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School of Performing Arts offers scholarships to young Bahamians

February 27, 2014

Valentino Burrows

Valentino Burrows, from Nassau, is currently attending Holland College as part of an exchange program, and participated in the Theatre Performance program, part of Holland College’s School of Performing Arts. Burrows is a student at BTVI in Nassau, where he is completing the Electrical Installation program. (Photo: Emma Russell Louder)

Charlottetown, PE Young Bahamians interested in working in theatre, dance, or music now have the opportunity to pursue their training at Holland College, Prince Edward Island, through a unique scholarship program for Bahamian students at the college’s School of Performing Arts, Holland College vice president Michael O’Grady announced recently.

Holland College has one of the largest Bahamian student populations of any institution in Canada, O’Grady said.

“We are proud to say that we have graduated over 300 Bahamian students in a broad range of program offerings; young Bahamians have thrived in our learning environment – it’s been a great fit for everyone. And now we would like to extend that growing relationship to include the performing arts.”

The School of Performing Arts (SoPA) was established four years ago and combines the significant strengths and national reputations of two well-established institutions, Holland College and the award-winning Confederation Centre of the Arts. SoPA has three two-year programs, Dance Performance, Music Performance, and Theatre Performance, as well as a one-year Performing Arts Foundation program.

The curriculum in all four programs allows students to develop their artistic skills, share their passion of music, theatre, or dance; explore career options in the performing arts; and gain an understanding of the business side of the performance industry. The Music Performance program is partnered with The Berklee College of Music in Boston, and is a member of the Berklee International Network.

As is the case in The Bahamas, Atlantic Canada in general, and Prince Edward Island in particular, enjoy a rich tradition in music, dance and theatre.

“Holland College School of Performing Arts was founded with the vision of drawing talented, creative and gifted students from across our own nation and from around the world. And it is happening,” O’Grady said. “Given our well-established relationships here in The Bahamas, we would like to offer the opportunity to young Bahamians to train at SoPA.”

To that end, Holland College has designated up to $50,000 annually in scholarships for Bahamian students admitted to its performing arts programs. The maximum award is $3,000 per student, which is renewable for their second year of study.

Bahamian applicants will be considered for the scholarships once they have completed the application and audition process. A letter of reference from a music, dance or theatre teacher in The Bahamas will be required to complete the scholarship application.

“We are really hoping that these scholarships will encourage talented young Bahamians to attend Holland College,” O’Grady concluded.


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Sara Underwood
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