Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ariella Pahlke Receives the Established Artist Recognition Award

Congratulations to past scholarship recipient, Ariella Pahlke for being awarded the 2019 Established Artist Recognition Award by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council. Pahlke will receive her award, along with the other winners, during the 14th Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala

from Conviction doc site
Saturday, November 2, 2019
7:30 - 11 p.m.
Halifax Central Library
5440 Spring Garden

Free and open to the public.
Tickets through Eventbrite
starting on Oct 18

In her own words, Ariella says, "I’ve collaborated with groups, institutions, and individuals on various forms of media art and documentary projects for 25 years, challenging the status quo through art and community activism."

As described in the Women and Hollywood site, Ariella Pahlke is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and media artist with extensive experience facilitating collaborative projects. For the past 20 years, she’s directed, written and produced hour-long documentaries, shorts and media projects that have screened around the world. Her credits include Charlie’s Prospect, Rock and Desire, Burning Rubber, and Strategies of Hope.

The Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala is presented by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala is an annual event that celebrates excellence in artistic achievement, notably in the announcements of two major awards, the Portia White Prize and the Lieutenant Governor's Masterworks Award. Winners of the Prix Grand Pré, the Established Artist, Emerging Artist and Indigenous Artist awards and the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award are also honoured. Collectively, the awards are worth $95,000.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Light in the Forest Sells Out in Advance

Congratulations to Holly Carr, alumni Jennifer King and Veronique Mackenzie for their early success, selling out in advance for Light in the Forest a production by Holly Carr.

image of Veronique from https://www.dal.ca/news/2009/12/07/choreographer.html
November 2 at 7 p.m.
St Matthew's United Church
1479 Barrington Street
Sold Out!

Stay tuned for news about the spring show in Wolfville. 

As described on the Light in the Forest website, "the production is an original and unique, all ages, multi-faceted theatrical experience that takes the audience on a journey from the dark foreboding forest with all of its inhabitants and brings them slowly into the light through a series of mysterious and beautiful reveals. 

Jennifer King will play a haunting repertoire on the piano while the moving choreography of Veronique Mackenzie and the Light in the Forest dancers escort the audience. Holly Carr paints live bringing the creatures of the forest to life. There will be original costumes a soundscape of the natural world and larger than life hand painted silk panels and sculptures. The audience is presented with veiled apparitions through layers of silk-and dramatic lighting transitioning from the dark unknown into a world of beauty and tranquility. A layered illustrated environment, like that of a story book is ultimately revealed. The underpinning of the production is understanding, confronting and overcoming your fears."
Artist Bios

Nova Scotia’s Jennifer King is a versatile pianist who is at home as a soloist or collaborator. She has established herself as a sought-after performer and recording artist in the region. Jennifer’s recording, O Mistress Moon, was nominated for both the ECMA and Music Nova Scotia Classical Album of the Year for 2019. Her second recording, Doolittle: Minute Études “Excerpts” (Live) was released in August of 2019 and a new video is now available on You Tube. Jennifer has a Master of Music in performance from McGill and post-graduate diplomas from University of Reading and Royal Academy of Music in London. She has received numerous prestigious awards including scholarships from the Nova Scotia’s Talent Trust.

Véronique Mackenzie has presented her work across the country in a variety of festivals and productions including Toronto’s Junction Festival, The Edmonton Fringe Festival, Labrador Arts Festival and Festival Antigonish. Her status as an independent dancer has allowed her to dance for a variety of contemporary dance productions as well as develop a successful choreographic and solo performance career. Véronique most recently completed choreography for POP TV's "Let's Get Physical" (L.A.) and has worked on CBC's Mr. D, Bo on the Go, and Street Cents. Véronique has served on faculty at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University), Neptune Theatre School, The Fountain School of Performing Arts (Dalhousie University) and Halifax Dance. She’s been a board member of Dance Nova Scotia and Keep Good (Theatre) Company. She is the Atlantic rep for the Dancer Transition Resource Centre out of Toronto. 

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Announcing the Peggy Corkum/Musique Royale Legacy Award

Musique Royale and Barbara Butler join the Nova Scotia Talent Trust in supporting the legacy of Peggy Corkum's commitment to the arts. 

