Wayne Boucher, an abstract artist from the Annapolis Valley, is the 2006 recipient of Nova Scotia’s Portia White Prize. Premier Rodney MacDonald presented Mr. Boucher with the $25,000 prize, which recognizes artistic excellence and achievement by a Nova Scotia artist, at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala in Pictou on Thursday, Oct. 19. “Mr. Boucher is a highly respected leader in the visual arts sector both here and across the country,” said Premier MacDonald, “and exemplifies the spirit and prestige of the Portia White Prize.” Mr. Boucher moved to the Annapolis Valley in the 1970s as a young, aspiring visual artist. He quickly became recognized for his abstract paintings, which incorporated regional references characterizing traditional Maritime occupations. Over the past three decades, his works have been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally. He is also a mentor and advocate, volunteering a tremendous amount of time to the betterment of artists, arts organizations and the general public. As a founder and past chair of the Annapolis Regional Community Arts Council, he is dedicated to the creation and presentation of contemporary art in rural regions. “I am awestruck that I have been honoured for my work,” said Mr. Boucher. “No matter what the organization, or what my role has been, there has always been a core of anonymous people who, with great gusto and exuberance, accomplish wonderful things that express and present our Nova Scotian arts and culture.” The $25,000 Portia White Prize is awarded in two parts. The first part — $18,000 — is awarded to the primary recipient. A secondary prize of $7,000 is awarded to a protegé. This year’s protegé, named by Mr. Boucher, is the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council, which will use the funds to create an artist residency program. The Portia White Prize is named after the classical singer from Nova Scotia who overcame adversity to achieve international acclaim on the great stages of Europe and North America. Her artistic achievements and dedication to teaching young artists are a model for all Nova Scotians and continue to foster pride in African Nova Scotian communities and Nova Scotia artists. In addition to the Portia White Prize, the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterwork Award, Prix Grand-Pré and Aliant New Media Prize were also presented at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala.