Thursday, May 31, 2018

Theatre director Luciana Silvestre Fernandes returns to Halifax

Theatre director Luciana Silvestre Fernandes
Luciana Silvestre Fernandes is a theatre director who’s returning home to Halifax.

She’s here to participate in Neptune Theatre’s Chrysalis Project, which provides practical experience and mentorship to emerging artists within the structure of a professional theatre as well as exposure to the broader theatre community.

Luciana received the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award in 2016. She was artistic director for Taboo Theatre as well as working with independent companies such as Villains Theatre, Child's Play and Doppler Effect. 

Luciana completed her undergrad education at Dalhousie University, then relocated to British Columbia to pursue her MFA in directing at UBC.

Her work “embraces the philosophy that artists are artisans of reality. In shaping how audiences perceive the world, we can shape how they interact with it. It is through our choices of representation, what we normalize and what we challenge, who we give a voice to, and what questions we deem worthy asking that we challenge unconscious or semi-conscious dogmas of our audiences”.

She brought this philosophy to her most recent work as director of French playwright Jean Anouilh's Antigone, a devised movement-based expressionist adaption of Sophocle's Classic titled Antigones, and Thomas Middleton's Jacobean era play A Yorkshire Tragedy.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Devin Huang and Alex Yang Shine Bright at the Kiwanis Music Festival

The Gala Recital for the 2018 Halifax Kiwanis Music Festival took place on May 5 at the Music Room in Halifax. Two Talent Trust scholarship recipients received accolades for Junior Piano.
Gordon Murray Rising Star winner Devin Huang and teacher Lynn Stolola
Devin Huang (pictured with his teacher Lynn Stodola) received the Adjudicator’s Recommendation to the 2018 Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival for Junior Piano. 
He was last year’s recipient of the first ever Gordon Murray Rising Star Award. He captured first place in each of his seven piano repertoire classes, and received an unprecedented mark of 98 in his Chopin class. 
Devin’s achieved great things during the past year. He was one of the winners of the 2017/18 Chebucto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, an honour which gave him the privilege of performing with the Orchestra on April 21, 2018.
2018 Gordon Murray Rising Star winner Alex Yang
Alex  (Zixuan) Yang received the 2018 Gordon Murray Rising Star Award, which was presented at the May 5 Kiwanis Music Festival  Gala.
Alex plays at the RCM level 7/8, and was named as the Alternate to Devin Huang for the Provincial Festival Recommendation in Junior Piano.
He was a Canadian Music Competition national finalist in 2017, were he also received an Honorable Mention in the Scholarship Competition for Junior Piano.
The Provincial Music Festival Competition dates are Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2, 2018. The Gala Concert will be held on Saturday June 2 at 7pm at Denton Hall Auditorium, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

This story was first published in our May newsletter. Subscribe to have all our monthly news delivered to your inbox!

Friday, May 25, 2018

An operatic Talent Trust reunion in La finta giardiniera on May 25 and 26

On May 25 and 26 at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax, Opera Nova Scotia presents La finta giardiniera, a story Mozart set to music for Munich at the age of 18. 

The cast of seven soloists, directed by David Overton, features four Talent Trust scholarship recipients


  • Top left: Lindsay Connolly as Cavalier Ramiro 
    (Portia White Award 2015)
  • Top right: Marcel d'Entremont as Don Anchise 
     (Portia White Award 2013) 
  • Bottom left: Jennifer Farrell as Arminda
    (Portia White Award 1999) 
  • Bottom right: Suzanne Rigden as Serpetta
    (Portia White Award 2007)

The title La finta giardiniera roughly translates into ‘the would-be, or supposed, (finta) gardener/gardener’s, girl (giardiniera)’, and we’re told a more nuanced translation contains spoilers.

The work is multifaceted, with shades of Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well and Much Ado About Nothing. It will be presented fully staged with orchestra: arias in Italian, narrative in English.

The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. on both evenings. 

For more information (and spoilers), visit the La finta giardiniera Facebook event page. 

For tickets, contact the Dalhousie Arts Centre box office.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Andrew Son Wins Atlantic Young Artist 2018 Competition

Andrew Son 2018 Atlantic Young Artist Competition winner
On April 21, five talented pianists from the Atlantic provinces participated in the 2018 Atlantic Young Artist Competition held at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. After recital programs of contrasting works, Andrew Son was declared the winner.

Andrew is currently in his first year at Dalhousie University, studying with Lynn Stodola. He plans to major in neuroscience while completing a minor in music.

He was recently awarded the Piano Rose Bowl in the 2018 Kiwanis Music Festival in Halifax. He represented Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association National Piano Competition in Vancouver.  As the Atlantic Young Artist for 2018, Andrew will complete a short concert tour of the Atlantic region in the fall.

The competition and tour are projects of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations and its provincial counterparts in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. Instrumentalists between the ages of 16 and 25 and singers between 16 and 27 who are studying with a registered music teacher are eligible to enter. 

This story was first published in our May newsletter. Subscribe to have all our monthly news delivered to your inbox!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Rachel Hastings in Art Attakkk - Three Short Plays for Kids by Halifax Theatre for Young People

Rachel Hastings is a member of the cast and creative team of Art Attakkk, three short plays inspired by original Nova Scotian art and written by Nova Scotian playwrights.

Rachel, a graduate of Dalhousie University's acting program, wrote and performed Red Fish, a comedy about the pitfalls of being a teenager in 2016, with her colleague Taylor Olson. The play originally appeared in Halifax's Fringe Fest and is currently touring in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Described as a “vibrant and fascinating mix of art and theatre”, Art Attakkk is a funny and endearing set of works that feature a hip hop musical, the story of an unexpected encounter at the art gallery, and a eulogy for a cat. 

The show “hits kids where they live and demonstrates that art and creativity can help us understand, accept, and express our emotions and connect with others. Ages 9-12”.

June 2, 11:00 a.m.
Tickets: $10.00
Neptune Theatre Scotiabank Stage

Tickets and Festival Passes can be purchased at the Neptune Theatre Box Office (telephone 902-429-7070), online, or in person at 1593 Argyle Street in Halifax.

Art Attakkk is a Halifax Theatre for Young People production, presented by Eastern Front Theatre as part of NextSTAGES Theatre Festival for Families.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gina Burgess Presents an Exclusive Quintet Premiere at the Halifax Central Library

For this year's Obey Convention, Gina Burgess has created a new and unique piece which she will present at the Halifax Central Library. 

Gina is a four-time ECMA award winner with the gypsy-jazz outfit Gypsophilia, fronts her own klezmer band Der Heisser, is one fifth of the Iqaluit-based Arctic rock band The Jerry Cans, and is a regular collaborator in flamenco and Arabic music ensembles. 

Inspired by the minimalistic compositional tradition of Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Gina has also infused elements of traditional Inuit throat singing, poetry, trance, and Gregorian/Indian chant in her latest composition.

The quintet will feature Gina (violin) Susanne Brown (viola) Norm Adams (cello) Lukas Pierce (double bass) and Janice Jackson (voice).

The premiere will take place Halifax on Thursday, May 24 at the Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library. 

The show starts at 6pm. Admission is free.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Emily Doolittle and Wind Quintet International Present a Free Workshop on Her Latest Composition

Composer Emily Doolittle Halifax-born composer Emily Doolittle and Wind Quintet International will present a free workshop with Nova Scotian wind quintet Fifth Wind.

The workshop features Emily's new composition for the Forecasting the Canadian Wind project.

When & where:
Wednesday, May 23, 1:00 p.m. 
MacAloney Room (Room 406) 
Fountain School of the Performing Arts
Dalhousie University, Halifax

Emily grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and attended Dalhousie University, Indiana University, Princeton University, and the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, where she studied with Louis Andriessen with the support a Fulbright fellowship. From 2008-2015 she was an Associate Professor of Music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She now lives in Glasgow, UK, where she is an Athenaeum Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

She's written for such ensembles as Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto), Symphony Nova Scotia, the Vancouver Island Symphony, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, the Motion Ensemble and Paragon, and soloists such as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc, Janice Jackson, Patricia Green and Helen Pridmore, pianist Rachel Iwaasa, violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel, viola d'amorist Thomas Georgi and viola da gambist Karin Preslmayr.