Believing that everyone needed music in their lives, Peggy Corkum donated grand pianos to Government House, St. David's Church, Dalhousie University, and the Central Halifax Library. She supported the Nova Scotia music community, including Symphony Nova Scotia, Cecilia Concerts, Musique Royale, the Music Room, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, Scotia Festival of Music and others. Having retired as a Major from the Canadian Armed Forces after a career of travelling the world as a flight nurse, Peggy enjoyed playing piano for the pure joy of making music.

After her passing in December 2018, her good friend Barbara Butler, Artistic Director of Musique Royale, started to fundraise for an award in Peggy Corkum’s honour to be administered by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. The award will go to the pianist who, amongst all others, shows the greatest artistic potential and excellence.

“After Peggy’s passing, I wanted to find a way to honour her. I imagined young pianists who aspired to a career in music having the opportunity someday to perform on the very pianos she so generously gave. I’ve always admired the work of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and the celebration of your 75th anniversary seemed like the perfect opportunity to realize such an award. The generosity of friends of Musique Royale made it all possible,” says Barbara Butler.

The Peggy Corkum/Musique Royale Legacy Award is valued at $1000 and thanks to Peggy Corkum’s extended community, and Barbara Butler’s commitment, it will be awarded to aspiring artists for at least twenty years to come.

About Musique Royale

Musique Royale is a not-for-profit organization based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, dedicated to promoting traditional and early music in historic venues throughout the province. Since its founding in 1985, Musique Royale has continued to celebrate venues of architectural and historic significance and bring world-class music to communities across the province.

Founded in 1985 by John Grew and a small group of dedicated friends, the French and English overtones in the festival's name were chosen specifically to refer to the presence of more than one cultural force in Nova Scotia's development, and to pay tribute to the province's diverse musical heritage. Current Artistic Director, Barbara Butler, continues to guide the organization in its original mandate, while promoting its growth from a summer festival to include a year-round concert series on the south shore.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Celebrate Talent Trust's 2019 Scholarship Recipients

While Celebrating 75 Years of Dedication,
the NS Talent Trust Continues to Invest in Aspiring Nova Scotian Artists  
Having recently finished its adjudication process, the NS Talent Trust has awarded scholarships to 58 emerging Nova Scotian artists in the fields of dance, music, theatre, film/new media, circus arts, literary arts, and visual arts from all over the province. 
Residing in New Glasgow, Lower Sackville, Windsor Junction, Wolfville, Sydney, Beaverbank, Hammonds Plains, Mineville, Prospect Bay, Port Williams, Kentville, Lakelands as well as Bedford, Dartmouth and Halifax. These aspiring artists further their development and training in Nova Scotia and other Canadian provinces, the United States, the UK, and even Italy.
Through their residencies, mentorships, and schooling, NSTT scholarship recipients inevitably promote Nova Scotia’s cultural relevance by studying in some of the best institutions worldwide. Like Portia White herself, the original catalyst for the organization’s formation, recipients sometimes become world renowned themselves like Barbara Hannigan, George Ellitott Clarke, and Lucy Pullen. Since Portia’s impetus in 1944, the Talent Trust has distributed more than two million dollars in scholarships to over 1,000 recipients. 
The independent, volunteer Scholarship Selection Committees, made up of twelve professional artists, two from each discipline, obviously recognize artistic skill, but they also look for signs of lasting commitment. The artist’s life has more than its fair share of challenges and for the NSTT, dedication to professional achievement is as important as artistic potential. Since the province is overflowing with talent, the decisions are never easy.
This year’s 58 successful scholarship recipients were chosen from a field of 142 applications over two submission periods, 1 March and 1 May, 2019. 

Five of the 58 scholarship recipients are supported by the NS Arts Endowment Fund in the amount of $2,000 each. They are Carrigan MacDonald in dance, Ryan MacDougall in musical theatre, Cassie Mann in composition, Sahara Nyathi in dance, and Sidney Robichaud in literary arts.

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarships totalled $80,000 in 2019.  
Below is the complete 2019 list of Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship recipients.

The list can also be found on our website.   

