Friday, August 31, 2018

Dustin Harvey Co-hosts First Fridays // First Album at 2018 Halifax Fringe Festival

First Fridays // First Album co-hosted by Dustin Harvey and Michael Lake.
Dustin Harvey and Michael Lake will co-host a meeting event called First Fridays // First Album on September 7.

Produced by XOST, First Fridays // First Album is part of the 2018 Halifax Fringe Festival.

The event will begin with curated stories about a first record purchase, in whatever form that took (anywhere from an 8-track tape to iTunes). 

The audience is then encouraged to share their own stories, with a time limit of five minutes or less. Each story will be accompanied by the selected piece of music. A Q&A will follow the story session.

Dustin is a Talent Trust scholarship recipient who is a member of ArtsHalifax, an advisory committee to the City of Halifax advocating the creation of an arms-length funding organization. He’s also on the national advisory board of Canadian Theatre Review, and board member of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Art Award.

In 2017 he was part of a national cohort at the Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity called New Fundamentals: Leadership For the Creative Ecology.

Dustin is project curator of Secret Theatre (, which focuses on immersive and responsive installations designed to put the audience at the heart of the experience.

First Fridays // First Album details
Friday September 7, 5:00 p.m.
Bus Stop Theatre 
2203 Gottingen Street, Halifax

All ages event — everyone is welcome
Admission: free
Run time: 120 minutes
Seating is first come, first served (space is limited) 

Tickets: Ticket Halifax

Halifax Fringe 2018.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

James MacLean and Tea Time Creation Co. present Gina is Dead at 2018 Halifax Fringe Festival

Actor James MacLean.
James MacLean and his Tea Time Creation Co. colleagues Katie Dorian, Ailsa Galbreath, and Gina Thornhill present an immersive theatre experience with Gina is Dead

Your “walking tour to the Afterlife” takes place during the 2018 Halifax Fringe Festival and begins at the Bus Stop Theatre Lobby.

James is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada who received a Talent Trust scholarship in 2008. 

His acting credits include The Villain’s Theatre production of The Duchess of Malfi, Halifax Theatre for Young People’s David for Queen (starring role), and the Shakespeare by the Sea productions of  Merchant of Venice and Taming of the Shrew.

Gina is Dead show information
Immersive; rated PG
PWYW; 45 minutes

Starting Point 
Bus Stop Theatre Lobby 
2203 Gottingen Street, Halifax 

Show times
Sunday September 2 - 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. 
Monday September 3 - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday September 6 - 8:30 p.m. 
Friday September 7 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday September 8 - 8:30 p.m. 
Sunday September 9 - 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Buy tickets online at Ticket Halifax

Halifax Fringe 2018.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Port Cities Debuts with Symphony Nova Scotia in 2018 Halifax Pop Explosion

Tickets are going fast for this one — Breagh Mackinnon, with Port Cities bandmates Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro, will perform in their first-ever concert with Symphony Nova Scotia on October 19 and 20. The show is part of the 2018 Halifax Pop Explosion. 

The Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax is the perfect setting for Port Cities' atmospheric, intimate sound, which will feature brand-new orchestral arrangements, conducted by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser. 

Breagh received the Talent Trust Chico Berardi Special Award for Excellence in 2013. She was a nominee for the Nova Scotia Music Best New Artist award as well as an East Coast Music Association (ECMA) Rising Star award that same year.

Port Cities has received five Nova Scotia Music Awards, a SOCAN #1 Award (for their song “Back to the Bottom”), and hit #1 on CBC and Spotify music charts. The band is also multiple ECMA award nominees.

