Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Gina Burgess Album Release!

Congratulations to Gina Burgess who celebrated the release of her new album, "ISNOW" with a performance at the Local Halifax on July 21st!

Gina received Talent Trust scholarships in 1995, 1999, 2000, and 2007 for her incredible Violin music.  She is now an accomplished performer, crafter, yoga instructor and music teacher. She travels all over the world to perform, collaborate, and teach.  Gina has become a sought after soloist and educator across Canada and beyond. Together with the other members of "Gypsophilia", Gina is a 4-time ECMA winner and was also nominated for a Juno for her work with the Iqaluit-based band "The Jerry Cans". 

She has collaborated with many other groups and artists, including Kanye West, Maria Osende Flamenco Co., Shauntay Grant, Dinuk Wijeratne, Erin Costelo, Hey Rosetta!, Joseph Petric, the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, Rich Aucoin, Duane Andrews, NAFAS, Symphony Nova Scotia, Lily Frost, DJ Spooky and Alex Conde.

From Gina: "Without the Talent Trust's support when I was growing up in NS studying classical violin, I wouldn’t be doing what I am now. Ever grateful."

For more about Gina's music releases and performances, visit her website.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Two must-see art shows before July ends!

The province has come alive with art shows, festivals and concerts, and it feels SO good!  There is so much to do and see, but there are two fantastic shows we want to highlight before they are over:

Making it Right - Ice House Gallery

Former Talent Trust scholarship recipient Brandt Eisener is the curator of  The Ice House Gallery in Grace Jollymore Arts Centre.  The Gallery is featuring the show "Making it Right" with works by Louise Pentz and Carole Morrow, with guest potter Karyn Hollasch.  This powerful show explores themes of social justice, capitalism, colonization, discrimination, hurt, healing, and forgiveness.  Each piece makes its own important statement.  

Also part of this show, the piece "Undercover" was created by Louise Pentz and Brandt Eisener and represents the pressure queer men face to hide parts of themselves, preventing them from expressing who they are with the world.  This show will take your breath away and make you look deep within to reflect on the themes explored.  See it before it is over, it ends July 24th!

Contrast to Connection - Tides Contemporary Art Gallery

Anna Syme, a recent Talent Trust scholarship recipient, is the featured Guest Artist at the Tides Contemporary Art Gallery.  Anna's work explores themes of connections, loss, understanding, and growth through interdisciplinary visual art pieces.  

Her current show, "Contrast to Connection" features her most recent art created through the lens of her own personal growth.  This growth was influenced by her year away from home and the resulting change in perspective.  Anna's work is incredible - each time you look at a piece, you will see something new.  This show runs until July 31st, see it while you can!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

"Sharing what I love with the world" - checking in with Maggie Oates-Johnson

Maggie Oates-Johnson won the Talent Trust Robert Jackson award in 2017 and has dazzled everyone ever since with her passion and drive for dance.  The Talent Trust scholarships Mollie has received each year since then
have helped her pursue her dreams at the Alberta Ballet School and develop her incredible talent.  We recently caught up with Maggie to see what she's been up to:

What is your earliest memory of dance?

The earliest memory of dance is when I was four years old, peeping in the studio door watching my sister’s ballet classes, while I am trying to do all the moves in the hallway in my little pink tutu.

What (or who) inspires you? 

What inspires me is seeing the strength and unique talent in each artist, and how they push through all their challenges to achieve their dreams and goals.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date? 

My greatest accomplishment is taking the risk in moving away from home, despite my fears, to pursue my dance dreams at a professional ballet school, and sticking with it even though it is sometimes scary and uncertain. I feel I am now thriving in my ballet school and this was absolutely the best choice for me in order to keep progressing with dance.

What is the most challenging aspect of your art?  What brings you the most joy?

The most challenging aspect of my art is not taking dance obstacles, critique, and rejections personally or defining myself based on them…but instead, using them to learn and grow, while also appreciating all other aspects of my life that make me who I am. The greatest joy with my art is the privilege and honour of performing on stage and sharing what I love with the world.

What is your biggest dream in pursuing your art?

My greatest dream in performing my art is to find my way into a professional dance company that is a good fit for me and where I feel fulfilled.

Thank you to Maggie for taking the time to update us.  We can't wait to see what the future holds for you!


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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Heating up summer with "Smokey Sessions" featuring Breagh Isabel!

This month, Ski Cape Smokey in Cape Breton will be hosting a summer concert series called Smokey SessionsThe concert is scheduled for July 29 and is expected to be the biggest on-stage performance in Ingonish history.  The first of three concerts will have Gordie Sampson and Jimmy Rankin headlining the show, joined by former Talent Trust recipient and current Board Secretary, Breagh Isabel.

Breagh worked with Gordie Sampson at his songwriters' camp in Ingonish in her younger years.  In 2013, Breagh won the CNSLC Emerging Artist Scholarship for jazz piano.  She went on to collaborate with Classified to write and produce the hit "Good News", which was released in 2020 and nominated for 9 ECMA awards in 2021. 

Breagh's music has also made its way onto TV and film soundtracks, including Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 11 which features "See the Sun", co-written with Hunnah and Peter Groenwald.  Her song "SOS", co-written with Margot Todd and Nini Camps can be heard on the Season 2 Premiere of Batwoman.

Her most recent hit single, "Girlfriends" was released in 2021 and won SOCAN's Songwriter of the Year Award in 2021 and Song of the Year at the ECMA's in 2022.  

To experience Breagh's wonderful talent, the concert series in Ingonish is not to be missed!  Get your tickets, enjoy a gondola ride up the mountain, enjoy the beautiful island view, and take in some amazing music by some of Cape Breton's most iconic songwriters.

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