For more information:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Maya Read Performs at the Open Stage in Halifax and Night Kitchen in Wolfville

Maya Read performs in Halifax and Wolfville
Maya Read will be performing at Open Stage on May 28 at the Carleton Music Bar & Grill in Halifax, and at Night Kitchen in Wolfville on June 2.

Maya won the Lieutenant Governor’s award in 2017 for musical theatre. She’s currently pursuing an Honours in Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College in Ontario.

She participated in a Creative Dance Project during her academic year, where students develop their own original movement. The work is further explored with classmates and put into a choreographed dance. Each student organized their own rehearsals, participated in the CDPs of their classmates, and played the role of choreographer.

Click here to see a video of her Creative Dance Project piece as well as a performance at Open Stage when Maya was in Halifax during Reading Week.

For more information on Maya’s May 28 appearance, visit the Open Stage Facebook page. 

Details on Wolfville’s Night Kitchen are available on their Facebook page.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Heemin Choi, 2018 Nova Scotia Talent Trust Goodwill Ambassador

Heemin Choi, Nova Scotia Talent Trust 2018 Goodwill Ambassador

We'd like to introduce you to one of Nova Scotia’s promising artists: Heemin Choi, the 2018 Talent Trust Goodwill Ambassador.

Heemin is an extraordinary young performer. He began his studies with Halifax violinist Myonghae Yoon at the age of 6. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts under international award-winning Philippe Djokic, and is currently a master’s student at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Texas, studying under Paul Kantor, who is one of the most sought-after violin teachers in North America.

Here's how our generous community of donors has made an impact on Heemin.

I am thankful to the Talent Trust and you as contributors. You have played such a vital and integral role throughout the entirety of my life as a musician. It is an honour to be the NSTT Goodwill Ambassador for 2018.

When I received my first scholarship in 2005 I was the youngest Talent Trust scholarship recipient ever. I was so proud.

The scholarship and special awards have opened many tremendous opportunities and life changing experiences. I truly would not be where I am today if it were not for the incredible belief in me as a musician.

By supporting the Talent Trust you helped support my studies in Halifax with Myonghae Yoon, later with Philippe Djokic, and now in Huston with Paul Kantor.

The generosity and kindness of the Talent Trust has always been an inspiration to me, and I will use your support as strength and fuel to do my absolute best.

Thank you so much for your continued generous support and belief in all emerging artists of Nova Scotia.

— Heemin Choi, violinist

2018 Nova Scotia Talent Trust Goodwill Ambassador

2014 Nova Scotia Talent Trust Lieutenant Governor Award
2010 and 2016 Raymond Simpson Award

When you give to the Talent Trust, you’re not just a “patron of the arts”. You’re creating a lasting legacy. We invite you to join our amazing community of donors, who help artists across disciplines hone their skills. Click here to donate now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Violinist Marc Djokic to Perform in Cecilia Concerts 30th Anniversary Season

Violinist Marc Djokic performs in Cecelia Concerts 30th anniversary season

Halifax classical violinist  Marc Djokic joins the notable Cecilia Concerts lineup for their 30th anniversary season. 

Marc recently won the 2017-2018 Prix Goyer, the biggest music prize in Canada, and one of the largest in the world for a collaborative artist emerging in classical music. He's performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and The National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Marc's ensemble Trio Tangere teams him with two of the most respected classical guitarists on the continent, Jérôme Ducharme and Louis Trépanier. The concert takes place February 24, 2019.

