Duet

Minister’s Awards for Creative Excellence in the Arts

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has partnered with the arts community to recognize grade 12 students who excel in visual arts, performing arts, film and video, and music.

The four winners will receive scholarships to help them pursue post-secondary studies in the creative arts.
Students can apply to one of the 4 awards:

  • Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Award for Excellence in Visual Arts
  • Award for Excellence in Performing Arts
  • Award for Excellence in Film and Video
  • Charlie A'Court Scholarship for Excellence in Music (CASEM)

Three $1000 scholarships will be granted according to overall merit (not necessarily one each in the categories of visual arts, performing arts, and digital multimedia). CASEM includes a $500 award and a mentorship with musical artist Charlie A'Court.

Music applicants can apply to only one award—either the Charlie A'Court or Performing Arts.

In addition, up to 15 students will be selected as finalists and will each receive $100.

Who can apply

The awards are open to students who:

  • are graduating from a public Nova Scotia high school in 2022
  • have applied or been accepted to an arts-related post-secondary program

How it works

A jury panel will review each application for demonstrated accomplishment. Winners and finalists will be honoured at a celebration in June.

Criteria for selection by the jury panel

Visual Arts

  • Skillful handling of chosen media
  • Technical fluency
  • Pursuit of artistry
  • Innovation, creativity, craftsmanship
  • Visual impact of the works
  • Quality of presentation
  • Variety in submitted artworks
  • Expression of artist's personal world view
  • Three artist statements, no more than 150 words each, that   
    • introduce the artwork (e.g., inspiration/why you created the work, overall vision/intent) 
    • include background and process (e.g., influences, subject matter, materials/methods involved)
    • convey self-reflection (e.g., how it relates to other works, what the work means to you, conclusions/perspectives)   

Performing Arts, Charlie A'Court

  • Technical fluency
  • Artistic expression of musical elements
  • Innovation, creativity, craftsmanship
  • Stage presence
  • Impact of the performance
  • Variety in submitted performances
  • Artist statements
    • Clear articulation of intent
    • How this work informs the artist beyond the performance
    • Self-reflection

Film and Video

  • Technical fluency
  • Shot composition
  • Pursuit of artistry
  • Innovation, creativity, craftsmanship
  • Impact of presentation
  • Quality of presentation
  • Content
  • Variety in submitted artworks
  • Artist statements
    • Clear articulation of intent
    • How this work informs the artist beyond the artwork
    • Self-reflection

How you can apply

Prepare your application

Applications are due by Thursday, April 14, 2022. Your application must include:

  • a letter of reference from a mentor or teacher
  • a cover letter explaining your artistic accomplishments and artistic extracurricular or community involvement
  • a resume 
  • an artist's statement (125 word maximum per statement) to accompany each piece of artistic work
  • artistic works as outlined for the category you are applying to
  • signed consent form

Applications submitted after April 14 may not be considered. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

If the work you submit uses another artist's work or style as inspiration, you should discuss this with your arts teacher to make sure it is appropriate for submission. Works that are heavily borrowed from other artists may not be considered original. All text, images, audio, and video used in submissions must be original material or permission secured from the original artist.

  • For example, to add background music in a video you could access music samples that are free to use. Using other artists' original music violates copyright use.
  • Musicians are able to "cover" other artists' music for their video performances.

Prepare your submissions

All applicants must complete the online application, which can be accessed below.

Visual Arts

Includes ceramics, computer-generated art, graphic design, drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Submit photos/videos of 3 original pieces of art. Save each file with your first and last name and the title of the artwork (for example, "Your Name - Title of Artwork.png")

Still images .png and at least 2 MB each in size. Please use the highest quality setting possible. Avoid light/flash reflections and shadows so that the entire artwork is clear/visible. A maximum of 3 close-up photos showing detail (for each artwork) can also be included. If submitting moving images, they should be provided as as high-quality, original source videos—not compressed in any way.

Performing Arts

Includes performance art forms such as circus, dance, improv, music, spoken word, and theatre.

Submit 3 performances or excerpts in a variety of settings. Clips should be between 1 and 3 minutes long, and at least 1 must be a live performance. Provide your videos as high-quality, original source videos—not compressed in any way.

Film and Video

Includes movement-based works such as animation and video.

Submit 3 works or excerpts between 1 and 4 minutes long. Provide your videos as high-quality, original source videos—not compressed in any way.

Charlie A'Court Scholarship for Excellence in Music (CASEM)

This award is open to musicians.

Submit 3 performances or excerpts in a variety of settings. Clips should be between 1 and 4 minutes long, and at least 1 must be a live performance. Provide your videos as high-quality, original source videos—not compressed in any way.

Apply online

The deadline for submitting completed applications has been extended to Thursday, April 14.

Submissions for all categories—Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Film and Video, and Music—can be uploaded through our online application form:

Apply Now