Five Finalists Announced for 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award

Halifax, Nova Scotia – The jury for the $25,000 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award has selected five works as the finalists for the 2014 prize. Creators of the five short listed works will receive $3,000 at a reception at Government House. The winner will be announced at the Creative Nova Scotia Gala in late October and will receive an additional $22,000. The public will have an opportunity to hear the creators of this year’s short-listed works talk about their works at an event in September. Details of date and location will be announced at a later time.

The finalists for 2014 are:

‘I am in need of music,’ the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary legacy recording (2013) Soprano: Suzie LeBlanc; Composers: Emily Doolittle, Christos Hatzis, Alasdair MacLean, and John Plant. Nominator: Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia

This work, the brainchild of the Nova Scotian soprano Suzie LeBlanc, is a musical program which commemorates the connection between Great Village, Nova Scotia, and the distinguished American poet Elizabeth Bishop. Ms. LeBlanc commissioned four of Canada’s top composers to set Bishop’s poems for her to sing with The Elizabeth Bishop Players (Dinuk Wijeratne, Conductor) and Blue Engine String Quartet. The program of original compositions was first performed on the occasion of the Bishop centenary celebrations in 2011.

Harmonic Motion (2013) Sculpture/Installation by Toshiko H. MacAdam and Charles MacAdam. Nominator: Sandra Brownlee

This work is an enormous, interactive crocheted play structure commissioned in 2013 and installed in an art gallery in Rome as part of a major Italian contemporary art festival. Its colourful, net-like structure is typical of the productions of the MacAdams. The materials were processed, dyed and hand-crocheted in their Bridgetown, Nova Scotia studio. Harmonic Motion comes alive when one child’s movement within it initiates a chain reaction. Energy is transmitted back and forth from one participant to the next.

The Thundermaker (2013) Multi-media installation, by Alan Syliboy. Nominator: David Diviney

An established Mi’kmaq artist, Syliboy’s artistic vocabulary is inspired by the indigenous petroglyphs of Nova Scotia. His immersive installation The Thundermaker is built around the recently discovered and translated Mi’kmaq legend, “The Stone Canoe,” in which the Thundermaker story is embedded. The installation begins with a circle of text panels illustrated with Syliboy’s drawings, and culminates with a tipi containing a projected animation film of the story. The animation was executed under the artist’s supervision by Nova Scotia Community College Digital Animation students. The artist’s work People of the Dawn was a 2010 Masterworks Finalist.

Responsio (2013) Music by Peter-Anthony Togni. Nominator: Jeff Joudrey

The fifty-minute musical work scored for solo bass clarinet and vocal quartet builds upon a pre-existing composition, Guillaume de Machaut’s 1365 Mass the Messe de Nostre Dame. The composer juxtaposes bursts of bass clarinet improvisation against through-composed vocal material, forming a continuous commentary on the relationship of the individual to the collective. This contemporary recomposition of a work of sacred music serves to contrast modern expressions of free will with the certainty and limitations of the feudal order. Fittingly, the work was performed in St. Bernard Church on the French Shore. The artist’s work Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae was a 2010 Masterworks Finalist.

Refuge (2013) Play by Mary Vingoe. Nominator: Wendy Lill

Incorporating verbatim and fictional text, Refuge tells the emotionally riveting story of a former child soldier from Eritrea who seeks refugee status in Canada, and the people who try to help him. Set partly in Halifax, the action moves backward and forward in time and space. Overall, Refuge evokes the problems faced by refugee claimants in Canada.

Five Canadian artists formed a multidisciplinary jury working at arm’s-length from the Foundation to select the short-listed works. Jury members represented a broad spectrum of artistic disciplines, all highly experienced in their respective fields. Names of the jurors will be made public once the winner is announced in late October. Descriptions and images of the short listed works can be found on the Foundation website:

Established by the Honourable Myra Freeman in 2005, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award recognizes the excellence of a particular work of in dance, media art, literature, music, theatre, visual art and craft, which has made a significant impact in its public presentation, and contributed to the historical development and contemporary practice of the art form. It is sponsored by Scotiabank, Arts Nova Scotia, The Craig Foundation, McInnes Cooper, the Centre for Art Tapes, and individual donors.


For further information including print-quality photos:

Kayleigh Sheehan, Strategic Arts Management (902) 407-8885