Responsible Staff Member

The prize is named for Portia White, a Nova Scotia artist who rose through adversity to achieve international acclaim as a classical singer on the great stages of Europe and North America. Her achievements continue to instill a sense of pride in the African Nova Scotian communities and stand as a model to all Nova Scotians.

The Portia White prize recognizes cultural and artistic excellence on the part of a Nova Scotian artist who has attained professional status, mastery and recognition in their discipline.

Background

This prize is named for Portia White, a Nova Scotian who rose through adversity to achieve international acclaim as a classical singer on the stages of Europe and North America. Although Portia White began her career teaching in Africville, she eventually turned her energy to developing her enormous musical talent. Portia White became a world-renowned contralto through much hard work and dedication and the financial support of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, a charitable organization created in 1944 by the Halifax Ladies Music Club, the music community and the Province. Upon retiring from the stage, Ms. White devoted her time to teaching and coaching young singers. Her achievements continue to instill a sense of pride in the African Nova Scotian community and stand as a model to all Nova Scotians.

Purpose

The Portia White prize recognizes cultural and artistic excellence of a Nova Scotian artist who has attained professional status, mastery and recognition in their discipline over a sustained career.

To enable the province of Nova Scotia to promote excellence in the arts by honouring an outstanding Nova Scotian artist who has made a significant contribution to the province’s cultural life.

The Prize

The primary recipient will receive $18,000 and a certificate of recognition.

A secondary recipient, who is an emerging Nova Scotia artist or a Nova Scotia cultural organization selected by the primary recipient, will receive $7,000 and a certificate of recognition.

How Often is the Prize Awarded?

The prize will be awarded annually, unless the peer assessment committee determines that there is no suitable candidate.

Who is Eligible?

Creative and interpretive artists working in any medium, who either were born in Nova Scotia or who have been resident in the province for at least the past four years, may be nominated. In addition nominees,

  • must have made an impact on the province’s cultural life.
  • must be currently active in their artistic practice.
  • must agree to be nominated.
  • must not have received a Portia White Prize in the past.

How to Nominate an Artist

Eligible nominees must be nominated by three individuals who are all currently residents in the province, or, by a cultural organization or business registered or incorporated in Nova Scotia.

Nominators may make one nomination per year.

Nominators are encouraged to contact the Program Officer when completing this form for consultation and assistance with the nomination process

How are Recipients Chosen?

Arts Nova Scotia assembles a peer assessment committee who collectively possess the following characteristics:

  • knowledge of the culture sector
  • knowledge of arts practices
  • current leadership in cultural development
  • representation of the province’s cultural and geographic diversity

The peer assessment committee will review nominations, considering only the information required on the nomination form, to assess each nominee’s artistic achievement and contribution to Nova Scotia’s cultural life.

The names of committee members will be made available three months after the recipient is announced.

Nomination Submission

Send completed nomination form and support material to:

Portia White Prize

In person/courier: 
Homburg Building 3rd Floor, 1741 Brunswick St. 
Halifax, NS B3J 3X8

By regular mail:
Arts Nova Scotia
PO Box 456
B3J 2R5

Applications can be delivered by hand, courier or sent by regular mail but in all cases, must be either received in the Arts Nova Scotia office by 4:30 PM on the deadline date or be postmarked no later than the deadline date.

Past Recipients

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