Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Thank you Kenneth Elloway and the Elloway Family

We're grateful to Kenneth Elloway's family for creating and sustaining this fantastic and generous special award since 2007.

The Kenneth Elloway Award, named for musician, composer and conductor, Kenneth A. Elloway, will be awarded, if merited, to a recipient who shows exceptional commitment and potential in classical orchestral conducting or composition; choral music conducting or composition; classical vocal or instrumental performance. The $1,000 award is funded by the Elloway family.

About Kenneth:

Kenneth Albert Elloway was born in the town of Weymouth, Dorset, on England’s south coast, in 1916. 

He married Eva in 1939 at the start of World War II. They would have two children, Mary and Kenneth, and one granddaughter, Tina.

At the age of 16 or 17, he joined the British Army as a band boy. After a number of years, the Army sent him to its own school of music at Kneller Hall - the Royal College of Music. There his classes consisted of music theory, conducting, composing and arranging, etc. After graduation, he was entitled to put the letters A.R.C.M. (Associate of the Royal College of Music) after his rank and name. Eventually, he was posted as second in command to the elite Royal Artillery Band, stationed in Woolwich, just outside of London.

In 1955, Mr. Elloway resigned from the British army one day and enlisted in the Canadian Army the next to become bandmaster of the Royal Canadian Artillery band - joining them in March  while they were stationed temporarily in Germany. In October, 1955, the band returned to Halifax. Kenneth and Eva Elloway and their two children sailed with them, immigrating to Canada through Pier 21.

From then on, Mr. Elloway was always involved in the local music scene:  playing double bass with the Halifax Symphony; conducting the CBC Orchestra on radio; acting as associate conductor of the Halifax Symphony; adjudicating at various competitions.

He was Director of the Maritime Conservatory of Music for 10 years; director of the Dartmouth Choral Society for a number of years until 1980; and he was the founding conductor, in 1975, of the Chebucto Orchestra.

After his retirement from the Army in the mid-1960s, he taught music in the  City of Dartmouth school system. He was assistant Director of Music, and became Director a year or two before he died in September, 1980.

"The Elloway family has been proud to support my father’s award. I intend to continue supporting it as long as possible. The NSTT is a wonderful organization. It is heartwarming to see so many young people from all the arts given encouragement and support", states his daughter Mary (Elloway) Olsen 

Past Kenneth Elloway Award recipients:

  • Taylor MacGillivray (composition) 2020
  • Jessica MacIssac (composition) 2019
  • Jessica MacIssac (composition) 2018
  • Thomas Burton (conducting) 2017
  • Eszther Horwath (conducting) 2016
  • Adam Clarke (composition) 2015
  • Julia Millett 2014
  • Jenna Richards (piano) 2013
  • Evan Mounce 2012
  • Shawn Potter 2011
  • Marielle Groven (composition) 2010
  • Cy Giacomin 2009
  • Angela Miller 2008
  • Margaret Fay 2007
Thank you!

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Join the Talent Trust's Blue Nose Marathon Team 2021

The Talent Trust is running and walking for creativity and art education in 2021 at the Blue Nose Marathon November 6 and 7, 2021.

Last year we were able to fundraise $4,765 for our scholarship fund. Let's make an even more significant impact this year. (smile)

We wondered if you are a runner or walker? 

"I'm not a runner, so I will walk 5 km again", says our Executive Director Jacqueline Steudler with a smile.

We are looking for Talent Trust Team members that will participate and fundraise for the Talent Trust by running/walking at the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon.

There are various runs that you can sign up for. Although the plans are for some limited in-person runs, there is also a virtual possibility. 
Virtual means that you run or walk safely in your neighbourhood. You'll still get a Blue Nose Marathon T-shirt and medal. This means that you can participate even if you live outside of Nova Scotia (smile). 

Join our team today by using the following registration link. You'll be automatically added to our team with this link.

Not sure what to expect when going to the page above? Have a look at this video, which gives you the registration information you need. (If you're a minor your parent has to sign you up.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Thank you Robert George Jackson and Daphne Cruikshanks

We're grateful to the late Robert George Jackson and his wife Daphne Cruikshanks for creating and sustaining this fantastic and generous special dance award since 2011. 

The Robert George Jackson Award
, named for the late Robert Jackson who loved the arts, was established in 2011 by his wife, Daphne Cruikshanks. It will be awarded, if merited, to a NSTT recipient who shows exceptional commitment and potential in dance. The award is $2,000.

