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TNS Professional Development Scholarship

Theatre Nova Scotia offers a scholarship to support professional development for theatre artists working in any form of theatre and at any stage of their careers. The purpose of this scholarship is to support theatre artists in their pursuit of professional development in specialized training programs outside of university bachelor’s or master’s degree programs or conservatory training. Programs of study can include workshops, intensives or mentorships with an established artist. The Professional Development Scholarship is presented each year during the Robert Merritt Awards.

Open to TNS Individual members. Applications are assessed by a jury arranged by Theatre Nova Scotia and the decision will be announced at the Merritt Awards that year. The award value is $1000.

Application deadline: March 1st        

The Wes Daniels Design Award

Wes Daniels

The Wes Daniels Design Award honours the artistic spirit of the late props builder and set designer Wes Daniels, a long-time employee of Neptune Theatre and a gifted artist. The annual award will provide a matching financial gift of up to $1,000 annually to a theatre company to subsidize, for a given production, the hiring of an emerging theatre professional who has demonstrated a strong artistic sensibility in the field of theatre design. By providing this unique, hands-on professional development opportunity, Neptune Theatre and Theatre Nova Scotia hope to honour Wes, his work and his commitment to mentorship. The award will be administered by Theatre Nova Scotia, working in collaboration with Neptune Theatre.  The award recipient will be announced at Theatre Nova Scotia’s annual Merritt Awards.  Open to TNS Professional Theatre company members.

Application Deadline: March 1st

Theatre Nova Scotia Legacy Award

Theatre Nova Scotia created the TNS Legacy Award for outstanding contribution to professional theatre in Nova Scotia. The winner is announced at the annual Robert Merritt Awards. Nominations are accepted from individual members, Professional Theatre organizations, and the general public. Nominators should address how a nominee has contributed to Nova Scotian theatre in the areas of organizational development, community building, mentorship and education. Please list any volunteer or board positions held by the nominee, as well any artistic contributions made to the Nova Scotian theatre community or any other relevant information. Nominees may include but are not limited to: actors, directors, producers, playwrights, designers, scenic artists, carpenters, sound and lighting technicians, stage managers, administrators and theatre educators. Recipients are eligible to receive the award one time only.  The award is open to all Nova Scotians. See the Legacy Award Winners here.

Application Deadline:  March 1st

Theatre Nova Scotia Volunteer Award

Theatre Nova Scotia created the TNS Volunteer Award for outstanding contributions to professional or community theatre in Nova Scotia. The winner is announced at the annual Robert Merritt Awards. Nominations are accepted by individual members, Professional or Community Theatre organizations, and the general public. Nominators should address how a nominee made a significant contribution to the community or professional theatre in Nova Scotia. The nominee will have shown an exceptional commitment to theatre in any area, including, but not limited to, production, backstage, administrative work, fundraising, and board or committee work. Nominees must have been a member of an organization for at least one year.


See the video celebrating Simon (produced by the King's Theatre) here.

Application Deadline:  March 1st

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust, Theatre Nova Scotia Award

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust provides financial assistance to Nova Scotians who demonstrate exceptional potential and commitment to establish themselves as artists in their chosen fields but have not yet done so. Assistance is provided to those who are undertaking programs of study to advance their artistic development and who are pursuing career paths that can lead them to become established artists. Each year’s NSTT successful scholarship recipients will be considered for fifteen Special Awards. Special Awards are issued at the discretion of the Scholarship Selection Committee and are provided in addition to scholarship amounts. No other application requirements are necessary. The Theatre Nova Scotia Award, named for the award’s sponsor, will be awarded, if merited, to a recipient who shows exceptional commitment and potential in theatre. The award value is $1000.

Application Deadlines:  March 1st and May 1st every year

Details through the Nova Scotia Talent Trust



Outstanding Stage Manager and Outstanding Technician Awards

Theatre Nova Scotia Stage Manager and Technician Merritt Awards recognize outstanding work on professional productions in Nova Scotia in the areas of stage management and technical production. The winner(s) will be announced at the annual Robert Merritt Awards. Nominations are accepted from individual members and Professional Theatre organizations. Nominators should address how a nominee contributed to the success of a production.

Nomination forms here

Application Deadline:  March 1 is the annual deadline

FAST FACTS about the Outstanding SM and Technician Awards:

  • Contrary to popular belief, these awards are NOT a one-time honour! Actors, Directors, and everyone else is eligible to win a Merritt for every show they work on, and SM and techs are no exception.
  • Anyone who worked on a professional TNS member production is eligible to submit a nomination. It does not need to come from the Producer/Producing Company. Directors, ASMs, fellow technicians, crew members, cast members, and even administrators can write and submit nominations.
  • The production for which the SM/Tech is being recognized needs to have been produced by a professional TNS member company in good standing during the previous calendar year. Not sure if the show is eligible? Email TNS and ask!



RBC Chrysalis Emerging Artist Award

The RBC Chrysalis Emerging Artists Award is presented to an emerging artist, nominated by their peers, and exists to recognize an individual who is already exhibiting the exuberance to affect our community. This award has been created by Neptune Theatre as part of their larger Chrysalis Project concept that sees emerging artists in a multitude of disciplines working alongside Neptune's creative staff for a season of theatre. The award will be administrated by Theatre Nova Scotia.

Nomination form here


One award will be offered. The recipient will receive:

  • A cash prize from Neptune Theatre
  • An in-kind prize from Theatre Nova Scotia

This peer-nominated award is intended for artists who have been present in theatre in Nova Scotia for two (2) to ten (10) years and have demonstrated a strong interest in pursuing/advancing their career in theatre.

The recipient will be announced at that year's Theatre Nova Scotia’s Robert Merritt Awards.

Nominations deadline: March 1st


Chrysalis Award Nomination Form (pdf)

Chrysalis Award Nomination Form (fillable pdf)

Chrysalis Award Nomination Form (Word .docx)




Education through the Arts


Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival


Celebrating Nova Scotia's theatre talent

TNS acknowledges that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. We recognize the heritage of this land and its people to express gratitude to those who reside here, and to honour the Indigenous people who have lived and worked on this land historically and presently.

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