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 your application to artsnssubmissions@novascotia.ca according to the instructions below. You can watch our YouTube tutorial Submitting Your Application Over Email for more detailed instructions.

Before Sending Your Email

  • Include your name on all files
  • Number your files in the order they should be opened
  • Ensure your page limits and file sizes are in line with the program guidelines
  • Upload large audio and video files to a streaming service such as YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud

When Submitting

  • Address your email to artsnssubmissions@novascotia.ca
  • Send one application per email 
  • Subject line should be: “Your Name – Program Name – Category”
  • Keep attachments under 25MB
  • Do not attach large audio or video files; include a streaming link in the body of the email
  • Do not duplicate your application; do not send an additional hard copy

Only submissions will be accepted to this email address. Please direct all questions to the program officer. 

If you are unable to submit by email please contact the program officer.

Past Recipients

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