Ticket Information
October 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax

October 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax

To purchase in person
Dalhousie Arts Centre (Rebecca Cohn Auditorium Box Office)
6101 University Avenue, Halifax NS
Monday-Friday, 12 pm to 6 pm, and one hour before each concert

By phone (service charge applied)
1 800.874.1669, or locally at 902.494.3820.
Monday-Friday, 12 pm to 6 pm, and one hour before each concert

For more information on the concert and tickets visit the Symphony Nova Scotia website.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Janice Isabel Jackson Awarded 2018 Friends of Canadian Music Award

Janice Jackson with emerging composer Sophie Dupuis. Photo credit: Canadian League of Composers

On August 19 Janice Isabel Jackson was presented with the Friends of Canadian Music Award, during the Opera From Scratch gala concert at St. Matthews United Church in Halifax.

Janice is a vocalist, contemporary music specialist, producer, vocal instructor, and coach who has performed around the world in concerts and contemporary music festivals. 

She’s also Artistic Director of Vocalypse, where she most recently presented the week-long workshop Opera From Scratch, which paired six composers and six singers to develop six 10-minute operas for solo voice and piano, with a theme of Nova Scotia cultural or historical significance.

Janice has been recognized for her contribution to Nova Scotian culture by The Honorable Myra A. Freeman, Lieutenant Governor, as well as receiving an Established Artist Award through Arts Nova Scotia.

She’s received grants through Arts Nova Scotia and the Canada Council as well as Talent Trust scholarships. 

Left to right: James Rolfe, Richard Gibson, Janice Jackson, and Barbara Pritchard)
Photo credit: Canadian League of Composers

The Canadian League of Composers (CLC) and the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) jointly administer and present the Friends of Canadian Music Award annually. The award honours people who have shown an exceptional commitment to Canadian composers and their music on a national scale.

The award is split, with half for the established recipient and half for an emerging composer or composition student, who is chosen by the recipient. Janice shares the 2018 Friends of Canadian Music Award with composer Sophie Dupuis.

To learn more about Janice and sample audio and video, visit her website at

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Postcard from the Summer Ballet Intensive at the NBS

Summer is the time when most of us expect students to be doing anything but studying. We figure they’re busy with summer jobs, spending time at the beach, hanging out with their friends, and making the most of that brief, magical couple of months when school is out.

Olivia MacLean and her colleagues at the National Ballet School.
It can be a whole other world for arts students. For them, summer is the time for intensives, art residencies and master classes. School is most definitely in.

This summer we got a lovely summer greeting from Olivia MacLean, who received a Talent Trust scholarship to attend a four-week Summer Intensive at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto.

This isn't a casual thing — students need an invitation from NBS to attend, after passing an audition during the Fall/Winter National Audition Tour. Approximately 175 students attend the summer session each July.

In the photos below we see Olivia with teachers Lin Zhou (left) and Carina Bomers.

Olivia MacLean and NBS teacher Lin Zhou.  Olivia MacLean and NBS teacher Carina Bomers.

We were delighted to follow Olivia’s progress over her summer studies and look forward to see what she does next.

This story originally appeared in the Talent Trust August newsletter. Click here to subscribe!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Wyatt Johnson Receives a Special Memorial Violin

Bob Bauer, Talent Trust scholarship recipient Wyatt Johnson, Adrian Hoffman.

On July 2, an unusual scholarship was presented to an emerging Nova Scotia musician. Wyatt Johnson (above, centre) received a violin that had been donated by Bob Bauer (left), in honour of Dr. Michael Parker, a well-respected violinist, teacher, and composer.

Doctor Michael Parker.
Dr. Michael Parker was born in Toronto and studied violin and viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Banff and at Michigan State University. In 1976, he moved to Newfoundland where he served as Principal Violist with the Newfoundland Symphony, and was Professor of Classics and Historical Studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, where he taught courses in Music Appreciation and presented many musical events. He was a major figure in the music community in Newfoundland. 

Michael's music has been performed throughout Canada, and in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Cairo, France and the United States. He won prizes in national and provincial competitions, and a recording of his chamber music for clarinet, LYRE (1997), was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Best Classical Album.

