News release

Artists Honoured at 2022 Creative Nova Scotia Awards Celebration

The annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards, handed out today, November 10, celebrate excellence in artistic achievement. This year, 11 artists and one organization were honoured with eight major awards.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients. We are truly proud of our local artists for their achievements locally and on the world stage,” said Pat Dunn, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage. “Each of these award winners provide inspiration for future generations of artists and creators to showcase their own exceptional work.”

The $25,000 Portia White Prize was awarded to singer, songwriter and actress Cyndi Cain of North Preston. Ms. Cain is known for her artistic achievements and figures prominently in the musical life of her local community and on the world stage. She was recognized this year with the African Nova Scotian Music Association’s (ANSMA’s) Pioneer Award and is in the process of recording an inspirational gospel album. As part of the award, Ms. Cain received $18,000 and the remaining $7,000 was awarded to her chosen protégé, musician/singer Adina Fraser Marsman.

Raised in North Preston, Ms. Fraser Marsman has been singing gospel with the Fraser family and the Baptist Youth Fellowship of St. Thomas Baptist Church, including with the ANSMA Youth Choir, since childhood. She is a student in the music arts program at Nova Scotia Community College’s Ivany campus.

The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award recognizes excellence in all creative media and highlights works that have a strong connection to Nova Scotia. The $25,000 award went to director Shelley Thompson and producer Terry Greenlaw for their film Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor. It is Ms. Thompson’s first feature film, shot in Nova Scotia in 2020.

The $5,000 Black Artist Recognition Award was presented to Tonya (Sam’Gwan) Paris, a Black, Mi’kmaw and Cree artist from Halifax. Ms. Paris is a traditional beader, quiller and regalia designer.

The Inverness County Centre for the Arts received the $10,000 Creative Community Impact Award for the positive impact it has made on the community through arts and culture.

Sarah Prosper, a dance artist from Eskasoni First Nation, received the $5,000 Indigenous Artist Recognition Award, which recognizes Indigenous artists who have emerged from their initial training and development and are active in the Nova Scotia/Mi’kma’ki arts community.

Storyteller Clara Dugas received the $5,000 Prix Grand-Pré Award, which recognizes artists whose work reflects Acadian cultural values.

Visual artist Frances Dorsey, a textile artist and retired associate professor from NSCAD University living in Halifax, received the $5,000 Established Artist Recognition Award.

Four winners received the $5,000 Emerging Artist Award:

  • Andre Fenton of Halifax is an award-winning African Nova Scotian author, spoken-word artist and arts educator
  • Séamus Gallagher is a visual artist from Halifax who has exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, The Museum of Fine Art in Leipzig and the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland
  • I’thandi Munro is a visual and dance artist from Halifax who uses the representation of line and of lineage as underlying concepts in her fine art, craft and dance
  • Tyshan Wright, originally from Jamaica and now living in Halifax, uses his art to examine the expulsion of the Maroons from Jamaica to Halifax in 1796.


I feel so honoured to have been selected for this award. Textiles are often not regarded that highly in the art world, so this award feels even more meaningful. Frances Dorsey, recipient, Established Artist Recognition Award

Cyndi’s performances haven’t simply entertained, they have made change in her community. They have stood up to racism, and they have challenged audiences to consider the power and excellence of African Nova Scotians. They have inspired young Black artists such as Zamani and Jody Upshaw to strive for excellence within the music community and beyond. Her performances have put her community in the spotlight so that Nova Scotians can see the Black excellence that exists in their home communities. Sarah Miles, nominator, Portia White Prize

Dawn, Her Dad and The Tractor is a masterwork in every sense of the word. The film and its sensitivity to the subject matter represents Thompson’s talent as a filmmaker and it also celebrates the richness of Nova Scotia and the artistic community. 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Jury

Quick Facts:

  • this is the 17th year for the Creative Nova Scotia Awards
  • the awards are presented by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council
  • the awards are worth $100,000 in total

Additional Resources:

Award recipients’ biographies:

Award descriptions:

About the Portia White Prize: