Artists Honoured with Creative Nova Scotia Awards

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Artists Honoured with Creative Nova Scotia Awards

by ahnationtalk on November 26, 202132 Views

November 25, 2021

Nova Scotia’s artists promote expression and creativity, offer new perspectives and help create positive change in our culture. The Creative Nova Scotia Awards celebrate a select few of these artists each year, highlighting their excellence in artistic achievement.

“I am thrilled by this year’s award recipients and wish to offer them all a sincere congratulations,” said Pat Dunn, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage. “The arts play a critical role in Nova Scotia’s rich culture and heritage and are a major component of diverse economic growth in the province. Championing the wide range of artists that we are lucky to have in our province is one way we can show our support.”

The Portia White Prize was awarded to Catherine Anne Martin, an independent, international award-winning film producer and director, writer, facilitator, communications consultant, community activist, teacher, drummer and filmmaker. They are a member of the Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community in Truro and received $18,000 as part of the award. An additional $7,000 was awarded to their chosen protégé, Natalie Gloade. She is the daughter of the late Mi’kmaq activist/ warrior Madeline (Nora) Bernard. Ms. Gloade has created a space for art and healing at her mother’s home to carry on Nora’s inspiration and spirit in her community.

This year 12 artists and one organization are being honoured through seven major awards, including the inaugural Black Artist Recognition Award. The $5,000 prize was awarded to Shauntay Grant, a poet, playwright, author and multimedia artist from Halifax.

Halifax artist-led organization Wonder’neath Art Society received the $10,000 Creative Community Impact Award.

Award winning author and interdisciplinary artist Michelle Sylliboy, who was born in Boston and raised on her traditional L’nuk territory in We’koqmaq, Cape Breton, received the $5,000 Indigenous Artist Recognition Award.

Jacques Blinn, Guyaume Boulianne and Éric Dow, musicians and co-owners of Productions pour le peuple, an entirely Francophone and Acadian music production company from Baie Sainte-Marie, Digby County, received the $5,000 Prix Grand-Pré Award.

Visual artist Zeqirja Rexhepi of Halifax received the $5,000 Established Artist Recognition Award. Originally from Kosovo, where he trained as a visual artist, Mr. Rexhepi immigrated to Canada in 1999. He is well-known for his murals and paintings.

Four winners received the $5,000 Emerging Artist Award:

  • Carrie Allison, Halifax, visual artist
  • India Gailey, Halifax, cellist/composer
  • Francesca Ekwuyasi, Halifax, writer/multidisciplinary artist
  • Dawn Shephard, Sambro, contemporary circus


Many thanks for this honour. Being the recipient of this award has me reflecting on the local Black communities that inspire my creative work, as well as the people who live there, and the incredible history that connects us. Having recently lost my grandmother – North Preston poet and quilt maker Rev. Alfreda Smith – I want to dedicate this award to her memory, and I do so with deep gratitude for all that she taught me, especially the importance of using art as a tool to champion, challenge and know our history. Shauntay Grant, 2021 Black Artist Recognition Award recipient

I would like to take this time to congratulate Catherine Martin and to thank her for choosing me as her protégé. Wela’lin, Catherine. As I listen to Portia White sing Think of Me, it brings me to our own well-known Mi’kmaw educator, mother, sister, daughter, wife and singer – Catherine’s voice is one of power, strength and love. Natalie Gloade, 2021 Portia White Prize Protégé Prize recipient

Quick Facts:

  • this is the 16th year for the Creative Nova Scotia Awards
  • the Creative Nova Scotia Awards are presented by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council
  • the awards are worth $75,000 in total

Additional Resources:

Award recipients’ biographies:

Award descriptions:

About the Portia White Prize:


Media Contact:
Mikaela Etchegary
Cell: 902-229-5671 Email: [email protected]


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