Thursday, January 20, 2022

Talent Trust Welcomes New Executive Director Andrea Urquhart


The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Andrea Urquhart was selected as the new Executive Director for Nova Scotia Talent Trust. “Andrea joined our team on January 10, 2022, and we could not be more excited and grateful for her devotion to leading our organization.” - Victoria Hines, Acting Chair, Nova Scotia Talent Trust. 

Andrea joins NSTT with over ten years of experience in charity and non-profit management. Her knowledge and expertise in sponsorship, fundraising and strategic planning will support NSTT’s mission to expand its capacity to offer financial support to Nova Scotia’s emerging artists.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and looking forward to leading this amazing organization to meet and exceed its goals for growth. I feel deeply connected to the Arts, having studied piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music in my younger years and seeing my sister develop and grow her career as a professional artist in the fields of Visual Arts and Theatre. Having worked in the non-profit sector 
throughout my entire career, I understand the challenges and barriers that can prevent emerging artists from pursuing their dreams. Support from an organization such as NSTT not only provides a level of financial relief but also a vote of confidence that can make all the difference in an artist’s path to success. I believe that the pandemic challenges of the past two years have emphasized the significance of Arts and Culture in all of our lives. Supporting the creativity of Nova Scotians is more important now than ever. Thank you to Jacqueline and the Board of Directors for the warm welcome, and I look forward to connecting with the NSTT community in the near future,” states Andrea Urquhart, Executive Director NSTT

Please join us in giving Andrea Urquhart a warm welcome!

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Monday, January 10, 2022

2022 Talent Trust Scholarship Application Deadlines Announced

We’re pleased to announce we are ready to receive new scholarship applications for 2022.

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, 2022
    (for studies between May 1 and August 31, 2022)
  • Fall/Winter study: 5:00 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Saving Time (ADT)
    May 1, 2022
    (for studies between September 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023)

For more information, visit or get in touch by email with our Scholarship Program Coordinator Jackie Dowling at

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! (smile)

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Welcome Ninette Babineau as a Talent Trust Honorary Lifetime Director

Today, we acknowledge Ninette Babineau. 

Music has been her life and many of you know her through her work as an arts education consultant, musician, adjudicator, clinician, teacher, mentor and performer. And some of you might have even had violin lessons with her. Ninette Babineau’s career has spanned over five decades. Her résumé is a long list of accomplishments, experiences, and impressive affiliations.

What many of you might not know is that Ninette Babineau was a Talent Trust board member for many years and helped shape the Talent Trust. Since stepping down from the Talent Trust she has been one of our leading donors and supporters.

We honoured Ninette at the 2021 Special Awards Ceremony in December by adding her officially back into the Talent Trust family as an Honorary Lifetime Director. 

Thank you, Ninette!

“Through varying roles, I have enjoyed a long association with the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and have watched with delight as it has developed into a significant support organization for our young and emerging artists.  The range of fields of endeavour has continued to expand to meet the demands of the continuing and changing world of today’s artist.

We enjoy the presence of hard working and talented young people in this province who are contributing to the cultural life of their respective communities.  Many are preparing for a life in the arts under the guidance of dedicated teachers and mentors. They deserve our support.

I am pleased and honoured to have been invited to join the Talent Trust Board once again." States Ninette Babineau.

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Curtis Botham Exhibition: Flattening the Curve


Join visual artist and past Talent Trust scholarship recipient Curtis Botham for his exhibition entitled "Flattening the Curve". It will deal with the social isolation and other changes to our lives brought about by the COVID pandemic. The exhibition will take place between January 5 and January 30, 2022 (
Visual Arts Nova Scotia's Corridor Gallery at 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax)

Curtis Botham graduated from NSCAD University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017. Since then, he has won numerous grants and awards, including in 2018 the 2011 Canada Games Young Artists of Excellence Award and in 2017 the Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/VANS Award both through the Talent Trust, plus grants from Arts Nova Scotia and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.  

His artwork has been displayed in numerous galleries around Nova Scotia, as well as published in numerous journals and magazines, and some of his drawings are part of the permanent collection of the Nova Scotia Art Bank. 

