Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Welcome to the Board Jonathan Wallace Smith Jr.

Our board members play a significant role in executing our vision to support the development of talented Nova Scotians to pursue a professional career in the arts. They dedicate countless hours and support the mission of the Talent Trust with their funds. We're very proud to say that we have a 100% giving Board.

Today, we bid farewell to some of them. We extend our most sincere thanks to these members for their perseverance and the critical level of insight into issues that guide the Talent Trust forward. We will never forget your work. Thank you!

At our Annual General Meeting end of May, we said goodbye to our Treasurer Stephen Bordl. Thank you, Stephen, for two years of fiscal leadership, the execution of our 75th anniversary in 2019 and for steering us through a pandemic. We're glad to know that we'll still be in touch.

Thank you to Natalie Wells for taking on the role of Treasurer. Natalie joined us last year, and we're grateful to her for stepping into her new position. 

We also said farewell to Kay Stanfield. Kay first helped us for two years as a Scholarship Selection Committee member and joined the Board five years ago. She spent many hours fundraising in various ways, opening doors and advocating for our up-and-coming Nova Scotia artists. Thank you, Kay! 

Welcome to our new board member.

We are pleased to announce the newest member of our team, Jonathan Wallace Smith Jr. Wallace, the father of former scholarship recipient Reeny Smith, is eager to help and support our Nova Scotia artists. He knows well what it takes to succeed as an artist. We look forward to incorporating his knowledge and insight and are thankful for his support.

"As the Father of a past recipient of the NSTT scholarship fund, it gives me great delight to become a member of its board. I’m extremely excited to contribute in any way to help cultivate its ongoing commitment to ensure that exceptional talent is not only recognized but supported and that its rich, established history continues to assist our thriving Nova Scotian talent," states Wallace.

Thank you to our board members for their dedication, knowledge, and time.
You can find the full roster of our NSTT board on our website. 

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Amanda Peters: Writers' Trust of Canada Raising Star

Congratulations to former Talent Trust scholarship recipient Amanda Peters for being named one of the Writers' Trust of Canada Raising Stars!

From Amanda:

“I’m honoured and humbled to be chosen to participate in this year’s Writers Trust Rising Stars Program. To be among such talent is very exciting and to get to work with Katherena Vermette, a writer I admire so much, is truly amazing.”

More about Amanda:

Amanda Peters is a mixed-race woman of Mi’kmaq and European ancestry, born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. In 2016, while working full time for her home community of Glooscap First Nation, she completed the Certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. That same year, Amanda was a finalist for the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia Short Fiction Award. 

In 2017, she won the short fiction award for her story Crows. Also, in 2017 the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia awarded Amanda the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship, where she worked with writer and mentor Stephanie Domet.  Amanda was a finalist in 2018 for the Indigenous Voices Award for her short story, “Pejipug.” Also in 2018, Amanda received the RBC Emerging Artist bursary to attend the Emerging Writers Intensive at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 

In 2020, Amanda was awarded the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Amanda is currently enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indians Arts (IAIA) in New Mexico. She has recently been shortlisted for the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for her work of short fiction Waiting for the Long Night Moon. 

Amanda was also selected to participate in the 2021 Writers Trust of Canada Rising Stars Program by Metis poet and novelist, Katherena Vermette. Her short fiction has been published in The Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine and The Alaska Quarterly Review. 

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Meet K.R. Byggdin 2021 Talent Trust Ambassador

You might wonder how the scholarship recipients are coping with the changed study situation. You'll be amazed to see how they continue to train, study, practice, exercise with online courses or self-study programs that they invented for themselves. They are dedicated to their craft.

One of the artists who are training from their home's safety is creative fiction writer K.R. Byggdin. K.R. is our 2021 Talent Trust Ambassador. At this time, they are enrolled as a full-time student at Dalhousie University. K.R. wrote the following about their studying experience during a pandemic and the impact that your support makes.

Here is what K.R. Byggdin told us about the last year and what the Talent Trust scholarship made possible: 

"Studying the arts in the midst of a global pandemic is a unique and, at times, stressful experience. 

My Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship helped ease my financial worries to focus on honing my creative writing
practice entirely. 

The artist’s life can be a lonely one in these socially distanced times, and I appreciate the many ways NSTT supports and spotlights their scholarship recipients. 

These efforts are crucial in reminding artists that we are connected to communities that welcome and celebrate our contributions. 

It’s encouraging to know there are many people out there who want to see emerging artists such as myself succeed.
As a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, I believe it’s so important that every Nova Scotian feels represented and reflected in our province’s arts scene. The NSTT’s scholarship program is one meaningful way we can ensure that artists from a diversity of backgrounds have the chance to share their amazing work with the world for decades to come. 

Thank you again for investing in this vibrant artistic future. I’m grateful for the support of donors like you.