List of the 2019 Talent Trust Scholarship and Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship Recipients


  • Morganne Hartlen, Mineville
  • Julia Barkhouse, Dartmouth 
  • Chloe Bruce, Dartmouth
  • Brooklyn Law, Bedford
  • Mollie Oates-Johnson, Dartmouth
  • Maggie Oates-Johnson, Dartmouth
  • Aidan Vaudreuil, Lower Sackville
  • Carrigan MacDonald, Bedford, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Sahara Nyathi, Halifax, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Niamh Draper, Bedford
  • Stan Tonin, Windsor Junction
  • Gabrielle Kachan, Halifax
  • Lucie Schmidt, Lakeview/Dartmouth
  • Denver Scott, Halifax
Production and Post Production

  • Rose-Marie Daniels, Port Williams
Documentary Film
  • Meagan Brown, Hammonds Plains
Stop Motion and Digital Animation
  • Katelyn Hawley, Hammonds Plains
Directing and Producing
  • Kassidy Mattera, Bedford
Expanded Cinema
  • Yalitsa Riden, Hammonds Plains
LITERARY ARTSCreative Nonfiction
  • Sara Leslie, Halifax
  • Sidney Robichaud, Halifax, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Devin Huang, Bedford
  • Lala Lee, Halifax
  • Andrew Son, Halifax
  • Cindy Thong, Halifax
  • Alex (Zixuan) Yang, Bedford
Strings - Cello
  • India Gailey, Wolfville
Strings - Violin
  • Rose Hanada, Halifax
  • Lilith Richter-Stephenson, Dartmouth
  • Indi Tisoy, Dartmouth
Strings - Viola
  • Ellis Yuen-Rapati, Dartmouth
Strings - Double Bass
  • Sean Sneddon, Halifax
Voice - Opera
  • Ruusu-Maaria Brousseau, Halifax
  • Anisa Sobhani, Dartmouth
  • Laura Johnston, Prospect Bay
  • Morgan Reid, Sydney
  • Nicholas Higgs, New Glasgow
  • Nick Veltmeyer, Halifax
  • Shanice Skinner, New Glasgow
  • Jessica MacIsaac, Halifax
  • Cassie Mann, Halifax, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
Brass - Tuba
  • Bryenton Innes, Lakelands
Brass - French Horn
  • Mimisu Lee, Halifax
Brass - Trumpet
  • Shaw Nicholson, Halifax
Woodwind - Flute
  • Amelia Bruce, Dartmouth
  • Brooke Mitchell, Beaverbank
  • Brent Raddall, Wolfville
  • Ryan MacDougall, Hammonds Plains, NS Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship
  • Madeleine West, Halifax
  • Gill Baldwin, Port Williams
  • Caterina Slamovits, Halifax
Design/Applied Craft
  • Andrew Gilmour, Halifax
  • Charles Bourne, Halifax
  • Caitlin McGuire, Halifax
  • Robin Lauzon, Kentville
  • Sienna Maeba, Halifax
  • Jessie McLaughlin, Bedford
  • Ada Denil, Halifax
The NSTT is supported by Margaret and David Fountain, the 2011 Canada Games Legacy Fund, RBC Foundation, The Craig Foundation, the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, Dalhousie Music in Medicine HEALS Program, Support4Culture, NSTT Foundation, Cecilia Concerts, Visual Arts Nova Scotia, Theatre Nova Scotia, Debut Atlantic, Craft Nova Scotia,  immediaC, Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, CIOE 97.5 Community Radio, Symphony Nova Scotia, Neptune Theatre, FIN Atlantic International Film Festival, Canadian Federation of Musicians, BoyneClarke Lawyers, RadioOui98.5, Mocean Dance, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton University Art Gallery, MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax Central Library, Halifax Regional Municipality, and Arts Nova Scotia. The NSTT is pleased to work in partnership with the province to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Marc Djokic Tours Nova Scotia with Debut Atlantic

Past recipient and winner of the 2003 NSTT Lieutenant Governor’s Award, violinist Marc Djokic tours the Maritimes with fellow Debut Atlantic Encore artist, percussionist Bev Johnston.

photo and bio taken from

Partner Debut Atlantic is celebrating their 40th Anniversary with a tour by Bev & Marc in ten concerts with many of our sister organizations. 