In 2022, he plans on creating large-scale drawings focusing on Nova Scotia’s fishing industry and the people who work in it.  

To inquire about purchasing any of the displayed work, contact:

More of his artwork can be seen at: 

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Sunday, December 12, 2021

Talent Trust grants $48,500 in Awards at 2021 Special Awards Ceremony


Today, we recognized our 2021 scholarship and Special Award recipients at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 12, 2021, virtually in a ceremony which included greetings by His Honour The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, ONS, QC, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.

Portia White's legacy represents the catalyst for the Talent Trust and its 77-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.

Halifax dancer Minuet Charron received the $1,500 Talent Trust Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement, the NSTT’s highest honour for a student in any discipline. Minuet studies Jazz dance at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary, Alberta.

Presented for the first time in 2013, 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 will be granted every December until 2022 and are the legacy of the 2011 Canada Games Young Artists of Excellence Program.

In 2021, the two $10,000 awards were received by Halifax visual artist Ada Denil and musical theatre performer Emily O'Leary from Glace Bay.
Ada Denil (Halifax), 2021 recipient of a 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award, is currently studying visual arts at NSCAD University (Halifax). 
Emily O'Leary (Glace Bay), 2021 recipient of a 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award, is studying musical theatre at New York University - Steinhardt (New York City). 
Today, the Talent Trust had the pleasure to present a new awardThe Nova Scotia Talent Trust and RBC Foundation are collaborating to launch the RBC Emerging BIPOC Artist Award. This new $2,500 Special Award will be presented annually to a Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color 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 Excel Garay (Halifax) is the recipient of the $2,500 RBC Emerging BIPOC Artist Award. Excel studies expanded visual arts at NSCAD University (Halifax). The award is supported by RBC Emerging Artists Program through RBC Foundation. 
Actor Kevin Munroe (Sydney) is the recipient of the $2,500 RBC Emerging Artist Award. Kevin studies acting at the National Theatre School (Montreal, Quebec). The Award is supported by RBC Emerging Artists Program through RBC Foundation.
There are thirteen more Special Award recipients, each of whom demonstrates the exceptional potential to become a professional artist. We're pleased to introduce them here.
Opera singer Abigail Sinclair (Halifax) is the recipient of the $2,000 Sheila K. Piercey Legacy Award in voice studies. Abigail studied privately with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell (Opera). The Sheila K. Piercey Award is supported through a generous Bequest by the late Sheila Piercey.
Ryan MacDougall (Dartmouth) is the recipient of the $500 Theatre Nova Scotia Award for theatre. Ryan is studying musical theatre at Sheridan College (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 visual arts at Mount Allison University (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 $8,000 Dr. James Burchill Award for an organist, choral or instrumental conductor or a student of another musical instrument or voice. Gabriel is studying music at Dalhousie University. 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 Lala Lee (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,000 Peggy Corkum/Musique Royale Legacy Award. Lala studies piano performance at the Glenn Gould School (Toronto, Ontario). The Award is supported by Barbara Butler, Musique Royale, and friends of Peggy Corkum.
Ballet dancer Gabrielle Trudel (Timberlea) is the recipient of the $2,000 Robert George Jackson Award for dance. Gabrielle is attending Ryerson University (Toronto, Ontario). The Award supported by Daphne Cruikshanks in memory of her late husband Robert Jackson.
Visual artist Charles Bourne (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,000 Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/Visual Arts Nova Scotia Award. Charles currently studies architecture at Dalhousie University (Halifax). The Award is supported by Charlotte Wilson-Hammond and Visual Arts Nova Scotia.
Cellist Jacob MacDonald (Upper Kennetcook) is the recipient of the $1,000 Raymond Simpson Award for music. Jacob studies at the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario). The Award is supported by the Simpson family.
Piano player Chantal Peng (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,000 Yue Lih and Marion Kuo Award for exceptional commitment and potential in music as an instrumentalist. Chantal is currently studying at the American University College of Arts and Sciences (Washington, D.C.). The Award is supported by Marion Kuo and Earl Wadden.
Ballet dancer Aidan Vaudreuil (Lower Sackville) is the recipient of the $1,000 Janice Merritt Flemming Award and is currently studying at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (Winnipeg, Manitoba). The Award is supported by the Flemming family.
Opera singer Natalie Mitchell (Pictou County) is the recipient of the $1,000 Talent Trust's Portia White Award for voice. Natalie studies privately with Suzanne Mentzer (San Francisco, California). The Award is supported by the Music-in-Medicine and Humanities-HEALS Program, Dalhousie University.
Film director, writer and producer Spencer MacKay (Windsor Junction) is the recipient of the $1,000 Shelagh Mackenzie Award for film. Spencer spent the summer studying privately with mentor Ian MacLeod. The Award is supported by Shelagh Mackenzie's friends.
Euphonium player Ross Macintosh (Truro) is the recipient of the $1,000 Kenneth Elloway Award for composition and instrumental performance. Ross spent the summer 2021 attending the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance LAMP (Lunenburg). The Award is supported by the Elloway family.