K.R. Byggdin

You can follow K.R. Byggdin create on their Instagram account at or read more about their upcoming writing projects on their website at

Please consider to donate to the Talent Trust in 2021. 
All donations are 100% applied to scholarships and named awards.
We will issue tax-deductible donation receipts for all amounts.
You can donate by cheque, e-transferor online with your credit card at

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Andre Haines: 30 years of contribution to the arts in NS

Photo credit: Chris Green

Congratulations to visual artist and former Talent Trust scholarship recipient Andre Haines for being recognized by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for over '30 years of contributing to the arts sector in Nova Scotia and helping to teach the next generation of artists and musicians'. What a wonderful achievement! 

About Andre:

In 1985, after attending Mount Allison U, and Acadia U as a student of music (oboe), theatre and fine arts, I received a NSTT scholarship to follow my artistic passions further. I had become more interested in performing in musicals and needed money to go to AMDA in NYC to study with the best in the business. My musical theatre teacher was the first female conductor on Broadway. I spent many years performing, directing and composing for stage, film and television. I taught at Acadia U for 4 years, and the MCPA as well as running my own vocal studio.As time progressed I developed more passion for visual arts and that grew into a parallel career. Now I am a full time painter and continue my artistic journey. NSTT gave me the opportunity to work with brilliant people and set me on a course for a life time working prolifically in the arts.

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Visual Artist Gill Baldwin: Roodkapje Residency

Visual artist and past Talent Trust recipient, Gill Baldwin, has been creating some amazing things since winning the 
2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award in 2019.

Gill is a resident of the Hamburger Community of Art 2021at Roodkapje. You can learn more about her experience in engaging video.

You can see more of Gill's work by follow her on Instagram or visiting her website.

About Gill:

Gill Baldwin (b. 1992, Canada) is a multi-disciplinary artist. Using analog and digital methods she explores the biases and behaviours of contemporary digital technology. Her background as an interior architect explores the incorporation of digital technologies within the built environment and their effect on the neighbourhood, the self, and human agency.

Her work was selected to be a part of the 2018 Robot Love exhibition in Eindhoven and at Upominki in Rotterdam. Her research has been recognized by the Piet Zwart Institute Alumni Award and in 2019 she received the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award. She is a current resident at the HCA Community of Art artist residency at Roodkapje in Rotterdam.

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Shauntay Grant: The Bridge

Congratulations to Shauntay Grant for the recent launch of The Bridge, a stunning piece of work!

(From Shauntay Grants website)

The Bridge is now published and available wherever books are sold in print and ebook formats.

The Bridge—which premiered in January 2019 at Neptune Theatre in a co-production with 2b theatre company in association with Obsidian Theatre Company—won the 2020 Robert Merritt Award for Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian.

Called “innovative and riveting…a brilliant dramatic text” by acclaimed playwright Judith Thompson, the play is set in a rural Black Nova Scotian community as it explores the complex relationship between two brothers strained over twenty years of secrecy, deception, and dishonour. Secrets are revealed one by one from the brothers themselves, as well as a trio of community gossips who provide the musical backdrop for this gospel-infused tale. A story of a family torn apart by betrayal, The Bridge invites us to consider the roads we choose in life, and to wonder whether we can ever cross back over the bridges we burn along the way.

The Bridge already feels like it should be a classic of the Canadian theatre canon…” Amanda “Equity” Campbell writes on TWISI: The Way I See It Theatre Blog. “The intricate way this story is woven is unique and artful, and its layers create a resonant and powerfully emotional experience.”

For questions about the book or review copy requests, please contact Jessica Lewis, Sales & Marketing Manager, at

For more updates on publications, author readings, and current projects visit

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Cheers to 77 years! Happy Birthday Talent Trust

Sunday, May 2nd was the Talent Trust's 77th birthday!!!

Thank you for celebrating with us a legacy that keeps giving. 

Internationally recognized in her day and now revered as part of Canadian heritage, Portia White’s legacy is infused with many meanings. For the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, which celebrates 77 years of supporting aspiring artists of all disciplines on May 2, Portia White represents its catalyst. 

In 1944, members of the Halifax Ladies Club, along with voice teacher Dr. Ernesto Vinci, successfully advocated the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia for unparalleled financial support towards her studies in New York. Portia White ascended to become one of the best singers of the 20th century. The Talent Trust, with the help of the Dalhousie Music in Medicine HEALS Program, supports her legacy through the Portia White Award for a Nova Scotia voice student.

The province recognized the difference their support made in Portia White’s career and founded the Nova Scotia Talent Trust on May 2, 1944, to help other deserving and talented Nova Scotians succeed. 

We celebrate our 77th anniversary after supporting over 1,000 Nova Scotian artists during their study years in theatre, music, film, literary arts, circus arts, dance and visual arts.

The scholarship recipients’ dedication to their craft and talent has been amplified during these challenging times. We are proud of their tenacity to continue their studies in a safe environment and excel in their achievements. 

Thank you for believing in the creativity of our Nova Scotian artists for the last 77 years.

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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