Wednesday, April 27, 2022

India Gailey Album Release: to you through


Cellist, composer, improviser, and former Talent Trust scholarship recipient, India Gailey, is releasing a new solo cello album called to you through on Redshift Records on May 13. It features works by Fjóla Evans, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Yaz Lancaster, and Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti. 

The album can be pre-ordered here. 

And there is a release concert on May 13, 8pm at St. George's Round Church.  

Tickets for that are available here.

About India (from her website):

India Yeshe Gailey (she/they) is an American Canadian cellist, composer, and improviser currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Pinned as “a young musician to watch” (Scotia Festival), she draws from many eras and genres to craft poetic narratives of sound, most often performing in the realms of classical and experimental music. She frequently works with living composers, musicians outside of the Western Classical tradition, and the intersection of standard and obscure. She has toured across Canada, The United States, and Germany as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborator. India is also a member of the award-winning environmental quartet New Hermitage, which recently released their fifth recording, Unearth, to critical acclaim. 

India recently completed her Master of Music degree at McGill’s Schulich School of Music under the tutelage of Matt Haimovitz. Since then, she has worked with several much-admired composers of our time, including Philip Glass, Yaz Lancaster, Amy Brandon, Michael Harrison, Anne Lanzilotti, Nicole Lizée, and Andrew Noseworthy. India’s most recent work has been presented by organizations such as the Canadian Music Centre (TO), Government House (NS), International Contemporary Ensemble (NY), Metropolis Ensemble (NY), and Upstream Music (NS). India released her debut album, Lucid, a collaboration with three other emerging Canadian composers, in 2017. 2022 will bring the release of her new solo cello album to you through on Redshift Records, a recording of Lizée’s “Bookburners,” ft. NYC-based turntablist DJ P-Love, as well as a series of commissioned works written especially for India by Canadian composers. 

India holds numerous honours, including awards from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, the Canada Council for the Arts, Acadia University, and McGill University. In 2021, she was bestowed an “Emerging Artist Recognition Award” from Arts Nova Scotia. Venues at which she has performed or held residencies include the Canadian Music Centre, Domaine Forget, Garth Newel Music Center, Green Lake Festival, Halifax Jazz Festival, OBEY Convention, Open Waters Festival, Scotia Festival of Music, Tuckamore Festival, and other various halls, galleries, homes, bars, gardens, and castles. She can also be heard regularly on CBC and CKDU radio stations. 

India received her Bachelor of Music degree from Acadia University, where she studied with Norman Adams and Christoph Both. Over the years, she has played in masterclasses for renowned cellists such as Emmanuelle Bertrand, Colin Carr, Denise Djokic, Blair Lofgren, Antonio Lysy, Philippe Müller, and Shauna Rolston. Chamber music mentors include Denise Lupien, Ilya Poletaev, members of the Daedalus, Kronos, and Shanghai string quartets, Garth Newel Piano Quartet, Apple Hill Chamber Players, and Gryphon Trio. She studied improvisation with Jerry Granelli and Javanese Gamelan with Ken Shorley. 

As a composer, India is inspired by interdisciplinary interaction, and her compositions often explore environmentalism, magical realism, or minimalism. In addition to her musical studies, she has studied visual art at NSCAD University, and as a child studied ballet and contemporary dance, these other disciplines informing her compositional work. She has written music for Ear Camera, Keep Good (Theatre) Company, The Acadia Gamelan Ensemble, New Hermitage, and for various combos of musicians and dancers. She is currently working on a new body of work for solo cello. When not creating music, India enjoys making visual art, writing poetry, facilitating social meditation, and being with the trees, rocks, sky, and earth.

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, April 20, 2022

Talent Trust Scholarships: Frequently Asked Questions

Scholarships — Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I know if I'm eligible for a Talent Trust scholarship? 

Visit our Eligibility page for the list of criteria.

What kind of study programs does the Talent Trust support?

  • University arts programs
  • College arts programs (like NSCC)
  • Programs in film, dance, theatre, music, literary arts, visual arts, or circus arts offered by private institutions
  • Private studies with one teacher
  • Summer classes in the arts
  • Summer festival study opportunities
  • Mentorships
  • Artist residencies
  • If you’re considering a study program not on this list, please let us know so we can assess its eligibility. 
    (We don’t fund the Verbier Music Festival Orchestra summer placement because it is free.)

Do you support arts teacher training?  

