Emerging Nova Scotian artists will benefit from the Canada Games legacy for years to come. The Halifax 2011 Canada Games Host Society announced today, March 21, that it will contribute $200,000 in award funding to the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and awards to Nova Scotians who demonstrate exceptional potential and commitment to becoming established artists in their chosen fields. “The 2011 Halifax Canada Games celebrated the drive and excellence of both young athletes and artists,” said Julia Rivard, member of the Games’ Board of Directors. “Because of this, recognizing the arts and culture was an important factor in a successful legacy of the Halifax Canada Games. The awards will ensure the spirit of the Games lives on through Nova Scotia’s next generation of great artists.” The funding will be given in two $10,000 special awards each year for the next ten years, called the 2011 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Awards. “The 2011 Games celebrated the best that Nova Scotia has to offer–in sport, arts, culture, and community,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra. “This funding, along with the infrastructure built to support the Canada Games, will create a lasting legacy for young and emerging artists.” “I cannot thank the Nova Scotia Talent Trust enough for the honour of being selected as a scholarship and award recipient. The results have been life-changing,” said Francesca Nardi of Halifax. “It gave me the opportunity to spend a month in Spain learning Flamenco from some of the best teachers in the world, which has greatly improved my skill and versatility as a dancer. I am so excited to share what I have learned with the rest of the community here.” Many of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s past recipients have gone on to successful careers in the arts at home and abroad. Past recipients include soprano Jane Archibald, actor Don Allison, filmmaker Shandi Mitchell, dancer Ian Parsons, and cellist Denise Djokic. The Nova Scotia Talent Trust is now accepting applications for the latest round of scholarships for fall/winter studies. The deadline is May 1. For more information on how to apply, visit www.nstalenttrust.ns.ca.
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Government is making changes to the Heating Assistance Rebate Program that will make it easier and faster for Nova Scotians to apply for and receive their rebate. The 2016-17 program will begin accepting applications on Monday, Oct. 31 and feature a new online application system and direct deposit option. Eligible applicants can receive up to a $200 rebate for heating assistance. “We know some Nova Scotians struggle with the cost of heating their homes during the cold winter months,” says Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. “Nova Scotians expect and want more government services to be available online and with this announcement we’re doing just that.” The new online system will allow Nova Scotians to apply for the rebate online, and will allow both those who apply online and by paper form to check the status of their application online in real time. Before now, applicants had to call Service Nova Scotia to ask for an update on their application. Those registered for direct deposit with Canada Revenue Agency can also receive their rebate directly to their bank account. Paper applications will still be available at Access Nova Scotia locations, Community Services’ and MLA offices, or through more than 70 community groups and other locations across the province, and for print online. “Last year, the program helped more than 42,600 citizens and families in the province stay warm during the cold winter months,” said Mr. Furey. “It’s my hope that we reach every Nova Scotian who can benefit from this program.” Beginning in 2017, the Heating Assistance Rebate Program will move to a fixed launch date. For more information and to apply online, please visit http://www.novascotia.ca/heatinghelp .