Thursday, October 31, 2019

75th Anniversary Ambassadors from Mocean Dance Present Sara Coffin's Wild Within

Past recipient, Mocean Dance’s Co-Artistic Director, Sara Coffin presents Wild Within, her new work resulting in part from residencies that took place in Annapolis Royal and Truro with additional NSTT alumni Georgia Skinner and Lydia Zimmer in partnership with the NS Talent Trust’s 75th Anniversary celebrations.

photo: Nick Bottomley
Nov 14 – 16, 8 p.m. 
Nov 14 – 16, 8 p.m.
& Nov 16, 2 p.m.

Alderney Landing Theatre

2 Ochterloney St, Dartmouth

Coffin, along with alumni Georgia Skinner and Lydia Zimmer, who also perform in the Wild Within, acted as ambassadors of the Talent Trust program, to help inspire young dancers across the province, inform students of the training scholarship program, as well as offer workshops for the local high school and community members to take in a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of Inside Wild.

About Wild Within

Inspired by the landscapes of the north; the history and power of the Yukon River, paired with the magnificent force of the east coast waters Coffin takes on a journey of reverence for the land, acknowledging the wild within and the femininity of water. Listening to the energy held within the land and the wisdom of our mothers’ this new quartet dances within the poetic play between function and decay found in nature’s life cycles.

About Sara Coffin

Sara Coffin is an independent dance artist, dance educator and Co-Artistic Director of Mocean Dance. She holds an MFA in Choreography from Smith College (USA), BFA in Dance from Simon Fraser University and Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University.

An award-winning dancer and choreographer, her choreographic work has been presented in many prominent dance festivals including; Canada Dance Festival/Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Dances for a Small Stage, Dancing on the Edge and Dance in Vancouver, commissioned by Mocean Dance (2014, 2016, 2019), and her 2011 self-produced work Taking Your Experience for Mine was described by the Georgia Straight as “hauntingly gorgeous.” Coffin’s research interests include interdisciplinary collaboration, technology as an extension of the body, contact improvisation, and the poetic junction between vulnerability, resiliency, and courage. Her award credits include Nova Scotia Established Artist Award (2018), the Gretchen Moran Teaching Fellowship (Smith College, 2012-2014), Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award (2009), and BC Emerging Dance Artist Award (2005).

About Georgia Skinner

From Halifax NS, Georgia Skinner trained in ballet, contemporary, modern, and hip-hop at Coastal Dance from age three through high school. She graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program in 2014 where she worked with many esteemed artists. Georgia has traveled nationally and internationally for dance training during her years in school, and also attended ImPulsTanz International Dance Festival 2015 in Vienna, Austria for professional development training. She recently worked with Coastal Dance, East Coast Dance Academy, The Woods Hip Hop Company, Mocean Dance, Nostos Collectives Dance Association, as well as in various independent productions.

About Lydia Zimmer

Lydia Zimmer is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts and The Boston Conservatory (BFA). Since returning to her home city of Halifax, Lydia has created several works supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Arts NS. These include Bonne Nuit, presented through Live Art Dance; Embankment, commissioned by Votive Dance; Sonderlings, commissioned by Nostos Dance Collectives, and Sondering, a solo presented by FODAR. Lydia completed a dance residency at Nes Artist Residency in Skagastrond, Iceland, and a choreographic residency in Sofia, Bulgaria at the Derida Dance Centre. This past summer Lydia participated in Banff Centre for Creativity’s Music and Dance Creative Composition Lab. She currently works for Mocean Dance, Nostos Dance Collectives and Votive Dance.

Biographical and event description from Mocean Dance's website. 

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Alex McLean Directs tiny

Past scholarship recipient Alex McLean directs tiny, the multi-media theatre performance co-production with Zuppa Theatre Co. and Eastern Front Theatre, in association with Vertical City Performance and the Glenbow Museum
photo of Alex from Kings Community blog


November 5 to17
Daily 8-9:30 p.m.
2 -3:30 p.m.

Scotia Square Mall
5251 Duke St Suite 1210, Halifax,
at the former NSLC location on the main level of Scotia Square, back of the food court

Wheelchair/powerchair accessible

"People are trying to figure out what the new contract is between a piece of theatre and its audience. What can a piece of theatre be?” Alex McLean once asked on the Kings Community blog, a few years back, but the question remains relevant.  “Theatre is re-inventing itself. It’s happened before with radio and TV, and now with instant access to media that most people have, it is having a huge effect on where people go to get stories and dramatic experiences and how they want to interact with them. 

Keeping with his curiosity, tiny is part theatre performance, part immersive installation, and part museum exhibition that explores the everyday lives of superheroes. In an alternate version of the 20th Century, a group of extraordinary individuals tries to live ordinary lives—and alters the course of history in the process. 

About Alex McLean: 

As Co-artistic Director at Zuppa, Alex McLean has directed and steered the creation of 16 of Zuppa’s shows since 1999. McLean earned his BA (Hons) in Theatre and Contemporary Studies at the University of King’s College, his MA in the Study of Drama at the University of Toronto with additional training at Primus Theatre and Manitoba Double Edge Theatre.  

Alex received his Talent Trust scholarship in 1996. (smile)

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Genius Child: Celebrating Portia White with Cecilia Concerts

Cecilia Concerts presents:
Genius Child: Portia White at Town Hall


November 9
7:30 p.m. 

St. George's Round Church
2222 Brunswick Street in Halifax

In 1944, Truro born contralto Portia White performed her New York City debut at Town Hall, a concert venue with a distinguished history of presenting early twentieth-century African American performers, including soprano Marian Anderson, bass-baritone Paul Robeson, and jazz singer Billie Holiday.

Efforts to support her in this career milestone transformed into the NS Talent Trust in 1944. During the last 75 years we were able to support over 1,000 aspiring Nova Scotian artists to pursue arts training to become professional artists.

This special presentation recreates White's historic NYC concert featuring works by Scarlatti, Schubert, and Brahms as well as spirituals and text by African American poet Langston Hughes. The Grammy Award-winning soprano Harolyn Blackwell is accompanied by prize-winning pianist Daniel Zelibor.

Cecilia Concerts presents this concert in partnership with the Nova Scotia Talent Trust with assistance from the Halifax Ladies' Musical Club and Arts Nova Scotia.

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
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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