Julie Martell Scholarship

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Pictured above are Neptune’s Artistic Director Jeremy Webb, Julie Martell, & Pam Leader – Executive Director of the Savoy Theatre

The fund gives emerging Cape Breton performers, aged 15-22 years old, the opportunity to apply for financial assistance to participate in arts activities either on or off the island.

“Thanks to the generosity of The Savoy and other local businesses that are supporting the fund, we are able to assist the young, bright talent on the island,” says Jeremy Webb, Artistic Director of Neptune Theatre. “This initiative is in line with our Chrysalis Project, Neptune’s renewed and re-imagined efforts to support and nurture emerging artists.”

Neptune Theatre is Nova Scotia’s regional theatre, supporting artists from across the entire province.

A Welcome Message from Julie Martell:

How to Apply

APPLICATIONS to the Julie Martell Scholarship Fund are invited year round, starting August 1st, 2018.

Application Process and Criteria

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 15-22 years of age on the date of the activity detailed in the application.
  • Applicants must be a resident of Cape Breton, or be currently studying/working away from the island, but with Cape Breton as their permanent address.
  • Applicants can apply to the scholarship fund only once.
  • Applicants can apply to the scholarship fund for financial assistance in the areas of theatre, dance, and voice. Applications for assistance to attend workshops, classes, auditions, and special activities will be considered.
  • Applications to attend performances will NOT be considered, unless under special circumstances.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee once every three months. Applicants will be informed of the result of the committee’s deliberation whether successful or not.
  • Applications must be submitted at least 2 months before your activity.
  • Applicants are invited to provide an application to use the fund for travel assistance (up to 100% of the cost), accommodation (up to 75%) and activity participation fees (up to 75%).
  • Applicants will be expected to sign a simple letter of agreement to receive funds. Applicants will also be expected to provide written proof that the funds were used for the activity: receipts for travel, accommodation, class fees.

NOTE: Funds received, but not used (proof of use, as detailed above) shall be returned to The Julie Martell Scholarship Fund for other participants to use.

  • Applicants will be expected to submit a brief written report on their activity.

NOTE: the report will be due exactly two weeks after the completion date of the activity.

Applications must include the following:

  1. A cover letter, detailing how attending your proposed activity will help your creative process, future and current situation. Let us know what you hope to get out of it. Let us know how the fund will  assist you in achieving your goals.
  2. A resume, or similar, detailing your experience in your chosen field.
  3. Detail of the activity you are applying to participate in (please include a website address, prospectus, class description, OR activity details if possible).
  4. Please provide at least one support letter from a teacher, guidance counselor, or member of the arts community.
  5. A simple budget, showing how much you predict the activity will cost, the amount you are requesting of the fund and any other sources of revenue you are using.
  6. Support material: if you have reviews, newspaper cuttings that you feel will support your application, please include copies.
  7. Applicants are welcome to submit part of their application in video format, if they wish to do so.

NOTE: Please do not submit ANY original materials. Original materials will not be returned.

Applications may be sent by e-mail to    INFO@neptunetheatre.com

Or by post to:

Julie Martell Scholarship Fund
c/o Neptune Theatre
1593 Argyle Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 2B2

The Julie Martell Scholarship Fund Support’s Nova Scotia’s next generation of performance artists – today!


Testimonial from a recent recipient, Drea Shepherd of Sydney, NS

Thank you very much for supporting my trip to Seattle, Washington in October.

Thanks to your generous scholarship, I was able to attend the ‘SDTA (Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance) Highland Dance North American Conference Program’. This is an annual event that rotates throughout North America, providing a weekend of learning for Highland Dancers and Dance teachers from all over the world.

I was nominated to attend the ‘Scholarship Program’ that takes place on the Friday of the conference. Nominees are chosen annually due to excellence in their dance and theory exams, as selected by the Scottish Adjudicator who travels to adjudicate the exams throughout North America. Nominees then have a few months to prepare for a 4-part scholarship program that includes: (1.) A newly created Solo Dance. (2.) Performance of a special Traditional Tribute Dance selected by the committee. (3.) A written dance theory paper. (4.) A Master Class with famous Highland Instructors and Adjudicators.

I was in the Senior Category of the Scholarship Program (ages 13-18), along with 75 other nominees from all over North America. A huge category!!!!! I was awarded in the top 10 in each of 4 categories – which included: 3rd in my Solo, 4th in the Tribute Dance, 6th on the written theory paper, and honorary mention in the top 10 in the Master Class. It was incredible! I finished in 8th place overall out of 75 Senior category dancers. To be recognized in the top 10 in such a large group of some of the best dancers from NA was a proud moment of seeing hard work pay off.

On Saturday and Sunday, workshops are provided to all dancers (as well as separate workshops for teachers) with classes in: highland championship technique, national championship technique, home training as a dancer, yoga for dancers, mind training for competitive dancers and stage performers, learning to choreograph, mental prep and so much more. These workshops are taught by some of the top teachers and dancers in the world! The workshops are fun, and the learning is amazing.

The best part of the weekend is meeting new and old dance friends and famous teachers from all over the world. We all hang out in the same hotel and conference centre for the weekend. Aside from the hard work, there were social events such as an Ice Cream Brunch, a Scottish Ceilidh Dance, and a Banquet for the nominees and friends. At the Banquet, dancers are each recognized for our nomination, and then we are recognized for our accomplishments and awards from Friday’s Scholarship. Beautiful medals and gifts are given.

One of the other amazing parts of this trip, was that due to your financial help in sending me – my mom was able to attend with me to upgrade her teaching certification, and we made a week of the trip to explore Seattle (since we travelled halfway across the globe!). We took in all the famous sites, like the Space Needle, the Chihuly Glass Museum and the Pike Place Market and so much more. We walked pretty much the whole city, which is full of artistic graphiti and friendly people. We tried all the famous Seattle food, and we met so many cool people. My mom always tries to add a few days to our dance trips so we can see the cities, provinces, states and countries we visit – so we can learn their culture and explore their sites. She is a big believer that we shouldn’t spend the entire trip in a conference building!

I am so thankful for these amazing opportunities, and I realize my mom and dad work hard to help me reach my goals. I know that’s not easy for them, and that’s why I am so thankful that the Julie Martell Scholarship Fund was able to help fund this incredible opportunity for me to grow and learn with my dancing, but also to explore and learn about other cultures and places around the world. Dance takes you places! I’m feeling pretty lucky right now. Thank you.

Drea Shepherd
15 year old Dancer
Sydney, Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Drea Shepherd
Drea Shepherd