For ticket information, visit the Cecilia Concerts website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mimisu Lee and Lala Lee Perform in Cecelia Concerts 30th Anniversary Season

orks from the classical-romantic repertoire including Ludwig van Beethoven’s horn sonata, Op. 17 and Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70

Halifax chamber music presenter Cecilia Concerts has launched its 30th season, which begins September 14 with a fundraising gala featuring opera star Measha Brueggergosman.

Among the stellar musicians in the lineup are French hornist Mimisu Lee and pianist Lala Lee, who will perform works from the classical-romantic repertoire including Ludwig van Beethoven’s horn sonata, Op. 17 and Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70. The concert takes place January 6, 2019.

Named one of CBC’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2017, Lala made her debut with Symphony Nova Scotia under Bernhard Gueller that same year. She’s also performed with the Chebucto Symphony Orchestra and Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra.

Mimisu is the winner of the 2017/18 Chebucto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. She’s performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler Orchestra, Scotia Festival Orchestra, Dalhousie University Chamber Orchestra, Dalhousie University Symphony, the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and the San Diego International Youth Orchestra.

Both sisters currently study at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.

For ticket information, visit the Cecilia Concert website.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Where do Artists Come From? Visit Artist for a Day on May 12

Artist for a Day May 12 2018
Photo: Centre for Craft Nova Scotia
How do artists get their start? Does it begin in childhood? Do they come from artistic families?

Maybe they stumble upon their creative passions in high school, if they're fortunate enough to attend a school with a thriving art program.

Sometimes it happens later on, after the kids are grown and it's time to trade in the day job for a committed creative practice.

Whatever your age or artistic ability, there's an event on May 12 on the Halifax waterfront: Artist for a Day. It gives everyone a chance to see and even try various art-making media.

Activities take place at NSCAD University's Port Campus and at the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's free to attend, no registration is required, and the weather promises to be friendly.

For more information, see the Centre for Craft online newsletter and NSCAD's website. (And if you catch the art-making bug, you can come talk to us at the Talent Trust about scholarships.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Dancers Ellery Jackson, Vivian Macnab, Maggie Oates-Johnson, Mollie Oates-Johnson Perform in KiDanCo Spring 2018 Season

A talented group of choreographers and emerging dancers hit the stage when KiDanCo, the resident pre-professional company for emerging dance artists at the Leica Hardy School of Dance present their 7th annual Spring Season of contemporary dance repertoire.

When and where:
May 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee May 13 at 2:30 p.m.

1531 Grafton Street, Halifax

Among the twelve engaging young dance artists from the Leica Hardy School of Dance who comprise the company are KiDanCo's 2018 spring poster gal (pictured above) Mollie Oates-Johnson, and (left to right, below) Ellery JacksonVivian Macnab, and Maggie Oates-Johnson.

Ellery Jackson in KiDanCo spring 2018 season Vivian Macnab in KiDanCo spring 2018 season 

Tickets are $23 for adults, $16 for students (12+) and seniors (65+), and $11 for children. 

To purchase, please contact or phone 466-0101. Tickets at the door are cash only.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Big East Coast Thank You and a Big Secret 75th Anniversary Project

the Talent Trust thanks the East Coast Music Awards

As most people in this region are aware, there was a huge celebration of East Coast music in Halifax this past weekend. 

The Talent Trust has some people to thank (but we can’t tell you why — not just yet).

We’d also like to thank Reeny Smith, for the shout out to the Talent Trust from the stage. That was definitely not confidential, and neither are her abilities. Reeny’s a powerhouse.

The secret project? Well, we can tell you it has something to do with our 75th anniversary, which happens in 2019. You can probably guess at least some of it has to do with music. But that’s call we can say for now. Because it isn’t ready yet.

We’re pretty sure you’ll love it.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Choreographer Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson Presents To Pulsate in KiDanCo's 2018 Spring Season

KiDanCo, the resident pre-professional company for emerging dance artists at the Leica Hardy School of Dance present their 7th annual Spring Season of contemporary dance repertoire.

When and where:
May 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee May 13 at 2:30 p.m.