No. We don’t provide scholarships for teacher training programs. 

Do you support art therapy training?

No. We don’t provide scholarships for art therapy training programs. 

Do the application requirements change from year to year?

Possibly. We regularly review our application requirements, so they could change from one year to the next.

Tip: Review the General Application Guidelines and support material requirements for your discipline before you begin your application. You can find all updated files at

I study with a private teacher. What do I need for my application? 

Collect all the information required in the General Application Guidelines (page 2). See our General Application Guidelines for details.

Combine all the information from your teacher in one PDF file before adding it to your application. 

Late submissions of private teacher information will not be accepted. 

Tip: Get in touch with your teacher at least a month before the deadline. 

What browser should I use to submit my application?
Our system is built to work best with Chrome. Note: Microsoft's Internet Explorer is out of date and will not work with our system.

How long does it take to complete the online application?
According to our latest survey, plan on spending an hour or more to complete the application process. If you have all your information before you begin, you may be able to shorten that time.

Tip: Plan ahead. Carefully review all the application and support material requirements before you begin.

Do I have to complete the application at once? Can I start today and finish it tomorrow? 

The system is able to save everything so you can work on your application a little at a time. 

Tip 1: Use Chrome as your browser for best results. 

Tip 2: If you have any technical problems let us know right away.

How much can I ask for in my Budget?

Our scholarships are between $800 - $4000. You can only ask for a portion of your study expenses.

How many video links can I attach to my application?  

One video link. Combine your videos into one file. Your video index needs to indicate at what time each piece starts and ends, e.g.  introduction 0:00 – 0:32, first music piece title 0:32 – 2:58 etc

Tip: In addition to the video index in your application, add the start time of each piece in the video information section on YouTube. Don't change the video link until the end of the application year.

I don’t want anyone to see my application video. What can I do? 

On YouTube you can set the video to unlisted. Only people with the link can see it. Do not make the video private. If you do, we won’t be able to view it. 

I’m a visual artist. Can I upload separate images of my work? 

No. You need to upload a portfolio in PDF format containing all your images and the information of each image. 

Use high quality photos (no large files); no frames should show (crop if necessary), only your artwork is important

Your images should be 72 dpi for your digital portfolio (300 dpi is only required for printing)

Each page should contain a single image of your work and its description (10 images = 10 pages)

Keep it simple! (maximum file size is 8 MB)

What happens after I submit my application?  

Our staff will look through your application to make sure all required files are attached and your links work. If we see anything that could be improved, we’ll send you an email and ask you to send an updated version by email.

When your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation email that also contains the date when you will be contacted with your application results. 

Be patient: our staff will get in touch with you as soon as possible. 

Tip: The earlier you apply, the more time you will have to improve your application. 

I made a mistake in my application and only noticed after I pressed submit. What can I do? 

Email our staff at scholarship(at) and let us know right away. We can adjust your application for you. 

Do not try to update your application yourself! The system will create duplicates which will make it difficult for us to know which version is the correct one. 

Start your application process early so you have enough time to thoroughly review it. 

Save your application and read through it a day or two later to catch any small errors. Then submit it.

COVID-19 adjustments in 2022

Given the importance of maintaining social/physical distancing, and possible self-isolation for some, we understand that meeting some of the application requirements for the Spring/Summer scholarship deadline will not be possible. For example, it may not be possible to record your videos in a studio/theatre or to have someone accompany you for your piece. 

Please know we will be understanding of these limitations and will welcome modifications (filming in your living room, solo performances rather than being accompanied, etc.). Please do your best to meet the requirements that are within your control. (side note: Always hold your camera horizontal so that the Scholarship Selection Committee members can see you fully.)

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)

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Meet Spencer MacKay, 2022 Nova Scotia Talent Trust Ambassador

We are thrilled to announce Spencer MacKay is this year's Ambassador. Spencer received a Talent Trust Film scholarship as well as the Sheila S. MacKenzie award in 2021.  He is already an accomplished and promising film director, with many exciting projects in the works.  You can follow Spencer's work here.

Spencer describes how the support of the Talent Trust, as well as the inspiration from his grandfather, has impacted his journey as an artist:  

I am incredibly honoured to have been recognized as the 2022 Ambassador for the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Since graduating the NSCC Screen Arts program in 2018, I’ve been working as a local writer, director and film producer in Halifax. In the years since graduating, my films have fortunately found success and awards on the festival circuit, I’ve been lucky enough to receive national coverage when CTV National News across Canada took notice of my film, Same Nightmare, and discussed it with me on the air, and I’ve also participated in fifty-six-hour film challenges as well to further challenge myself as an emerging young artist.

