Three Finalists Announced for 2017 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Three works have been selected as the Finalists for the 2017 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. Now in its 12th year, the Award remains the largest annual award to any work of art in Nova Scotia.

As well as receiving a $3,000 prize for being short-listed, the Creators are also in the running for the $22,000 grand prize that will be announced at the Creative Nova Scotia Gala in November. The public is invited to celebrate the Finalist works at a panel discussion to be held at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on September 18th, 2017.

This year, five Nova Scotian artists formed a multidisciplinary jury working at arm’s-length from the Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards 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 the fall. Descriptions of the Finalists can be found below or 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 art or design from any media. These works have made a significant impact through their public presentation and have contributed to the historical development and contemporary practice of the art form.

The Award is generously sponsored by Scotiabank, Arts Nova Scotia, The Craig Foundation, McInnes Cooper, and individual donors.

For further information, including print-quality photos, contact:

Kayleigh Sheehan
Strategic Arts Management,

2017 Finalists for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award


The Deception of Livvy Higgs

Creator: Donna Morrissey (writer). Nominator: Diane Turbide.

The Deception of Livvy Higgs is “well-written, poetic, lyrical,” exclaims the Jury.

Raised in Newfoundland and now living in Nova Scotia, Donna Morrissey has written five well-received novels. This one is narrated in the first person by an elderly woman who struggles to keep her troubled past from intruding into the present. The story, set partly in World War II-era Halifax, slips seamlessly between the past and the present, with the “disturbing intimacy of a séance.” The story has been described as “haunting…in its portrait of two unforgettable women—Livvy and Gen—whose fates are entwined by a violent act.”


Polyphonic Lively

Creator: Dinuk Wijeratne (composer). Nominator: Christos Hatzis.

The Jury knew the power and complexity of Polyphonic Lively when they heard it. Polyphonic Lively “is terrific in a visceral way.”

This 13-minute large ensemble composition was commissioned by Symphony Nova Scotia to open the orchestra’s 2016-17 season. Wijeratne is “masterful in his art,” integrating an array of multicultural influences, and his incorporation of North-Indian tabla chakradhar rhythms is particularly ingenious. The piece was rapturously received by Nova Scotian audiences upon its world premiere, and praised again at the Newfound Music Festival at Memorial University. The Sri-Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne lives in Nova Scotia, and is the Creator of three previous Masterworks Finalists.



Creators: Ashley McKenzie (director) and Nelson MacDonald (producer). Nominator: Cory Bowles.

The Jury praised the “dark, sparse, and harsh,” aesthetic of Werewolf, and the talent of its director.

The fiction feature film Werewolf is about two young methadone addicts in Cape Breton. They push a lawnmower door to door, begging to cut grass for a living. One struggles to escape while the other falls further into ruin. The film is notable for its non-professional cast and stylized visual presentation. Directed by McKenzie and produced by MacDonald as their first-time feature, the film has already won several awards at Canadian film festivals. The Nova Scotian director and producer have previously made several short films together.

Descriptions and images of the short listed works can be found on the Foundation website:

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