In 2007, Michael retired from MUN and relocated to Halifax, teaching classics part-time at St. Mary's and Dalhousie Universities. He shared his love of opera, at both Grenfell College and at Dal, through his "Sunday Night at the Opera," lectures that included screenings of opera productions from his collection.

Photo: Bob Bauer prepares to present Wyatt Johnson with his violin.
NSTT Past Chair Adrian Hoffman and Wyatt's dad look on.

Wyatt Johnson tries out his new violin.
Friend and musical collaborator Bob Bauer received Michael’s violin after he passed away in 2017. Bob approached Talent Trust board member and Past Chair Adrian Hoffman (who was also a friend of Michael’s) about donating the instrument to a student. After a few weeks of repairs, the Michael Parker memorial violin was ready.

The Talent Trust normally only grants financial scholarships and special awards, but given the nature of the gift, our jury gathered together to select a student who needed a violin, and 14-year-old Wyatt was chosen.

An official presentation will take place at our annual awards ceremony in December.

This story originally appeared in our August newsletter. Click here to subscribe!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Andrew Son Wins Two Prizes at National Music Festival in New Brunswick

Pianist Andrew Son wins 2nd Prize Grand Award at National Music Festival.

Andrew Son continues to win prestigious awards for his masterful piano playing.

He participated in the 2018 National Music Festival at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, which ran from August 12 -16

He won first prize in the National Competition as the piano representative from Nova Scotia.

Andrew Son plays at National Music Festival 2018.
The first prize winners from the initial round of competitions (including voice, piano, strings, classical guitar, woodwind, brass, chamber group, and musical theatre solo) competed in the Grand Award Competition. 

Andrew won the 2nd Prize Grand Award. 

You can watch the live stream of the Grand Competition on the Festival Facebook page.

From Andrew, who received Talent Trust scholarships from 2014-17: 

“I just wanted to thank the Talent Trust for the tremendous amount of support over the years. I have never thought I would be able to reach such a place, but with the support and encouragement of the Talent Trust and many friends around me, I just feel so grateful and thankful.” 

As the winner of the 2018 Atlantic Young Artist Competition, Andrew will be performing on a regional tour. His final concert will be in Halifax in November. Stay tuned for details. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

NAT chantel in Echoes: Craft Nova Scotia Summer Professional Development Residency Exhibition

artist NAT chantel.
NAT chantel presents her Craft Nova Scotia Summer Professional Development Residency work with Annabel Biro, Kelsey Borden, Krista Grunsky, Shaya Ishaq, Songhee Lee, Jiaqi Li, and Katja Spoerri in an exhibition titled Echoes.

The exhibition opens August 30 and runs until September 16.

NAT is an African Nova Scotian emerging artist in multimedia, textiles and sculpture. Her work speaks to imposed societal structures that inform identity, and the erasure of body and self through communication, and conditions within the environment. 

NAT received Talent Trust scholarships in 2017 and 2018. She recently participated in Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s Mentorship Programwhere she exhibited her resulting work alongside Talent Trust scholarship recipient Lux Habrich at the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth, NS.

From Craft Nova Scotia: “Echoes brings together eight emerging, pre-professional and self-directed artists who have used the time and studio space of the Summer Professional Development Residency to craft a body of work while exploring individual style and technique. This group exhibition reflects individual histories, responses to movement, and mirrors material process in form. It is a conversation – a call and answer – created by individuals working alongside one another.”

Exhibition Details

Mary E. Black Gallery
1061 Marginal Rd. Suite 140, Halifax, NS

Opening: Thursday August 30, 6:00 p.m.

On view: August 31 -September 16, 2018

Echoes exhibition with NAT chantel.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Talent Trust Chair Erin Sparks Named Executive Director of Debut Atlantic

Erin Sparks.
We’re happy to share the news that Erin Sparks, Chair of the Talent Trust Board of Directors, has been named Executive Director of Debut Atlantic.