1531 Grafton Street, Halifax

Performances include pieces by Kendra Armstrong, Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson, Darryl Tracy, Anastasia Wiebe, and Artistic Director Leica Hardy in this dynamic program of original works.

Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson choreographer KiDanCo
Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson
photo by Holly Crooks
Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson's To Pulsate is an athletic, fast-paced piece with urban vibe for six dancers to the music of Frank Bretschneider. 

Ruth-Ellen earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her performing career took her to New York where she danced with such companies as The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble and the Parsons Dance Company. 

Ruth-Ellen continues to work in the region as a choreographer, performer and instructor.

Tickets are $23 for adults, $16 for students (12+) and seniors (65+), and $11 for children. 

To purchase, please contact or phone 466-0101. Tickets at the door are cash only.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Pamela Ritchie: Art Jewellery Conversations Lecture in Vancouver

alien landscape III - Pamela Ritchie

Pamela Ritchie is the featured artist in a speakers series called adorning expression: art jewellery conversations, presented by Craft Council of British Columbia.

adorning expression, part of the 2018 Art of Craft Lectures, is a series of three presentations “that provides lovers of fashion, art jewellery and those who see their bodies as a canvas for self-expression with an opportunity to explore the art jewellery scene in Canada today.”

The lectures feature the most recent Saidye Bronfman award winner, which is the highest honour for professional craftspeople in Canada. Pamela, who’s a jewellery artist in Hubley, NS, holds the 2017 Bronfman. 

She says this about her work: “I am interested in exploring linkages between the language of traditional craft processes and the developing language resulting from newer modes of production.”

Pamela’s lecture is on Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Orpheum Annex Theatre in Vancouver, and is co-hosted by Crafted Vancouver. 

For more information: 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Opening May 4, 2018 - Ascension: New Drawings by Charley Young

Ascension - drawings by Charley Young

Ascension: New Drawings by Charley Young opens May 4, 2018 at Studio 21 in Halifax. 

The drawings explore "ascension and proximity to make visible rock faces, scree slopes, tree lines, striations, and mountain contours.” The works are based on helicopter travels through the Rocky Mountains, tracing the artist’s passage through the physical landscape as well as her memories of the place.  

The opening reception is from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Ascension runs to June 6. 

For more information or to view the work online, visit the Studio 21 website:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Cellist India Yeshe Gailey Master’s Recital at McGill University

India Yeshe Gailey, cellist

Here’s a great excuse for a visit to Montreal, or a lovely way to spend part of your afternoon if you live there. Cellist India Yeshe Gailey performs her first master’s recital at McGill University on May 12, 2018. 

The performance features Bryce Lansdell on Piano and includes works by Jocelyn Morlock, György Ligeti, Kaija Saariaho, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Anton Webern.

The recital begins at 1:00 p.m. at Redpath Hall, 3461 rue McTavish (McTavish Gates). Admission is free. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

It's Our Birthday. Here's How We're Celebrating

NSTT 74th anniversary

The Talent Trust officially began 74 years ago today. We're planning big things for our 75th anniversary (when we go platinum!), but for now, we're having a more modest celebration.

Modest, but important.

Today, we want to toast all of you.

If you've applied for a scholarship — because that process can be intimidating. You put yourself out there and held your breath. We know how that feels, and we think you're amazing for working so hard, not just on your art, but everything that goes with establishing yourself as a professional artist.

If you're one of our community partners — the small but mighty organizations, like us, helping your members make their art and build their careers. We're glad to work beside you.

If you're just starting to think about becoming an artist, or if you're switching media — you're brilliant. We know it's hard work, and we know it's rewarding, and that's just one of the reasons we're here. Dream big. 

If you're in the audience — going to shows, buying art, telling family and friends about the artist you love or have just discovered. You're important partners in this enterprise.

If you've donated to the Talent Trust — last but by no means least, one of the dedicated people who believe in the creativity of the up-and-coming talent in Nova Scotia. You're helping artists enrich our communities, our province, country, and the world.

Today, we're celebrating our whole community. 

You're the best.