Past Robert George Jackson Award winners are:
  • Aidan Vaudreuil (Ballet) 2020
  • Sahara Nyathi (Ballet) 2019
  • Lucie Schmidt (Contemporary) 2018
  • Maggie Oates-Johnson (Ballet) 2017
  • Ellery Jackson (Ballet) 2016
  • Niamh Perrins (Ballet) 2015
  • Cloe Hart (Contemporary) 2014
  • Aliah Schwartz (Contemporary) 2013
  • Francesca Nardi (Flamenco) 2012
  • Bridget Lappin (Contemporary) 2011
Thank you Daphne Cruikshanks, your generous support has made a big difference for so many. We are honoured to celebrate Robert George Jackson's love for the arts annually with our Nova Scotia community. 

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

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Don Pentz: Images of the Keji Country


Congratulations to Don Pentz, former Talent Trust scholarship recipient, on the release of his new book, Images of the Keji Country!

About the book (from SSP Publications):
Don Pentz’s Images of the Keji Country illuminates the pristine beauty of Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park and pays homage to the Mi’kmaq’s sacred ground.

Just released is Donald R. Pentz’s latest book, Images of the Keji Country.  The book’s collection of gorgeous watercolours and black and white petroglyph paintings serves, in part, as a commentary on the painting process, with folksy journal notes from a veteran backwoods adventurer.

This collection of images – watercolour sketches executed “en plein air”, studio oil paintings and ink and acrylic petroglyph paintings describe a vast nature retreat that was formerly a native hunting and fishing ground – hallowed territory that the artist shows extreme reverence for.

Pentz’s history with Kejimkujik, a 380 sq. km. tract in the interior of the southwest end of the province and the National Park that was founded in 1968, goes back almost 60 years – as a woodsman, naturalist, park interpreter and artist. He has explored and sketched its farthest reaches and has developed a profound understanding and respect for its physical and spiritual place.

About the author:
Donald Pentz is a Nova Scotia artist (oils, watercolours, acrylics) currently residing in Halifax.

Graduating with a Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison University in 1966, he later completed a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Regina (1979). That was followed by a bursary to take part in a special six-week painting program at the Banff School of Fine Arts. A recipient of Canada Council and Nova Scotia Arts grants, his work has been exhibited in galleries across Canada and as far afield as China, England, Cuba, France, Japan and the United States. Pentz has been exhibiting his work since 1967 and is an elected member of the Royal Academy of the Arts (R.C.A.) and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (C.S.P.W.C.).

A segment of Pentz’s art career was spent working as a zoological illustrator for the Museum of Natural History in Ottawa, drawing everything from massive dinosaur bones to miniscule sand fleas (amphipods). After a two year stint in Ottawa, Pentz moved back to Nova Scotia in 1970 and eventually worked as a naturalist/interpreter for Kejimkujik National Park and then as an illustrator/naturalist for the Nova Scotia Dept. of Lands and Forests. His paintings can be seen in over thirty corporate and university collections as well as numerous private collections. In 2007, he was inducted into the Visual Arts Nova Scotia Honour Roll.

Still active as an exhibiting artist, Don continues to go out on solo canoe trips to paint on location.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Renowned violinist Marc Djokic partners with Talent Trust to support the 2021 Scholarship Recipients

 Introducing the DIGITAL PATHS mentorship pilot program

by Marc Djokic, Nova Scotia Talent Trust,
Orchestre classique de Montréal and Ensembl’arts!

DIGITH PATHS: 2-Way Learning, Artistic Guidance for Digital Futures
A digital strategy project made possible by 
Canada Council for the Arts 
and the participating partners.

Marc Djokic - violinist, chamber musician, concertmaster and music director - leads this mentorship pilot program to link professional mentors with the 2021 scholarship recipients of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Over one year, ten thematic videos will be created and shared on the partner websites:,, and
Marc is a former Talent Trust scholarship recipient and has partnered with the Talent Trust, a Nova Scotia arts organization that has helped propel many young artists to the world stage for 77 years. 

