Reflections on the season of giving

In this season of festive cheer, my thoughts turn to giving and the impact it can make. For me, the old adage rings true: It really is better to give than to receive. Small gifts given big-heartedly make a world of difference.

To illustrate, let me introduce you to Megan Kyak-Monteith.  Born and raised in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Megan didn’t know how she would fund a post-secondary education when she was accepted to NSCAD. That is, until she heard word that she received a renewable scholarship, the Creative Innovators of Tomorrow Award, which would entirely cover her tuition.

Self-portrait by Megan Kyak-Monteith.

Self-portrait by Megan Kyak-Monteith. Fall 2016.

“Before receiving this award, I was not looking forward to university,” confesses Megan, now in her second year at NSCAD. “Because of the heavy cost of supplies, tuition, housing and food, my focus was not on being educated but on desperately finding the money in order to be educated … I would like to thank the donors for shifting my perspective.”

Megan’s scholarship has allowed the young artist to attend NSCAD where she is developing her painting and illustration skills as she explores her Inuit roots and pushes herself in ways she never anticipated. Last summer, for example, she took herself out of her comfort zone by participating in Halifax’s Art Battle. She ended up winning the regional contest which qualified her to represent Nova Scotia at a national competition. “It’s really energizing and your heart beats super fast,” she says. Participants have just 20 minutes to create a painting and work in front of a large audience.

This summer, Megan will return to Nunavut in the summer to live with her grandparents (her parents are now in Antigonish, Nova Scotia) and work as an illustrator at an Iqaluit-based movie and book company. “Having the scholarship is such a huge lift. It allows me not to have to worry about having a job during school. I can really delve into my assignments and I’m learning so much—I see improvements from one week to another.”

Drawing by Megan Kyak-Monteith.

Drawing by Megan Kyak-Monteith. Fall 2016.

By donating to NSCAD’s Annual Fund, you are giving exceptional students like Megan the chance to shine. Their artistic passions are ignited by NSCAD’s rich and diverse academic programs, interdisciplinarity and vibrant, nurturing community.

There is still time to give to NSCAD’s Annual Fund, which is dedicated to bursary and scholarship support for students. It doesn’t matter how much you give – even little gifts are deeply appreciated.

If you make a donation before year-end, you’ll receive a charitable tax receipt for 2016. And, as if by magic, immediately you’ll receive a glimpse of what makes NSCAD so special—I guarantee that you’ll be touched by what comes your way.

In appreciation and happy holidays! Here is your invitation to give.

Dianne

PS – See more of Megan Kyak-Monteith’s artwork below and in the header image.

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