Artists & Musicians

Artists and Musicians:

We are so honored to have the following artists and musicians generously contribute to Memory Cafés in Nova Scotia. Thank you to all for sharing your talents, time and commitment to help us bring high quality art and musical performance to persons living with memory challenges and to their families.

Feel free to download and use these art works and musical performances to spark group discussion and for entertainment at your own Memory Café.

Ron Hayes

Ron Hayes graduated from the Central Technical School’s Art Program in Toronto in 1976. He also taught lost wax and paster casting in the Sculpture Department for evening and summer school students.

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After graduation he continued to paint and exhibit while working as a graphic artist for various Advertising Agencies in Toronto. By the mid 90’s he left Toronto with his wife, Sarah and their three children to live in Nova Scotia on the beautiful Bay of Fundy in Kingsport. His dream of leaving the world of graphic design to pursue a career in painting became a reality. The Annapolis Valley has been a major influence on Ron’s work these past 25 years.

He furthered his studies by returning to school in 1993 and attended the European Graduate School program in Switzerland. He graduated with honours with a Masters Degree in 1999. Ron enjoys teaching art by offering painting and drawing classes at his studio at ArtCan in Canning. He recently retired from a part time position at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

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Carolyn Mallory

Carolyn Mallory lived, worked, and raised her family in Iqaluit, Nunavut for 12 years from 1999-2011. It was love at first sight and her heart has never been the same; the Arctic has touched her deeply.

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While in Iqaluit, she wrote two books, Common Plants of Nunavut, co-authored with Susan Aiken, and Common Insects of Nunavut. Both books are in English and Inuktitut to better enable local children to learn about the natural world in their own language. She has also written Painted Skies, a picture book for children, which was published in 2015.

Although she has always been artistic, since moving to Nova Scotia, Carolyn has begun to take her painting more seriously and has participated in a few community art shows. A lot of her inspiration is still Arctic, however she is striving to draw on her growing love of Nova Scotia as she expands her repertoire. 

In the summer of 2018, she was part of a juried show celebrating Canada 150 at the McCarthy Gallery in Truro. 

She is president of the Evangeline Artist’s Cooperative in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. With this group, she has exhibited her work at Jack’s Gallery on several occasions. She has also had a joint show at Jack’s Gallery with her fellow watercolourist, Peter Martocchio. 

Since autumn 2019, Carolyn has been part of Tides Contemporary Art Gallery in Kentville, NS. The gallery changes the art work on the walls monthly and this has pushed her to expand her watercolour practice into oils, which she is enjoying immensely. 

Every summer, Carolyn returns to the Arctic in her capacity as a resource staff person onboard the Ocean Endeavour with Adventure Canada. Along with her naturalist duties, she gives watercolour painting workshops and sells her work in the onboard gift shop.

Carolyn’s detailed work often offers a perspective on a small part of Nature, a flower, a lichen, a bird. But she also endeavours to showcase larger expanses of Nature because she truly feels it is in both the largesse and the minutiae that we are all connected. 

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Christiane (Kit) Deslauriers

Christiane (Kit) Deslauriers has always been fascinated by art. She picked up oil painting when she retired from a career in science.  "Being retired is like being 5 years old but with your own car.  Why not paint?"  She lives in the Annapolis Valley where she is constantly amazed by the beauty in nature.

Lynn Walker

Lynn Walker was born in Montreal, into a family of artists. She came to Nova Scotia in her twenties intending to stay for only one year, but after a few months she knew she would never leave. Lynn has been painting here for over fifty years!

Lynn Davidson

Lynn A. Davidson, of Newtonville, NS, wanted to learn to paint since she was a teenager. It wasn’t until summer 2018, during a very stressful time, that she was given the opportunity to begin lessons. It is just what she needed. Lynn paints in oils, usually recreating scenes in the beautiful Annapolis Valley.

Arnaud Béghin

Arnaud Béghin is a French painter presently living in Hantsport, Nova Scotia. He is represented by the Harvest Gallery in Wolfville and by Secord Gallery in Halifax. He is married to Canadian artist Elizabeth Sircom.

Doretta Groenendyk

Doretta paints narrative, acrylic and collage images on board that are whimsical and playful. The work she creates is woven into her lifestyle, which is filled with stories and possibility. Just as the work is created within her family living space, so the images depict life in its familiar but poetic narrative.

