News release

2003 Portia White Prize Nominations Now Being Accepted

TOURISM/CULTURE--2003 Portia White Prize Nominations Now Being Accepted


Members and supporters of the province's arts community have until Oct. 15 to nominate outstanding Nova Scotia artists for the 2003 Portia White Prize.

Established in 1996, the prize promotes excellence in the arts by honouring artists who have made significant contributions to the province's cultural life. The prize is awarded to a Nova Scotia artist who has excelled in the arts and has attained professional status and recognition. Past Portia White Prize winners include George Elliott Clarke, Georg Tintner, Gary Neill Kennedy, Alistair MacLeod and Sylvia Hamilton.

"The Portia White Prize is the province's most prestigious cultural award and is recognized as one of Canada's major awards in the arts," said Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism and Culture. "We encourage all artists and arts supporters to nominate those remarkable Nova Scotia artists who are worthy of this distinction."

The recipient will receive a cash prize of $18,000 and will be asked to name a secondary recipient who will receive a cash prize of $7,000. The secondary recipient must be an emerging Nova Scotia artist or a Nova Scotia cultural organization.

To be eligible, the nominee must be an established artist, either born in Nova Scotia or a resident in the province for at least the past four years. Nominated artists must have had a significant impact on the province's cultural life and must be currently active in their art practice. Nominees must also agree to be nominated.

All nominations are reviewed by the prize selection committee, which will be composed of five members of the arts community. Committee members must be current leaders in cultural development and representative of the province's cultural and geographic diversity. They must also understand the culture sector and arts practices. The names of the selection committee members will be made public at the time of the prize presentation.

This prize, the largest of its kind awarded by the province of Nova Scotia, is named for Portia White, a Nova Scotia artist who rose through adversity to achieve international acclaim as a classical singer on the stages of Europe and North America. Ms. White was born in Truro in 1911, the daughter of a Baptist minister and one of 13 children. Having started as a school teacher in Africville, she soon turned her energies to her own musical development. Through hard work and dedication, and with financial support from the province and the community, Ms. White became a world-renowned contralto.

After retiring from the stage, and until her death in 1968, Ms. White devoted her time to teaching and coaching young singers. Her achievements continue to instil a sense of pride in the African Nova Scotian community and stand as a model to all Nova Scotians.

For more information or to obtain a nomination form contact the Department of Tourism and Culture, culture division at 902-424- 5929, or e-mail . Forms can also be found on the department's Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nominations for the 2003 Portia White Prize are now being accepted.

The 25-thousand dollar prize, awarded by the province of Nova Scotia, promotes excellence in the arts. Past recipients include George Elliott Clarke, Georg Tintner, Gary Neill Kennedy, Alistair MacLeod and Sylvia Hamilton.

The prize is named in honour of Portia White, the great Nova Scotia classical singer who achieved international acclaim.

The deadline for nominations is October 15th.

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Contact:

Pauline Garry
Tourism and Culture 902-424-5929 E-mail:
kjd            June 27, 2003       10:55 A.M.