA Nominations

The East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference (ECMA) is a five-day, non-stop musical celebration showcasing and recognizing the best of East Coast artists and music.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the festival and it is sure to be spectacular!  Held in Halifax this year, some of Atlantic Canada's best music artists will light up the stages from May 3-7, 2023.
We proudly share the Talent Trust alumni nominated for 7 Awards:

Edward Enman - Classical Composer of the Year

Edward Enman is a pianist and composer who received Talent Trust scholarships in 2015 and 2016.  He released his debut EP Refuge in 2021, and released his first album Breathe In, Breathe Out in 2022.  Edward performs regularly across Canada, and his compositions have been premiered and performed around the world.  You may also recognize Edward as the MC for the 2022 Special Awards Ceremony.

Jennifer King, O Mistress Moon - Classical Recording of the Year

Jennifer King is an accomplished pianist who received Talent Trust scholarships in 1992 and 1993.  She has released several albums: O Mistress Moon (2018), Doolittle: Minute Études “Excerpts” (Live) (2019),Twilight Hour: Collected Stories for Piano (2020) and in 2022 released O Mistress Moon: Canadian Edition

Atlantic String Machine (Karen Graves), A Single Juniper Post - Classical Recording of the Year; Instrumental Recording of the Year

Atlantic String Machine is a dynamic string quintet comprised of the following musicians: Sean Kemp (violin), Jeffrey Bazett-Jones (viola), Natalie Williams Calhoun (cello), Adam Hill (bass) and Karen Graves (violin), who was a Talent Trust scholarship recipient in 1987 and 1989.  They have three albums: Lost Time (2015), The Bayfield Sessions (2019), and their most recent release in 2022 A Single Juniper Post. 

Duo Concertante (Nancy Dahn), Ecology of Being - Classical Recording of the Year

Duo Concertante is a chamber ensemble whose members are Timothy Steeves and Nancy Dahn.  Nancy was a Talent Trust scholarship recipient from 1984-1992 and the winner of the Arthur S. Barnstead Award in 1986.  They have released 13 albums to date, and their most recent release in 2022 is Ecology of Being.

Vineet Vyas, Satyam - Global Recording of the Year

Vineet Vyas is an accomplished tabla artist who has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals throughout India and across North America.  He was a Talent Trust scholarship recipient in 1995 and went on to release several recordings and albums, including Taalworks (2006), The King of Dhamaar: A Tribute to Pandit Kishan Maharaj (2010), and most recently Satyam (2022)

Gina Burgess, ISNOW - Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year

Gina Burgess is an internationally recognized violinist and composer.  She was a Talent Trust scholarship recipient in 1995, 1999, 2000, and 2007.  Gina has released several albums and has collaborated with many artists throughout her musical career.  Her most recent album is ISNOW (2022).

Congratulations to all 2023 EMCA Nominees

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Spring/Summer applications are OPEN!

 We’re pleased to announce we are ready to receive new scholarship applications for 2023.

The deadline for scholarship applications for Spring/Summer studies is fast approaching!

The scholarship application process will again happen online.

We advise applicants to read the submission guidelines carefully and to submit applications early since there are a number of changes for film, music, visual arts, dance, circus arts, literary arts, and theatre this year.

Scholarship application deadlines are:

  • Spring/Summer study: 5:00 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time (AST)
    March 1, 2023 
    (for studies between May 1 and August 31, 2023)
  • Fall/Winter study: 5:00 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Saving Time (ADT)
    May 1, 2023 
    (for studies between September 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024)

For more information, visit or get in touch by email

Please help us spread the word: If you know a Nova Scotian student that is studying in the arts, let them know about this opportunity and our March 1 and May 1 deadlines.

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Want to support the next generation of Nova Scotian artists? Donate today!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Creating an Effective Artist Statement

 Applications will be open soon for Talent Trust scholarships!  This year we are implementing a few small changes to make our application process more accessible and inclusive.  Although the online form is not open just yet, you can still start preparing for your application!

Our scholarship recipients are chosen by an arm's-length Scholarship Selection Committee. Their top tip to applicants: pay particular attention to your Artist Statement.  This is where they get to learn about you, your art, and what inspires or motivates you.  It is a big challenge for many artists to turn the spotlight on themselves, but remember: the people reviewing your application WANT to know about you and connect with you as an artist.

Here are some tips for crafting a compelling artist statement:

Keep it concise: An artist statement should be brief and to the point, typically no more than a few paragraphs. Avoid using jargon or overly technical language, and focus on conveying your ideas in a clear and concise manner.

Be authentic: Your artist statement should reflect your genuine voice and perspective. Don't try to sound like someone else, or use language that feels inauthentic or forced.