October 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Antigonish Performing 
Arts Series, Immaculata Hall, 
St. FX, Antigonish, NS

October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Acadia Performing Arts Series
Festival Theatre, Wolfville, NS

October 21at 7:00 p.m.
Hear! Hear! Society
North Baptist Church, 
Yarmouth, NS

October 24 at 7:30 p.m.
deCoste Performing Arts Centre, 
Pictou, NS 

October 25 at 7:30 p.m.
University PEI
Dr. Steel Recital Hall, 
Charolettetown, PEI

October 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre, 
Tatamagouche, NS

October 27 at 4:00 p.m.
Musique Royale 
Cecilia's Retreat, 
Mahone Bay, NS

October 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Musique Saint-Joachim
Eglise St-Joachin, 
Bertrand, NB

October 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Memorial Hall, 
Fredrickton, NB

The duo usually plays a style of melodic, contemporary, tonal music; their smoothly paced, eclectic programming proves that not all of contemporary music is abstract and atonal! Bev & Marc perform popular marimba and violin repertoire but also research and arrange other pieces to adapt to their instrumentation. 

Hear their commissioned works from Canadian composers including Quantum Holograms by Richard Mascall (featuring digital FX pedals), and award winning Canadian composer Christos Hatzis. The energetic duo has performed at Chamberfest, Music and Beyond, Jeunesses Musicales, CAMMAC, Kincardine Summer Music Festival, and several other festival series including university concert series and masterclasses.

Violinist Marc Djokic is the winner of the 2017-2018 Prix Goyer. Among other distinctions, he is a Prix Opus laureate and former Canada Council Instrument Bank recipient. Djokic is concertmaster of l’Orchestre classique de Montreal. His debut album, Solo Seven, garnered glowing reviews upon its release in 2018. His next two collaborative albums will be released on the ATMA Classique and Analekta labels in 2019.

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Marc Djokic first and foremost studied with his father Philippe Djokic, one of Canada’s great soloists and a pupil of the master Ivan Galamian. He continued his studies with David Russell, Donald Weilerstein and Jaime Laredo. In the summer of 2019, Marc Djokic embarked on his second European tour with solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and masterclasses. Djokic has toured several times throughout Canada as a chamber musician, and performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Quebec Symphony Orchestra.

From 2015 to 2017, Mécénat Musica noncerto produced more than 45 music videos featuring Djokic and his collaborations, filmed in unique locations across nine provinces. Marc Djokic has commissioned several compositions with the support of Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Mécénat Musica. In 2018 Djokic co-sponsored and launched the inaugural CAMMAC Composers Competition, and is currently Artist-in-Residence at CAMMAC.

Beverley Johnston, percussion Beverley Johnston is one of Canada’s leading percussionists. Over the years, she has commissioned and performed many works by leading Canadian composers some of which have become a staple of the standard percussion repertory around the world. In honour of her exemplary commitment to the performance of the music of Canadian composers, she has been awarded the distinction of “Canadian Music Centre Ambassador”.

Her exceptional stage presence, her remarkable virtuosity and musicianship have established her reputation beyond the border of her native Canada, where she tours and performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. She has been invited to numerous internationally renowned marimba and percussion festivals over the years. She has recorded six solo CD’s and can be heard as soloist and chamber musician on many other recordings. Her recordings are available from the Canadian Music Centre and iTunes. Beverley teaches at the University of Toronto and is a Marimba One and Paiste artist.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Jennifer King Plays Piano for the Ongoing NSTT Pop Up Series

Past recipient, Jennifer King adds her piano virtuosity to the NS Talent Trust Pop Up Series celebrating our 75th Anniversary in New Glasgow. 

Jive Photographic 

Oct 10, 1:30 p.m.
Trinity United Church
151 Temperance Street, 
New Glasgow

Free and open to the public. 

Jennifer King on the NS Talent Trust:

“The Nova Scotia Talent Trust is a wonderfully unique organization that continues to support my career. I first applied to Talent Trust while working on a Masters’ degree at McGill University in the early 90’s. The Trust gave me money towards my tuition and then later for a three-week summer program at Kneisal Hall Chamber Music School in Blue Hill, Maine. Both these experiences opened up my musical scope and helped me to “spread my wings” outside of Nova Scotia. This support helped my confidence in applications for many more schools for study, grants, and other learning opportunities.

While teaching at Acadia University I encouraged many students to apply, writing countless reference letters and playing for audition recordings. I have witnessed many young artists of many disciplines pursuing their dreams with success, as the feeling of support from “home” is an invaluable gift. One of these artists includes my own daughter.