Like it has been for a lot of people, this pandemic has been a challenge for me both personally and artistically. On an artistic level, it’s forced me to be more methodical and realistic with the choices I make because there’s so many health and safety factors to consider now that weren’t there three years ago. On a personal level, I lost my grandfather last spring following a stroke he had, and given how close the two of us, it was a very challenging loss to process.

We were so close that to me he was my father figure that I’d look to growing up (I never knew my biological father growing up). Just like I am, my grandfather was very passionate about the arts and was a producer and director of theatrical productions himself. Watching him all through growing up, I quickly learned how to take what I was seeing from my grandfather and apply it all to film productions instead of stage productions (though I do still have a great love and appreciation for the theatrical side of the arts as well).

My grandfather was a hero and a role model for me all through growing up, and especially as a person with a disability in a mobile wheelchair, being able to watch him all through growing up and see that he never let his MS take away his ability to live, was a really great example for me to have. My grandfather passed on March 5th 2021, following a two week stay in the hospital, and as he was in the hospital, I was actually finishing my application for the scholarships deadline. In fact, I’ll never forget that the last conversation we ever had on the phone was me telling him that I was working on that very application. I had never received any kind of financial support as an artist before and so this was a really big deal for both him and I.

When he passed away, I was devastated, and even now as I sit writing this letter for you, I’m sitting with this deep lump in my throat over how much I miss him. I have to be honest and say that I was in a pretty dark place grieving in the weeks that followed his passing, but the thing is, my grandfather never wanted to be mourned or grieved. Instead, he wanted to be celebrated and honoured. He really hated the idea that the family would put their lives on hold for him (he never wanted to be a burden to anyone). The only real way for the family to do that was to go on doing what he knew they loved doing the most, and when I received word back that I had received the Talent Trust’s support for my mentorship and project (which is entitled Scouter Joe ), it gave me a reason to do that and through that, I wasn’t just continuing to do what I loved the most, but also what he loved the most.

One of the things that my grandfather was particularly known for in the town of Amherst, Nova Scotia, was founding the non-profit organization, Showcase Productions. My grandfather believed very strongly in investing in both, the youth, and the arts, so he set up an organization just like the Talent Trust that would raise money to give young people (specifically in the Cumberland County area) scholarships and bursaries to study the arts in a post-secondary education. My grandfather believed that everyone should have access to study the arts (if they wished) regardless of their financial circumstances and worked to bridge the gap for so many young people whose lives were transformed as a result of the work that organizations like both his and the Talent Trust do on regular basis. If he was still around today, I think he’d be really happy to see that his own grandson was supported in the exact same way by another organization, as he had supported so many others with his organization.

I think that having the Talent Trust’s support to pursue the mentorship and Scouter Joe project was instrumental in me processing my grief over my grandfather’s loss because it gave me something to wake up and be excited about doing while also bringing me closer to him in a way because it allowed me to do something that he also would’ve loved doing with me. It wasn’t just on a personal level that their support helped with, it was also on an artistic level too. Having the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s support to pursue the mentorship and project was instrumental in my artistic development because it helped pave the way for me to receive support from other organizations too. Thanks to the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s support and the mentorship that was supported as well, they showed me what made grant applications strong and what made grant applications weak. Thanks to the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s support, I was also able to show other organizations that I had experience with managing money on a film production budget.

In the last twelve months alone since receiving the first support I’d ever receive as an artist with the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, I’ve gone on to receive a grant from Arts Nova Scotia, AFCOOP’s “Independent Filmmakers Grant”, the “Won Lee Fellowship” Award from Tangled Art + Disability in Toronto, Canada, and my first ever grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Not to mention the “The Shelagh Mackenzie Award” from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, which single-handily funded a micro-budget passion project that I’ve been trying to make since 2019 and was finally able to direct in January of this year. I can honestly say that my life has changed for the better because I’ve had the support of the Talent Trust. I can also say with certainty that I know I wouldn’t be the only recipient who could say that statement either.

To anyone reading this who has helped support me from within the organization, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and to anyone reading this in general, please continue supporting the artists of tomorrow, because they need you, what you do matters, and the decisions you make are what changes these artists’ lives."


Spencer MacKay