More information can be found on her website

Elizabeth Sircom

Originally from the Annapolis Valley, Elizabeth Sircom received her art training in Paris, France, and lived in Le Havre, Normandy for 20 years, working as a professional artist and art teacher, with a focus on portrait sculpture.

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She returned with her family to live in Nova Scotia in 2013 and since then has been an active member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, CARFAC and the Nova Scotia Potters’ Guild, giving many workshops to adults and children. Her other centre of interest is music. She teaches cello and is the Program Director of the Acadia Regional Youth Orchestra in Wolfville.

You can view Elizabeth’s web site at

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Diane Nadon

Diane Nadon, the daughter of an Acadian mother, from St. Mary’s Bay/Baie Ste-Marie (Clare), N.S., and a Quebecois father, was born in Montreal, where she lived until her retirement in 2008, when she returned to live in the Baie Sainte-Marie area.

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This Acadian region has always inspired her artistic creativity: the sea and the rocks, nature’s flowers, the diversity of colour eternally changing with each season, have all been a living source of inspiration for her.

During childhood summers, she spent vacations in the wide open spaces of Baie Sainte-Marie and Meteghan beach.

As an adult, she became friends with artists in the region, with whom she discovered the joys of watercolour, and this close relationship with the visual arts has never left her.

After watercolour, she found pleasure in other techniques; etching and the lino-cut became another fascinating adventure in the La Manivelle studio.

In recent years, as director of the “Conseil des Arts de la Baie”, Diane has tried to bring more visibility and support to artists in this region by creating several projects, and organizing workshops in the spaces of La Manivelle and l’Atelier, as well as many exhibitions at the Le Trécarré gallery.

Diane’s works are on display at the Le Trécarré Gallery and at Yarmouth Creative.

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musicians anchor

Holly Carr

Holly has gained national acclaim for her unique style of silk painting. She has participated in numerous group and solo shows and continues to exhibit nationally.

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Holly has designed for theatre productions and large scale public installations. Her most ambitious installation to date is a larger than life environment created out of painted silk, “Light in the Forest” for Acadia University Art Gallery.

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Patricia Watson

Patricia Watson, a winner of The African Nova Scotia Music Association's "Rising Star" award, has been singing gospel music and jazz most of her life.

As a little girl, she had a recurring dream, "I would be sitting in the audience watching myself sing on stage" she recalls, "and be on stage watching myself in the audience."  This has played out in her life because she has actually been in both places. She has performed many times on different stages and been an appreciative audience member watching - and listening - to other musicians.

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Since retiring, Patricia has been involved in singing and speaking at various churches in the US and Canada. She has performed at the Halifax Jazz Festival, Tucson Jazz Festival, Harmony Bazaar Women’s Festival and the Lunenburg Foks Harbour Festival Patricia presently sings with the Patricia Watson Quintet and Women in Jazz.

In 2021, Patricia was honoured to receive the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.  She released a music video titled, “You Got the Power” which inspires people to go beyond circumstances and obstacles in their lives. She also wrote a song titled, Woman You’ve Come a Long Way, which honours her ancestors and she continues to write songs and chants.

Link to “You’ve Got the Power” -

Patricia is performing with Mike Watson (keyboards) and Scott Leonard (guitar).

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Cliff d'Eon

Cliff d'Eon is from West Pubnico, Yarmouth Co. and plays a mix of old country songs and blues music in the tri-county area. He also writes some French music that is included in his local shows. Cliff always enjoys participating in the Memory Café playing old standards and country songs.


Mary Knickle, Miranda Lever and Cynthia Myers are three friends, who just happen to be multi-instrumentalists, composers and passionate educators. When they begin to create, the story telling takes wing supported by warm and sophisticated harmonies. Live performances embrace the audience with the surprising humor and open hearts.

Joe Gillis

Joe Gillis was born and raised in New Waterford, CB; N.S. He is a proud husband to his wife of 47 years, Jacquie, whose love and support have given him the freedom to pursue his love of music in retirement after 38 years military service. They have two children, Chris and Joanne and two spoiled rotten Australian retrievers named Bailey and Lucy.

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Throughout his career, Joe performed for troops across the globe, particularly the United States, Germany, Caribbean, Denmark and of course, across Canada. He has recorded a CD of older traditional and Celtic music, along with three original songs; the CD is called, “Will Ye No Come Back Again”, these words taken from the phrase used to try to entice Bonnie Prince Charlie to return to Scotland from France, where he secreted himself after the battle of Culloden in 1746, knowing that if he went back to Scotland the English would assassinate him on sight.

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Hannah Minzloff & Truefaux Films

Truefaux is dedicated to supporting people and organizations that make positive social and cultural change. In 2007, filmmakers John Hillis and Hannah Minzloff teamed up to create Truefaux Films, a platform which develops and produces social impact media content, to promote community engagement on local, provincial and national levels. The duo focuses on projects that expand understanding, change perspectives and challenge people to take action.

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Film Synopsis


The onset of his dementia brought a dramatic change to the relationship Hannah has with her father. Dementia, Dad and Me follows the two of them as they find new ways to connect, and to navigate the delicate transition of their roles from father and daughter to caregiver and cared for.

Her father’s deep attachment to his archive of photographs and keepsakes is a touchstone for our conversations, and while naturally an introvert he has always had strong recollections of the stories which shaped his family’s life.

You can view the film on this CBC Gem page.

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Paula Rockwell

Mezzo-soprano, Paula Rockwell, has been steeped in musical projects, performances, and music festivals in her home province of Nova Scotia, Canada, and the United States. She is on faculty at Acadia’s School of Music where she teaches Diction for Singers, Scene Studies, History of Musical Theatre and Applied Voice.

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She recently released her latest CD Unwrapped: Finally Surfacing, featuring original songs, three of which were written specifically for her sabbatical project, Letters from Home, a one-woman show inspired by letters from her maternal great-grandmother to her grandmother between 1941 -1960: an autobiographical journey through an original script, songs, and projected archival photos. In 2020, she released her music video I’m on My Way Home which she co-produced. Recent roles include Lucy (Sweeney Todd) Yente (Fiddler on the Roof) and Signora Naccarelli (Light in the Piazza). She was the music director for Stage Prophets’ production of Jesus Christ Superstar, June 2-4, 2023 and will be the music director for their 2024 production of Music Man.

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Trillium Trio

Trillium plays a mix of Impressionist, Modern, Celtic, Renaissance, and Folk music. We are Liam Britten, guitar/banjo; Beverley Shaw, violin; and Tricia Snell, flute/Celtic whistles; with all of us on vocals occasionally. We formed Trillium in November 2022 when Emma Fitzgerald invited us to play at her “Two Crows” book launch (Nimbus Press), where we performed tunes and songs aligned with the tone of her book.  (We were delighted that our rendition of “Twa Corbies,” featuring voice, banjo, fiddle, and recorder, was used by CBC in an interview with Emma about the book.)

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 Since then we’ve performed in the Music & Meditation music series at St. John’s in Lunenburg; at an Ironbound Artist Residency event at Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax; and at a variety of private events and community gatherings. We are excited to be a part of Nova Scotia’s Memory Café series!

Liam Britten, guitar/banjo and composer, has performed and recorded with The High Rise Quartet and Maximilian Flint, among others. He is the music director of the theatre company, Forged in Fable, and he teaches from his private studio in Mahone Bay.

Bev Shaw, violin, has performed in various ensembles at venues including the Lunenburg Folk Harbour festival and the Halifax Jazz Festival. She is a Suzuki-certified violin teacher who teaches from her private studio in Bridgewater.

Tricia Snell, flute/Celtic whistles is a chamber musician who has performed at venues including Seneca College and Heliconian Hall (Toronto) and Nordia House/Kantele & Contra Dance (Portland, OR). She is a Suzuki-certified flute teacher and lives in Lunenburg.

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Avery Dakin

Avery Dakin is a Pop/R&B singer-songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia whose dreamy, delicate vocals float above her lush, warm arrangements. Dakin’s soft-hearted, soulful music implores you to sway along to the shimmery, playful, introspective sounds of a woman coming into bloom.

You can learn more about Avery's music here.

Jordon Musycsyn

Jordan is a hard-working singer/songwriter and a masterful storyteller, writing songs about life and love with pathos and humor in a Folk/Americana style. His sophomore album ‘Old State Of Mind’ (2017) was nominated for a Music Nova Scotia award for best Americana album of the year. 

