In a ceremony on November 3, ten artists and one organization were presented with a share of $75,000 in prizes at this year’s Creative Nova Scotia Awards. Now in its 18th year, the awards, presented by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, recognize excellence in artistic achievement across the province.
The $25,000 Portia White Prize was awarded to Juanita Peters, an actor, journalist, news anchor, playwright and film and theatre director. The executive director of the Africville Museum in Halifax, Peters is a founding member of Women in Film and Television Atlantic, as well as a founding member of the Atlantic Canada multicultural festival, Nova MultiFest. Her latest film, 8:37 Rebirth, has received multiple awards.
Peters received $18,000, and the remaining $7,000 was awarded to her chosen protégé, Andre Fenton, an award-winning African Nova Scotian author, spoken-word artist and arts educator.
Additional awards included the $5,000 Black Artist Recognition Award, presented to Jah’Mila, a reggae singer from Kingston, Jamaica, now based in Atlantic Canada. The African Nova Scotian Music Association received the $10,000 Creative Community Impact Award for the positive impact it has made on the African Nova Scotian community through arts and culture.
This year’s Indigenous Artist Recognition Award of $5,000 went to Nancy Oakley, a visual and craft artist from Eskasoni First Nation, and musician P’tit Belliveau received the $5,000 Prix Grand-Pré Award, which recognizes artists whose work reflects Acadian cultural values and demonstrates excellence and originality.
Halifax-based actor, director, singer, writer, musical director and composer-lyricist Garry Williams and poet, playwright, oral storyteller, singer and podcaster shalan joudry received the $5,000 Established Artist Recognition Award.
In addition, Halifax digital multimedia and video performance artist Marissa Sean Cruz, dancer and choreographer Lydia Zimmer and actor, director, writer and producer Koumbie all received the $5,000 Emerging Artist Award.
“Nova Scotia is known for its artistic and musical talents, and the presentation of these awards every year showcases artists’ exceptional talent and work,” says Allan MacMaster, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, in a media release. “Congratulations to all award recipients for your success and achievements locally and on the world stage. Your recognition is well deserved.”