Responsible Staff Member

The Black Artist Recognition Award recognizes artists who are members of the historical Black communities of Nova Scotia and the wider African Diaspora within the province, who have emerged from their initial training or gained experience to become recognized, established artists amongst their immediate communities and Nova Scotia. Recognizing that well-established talented artists whose work is rooted in community are often overlooked, it is important to stress that institutional training is not a requirement. 
The awards help showcase the recipients’ work to residents of the province and to people beyond our borders. This visibility will encourage artistic and economic well-being for the recipients and contribute to the health of Nova Scotia’s artistic sector in support of a well-rounded community. 

The Artist Recognition Awards are presented annually at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala Funded from the Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund, the award carries a cash value of $5,000.

It is an award of recognition and may be used by the recipient for any purpose

Eligibility Criteria

Artists may be nominated by individuals or organizations. Nominees must have achieved professional recognition, as recognized within their arts discipline(s). Artists in all disciplines are eligible for nomination, including but not limited to Theatre, Dance, Circus Arts, Literary Arts, Music, Visual Arts, New Media, Media, Design and Craft.

The definition of professional is determined by the Status of the Artist Act including but not limited to the following criteria: 

  • To have peer recognition
  • To have a history of public presentation
  • To have training appropriate to the artist's chosen discipline (including self-taught and/or apprenticeship training)
  • To earn income, fully or in part, from artistic activity
  • To demonstrate serious intent and devotion of energy to practicing art

An artist cannot be nominated for both a Black Artist Recognition Award and the Portia White Prize in the same year.

Previous recipients of a Black Artist Recognition Award cannot be nominated for another in the same category.  Previous recipients of the Portia White Prize cannot be nominated for an Artist Recognition Award.

Only one nomination package can be submitted for an artist in a year. 

Nominees must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants and residents of the province for at least the past four years.

Nominator Statement

Applications must include a maximum one-page nominator’s written statement OR five-minute video that describes the nominee’s artistic achievement. Assessors will be looking for excellence in artistic achievement, momentum for the future, professional recognition, and provincial and national recognition. 

Nominee Support Materials

Applications must include a two-page CV or description of artistic practice and applicable training, two expressions of support and examples of the nominee’s work with this form. 

Expressions of support should be from professional colleagues or organizations that speak to the nominee’s artistic achievements, recognition, and progress. They can come in the form of letters, emails, or video/audio. Expressions of support do not count against the samples of work maximums.

Examples of work should be provided to give assessors an overall impression of the nominee’s body of work. 

Below is a list of accepted formats, file sizes and amounts of examples of work. A table of contents and annotations that alert the peer assessment committee to specific aspects of the support materials (e.g. title, size, year, medium).

  Maximum # Submitted Maximum Length/File Size Accepted Formats
Audio 3 samples 15 minutes for all material Soundcloud, YouTube
Video 3 samples 15 minutes for all material YouTube, Vimeo
Still Images 10 images 2MB each .jpg, .tiff, .tif, .png
Print   15 printed pages .pdf

Nomination Assessment

Award recipients are chosen by an interdisciplinary peer assessment committee comprised of Black artists.  Nominators must ensure that their nominees agree that, if they are selected, the support material submitted may be used by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council for promotion of the Artist Recognition Awards.

Applications are assessed on excellence in artistic achievement, momentum for the future, professional recognition, and provincial and national recognition. 

Nomination Submission

Send your nomination to 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 (application forms have a list of required documents in order)
  • 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
  • Send one nomination per email 
  • Subject line should be: "Black Artist Recognition Award Nomination for [Nominee Name]”
  • Keep attachments under 25MB
  • Do not attach large audio or video files; include a streaming link in the body of the email
  • Do not send cloud-based attachments (WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  • 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.

All applications sent to ArtsNS submissions should receive an auto-reply confirmation. If you do not receive confirmation within one week, please contact a program officer. You must contact the program officer within two weeks of the deadline for us to consider your application. Applications will only be considered if there is proof of email being sent by the deadline. 

Past Recipients

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