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Drawing on his own life experiences he writes relatable songs of love, loss and the human condition. A dynamic performer, Jordan moves the audience from laughter to tears and back again. His first album ‘The Pitch’ (released in the fall of 2014) was nominated for 2 Music Nova Scotia awards. He has toured across Canada many times playing his songs solo and with his band. He has played the majority of the major music festivals in Atlantic Canada such as ‘Stan Rogers Folk Festival’, ‘Cavendish Beach Festival’, Celtic Colours Festival’ and the ‘Evolve Music Festival’.  He also writes, performs and tours with the ‘Cape Breton Summertime Revue’ and ‘Tis The Season’ annually since 2015. 

“JORDAN MUSYCSYN is a great musician and a great storyteller”... ­Alan Doyle, GREAT BIG SEA

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Andrew Son

Andrew Son is a recent graduate from Dalhousie University, having studied Neuroscience and Music. A musician from the Halifax region, he loves to perform the piano and story-tell through music, especially to those that cannot regularly attend public performances.

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This led him to found the Music and Healing Society of Dalhousie, where he led a group of Dalhousie students in organizing concerts at hospitals and nursing/long-term care homes for patients, families, and health care workers. Furthermore, from his experience with volunteering at the Veterans' Memorial Building, Andrew is passionate about working with older adults and advocating for stigma reduction surrounding dementia. He is a Provincial Outreach Coordinator for the Memory Café Nova Scotia.

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Chrissy Crowley & Colin Grant

Chrissy Crowley and Colin Grant are well-known Nova Scotian fiddlers.

Chrissy was born into a large family steeped in the ways of Celtic music. She has taken on the twin mantels of both protecting and promoting the sounds of her native Cape Breton Island. She has embraced the music of her Celtic roots and made it her own.

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Colin's fiddle playing has stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene. Although most at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres.

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Donovan Cassidy & Steven Wilton

Donovan Cassidy-Nolan hails from Wolfville Nova Scotia and loves to play fiddle and violin. He has worked as a cultural re-enactor at the Grand Pre UNESCO site, sharing Acadian fiddle music and the stories of the Acadian, Loyalist and Mi’kmaq people.

Jenn Sheppard, Stephen Muise & Jordyn Crocker

Jenn, Stephen and their daughter Jordyn are a family of professional Cape Breton musicians. During the onset of the pandemic, the three performed live online to raise money for various charities and special causes.

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For 20 weeks, from their living room, they raised over $100,000 for causes near and dear to our communities, such as the purchase of 48 iPads for long term care facilities. To hear more music from this family trio, visit “The Garbage Night Sessions”.

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John Tetrault

John Tetrault is known and respected locally as a musician and songwriter. As a teacher and clinician for the last 30 years, Tetrault also enjoys sharing his passion for music with aspiring musicians.

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He has been teaching guitar and helping with bands at Kings-Edgehill School for years.In addition, based out of Hantsport, he teaches private lessons and leads songwriting and guitar workshops. He has been a faculty member at the Acadia University Jazz Camp since 1990.

He has performed at the Halifax Jazz Festival and the Earth and Lunenburg Folk Festivals. His solo work includes appearances at private functions and community venues. Often called upon as a pit guitarist, he even played a stint at the Atlantic Theatre Festival.

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Matthew Martin

Originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Matt has been teaching guitar lessons and performing in Nova Scotia since 2004. He has a degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Acadia University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance from the Koblenz International Guitar Academy in Germany.

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Matt currently teaches out of his studio in Kentville and performs for various events throughout the Annapolis Valley and across the Maritimes. He has taught classical guitar at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax, and Acadia University. In addition to solo playing, Matt also plays guitar in the Halifax based group Flamenco en Rouge.

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Monette Robichaud

Monette was born and lives in Meteghan, N.S. She has been singing Acadian songs for as long as she can remember and has entertained audiences ranging from children to the elderly. Monette loves singing traditional and folk songs (and anything in between !). She very much enjoys it when her audience joins in the singing.

Rose Morrison

Rose Morrison has been a professional musician for more than 20 years, touring and teaching internationally. She first came onto the scene at age 11 as an original member of The Cottars.

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The group recorded three albums, toured North America, Europe, and Japan, earned themselves two East Coast Music Awards, and performed at Carnegie Hall to a sold-out audience. She has since recorded and performed with Oscar and Grammy Award-winner Glen Hansard and Brendan Begley, among others, and continues to tour with many well-known artists in North America and internationally. Rose released her first solo album, The MacKenzie Project, in 2010 and her second album, Atlantic, won Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2018 East Coast Music Awards. Rose is now working on her third solo studio album with Dave Gunning as producer. She released ‘Let Our Love’ which can be watched here:

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