Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation Promotional Video

Established by the Honourable Myra Freeman in 2005, 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 in the context of national and international achievement.

The Masterworks Arts Award is the largest cultural award based in Nova Scotia, with up to $37,000 awarded annually. The Creators of up to five Finalist works receive $3,000, and the Creator(s) of one Winning work receive an additional $22,000, for a total of $25,000.

The Award is managed by the Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation.

Board of Directors


Ms. Gay Hauser, President Email Gay Hauser

Gay Hauser has worked as an actor, director, designer and general manager administrator in non-profit arts sector for 35 years. Currently a consultant for Strategic Arts Management, Gay has worked as the general manager of Live Art Dance Productions and as a founding member of Eastern Front Theatre and Mulgrave Road Theatre Co. Gay continues to perform annually in Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker and currently serves as the managing producer of the annual event.

Gay has experience in theatre and dance presenting general management including audience development, board development, strategic planning, production budgeting, global budgeting, and multi-year budgeting, financial reporting, audit preparation, bookkeeping, grant writing, CTA contracting, payroll, including T4 and T4A preparation, charitable tax returns, sponsorship relations, special event coordination, donor relations, volunteer relations, customer relations and box office management.

Ms. Rilla Banks, Secretary Email Carolle Fernando

Rilla Banks is an associate lawyer with BOYNECLARKE LLP in Dartmouth, practicing primarily in civil litigation. Before pursuing her career in law, Rilla obtained her Bachelor of Music degree with a major in flute performance. Prior to her appointment to the Masterworks Foundation Board, Rilla participated on the board of the Halifax Music Co-op. Rilla is enthusiastic about maintaining her connection to the thriving arts community in Nova Scotia as a member of the Masterworks board.

Ms. Tara Spurr, CPA, CA, Treasurer Email Carolle Fernando

Tara Spurr is a partner at Lyle Tilley Davidson Chartered Professional Accountants in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tara has a wide range of experience in providing assurance services to many different clients including a number of not for profit organizations. Lyle Tilley Davidson has a long history with the Theatre and Arts community in Nova Scotia including an extensive history with the East Coast Music Awards, Music Nova Scotia and Eastern Front Theatre to name a few. The Firm has also sponsored and supported a number of Arts productions in the Halifax area. Tara is the treasurer of the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis, is on the finance committee of the 1588 Barrington Street Society and volunteers her time with many local charities.



Ms. Laurie Dalton

Dr. Laurie Dalton is Director/Curator of the Acadia University Art Gallery and Adjunct Professor, Dept. of History and Classics, Acadia University.  She brings over 15 years of multi-faceted museum and gallery experience, which includes a successful track record in curating, public programming, collections stewardship, and fiscal planning. This has been further supplemented by over 10 years of academic research and teaching in art history, museums and cultural studies.

She holds a Masters from Queen’s University, and a PhD from Carleton University. Her research is cross-disciplinary with a focus on museums, displays and audience within transnational frameworks.  A core interest for Laurie is the importance of cross-disciplinary initiatives and the central role that the arts can play in this process. She has led research teams and collaborated on projects that champion the transformative role of arts and the importance of interdisciplinary dialogue.

She is active in promoting the importance of the arts in Nova Scotian communities and currently serves on the Art in Public Spaces committee for the town of Wolfville and is a council member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, which is a group that works to  provide advice and leadership to government through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Ms. D’Arcy Dennehy Email D'Arcy Dennehy

D’Arcy Dennehy is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has made her home Halifax for over 35 years and raised three very creative children here, one being a recipient of Nova Scotia Talent Trust Awards.

D’Arcy is a commercial Interior Designer and registered member of the Interior Designers of Nova Scotia. Her career has covered both the private and public sectors. She has run her own design practice, worked within Public Works and Government Services Canada, Halifax Regional Municipality and, most recently, with Fowler Bauld & Mitchell Architecture and Interiors, architects of record for the New Central Library. She is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified professional, a Project Management Professional, and member of PMI (Project Management Institute).

D’Arcy has served the boards of several arts related organizations, including the YMCA, NSCAD, Neptune Theatre, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, particularly in the area of events planning. She is keen to support any initiative that promotes and celebrates the vitality and value that art makers bring to our community.

Mr. Dustin Harvey

I am an artist who works hard to develop projects that speak both to me and others about the beauty found in a shared experience. Over the years I have invited people to slow dance with strangers in disused storefronts, to confess secrets to someone thousands of kilometres away through text message, and to immerse themselves in public locations and busy city streets from Aarhus, Denmark to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. My writing has been published by Canadian Theatre Review (Issues 126, 134, and 158), as well as the chapter entitled ‘Make What You Need’ in the scholarly book ‘In Defence Of Theatre: Aesthetic Practices and Social Interventions’ edited by Dr. Kathleen Gallagher and Dr. Barry Freeman published by University Toronto Press in 2016. In 2016, I was part of a national cohort at the Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity in Alberta called New Fundamentals: Leadership For the Creative Ecology. I am currently a member of ArtsHalifax-an advisory committee to the City of Halifax. I am also on the national advisory board of Canadian Theatre Review. Most of the work I do is collaborative in some way, and connected to XOSECRET (Secret Theatre, Halifax), which is a project-led initiative that focuses on principles of creativity, technology and public space related to new practices emerging within the contemporary theatre milieu. I trained in Theatre at Acadia University in Wolfville, and Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England.

Ms. Ingrid Jenkner Email Ingrid Jenkner

Ingrid Jenkner (B.A. Toronto; M.A. London (Courtauld Institute) has been Director/Curator of Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, since 1994.   She was previously Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina and at Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph.  In addition to her curatorial appointments, Jenkner has taught art history and theory at the universities of Guelph and Regina. She currently teaches Cultural Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, and frequently serves on peer assessment committees of the Canada Council for the Arts and Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage. Prior to her appointment to the Masterworks Foundation Board, Ms. Jenkner has had the honour of nominating a Masterworks Arts Award winner, Breathing Under Water by Glynis Humphrey, and a Masterworks finalist, See Below by Susan Feindel.

Ms. Lena Turofsky

Lena Turofsky graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto. She moved to Halifax in 1978 to play with the Atlantic Symphony. A founding member of Symphony Nova Scotia, Lena is currently Assistant Principal Bass. She plays in the Anne of Green Gables orchestra at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown during the summer months. Lena has been involved in much of the music in Nova Scotia for many years, playing in the Scotia Festival of Music, at Lunenburg Academy, with New Brunswick and PEI Symphonies, Rhapsody Quintet, and more. Lena has also been an educator with her own Bass studio and teaching Bass at the Halifax Regional School Board for 15 years. She was thrilled to organize two job swaps to the Adelaide Symphony in Australia.

Lena is interested in arts management. She was an apprentice at Debut Atlantic under Dean Brinton and is a current volunteer on the Finance committee and Board of Directors of Symphony Nova Scotia. Past board appointments include the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and suddenlyLISTEN music.

Honourary Board Members

Mr. Wayne Boucher, RCA, Visual Artist

Mr. Ronald Bourgeois, Acadian Performing Artist/Television Producer/Arts Advocate

Ms. Judith Campbell, Public Relations and Promotions Consultant

Mrs. Joan Craig, CM, Craig Foundation Trustee, Autism Nova Scotia Founder

The Honourable Myra A. Freeman, CM, ONS,MSM, Former Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia

Mr. Robert E. Geraghty

Mr. Timothy C. Matthews, QC., lawyer

Mr. Gregory Silver, B.Des.,CGD,FGDC, Design Consultant, St. Peter’s, Cape Breton

Past Board Members

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