Focus on your inspiration and process: An artist statement is an opportunity to share the stories, experiences, and concepts that inspire your work. It should also provide insight into your creative process, including the materials, techniques, and methods you use to create your art.

Explain the meaning behind your work: An artist statement should provide context for your artwork and explain the deeper meanings or themes that you are exploring.

Edit and revise: Like any writing, an artist statement should be edited and revised to ensure that it is clear, concise, and well-written. Consider asking your instructor, mentor, or friend to review your statement and provide feedback.

Overall, an artist statement is an important tool to communicate the ideas and inspirations behind your work. By taking the time to craft a thoughtful and well-written statement, you will improve your scholarship application and increase your chances of a successful outcome. 

We are here to support you!  If you need help with your artist statement, reach out to us. 


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Want to support the next generation of Nova Scotian artists? Donate today!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Nova Scotia Talent Trust gives $48,500 in Special Awards to 18 Emerging Artists


11 December 2022

Talent Trust Grants $48,500 in Awards and Five Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medals at 2022 Special Awards Ceremony and Introduces New Scholarship for 2023

K'JIPUKTUK/HALIFAX, NS - The Nova Scotia Talent Trust (NSTT) recognized their 2022 scholarship and Special Award recipients in a virtual Special Awards Ceremony at 2pm on Sunday, December 11, 2022.  The online event included greetings by His Honour The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, ONS, KC, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.  This year's Ceremony began with a special announcement of the five Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal recipients nominated by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust Board of Directors and concluded with the announcement of the new Anne-Marie Woods / Imani Enterprises Travel Scholarship for 2023.


The Nova Scotia Talent Trust Board of Directors was given the great honour of nominating five individuals to receive the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medals.  It was with great pride and gratitude they announced the recipients: Charlotte Wilson-Hammond, RCA, Timothy Matthews, KC, Janice Merritt Flemming, Ninette Babineau, and Jacqueline Steudler.  His Honour, the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, extended his congratulations to these five very deserving recipients.
Charlotte Wilson-Hammond, RCA

Charlotte has been an active advocate for the Arts provincially and nationally for over 35 years.  She is a Talent Trust Lifetime Honorary Director and is a founding member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia.
Timothy C. Matthews, K.C.

Timothy's volunteer work in the Arts & Culture sector has been ongoing for over 30 years and he has held numerous positions on Arts boards and foundations.  He is a Talent Trust Honorary Lifetime Director and Trustee of the NSTT Foundation Board. 
Janice Merritt-Flemming

Janice has made significant contributions within the dance community and served on the Talent Trust Board for 23 years.
Ninette Babineau

Ninette mentored and inspired many artists throughout her 50 year career, and she has held leadership roles on many arts advisory groups and boards.
Jacqueline Steudler

Jacqueline served as the Executive Director for the Talent Trust for 11 years and was instrumental in building the organization's capacity to support emerging artists in Nova Scotia.
Maya Thompson-Hayes received the $1,500 Talent Trust Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement, the NSTT’s highest honour for a student in any discipline. Maya studies Digital Animation at NSCC with a focus on 3D Animation and Modeling. 

Presented for the last time in 2022, the two 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Awards, valued at $10,000 each, will be awarded to any recipient, regardless of age, from any artistic discipline, who best exemplifies the qualities embraced by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, that of the utmost commitment, promise, exceptional technique, talent and the highest achievement of excellence, someone who demonstrates the passion and drive to become a professional Nova Scotia artist in their field of discipline. These two awards have been granted each December since 2013 and are the legacy of the 2011 Canada Games Young Artists of Excellence Program.

In 2022, the two $10,000 awards were received by Halifax choreographer and dancer Minuet Charron and pianist and composer LaLa Lee from Halifax.
Minuet Charron (Halifax), 2022 recipient of a 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award, is studying Contemporary Dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. 
LaLa Lee (Halifax), 2022 recipient of a 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award, is in her final year of the Artist Diploma Degree at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. 

The Talent Trust has had a long-standing partnership with the RBC Foundation to support the scholarship program, and established the RBC Emerging Artist Award in 2013.  This $2500 award will be given to an individual who shows exceptional commitment and professional potential as an artist.  Preference will be given to emerging artists in the areas of film, visual arts and music.

In 2021, the RBC Foundation and Talent Trust proudly announced the new RBC Emerging BIPOC Artist Award. This $2500 award will be presented annually to a Black, Indigenous, or Person of Colour who shows exceptional commitment and professional potential as an artist. Preference will be given to emerging artists in the areas of film, visual arts and music. 
Visual artist Lucas Arab (Halifax) is the recipient of the $2,500 RBC Emerging Artist Award. Lucas studies Stage Design and Technical Theatre at the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University in Halifax. 
Composer Hsiu-Ping (Patrick) Wu (Belmont) is the recipient of the $2,500 RBC BIPOC Emerging Artist Award. Hsiu-Ping is pursuing a Graduate Degree in Composition at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA.