Through the “2-Way Learning - Artist Guidance Using DIGITAL PATHS Project”, the 2021 scholarship cohort of Nova Scotia Talent Trust will have the unique opportunity to be paired with a professional artist mentor in their field of dance, music, and visual arts. They will be guided through a relevant range of digital literacy topics to help develop their professional career. The 2-way learning aspect of this program recognizes young artists as experts in their right in many areas of digital literacy, which will, in return, reinvigorate the knowledge range of their mentors. 
The mentors are professional musicians and artists from the Orchestre classique de Montreal and Ensembl’arts (Art Crush). They will provide locally-focused advice on navigating digital platforms, setting strategies, sourcing local resources to advance projects, and building visibility with national presenters. Digital literacy case studies can be geared towards local realities and schedules, available local resources, relevant contact references, knowledge of local audition expectations, among other topics. 

ALL youth who plan on pursuing an artistic career and are interested in applying for competitions, auditions and scholarships will benefit from the Digital Paths videos created throughout this program. The videos will be available for free viewing on the partner sites after the conclusion of the project. We are excited to begin this year-long journey! 

"Marc Djokic has been the recipient of Talent Trust scholarships and special awards throughout his studies to become a professional violinist and musician. He has become a supporter of the NSTT and now a partner for our promising Nova Scotia artists. The 2021 scholarship recipients will have the unique opportunity to be paired with a professional artist mentor in their field to guide them through a range of digital literacy topics for their future success. We’re excited about this collaboration,” states Jacqueline Steudler, Executive Director NSTT

"The OCM has a strong mandate to nurture the young talents of tomorrow. The current pandemic has taught our industry that "digital literacy" is key to maintaining and expanding a professional musician's career." - Taras Kulish, Orchestre classique de Montréal
"Ensembl'arts introduces the public to multidisciplinary collaborations and presents unique performances in diverse venues throughout Canada. Today, this includes the virtual stage. We are especially excited that the dance, choreography and visual artist members of our ensemble will be able to share their experiences and expertise in new digital work realities." - Avery Zhao, Ensembl'arts Group (Art Crush concerts)

About Nova Scotia Talent Trust
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.  

About Orchestre classique de Montréal
The Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM), previously known as the McGill Chamber Orchestra, was founded in 1939 by violinist, conductor, and composer Alexander Brott and his wife Lotte Brott. The OCM quickly became one of Canada’s most established chamber orchestras, touring to five continents, recording extensively, and appearing regularly on radio and television. Now led by Boris Brott, OC, OQ, one of Canada’s most internationally renowned conductors, the OCM is a vibrant, innovative, and flexible ensemble consisting of the city’s best professional musicians. The OCM presents concerts throughout the year and is now in residence at the Salle Pierre-Mercure in downtown Montreal.

About Ensembl’arts Group
Founded in 2014, Ensembl’arts creates immersive concert experiences set in unexpected settings and spaces. Somewhere between a traditional concert and performance art, our innovative use of the stage - or non-stage formats - allows us to combine dance and visual arts with classical and contemporary music. In 2016 the ensemble travelled to the Atlantic provinces for performances and filming produced by Mécénat Musica Videoclips. The ensemble collaborates regularly with other groups and organizations, and has recently been a part of the festivals Music and Beyond and Festival Classica. Ensembl’arts is currently Artist in Residence at the Barachois Summer Music Festival 2021 and will be premiering a multidisciplinary creation for Tim Brady’s new composition, Trio Toccata.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Celebrate with us Portia White's 110th Birthday!

Let's celebrate Portia White's 110th birthday and remember a fantastic Nova Scotia talent.

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 celebrated 77 years of supporting aspiring artists of all disciplines on May 2, 2021, 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 in 1944, to help other deserving and talented Nova Scotians succeed. 

More about Portia White:

On March 13, 1944, Portia White delivered her breakthrough concert that changed her own life and many more. Portia White became the first Canadian ever to perform at the New York Town Hall. 

The concert initiated her ascent to become one of the best singers of the 20th century, a particularly incredible triumph considering the systemic racism of segregation. 

Internationally recognized in her day, Portia White is now revered as part of Canadian heritage. Her legacy represents the catalyst for the Talent Trust and its 77-year commitment to aspiring artists across the province. Since 1985, many deserving vocalists have been awarded the Talent Trust’s Portia White Award, including Shanice Skinner and Reeny Smith.

Read the Talent Trust editorial “Celebrate Portia White’s Legacy,” published in The Coast in 2019.

You can also here Portia White speaking about life in Toronto in 1958 here. And listen to her here:

In 2011, Reeny Smith helped us celebrate Portia's 100th Birthday by singing "Think on Me" at the annual Portia White Award Concert in front of the Honorable Myann E. Francis Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Portia's  family members and a packed church. A special moment! Reeny's rendition can be found here:

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

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. 

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