In addition to leading our board, Erin is a Talent Trust scholarship recipient (2003-2007).

She received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto. Prior to graduate studies, she completed an Artist Diploma at the U of T and received a Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University. 

Erin has a wealth of experience at Debut Atlantic, serving as their Program Officer since 2014.  She’s also worked as an administrator for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and as manager for Darryl Edwards’ Concert Opera Group. She was an Artist Representative with Andew Kwan Artists Management Inc. and in 2011 received the award of Emerging Agent of the Year from the Ontario Contact organization.

Everyone at the Talent Trust would like to congratulate Erin and Debut Atlantic as they begin their 2018/19 season.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Talent Trust Scholarship Recipients on the Best of Halifax 2018 Ballot

Best of Halifax 2018

In 2017 22,000 people cast over 800,000 individual votes for The Coast's annual readers’ choice awards.

We scoured the ballot for 2018 nominees, and discovered there's an impressive list of Talent Trust scholarship recipients with either individual nominations or as part of a nominated organization or group.

Voting began August 1 and will close on September 15. The winners will be announced on November 1. Head over to the Best of Halifax website to make your choices.

Best Choreographer

  • Jacinte Armstrong
  • Veronique Mackenzie
  • Sara Coffin

Best Dancer

  • Georgia Skinner 
  • Sara Coffin
  • Lydia Zimmer

Best Dance Company / Group

Mocean Dance 

  • Sara Coffin
  • Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson
  • Jacinte Armstrong
  • Rhonda Baker
  • Sarah Rozee
  • Sara Harrigan
  • Lisa Phinney Langley
  • Melanie Ferro

Halifax Dance

  • Sara Coffin
Veronique Mackenzie
  • Olivia MacLean

Best Filmmaker

  • Michael Melski

Best Theatre Actor

  • Mary Fay Coady

Best Theatre Production

Princess Rules, Heist

  • Jacinte Armstrong, choreography

Best Visual Artist

  • Emily Vey Duke (in collaboration with Shary Boyle, The Illumination Project)
  • Caitlin McGuire
Best Classical Artist / Group

Rhapsody Quintet

  • Jennifer Jones
  • David Langstroth

Blue Engine String Quartet

  • Jennifer Jones
  • Hilary Brown

Symphony Nova Scotia

  • Jennifer Jones
  • David Parker
  • D’Arcy Gray

Best Jazz Artist / Band
Karen Myatt

Best Music Video
Classified, “Powerless” — Breagh Mackinnon, piano and vocals

Best Pop Artist / Band, Best Folk Artist / Band

Port Cities

  • Breagh Mackinnon with bandmates Dylan Guthro and Carleton Stone

Best R&B Artist / Band, Best Solo Artist

  • Reeny Smith

Monday, August 13, 2018

Nicholas Higgs and Tara Scott in Recital at St. Matthews Church inHalifax

Nicholas Higgs
Nicholas Higgs and Tara Scott present a 45-minute recital that includes works by Haydn, Schubert (Die Schöne Müllerin), Gounod, Mendelssohn, Charles, and Head.

Nicholas is from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia and received Talent Trust scholarships in 2013, 2015, and 2017. He's studied voice at the University of Toronto.

His baritone vocals will be accompanied by Tara on piano as part of the Summer Sounds @ Barrington Concert series that takes place every year in July and August at St. Matthew's United Church

Tuesday, August 21 at 12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
St. Matthew's United Church
1479 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Admission is a suggested donation of $5.00.

Summer Sounds at Barrington

Friday, August 10, 2018

India Yeshe Gailey in Vaso String Quartet Debut Concert in Toronto

India Yeshe Gailey - Vaso String Quartet

India Yeshe Gailey and her cello join violinists Hua-Chu Huang, Aysel Taghi-Zada, and violist Peter Ayuso for their debut concert as Vaso String Quartet.

