Jazz musician Jerry Granelli accepted the Portia White Prize and filmmaker Fabien Melanson accepted the Prix Grand Pré at the 2016 Creative Nova Scotia Awards gala today, Nov. 5. Ninety thousand dollars in grants and awards were presented at the annual celebration in Halifax. Mr. Granelli began his career as a drummer, teacher and composer in San Francisco in the 1960s. He is best-known for his performance with the Vince Guaraldi Trio on A Charlie Brown Christmas, but he has long dedicated himself to more cutting-edge music, performing with some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century and recording an album a year since 1987. “When I recall the effort that members of the arts community took to get me landed in Nova Scotia and how I felt so welcomed, and how over the years you have trusted me with teaching your children and supported the Creative Music Workshop as well as my performances, I feel such enormous gratitude,” said Mr. Granelli. “And now to be honoured with an award inspired by the work and humanity of Portia White, all I can really say is thank you. I will not stop!” The Portia White Prize is named for the Nova Scotia artist who was considered one of the best classical singers of the 20th century. The prize recognizes cultural and artistic excellence on the part of a Nova Scotian artist who has attained professional status, mastery and recognition in their discipline. The award includes a $7,000 protégé prize that the winning artist donates to an emerging artist or a supportive institution. Mr. Granelli chose the 1313 Music Association in Halifax for that prize. “Nova Scotia’s culture is an intimate part of who we are in the province, and we’re proud to recognize these outstanding artists,” said Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “The Portia White Prize is a fitting recognition of outstanding dedication in a Nova Scotia artist.” The $5,000 Prix Grand Pré recognizes creative and interpretive artists working in any medium whose work reflects Acadian cultural values, while demonstrating excellence and originality. The $25,000 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Award, the largest annual award to any work of art in Nova Scotia, went to Canvas 5 x 5, which was created by choreographer Tedd Robinson and dancers Jacinte Armstrong, Rhonda Baker, Susanne Chui, and Ruth-Ellen Kroll-Jackson. Other prizes presented on Saturday were the $10,000 Community Arts and Culture Award, to the Town of Lunenburg; and five $5,000 Established Artist Recognition awards to visual artist Bonnie Baker, Annapolis Royal; writer and comedian Christian Murray and dancer and choreographer Jacinte Armstrong, both of Halifax; visual artist François Gaudet, Clare, Digby Co.; and conductor and composer Mark Hopkins, Wolfville. More information about the awards and winners is available at artsns.ca/grants-awards/awards/grand-pré-prize
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