In addition to the Special Awards announced today, the Nova Scotia Talent Trust gave out scholarships to 55 recipients earlier this year. You can find a list of the 2021 Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship recipients below.

The NSTT’s scholarship application deadline date for Spring/Summer study is March 1, 2022. The deadline for Fall/Winter study is May 1, 2022.

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.

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

  • Luca Haase, Conquerall Mills
  • Sahara Nyathi, Halifax
  • Maggie Oates-Johnson, Dartmouth
  • Katrina Ouellette, Middle Sackville, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Emma Purdy, Debert
  • Aidan Vaudreuil-Wakeham, Lower Sackville
  • Julia Barkhouse, Dartmouth
  • Sienna Nyathi, Halifax
  • Priyadarshini Satheesh, Halifax
  • Minuet Charron, Halifax
  • Stan Tonin, Windsor Junction
  • Gabrielle Trudel, Timberlea
Film Production
  • Reva Bhardwaj, Dartmouth, CN Halifax Community Board Scholarship
Producing, Writing, Directing
  • Spencer MacKay, Windsor Junction, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Creative Essay 
  • K.R. Byggdin, Halifax
Creative Nonfiction
  • Peggy Walt, Halifax
Short Fiction/Poetry
  • Sidney Robichaud, Halifax,
Brass – Euphonium 
  • Ross Macintosh, Truro
Brass – Trumpet 
  • Shaw Nicholson, Halifax
  • Kayleigh James, Halifax
  • Jessica MacIsaac, Halifax
Gaelic Culture/Fiddle
  • Abby Hanson, Montague Gold Mines
  • Ella Hanson, Montague Gold Mines
Keyboard – Organ
  • Gabriel O'Brien, Halifax
Keyboard – Piano
  • Sherry Chen, Hammonds Plains
  • Natalia Comeau, Hammonds Plains
  • Devin Huang, Bedford
  • Lala Lee, Halifax
  • Carmen Peng, Wolfville
  • Chantal Peng, Wolfville
  • Alex Yang, Bedford
Percussion/Drum Kit
  • Lucas Goudie, Halifax
Strings – Cello
  • Jacob MacDonald, Upper Kennetcook, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Strings – Violin
  • Kelvin Mansaray, Halifax
Voice - Opera
  • Rhian Merritt, Upper Tantallon
  • Natalie Mitchell, Halifax
  • Nicole Ross, New Glasgow
  • Abigail Sinclair, Halifax
  • Shanice Skinner, New Glasgow
  • Connie Young, Halifax
  • Kevin Munroe, Sydney
Musical Theatre
  • Ryan MacDougall, Hammonds Plains
  • Deanna Mann, New Glasgow
  • Emily O’Leary, Glace Bay, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Jillian Peters, Dartmouth
  • Charles Bourne, Halifax
Digital Media, Digital Illustration  
  • Leena Elkhateeb, Bedford
Drawing, Textiles
  • Madeleine West, Halifax
Expanded Painting, Art History
  • Excel Garay, Halifax
Fine Arts
  • Olivia Haill, Halifax
Interdisciplinary/Computation Arts
  • Jonah McKay, Canning
Jewellery, Hollowware 
  • Hannah Craig, Halifax, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Anna Syme, Hantsport
  • Kaya Panthier, Halifax
  • Ada Denil, Halifax

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