Marc Djokic

Marc began his violin studies at the age of six with his father, violinist Philippe Djokic. He has been the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Kiwanis Festival of Music Rose Bowl Prize, the Hudson Community Scholarship, the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Scholarship Award, and several NSTT Awards, including the prestigious Raymond Simpson Award, and the Lieutenant Governor's Award.

Simon Shaw

Simon Shaw graduated with many awards and honours, including four Talent Trust scholarships, in the spring of 2007 from the Newark and Sherwood School of Violin Making and Repair, Newark, England. This institution is one of the foremost violin making schools in the world. Simon is now a professional luthier practicing in Halifax.

Natalie Alcorn

It is amazing to know that there are so many wonderful people who invest so much time and effort because they truly care about the successful development of our futures as artists. I am so thankful to have such support from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust- it is incredibly encouraging and helpful on so many levels.

Denise Djokic

Cellist Denise Djokic is one of the most exciting talents of her generation and has thrilled audiences worldwide with the youthful vigour, confidence and passion of her playing.

Marielle Groven

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust has supported me every step of the way, from my earliest beginnings in the study of music to my current pursuit of a master's degree in music composition at McGill. Thanks to their generous support, I have been given the means to realize my dream of making a career in music as a composer and arranger of music. For this, I am deeply grateful.


HALIFAX, NS - The Nova Scotia Talent Trust (NSTT) will recognize the 2014 Scholarship and Special Award recipients at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16th at Alderney Landing Theatre in a ceremony attended by Their Honours Brigadier-General the Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, and Mrs. Joan Grant.

Created to support the career of contralto Portia White 70 years ago, the NSTT has continued to support emerging Nova Scotian artists as they pursue their studies toward establishing professional careers in the arts.

One such gifted artist is Bedford violinist Heemin Choi, who will receive the $1,500 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement, the NSTT’s highest honour for a student in any discipline.  Choi is currently finishing his final year at Dalhousie University where he is studying for his Bachelor of Music degree. 

Presented for the first time in 2013, the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Awards, valued at $10,000 each, will be awarded to any recipient, regardless of age, from any artistic discipline, who best exemplifies the qualities embraced by the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, that of the utmost commitment, promise, exceptional technique, talent and the highest achievement of excellence, someone who demonstrates the passion and drive to become a professional Nova Scotia artist in their field of discipline.  These two awards will be awarded every December until 2022 and are the legacy of the 2011 Canada Games Young Artists of Excellence Program.  

The two $10,000 awards in 2014 will be received by Canningchoreographer and dancer Aliah Schwartz and composerLucas Oickle from Lower Branch.  

Aliah Schwartz (Canning) is currently in her first year studying dance and choreography at Concordia University in Montreal.  

Lucas Oickle (Lower Branch) spent part of the summer in West Java, Indonesia studying gamelan music with musician Ade Suparman before returning to UBC to study for his Masters of Music and Composition.

The other Special Award recipients, each of whom demonstrates exceptional potential to become professional artists, are listed below:

Visual artist Matthis Grunsky (Halifax) is the recipient of the$1,000 Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/Visual Arts Nova Scotia Award and is currently studying at the Master of Applied Arts Resident Program at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC. (Award supported by the Wilson-Hammond family and by Visual Arts Nova Scotia.)

Singer Brittany Cann (Halifax) is the recipient of the$1,500 Portia White Award for voice and is currently in her final year studying for her Bachelor of Music degree at Dalhousie University.  (Award sponsored by the Music-in-Medicine and Humanities-HEALS Program, Dalhousie University.)

Dancer Chloe Hart (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,500 Robert George Jackson Award for dance and is studying dance with École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal. (Award supported by the Jackson family.)

Writer Pearl Chan (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,500 RBC Emerging Artist Award for literary arts and is currently finishing her final year of a Bachelor of Arts degree from University Of King’s College and Dalhousie University. (Awarded sponsored by RBC Emerging Artist Fund.)

Music theatre actor Robyn Harrison (Truro) is the recipient of the $1,000 Theatre Nova Scotia Award for theatre and is currently finishing her final year in the Music Theatre Performance BBA program at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, ON. (Award supported by Theatre Nova Scotia.)

Flautist Claire Ahern (Dartmouth) is the recipient of the$1,000 Raymond Simpson Award for music and is currently studying for her Bachelor of Music degree at Dalhousie University. (Award supported by the Simpson family.)

Oboeist Julia Millett (Lunenburg) is the recipient of the$750 Kenneth Elloway Award for classical performance and is currently studying for her Bachelor of Music degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. (Award supported by the Elloway family.) 