To this day I collaborate with many musicians, artists and dancers and we always take great pleasure in having the shared bond of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen as a pop-up artist for the 75th Anniversary and wish the Trust continued success for the coming years in helping artistic youth launch their dreams and passions.”

We thank scholarship recipient Jennifer King for participating in our celebrations, Ardith Haley for opening doors, and Stephen Hartlen in New Glasgow and Monica MacNeil in Sydney for organizing and hosting the events.

The 75th anniversary activities are supported by the province of Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Municipality, The Craig Foundation, Canadian Federation of Musicians, and Margaret and David Fountain.


Nova Scotia’s Jennifer King is a versatile pianist who is at home as a soloist or collaborator. She has established herself as a sought-after performer and recording artist in the region. Jennifer’s recording, O Mistress Moon, was nominated for both the ECMA and Music Nova Scotia Classical Album of the Year for 2019. Her second recording, Doolittle: Minute Études “Excerpts” (Live) was released in August of 2019 and a new video is now available on You Tube. Jennifer has a Master of Music in performance from McGill and post-graduate diplomas from University of Reading and Royal Academy of Music in London. She has received numerous prestigious awards including scholarships from the Nova Scotia’s Talent Trust. 

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Talent Trust Artist Spotlight with Hanna Mae Cruddas and Chantal Peng

Tune in for the 6th edition of the Talent Trust Artist Spotlight.

Every first Thursday of the month with your host, past scholarship recipient and current board member Breagh MacKinnon.

October 3rd at 1 p.m. 

Hear from
Hanna Mae Cruddas, about her recent lead role in Canada Ballet Jorgen's Anne of Green Gables with Symphony Nova Scotia, and learn about what's on the horizon for award winning classical pianist, Chantal Peng.

Artist Bio's  

Hannah Mae Cruddas began her dance training with the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts School of Dance and the Leica Hardy School of Dance. In 2009, she joined Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto. Hannah Mae was the youngest recipient of the Society of Russian Ballet’s Nesta Toumine Memorial Award and at 14, and was a semi-finalist in the Genée International Ballet Competition. She was the recipient of the Jan Wicha Memorial Cup as well as the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Hannah Mae was also awarded the Janice Merritt Flemming Award administrated by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. photo of Hannah from https://halifaxpresents.com/dance/anne-of-green-gables-goes-to-the-ballet-in-new-work-to-premiere-in-halifax-this-september/

Chantal Peng is a classical pianist based in the Annapolis Valley, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with Professor John Hansen at Acadia University. She continues to receive numerous accolades through her piano career. Apart from being interviewed for a feature on CBC Radio One Peng has performed for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018 and won 1st Prize at the Canadian Music Competition National Finals as well as Great Composers’ International Concerto Competition in 2016. In 2017, she won the Tietje Zonneveld Award through the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.

Previous episodes included:

Becka Baker Gwyneth Christoffel Gina Burgess, Marcel d'Entremont, Gharrett Paon, Marc Djokic, Charley Young, Shandi Mitchell, Jane Archibald and Charlotte Wilson-Hammond.

You can listen to former episodes here.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Devin Huang Plays a Piano Recital at Government House

In support of our 75th anniversary the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia presents a inspiring piano recital from scholarship recipient Devin Huang, as part of the Evenings at the Government House Series.

Tuesday, October 8,  
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Government House, 
1451 Barrington Street, Halifax

Free and open to the public.

Registration opens: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
To register fill out the attendance form or call 424-7001.

Since his introduction to piano at age 7, twelve-year-old Devin Huang has been blazing through repertoire, securing the loyalty of teachers like Mr. Gregory Watters and Lynn Stodola of the Fountain School of Performing Arts, and winning awards and recognition. 

Devin participated in the 2019 Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival and received first place in all his classes. He was invited to perform at the Festival Gala and received the Presidents’ Cup Award. As a junior pianist, Devin competed at the Nova Scotia Federation of Music Festivals on June 1st and received first place. He also won first place at the NSRMTA Scholarship Competition for the Advanced Level. 

This year, Devin was selected as a national finalist and travelled to Calgary, Alberta to play in the Canadian Music Competition finals. Devin received first place. 

Last year at the CMC National Finals, he received first place and also won the Grand Prize in the 11-14 age category for all instruments. He has been a first place winner for the past three years.

See Devin play with the Chebucto Symphony Orchestra. 

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