The Talent Trust proudly introduces the recipients of the remaining thirteen Special Awards. Each recipient demonstrates exceptional potential to become a professional artist in their chosen field. 
Classical Opera singer Abigail Sinclair (Halifax) is the recipient of the $2000 Sheila K. Piercey Legacy Award in voice studies. Abigail is studying Classical Soprano at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. The Sheila K. Piercey Award is supported through a generous bequest by the late Sheila Piercey.
Anisa Sobhani (Dartmouth) is the recipient of the $500 Theatre Nova Scotia Award for theatre. Anisa is studying Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. The Award is supported by Theatre Nova Scotia.
Visual artist Kaya Panthier (Halifax) receives the $1,500 The Susan Wood Award in visual arts. Kaya is currently studying Fine Arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. The Award was made possible through generous donations by family and friends of Susan Wood and Visual Arts Nova Scotia.
Pianist Gabriel O'Brien (Halifax) is the recipient of the $8000 Dr. James Burchill Award for an organist, choral or instrumental conductor or a student of another musical instrument or voice. Gabriel is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The award is supported by former Talent Trust scholarship recipient and organist Dr. James Burchill through a $220,000 bank bond donation to the NSTT Foundation.
Pianist Jenny Chen (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,000 Peggy Corkum/Musique Royale Legacy Award.  Jenny studies piano with private instructor, Lynn Stodola.  The Award is supported by Barbara Butler, Musique Royale, and friends of Peggy Corkum.
Ballet and Contemporary dancer Stan Tonin (Windsor Junction) is the recipient of the $2,000 Robert George Jackson Award for dance. Stan is pursuing an Arts Umbrella Dance Diploma at the Vancouver Community College in Vancouver, BC. The Award is supported by Daphne Cruikshanks in memory of her late husband Robert Jackson.
Visual artist Ada Denil (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,000 Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/Visual Arts Nova Scotia Award. Ada currently studies Fine Arts at Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design with a focus on Sculpture and Installation. The Award is supported by Charlotte Wilson-Hammond and Visual Arts Nova Scotia.
Pianist Alex (Zixuan) Yang (Bedford) is the recipient of the $1,000 Raymond Simpson Award for music. Alex studies with private instructor, Lynn Stodola. The Award is supported by the Simpson family.
Cellist Jacob MacDonald (Gatineau) is the recipient of the $1,000 Yue Lih and Marion Kuo Award for exceptional commitment and potential in music as an instrumentalist. Jacob is pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Music Performance at the University of Ottawa in Ontario. The Award is supported by Marion Kuo and Earl Wadden.
Ballet and Contemporary dancer Katrina Ouellette (Middle Sackville) is the recipient of the $1,000 Janice Merritt Flemming Award and is currently studying at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Award is supported by the Flemming family.
Opera singer Nicole Ross (Lyons Brook) is the recipient of the $1,000 Talent Trust's Portia White Award for voice. Nicole was accepted for an Artist in Residency period at the Lunenburg Academy for Music Performance. The Award is supported by the Music-in-Medicine and Humanities-HEALS Program, Dalhousie University.
Film producer Caroline MacKeen (Windsor Junction) is the recipient of the $1,000 Shelagh Mackenzie Award for film. Caroline studies Film Production at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. The Award is supported by Shelagh Mackenzie's friends.
Composer Hope Salmonson (Head of Chezzetcook) is the recipient of the $1,000 Kenneth Elloway Award for composition and instrumental performance. Hope is currently attending the Master of Music in Composition program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.  The Award is supported by the Elloway family.

New Scholarship for 2023
Anne-Marie Woods, aka Amani, former Talent Trust recipient for Theatre and Directing proudly announced the new Anne-Marie Woods / Imani Enterprises African Diaspora Travel Scholarship.  This scholarship will be available in 2023 and will be offered to an emerging creative of African, African-Nova Scotian, or African-Caribbean descent who is pursuing a career in spoken word, singing, or theatre arts.  More details to come in January 2023! 

In addition to the Special Awards announced today, the Nova Scotia Talent Trust offered scholarships to 48 recipients earlier this year. You can find a list of the 2022 Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship recipients below.

The NSTT’s scholarship application deadline date for Spring/Summer study is March 1, 2023. The deadline for Fall/Winter study is May 1, 2023.

About the Nova Scotia Talent Trust
Portia White's legacy represents the catalyst for the Talent Trust and its 78-year commitment to aspiring artists across the province. The Talent Trust supports talented Nova Scotian artists as they pursue their studies toward establishing professional careers in the arts.