Ballet dancer Erin Atkinson (Amherst) is the recipient of the $1,000 Janice Merritt Flemming Award and is currently studying ballet at the Royal Winnipeg School of Ballet. (Award supported by the Flemming family.)

Singer and songwriter Andrew Machum (Halifax) is the recipient of the $1,000 Chico Berardi Award and is currently in his first year studying for his Bachelor of Music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. (Award sponsored by Music Nova Scotia.)

Classical pianist Emily MacDonald (Bedford) is the recipient of the $1,000 Tietje Zonneveld Award and she is studying for her Masters of Music (Piano Performance) degree at the University of Ottawa.

Filmmaker Sam Decoste (Halifax) is the recipient of the$1,000 Shelagh Mackenzie Award and is currently in the final year of her Master of Fine Arts in Film Animation and Media Studies at NSCAD University.

In addition to the Special Awards announced today, the Nova Scotia Talent Trust gave out scholarships to 51 recipients earlier this year.  The NSTT’s scholarship application deadline date for Spring/Summer study is March 1, 2015 and for Fall/Winter study it is May 1, 2015. 

The NSTT is supported by the 2011 Canada Games Legacy Fund, RBC Foundation, Music Nova Scotia, Visual Arts Nova Scotia, Theatre Nova Scotia, Debut Atlantic, immediaC, the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council,, NSTT Foundation, Dalhousie Music in Medicine HEALS Program, Alderney Landing Theatre, Support4Culture, Halifax Municipality, Business for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, 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.
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A list of complete Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship recipients for 2014 you can find below.

Media Contact: Jacqueline Steudler, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Talent Trust
P. O. Box 575
Halifax  NS  B3J 2R7
(902) 492 6801



List of the 2014 NSTT Scholarship and Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship Recipients


  • Shona Duggan, Stellarton
  • Jaeda Alders-Pearl, Coldbrook
  • Dominique D’Arnall, Mineville
  • Andris Kundzins, Hubley
  • Gabrielle Murray,New Glasgow
  • Hilary Knee, Halifax

- Modern/Choreography

  • Aliah Schwartz, Canning

- Modern/Contemporary

  • Brian William Ross, Halifax
  • Chloe Hart, Halifax

- Flamenco

  • Francesca Nardi, Halifax

- Keyboard - Piano

  • Willem Blois, Halifax
  • LaLa Lee, Halifax
  • Kathryn Wagner, Lunenburg
  • Lucas Porter, Port Williams
  • Julia Morrison, Halifax
  • Emily MacDonald, Bedford
  • Ria Kim, Halifax
  • Pierre Riley, Antigonish

- Strings - Double Bass

  • Peter Bull, Halifax

- Strings - Violin

  • Heemin Choi, Hammonds Plains

- Voice - Opera

  • Marcel d’Entremont, Merigomish
  • Brittany Cann, Halifax
  • Rita Wood, Dartmouth
  • Benjamin Shaw, Halifax
  • Patrick Simms, Cole Harbour
  • Jodie Alcorn, New Glasgow

- Voice - Contemporary

  • Andrew Machum, Halifax

- Brass - Euphonium

  • Claire Amiro, Dartmouth

- Woodwinds - Flute

  • Claire Ahern, Dartmouth
  • Emery Van de Wiel, Antigonish


  • Lucas Oickle, Lower Branch

-Jazz Composition/Bass

  • John Janigan-Mills, Mahone Bay


  • Rachel Hastings, Hammonds Plains
  • Katerina Bakolias, Halifax

- Music Theatre

  • Robyn Harrison, Truro
  • Tia Andriani, Dartmouth
  • Katherine Norris, Dartmouth

Film/Media Arts 
- Animation

  • Gwyneth Christoffel, Halifax
  • Sam Decoste, Halifax

Visual/Fine Arts 
- Interdisciplinary

  • Matthis Grunsky, Halifax

- Ceramics

  • Susan McKinnon, Halifax

Literary Arts
- Prose

  • Pearl Chan, Halifax
  • Elisabeth (Lis) van Berkel, Canning

- Fiction/Poetry

  • David Flemming, Dartmouth

- Poetry

  • Andrew Patterson, Halifax
  • Clay Everest, Halifax

Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship Recipients


  • Julia Millett, Lunenburg
  • Andrew Son, Halifax
  • Lilith Richter-Stephenson, Dartmouth

Visual Arts: 

  • Cameron Roberts, Halifax


  • Erin Atkinson, Amherst


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