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African Nova Scotia Music Association celebrates Portia White

Jully Black to give headline performance at this weekend’s award show.


Jully Black, Toronto-based singer-songwriter, is headlining the ANSMA award show this Saturday.
  • Jully Black, Toronto-based singer-songwriter, is headlining the ANSMA award show this Saturday.

19th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Awards Show
February 25, 7pm
Spatz Theatre

As African Heritage Month is coming to a close, the African Nova Scotia Music Association (ANSMA) is honouring one of the province’s most iconic musicians. 

ANSMA’s Annual Music Award Show Celebration—now in its 19th year—is paying tribute to Portia White, who overcame racial barriers to become the first Black Canadian concert singer to gain international attention.

Saturday’s show is appropriately being held in the Portia White Atrium of the Spatz Theatre, featuring performances from artists such as Jeri Brown and headliner Jully Black.

“It’s an honour to be living in this generation and to be able to bear witness to Canada acknowledging such an amazing woman,” says Black, Torontonian singer-songwriter.

“I think it’s important that we all recognize that there’s a Portia in all of us, and so it’s time for us to be bold and continue her legacy.”

ANSMA is recognizing local teen musicians Preston Primos with the inaugural Portia White Youth Award, while White receives a posthumous Life Time Achievement Award.

“She didn’t do it for recognition. I think that’s the most important part,” says Black. “There was a dire need for change.”

Black feels other parts of the country could “take a page out” of Nova Scotia’s book, as “every province needs to have one of these awards, and then have a national award show.” She is looking forward to have this weekend’s event as an opportunity to celebrate “art, true gift and talent.”

“I’m looking forward to the songs and the stories,” she says. 


Emerging Artist or Group of the Year:
  • Chudi Harris
  • Jody Upshaw
Rising Star or Group of the Year:
  • Julia Tynes
  • Owen O’Sound Lee
  • Shawn Downey
Artist/Group of the Year:
  • Ced, Marty and Dave
  • 2K Miracle & J-Bru
  • NS Mass Choir
  • Universal Soul
Winners (announced in advance)
  • Heritage Award: Yvonne “Muzzy” Marshall
  • Pioneer Award: Marlo “Bruno” Smith and Joe Paris
  • Life Time Achievement Award: Portia White (posthumous)
  • Industry Development Award: Adams Photography
  • Portia White Youth Award: Preston Primos
  • Jully Black
  • Jeri Brown
  • Jonathan Munro
  • The Sanctified Brothers
  • Preston Primos
  • Suzy Hansen

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