Formed in May 2018 at the Scotia Festival of Music, this ensemble brings together four dedicated musicians with a passion for contemporary repertoire. The concert will include music by Glass, Gershwin, Bosmans, Shaw, and Piazzolla.

India is working on a master’s degree in cello performance at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. She’s involved with several projects and creative ensembles, including New Hermitage, a Halifax-based environmental chamber jazz ensemble; Bonsai, a cello-percussion duo with Ken Shorley; and Ear Camera, an avant-garde composer collective in Montréal.

India also studied visual art at NSCAD University, which has significantly informed her work as a composer. In 2017 she was awarded the Talent Trust Yue Lih and Marion Kuo Award for exceptional commitment and potential in music as an instrumentalist.

Vaso String Quartet concert details:
August 24, 2018
Creeds Coffee Bar
390 Dupont Street, Toronto

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Performance at 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets at the door (cash only)
$20 regular / $10 students

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Aidan Vaudreuil Wins Place in Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division

Aidan Vaudreuil at Royal Winnipeg Ballet School

Aidan Vaudreuil has been accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School full time Professional Division

Aidan is one of the Talent Trust’s newest scholarship recipients. He was awarded two scholarships this year, including a summer 2018 scholarship to attend the RWB’s four-week summer audition program, which enabled him to be accepted into his next phase of training, which begins in September. 

The RWB School Professional Division offers classical ballet training based on the Russian system. This training is accompanied by a full program of study in complementary dance forms. This results in versatile dancers and dance teachers with the ability to find meaningful employment in their profession. 

Aidan previously studied at the Maritime Dance Academy, and received a Talent Trust scholarship in 2017. 

We'd like to congratulate Aidan on his summer success and wish him all the best with his studies in September.

Aidan Vaudreuil with RWB Professional Division teacher Kira Hauffman

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Janice Jackson and Vocalypse Productions Present Opera from Scratch 2018

Janice Jackson
Janice Jackson, singer of new classical music and Artistic Director of Vocalypse Productions, will teach two masterclasses in Opera from Scratch, which runs from August 12 - 19.

Janice is a Talent Trust scholarship recipient who’s a soprano, contemporary music specialist, producer, and vocal instructor and coach.

She’s sung over 200 world premieres, many works written specifically for her, and performed with contemporary music ensembles and in concert halls around the world – Beijing, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Torino, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Berlin, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and more.

Opera From Scratch is a week-long workshop that pairs six composers and six singers to develop six 10-minute operas for solo voice and piano, with a theme of Nova Scotia cultural or historical significance.

The workshop is a collaborative process where the composers and singers are exposed to each others’ methods, resulting in a better understanding of the depth of thought, creativity, and effort that goes into creating even a short work.

To date Opera From Scratch is proud to have premiered 37 new mini operas by composers from around the world. This year the talented group of composers and singers hail from Canada, the US, and Sweden.

Public Events take place at the Central Library, the Dalhousie Art Centre, and Saint Matthews Church.

Masterclasses: MacAloney Room 406 - Dalhousie Arts Centre
Three exciting masterclasses highlight the evolution of each mini opera as the workshop unfolds.

Monday, August 13th at 5pm - Jason Davis
Tuesday, August 14th at 5pm - Janice Isabel Jackson
Wednesday, August 15th at 5pm - Janice Isabel Jackson

Paul O'Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library
Monday, August 13, 2:00 p.m. - What’s Opera Doc?
Tuesday, August 14, 2:00 p.m. - The Art of Opera
Thursday, August 16,  2:00 p.m. - Making Opera in the 21st Century
Friday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. - Final Masterclass
Friday, August 17, 2:00 p.m. - Contemporary Opera Off the Hook

Opera From Scratch Gala Concert
Sunday, August 19th, 3:00 p.m.
Saint Matthews Church
1479 Barrington Street Halifax, Nova Scotia

For more information visit the Vocalypse website