Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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

 Introducing the DIGITAL PATHS mentorship pilot program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Nova Scotia Talent Trust
Since 1944, the Talent Trust has provided more than $2 million to over 1,000 Nova Scotians, primarily young people, who have demonstrated talent and potential to become professional artists in theatre, dance, fine craft and design, music, circus arts, media, film, literary, and visual arts. There is no other comparable organization in the country. In 2019, the Talent Trust celebrated its 75th anniversary year featuring former scholarship recipients with a travelling art exhibition, pop-up events in theatre, music, dance, film screenings and more.  

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

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

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Celebrate with us Portia White's 110th Birthday!

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

Internationally recognized in her day and now revered as part of Canadian heritage, Portia White’s legacy is infused with many meanings. For the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, which celebrated 77 years of supporting aspiring artists of all disciplines on May 2, 2021, Portia White represents its catalyst. 

In 1944, members of the Halifax Ladies Club, along with voice teacher Dr. Ernesto Vinci, successfully advocated the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia for unparalleled financial support towards her studies in New York. Portia White ascended to become one of the best singers of the 20th century. The Talent Trust, with the help of the Dalhousie Music in Medicine HEALS Program, supports her legacy through the Portia White Award for a Nova Scotia voice student.

The province recognized the difference their support made in Portia White’s career and founded the Nova Scotia Talent Trust in 1944, to help other deserving and talented Nova Scotians succeed. 

More about Portia White:

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

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

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

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

You can also here Portia White speaking about life in Toronto in 1958 here. And listen to her here: https://youtu.be/Ibk3DZF-CtY

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

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Welcome to the Board Jonathan Wallace Smith Jr.

Our board members play a significant role in executing our vision to support the development of talented Nova Scotians to pursue a professional career in the arts. They dedicate countless hours and support the mission of the Talent Trust with their funds. We're very proud to say that we have a 100% giving Board.

Today, we bid farewell to some of them. We extend our most sincere thanks to these members for their perseverance and the critical level of insight into issues that guide the Talent Trust forward. We will never forget your work. Thank you!

At our Annual General Meeting end of May, we said goodbye to our Treasurer Stephen Bordl. Thank you, Stephen, for two years of fiscal leadership, the execution of our 75th anniversary in 2019 and for steering us through a pandemic. We're glad to know that we'll still be in touch.

Thank you to Natalie Wells for taking on the role of Treasurer. Natalie joined us last year, and we're grateful to her for stepping into her new position. 

We also said farewell to Kay Stanfield. Kay first helped us for two years as a Scholarship Selection Committee member and joined the Board five years ago. She spent many hours fundraising in various ways, opening doors and advocating for our up-and-coming Nova Scotia artists. Thank you, Kay! 

Welcome to our new board member.

We are pleased to announce the newest member of our team, Jonathan Wallace Smith Jr. Wallace, the father of former scholarship recipient Reeny Smith, is eager to help and support our Nova Scotia artists. He knows well what it takes to succeed as an artist. We look forward to incorporating his knowledge and insight and are thankful for his support.

"As the Father of a past recipient of the NSTT scholarship fund, it gives me great delight to become a member of its board. I’m extremely excited to contribute in any way to help cultivate its ongoing commitment to ensure that exceptional talent is not only recognized but supported and that its rich, established history continues to assist our thriving Nova Scotian talent," states Wallace.

Thank you to our board members for their dedication, knowledge, and time.
You can find the full roster of our NSTT board on our website. 

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Amanda Peters: Writers' Trust of Canada Raising Star

Congratulations to former Talent Trust scholarship recipient Amanda Peters for being named one of the Writers' Trust of Canada Raising Stars!

From Amanda:

“I’m honoured and humbled to be chosen to participate in this year’s Writers Trust Rising Stars Program. To be among such talent is very exciting and to get to work with Katherena Vermette, a writer I admire so much, is truly amazing.”

More about Amanda:

Amanda Peters is a mixed-race woman of Mi’kmaq and European ancestry, born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. In 2016, while working full time for her home community of Glooscap First Nation, she completed the Certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. That same year, Amanda was a finalist for the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia Short Fiction Award. 

In 2017, she won the short fiction award for her story Crows. Also, in 2017 the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia awarded Amanda the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship, where she worked with writer and mentor Stephanie Domet.  Amanda was a finalist in 2018 for the Indigenous Voices Award for her short story, “Pejipug.” Also in 2018, Amanda received the RBC Emerging Artist bursary to attend the Emerging Writers Intensive at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 

In 2020, Amanda was awarded the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Amanda is currently enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indians Arts (IAIA) in New Mexico. She has recently been shortlisted for the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for her work of short fiction Waiting for the Long Night Moon. 

Amanda was also selected to participate in the 2021 Writers Trust of Canada Rising Stars Program by Metis poet and novelist, Katherena Vermette. Her short fiction has been published in The Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine and The Alaska Quarterly Review. 

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Meet K.R. Byggdin 2021 Talent Trust Ambassador

You might wonder how the scholarship recipients are coping with the changed study situation. You'll be amazed to see how they continue to train, study, practice, exercise with online courses or self-study programs that they invented for themselves. They are dedicated to their craft.

One of the artists who are training from their home's safety is creative fiction writer K.R. Byggdin. K.R. is our 2021 Talent Trust Ambassador. At this time, they are enrolled as a full-time student at Dalhousie University. K.R. wrote the following about their studying experience during a pandemic and the impact that your support makes.

Here is what K.R. Byggdin told us about the last year and what the Talent Trust scholarship made possible: 

"Studying the arts in the midst of a global pandemic is a unique and, at times, stressful experience. 

My Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship helped ease my financial worries to focus on honing my creative writing
practice entirely. 

The artist’s life can be a lonely one in these socially distanced times, and I appreciate the many ways NSTT supports and spotlights their scholarship recipients. 

These efforts are crucial in reminding artists that we are connected to communities that welcome and celebrate our contributions. 

It’s encouraging to know there are many people out there who want to see emerging artists such as myself succeed.
As a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, I believe it’s so important that every Nova Scotian feels represented and reflected in our province’s arts scene. The NSTT’s scholarship program is one meaningful way we can ensure that artists from a diversity of backgrounds have the chance to share their amazing work with the world for decades to come. 

Thank you again for investing in this vibrant artistic future. I’m grateful for the support of donors like you.


K.R. Byggdin

You can follow K.R. Byggdin create on their Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/krbyggdin or read more about their upcoming writing projects on their website at https://krbyggdin.com/writing/

Please consider to donate to the Talent Trust in 2021. 
All donations are 100% applied to scholarships and named awards.
We will issue tax-deductible donation receipts for all amounts.
You can donate by cheque, e-transferor online with your credit card at nstalenttrust.ca

Want to hear more about the Talent Trust? Please sign up for our newsletter.