Luciana Fernandes

Luciana received the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award in 2016. She completed her undergrad at Dalhousie University, then relocated to British Columbia to pursue her MFA in directing at UBC.


Luciana returned to Halifax in 2018 to participate in Neptune Theatre’s Chrysalis Project, which provides practical experience and mentorship to emerging theatre artists.

Devin Huang

Devin began playing piano in 2013 at the age of seven, and has won both awards and competitions since then.


He was the 2017 recipient of the first ever Gordon Murray rising Star Award, and one of the winners of the 2017/18 Chebucto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, an honour which gave him the opportunity to perform with the Orchestra in the spring of 2018.

Ian Parsons

Ian received Talent Trust scholarships to pursue studies in dance. He trained at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax, then attended Canada’s National Ballet School.


Ian began teaching ballet after touring with CATS in 2013, and relocated from London, UK back to Canada three years later. 

Charley Young

Born in Alberta, Charley moved to Nova Scotia to pursue her BFA at NSCAD University. She received the Charlotte Wilson-Hammond/Visual Arts Nova Scotia Award and the Lieutenant Governor Award. 


Charley is a practing artist who teaches drawing and printmaking at NSCAD University and Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.

Lee Yuen-Rapati

Lee received the Talent Trust 2011 Canada Games Award in 2017, the year he began the MA Typeface Design program at the University of Reading in the UK, which is considered by many in the design industry as the best in the world. 


He completed his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Design at NSCAD University, where he taught as a guest lecturer for two years prior to beginning his MA.

Shanice Skinner

Shanice, a soprano born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in 2017.


Shanice was Nova Scotia’s alto selection for the 2014 National Youth Choir, and soprano for the 2016 National Youth Choir tour in Alberta. She won the Talent Trust Portia White award in 2016, and received a scholarship in 2018 to continue her voice studies.

Board of Directors and Staff

Erin Sparks, Chair

"Contributing to the vibrancy and strength of Nova Scotia’s cultural scene is my true passion. As a former recipient, the NS Talent Trust was instrumental in helping me to pursue my artistic goals, and it was those invaluable experiences which ultimately led to my path in artist management. I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with the Talent Trust and have the opportunity to help others find their own artistic path."

His Honour, The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, ONS, QC, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Honorary Chair 

“Nova Scotia is fortunate to have the Nova Scotia Talent Trust support the many emerging artists who wish to pursue a professional career in the arts. With the backing of the NSTT, these fledgling artists will soon enrich our lives and contribute to Nova Scotia’s wonderful arts scene. To that end, I am truly honoured and delighted to serve as the Honorary Chair of the NSTT.”

Adrian Hoffman, Past Chair

"I’ve had a long association with the Nova Scotia Talent Trust: as a jury member in the 1980, a founding Board member in the 1990 and as the Chair of the NSTT Board since 2008. It’s a wonderful way of staying in touch with the fine arts in Nova Scotia and a delight to see aspiring artists in all disciplines succeed in realizing their artistic dreams."

Daphne Cruikshanks, Treasurer

"I am inspired by the dedication and enthusiasm of the students who receive the Special Awards and Scholarships."

Leila Kovacevic, Secretary

"Arriving in Canada from a refugee camp my parents would not have been able to finance my ballet classes.

I am and will always be grateful to Elizabeth Leese for the years I studied with her, on full scholarship, which allowed me to be a professional dancer for many years. Serving on the NSTT board is a way of me being able to help others achieve their goals."

Alexis Milligan, Vice Chair

"The Nova Scotia Talent Trust has been an essential part of my life as an artist.  Through three separate scholarships (1996, 1997, 1999) the NSTT supported my studies in the United States, England and Canada in both theatre and dance.  In 2011 I was honoured to be asked to sit on the jury, which I was proudly committed to for the full three year term.  During my time as a jury member I realized I wanted to continue working with this incredible organization.  My hope as a board member is to build a stronger connection with alumni and past recipients, and to raise awareness about The NSTT that will enable future young artists to pursue their dreams, as I did."

Joann Fitzgerald, Development Chair

"The NSTT is a unique organization which really has a wonderful impact on the arts and artists in Nova Scotia.  As an organization, it helps to not only invest in emerging artists, but drives home the need to invest in all our artists across the province. I am very proud to lend my business expertise to help the NSTT grow and continue to support the artists of Nova Scotia and do my small part for my community."

Peter Guildford, Chair 75th Anniversary Committee

“My association with the Nova Scotia Talent Trust began in 1989 when, as part of my work for the Nova Scotia Culture Division, I became Secretary for the NSTT, a position I served in for 14 years. My return to the board in 2014 was an indication that the work of the NSTT never really left my view. I am pleased to once again contribute to its important work.”

George Clarke, Director

"As a musician with two degrees in music I’ve seen first hand the dedication and hard work that drives artists to be the best they can be. I support the Nova Scotia Talent Trust as a Board Member to provide financial support to help our artists achieve their goals."

Charlotte Wilson-Hammond, RCA, Director

"As a long time supporter of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust I still feel as committed, if not more so to the work that is done by the NSTT, to foster and support the incredible talent that we have in Nova Scotia is a joy and to work with our amazing Board and Staff to this end is very gratifying. It feels like we make a difference!"

Linda Hutchison, Director

Breagh MacKinnon, Director

"As a recent recipient, I’m proud to say the Nova Scotia Talent Trust played an important role in supporting me as I finished my Bachelor of Music from St. Francis Xavier University, and embarked on my career as a professional musician. I have seen firsthand the impact that this organization can have on emerging artists. I am honoured to join the board, and look forward to engaging both new artists and NSTT alumni who continue to contribute to the thriving creative community in Nova Scotia."

Kay Stanfield, Director

"The awarding of a Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship in the formative stages of an arts career is a huge confidence builder for each artist, an important financial help, and a catalyst for attracting on-going supporters and enthusiasts."

Cate Weis, Director

"I became aware of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust - its history and its ongoing commitment to artists of all disciplines - through other volunteer positions and was so pleased to be afforded the opportunity to join its Board of Directors.  Supporting the Nova Scotia Talent Trust allows me to contribute to the development of emerging artists in our community, and combines my love of the arts with my enjoyment of youth."

Janice Merritt Flemming, Honorary Lifetime Director

"I was happy to support the NSTT over the years to enable young people to follow their dreams and to gain the experience, knowledge, and confidence needed to succeed."

The Honourable Myra A. Freeman, Honorary Lifetime Director

Timothy C. Matthews, Honorary Lifetime Director

Alexander (Ted) Fraser, Honorary Lifetime Director

(not pictured)

Robert Geraghty, Honorary Lifetime Director

Jacqueline Steudler, Executive Director

"My part-time contract as the Executive Director for the Talent Trust brings me into contact with many emerging artists of all disciplines and colleagues from other cultural organizations. I appreciate the support through our community partners and individual donors. They show us every day that they believe in the arts as a vital factor for our cultural future."


Contact Us

Nova Scotia Talent Trust
P.O. Box 575
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Phone: 902-492-6801 (Executive Director)  (Scholarship Program)

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