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.

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.

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.

History and Development

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust (NSTT) was established in 1944 principally to assist the career of Truro born contralto, Portia White. Members of the Halifax Ladies Club and voice teacher, Dr. Ernesto Vinci, strongly recommended to the provincial government of the day that, based on her outstanding talent, financial assistance be provided to Ms. White to enable her to pursue a professional singing career. As a result of the support awarded by the NSTT, Ms. White undertook professional training in New York City and went on to an illustrious concert career.

In 1949 the NSTT turned its attention to other gifted Nova Scotians. Since that time the NSTT has assisted the professional development of over nineteen hundred Nova Scotians and has awarded scholarships totaling over 2 million dollars.

The NSTT and the Province of Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust was established through incorporation under the province's Companies Act (in the absence of a Societies Act in 1944). Although created as an autonomous organization, the NSTT's first directors included provincial and municipal government representatives and its initial source of funds was a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia. Since its incorporation the Province has played a vital role in the funding and the administration of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust's activities. For many years the secretariat function was fulfilled by the Department of Education. In 1983, this responsibility was given to the Culture Division, then a part of the Department of Culture, Recreation & Fitness, Tourism, Culture and Heritage and now part of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Beginning in 1983 the NSTT's board was chaired by the Deputy Minister (or their designate) for the Department responsible for Culture and its directors came from Nova Scotia's arts community. The board not only governed the NSTT's operations, but also reviewed applications to select scholarship recipients.

In 1994, the Nova Scotia Talent Trust was restructured to include the Board of Directors and a Scholarship Selection Committee. Since that time the Scholarship Selection Committee, which is comprised of professional Nova Scotian artists and arts educators, has reviewed applications and selected scholarship and special award recipients.

The partnership between government and community allowed the NSTT to direct nearly all of its financial resources to scholarships.

New Directions

In 2002, the Nova Scotia Talent Trust named its first board chair from the community. Mr. Timothy Matthews was elected chair of the Board by the members at the Annual General Meeting in December. The decision had been made earlier in the year to discontinue the practice of having a government representative serve as chair. The NSTT wanted to strengthen the support it received from the community and having an individual from the community as chair better achieved this goal.

The NSTT became fully independent in 2010 when it moved into a new office space in the Maritime Centre.

Over the last ten years the NSTT has been taking steps to increase its profile in the community. For example, it organized performances by young music scholarship recipients at Government House. In 2003 the NSTT produced a festival of artists, called "Tomorrow Today" and in 2005 the NSTT 60+ Gala Concert featuring both current and past scholarship recipients in all artistic disciplines. In June 2011 scholarship recipients, NSTT supporters and Board members were invited to a reception at the Government House. Since 2011 an eNewsletter informs supporters on a regular basis of upcoming events by scholarship recipients.

In 2012 the NSTT was chosen by the 2011 Canada Games Legacy Fund Committee to hold in trust $200,000 to establish two awards in the amount of $10,000 each. The 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Awards are given out annually since 2013. 

We are looking forward to celebrate our 75th Anniversary in 2019 by highlighting former and present scholarship recipients.

Stay tuned for more information. 

Nova Scotia Talent Trust Recipients

Since 1944 the Nova Scotia Talent Trust's scholarship recipients have come from a wide range of media within the disciplines of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, literary arts, and media arts. Recipients have studied in a variety of settings including summer festivals and instructional programs, professional arts training institutions, university training programs, and private instruction. They have undertaken these programs in Canada, the United States, and Europe in settings such as the National Ballet School of Canada, the National Theatre School of Canada, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the McGill University Conservatory.

Many of the recipients have gone on to successful careers in the arts at home and abroad. From the Nova Scotia Talent Trust's first 40 years come names like harpsichordist Gordon Murray, organist John Grew, actor Don Allison, singer/actress Peggy Mahon, painter Jean Edmonds Hancock, photographer Sherman Hines, classical guitarist Dale Kavanagh, French horn player David Parker, soprano Sue Doran, and actress Sarah Orenstein.  

More recently, artists have included dancer Ruth Ellen Kroll Jackson, soprano Jane Archibald, actor Anne Marie Woods, poet Maureen Hull, cellist Denise Djokic, and visual artist Colleen Wolstenholme.


© 2018 Nova Scotia Talent Trust. All rights reserved. Charitable Reg. 88948 3392 RR0001

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