Since 1944, the Talent Trust has provided more than $2 million to over 1,000 Nova Scotians, primarily young people, who have demonstrated talent and potential to become professional artists in theatre, dance, fine craft and design, music, circus arts, media, film, literary, and visual arts. There is no other comparable organization in the country. In 2019, the Talent Trust celebrated its 75th anniversary year featuring former scholarship recipients with a travelling art exhibition, pop-up events in theatre, music, dance, film screenings and more.

The NSTT is supported by individual donors like Margaret and David Fountain and the 2011 Canada Games Legacy Fund, RBC Foundation, The Craig Foundation, Musique Royale, Visual Arts Nova Scotia, Theatre Nova Scotia, Debut Atlantic, immediaC, the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, NSTT Foundation, Dalhousie Music in Medicine HEALS Program, Halifax Central Library, Cecilia Concerts, Craft Nova Scotia, Black Cultural Centre for NS, CIOE 97.5 Community Radio, and Arts Nova Scotia. NSTT is pleased to work in partnership with the province to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

Andrea Urquhart, Executive Director,
Nova Scotia Talent Trust
P. O. Box 575
Halifax  NS  B3J 2R7
(902) 492 6801

Print quality photos upon request.

Congratulations to the Talent Trust, Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund, and CN Halifax Community Board Scholarship Recipients

Nova Scotia Talent Trust Scholarship Recipients 2022


NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Aidan Vaudreuil

Lower Sackville NS ● Ballet 

Julia Barkhouse
Dartmouth NS ● Contemporary, Ballet

Minuet Charron
Halifax NS ● Contemporary, Choreography

Leya de Bruyn
Wellington NS ● Ballet

Mollie Oates-Johnson
Dartmouth NS ● Ballet

Maggie Oates-Johnson
Dartmouth NS ● Ballet 

Katrina Ouellette
Middle Sackville NS ● Ballet, Contemporary

Kadence Swinemar
Fall River NS ● Ballet, Jazz, Modern

Stan Tonin
Windsor Junction NS ● Contemporary, Ballet

Gabrielle Trudel
Timberlea NS ● Dance, Choreography


Maya Thompson Hayes
Wolfville NS ● Animation, 3-D Modelling


NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Caroline McKeen

Guysborough NS ● Film

Literary Arts

CN Community Fund Scholarship
Jeremy Hull

Halifax NS ● Journalism

Michelle Hebert
Halifax NS ● Creative Non-Fiction

Eileen Sanderson
Shelburne NS ● Writing, Storytelling

Melanie Hattie
Dartmouth NS ● Prose, Fiction

Rachel O'Brien
Halifax NS ● Creative Non-Fiction

Jaclyn MacNeil
Hammonds Plains NS ● Poetry, Short Prose


NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Emily O'Leary

Glace Bay NS ● Vocal Pedagogy

NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Hope Salmonson

Head of Chezzetcook ● Composition

Jenny Chen
Halifax NS ● Piano

Ella Hanson
Cape Breton NS ● Cape Breton Fiddle

Devin Huang
Halifax NS ● Piano

LaLa Lee
Halifax NS ● Solo, Chamber

Carmen Peng
Wolfville NS ● Piano

Ethan (Yuan) Peng
Halifax NS ● Piano

Nicole Ross
Lyons Brook NS ● Opera

Abigail Sinclair
Halifax NS ● Classical Voice

Austin Webster-Perks
Halifax NS ● Violin

Patrick (Hsiu-Ping) Wu
Halifax NS ● Composition

Alex (Zixuan) Yang
Bedford NS ● Piano

Gabriel O'Brien
Halifax NS ● Organ

Katya McBeth
Halifax NS ● Violin

Jacob MacDonald
Gatineau NS ● Cello

Shanice Skinner
New Glascow NS ● Voice

Shaw Nicholson
Halifax NS ● Trumpet

Lucas Goudie
Halifax NS ● Drum

Hailey Coates
Mount Uniacke NS ● Flute


Anisa Sobhani
Dartmouth NS ● Musical Theatre

Nicole Murray
Hammonds Plains NS ● Technical Theatre

Visual Arts 
NS Arts Endowment Scholarship
Kaya Panthier

Halifax NS ● Visual Arts

Curtis Botham Scholarship
Ada Denil

Halifax NS ● Sculpture & Installation

Andrew Gilmour
Halifax NS ● Architecture

Jenna Marks
Dartmouth NS ● Ceramics, Pottery

Oyinda Lagunju
Halifax NS ● Computer-Aided Design

Lucas Arab
Halifax NS ● Scenic / Projection Design

Neil Kehler
Halifax NS ● Photo, Expanded Photo

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust recognizes the support of Arts Nova Scotia. We are pleased to work in partnership with the province to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.
visit our website at nstalenttrust dot ca
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