Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Join our Mailing List
Join our Mailing List - Click Here



ArtsNL logo statoil

ArtsNL and Statoil announce 2017 Statoil ArtsSmarts Scholarship winner


September 28, 2017 (St. John's, NL) – ArtsNL and Statoil Canada are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 Statoil ArtsSmarts Scholarship. The scholarship, in the amount of $2,500, is awarded to a Newfoundland and Labrador high school student who is enrolled for first year full-time art studies in a degree or diploma program at a recognized publically funded Canadian university or college in fall 2017. The scholarship was established as part of Statoil’s partnership with ArtsSmarts and ongoing commitment to arts and cultural development in the province.

“After a competitive review process, it gives us great pleasure to share that Gwenyth Puddester of St. John’s is being awarded the Statoil ArtsSmarts Scholarship,” said Reginald Winsor, executive director of ArtsNL. “The scholarship will go towards Gwenyth’s post-secondary education at Memorial University of Newfoundland where she has been enrolled to start classes for a Bachelor of Music. We’re appreciative of our partnership with Statoil to make this scholarship possible, as part of our larger ArtsSmarts partnership with them.”

In Puddester’s application she bravely discussed her ADHD and tourettes syndrome diagnoses, sharing that she has “never found a medication as effective as music,” and when she creates music she finds the tics stop completely, allowing her to experience a few minutes of stillness. “By focusing on the beauty of sound, I feel still and in control. For a person with ADHD, those feelings are hard to come by,” she wrote. She considers singer James Durbin as one whom she admires. Not long after Puddester’s initial diagnosis she saw Durbin perform and she immediately hoped to inspire others in similar ways through her own music one day.

Puddester has received trombone instruction since 2014. She has already performed with the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra, regularly completes at the Kiwanis Music Festival, and performs in the Holy Heart orchestra pit.  Also in line with her desire to assist others, Puddester founded a Self-Care Club at Holy Heart, to provide safe and quiet spaces for students to meditate, do yoga, and create art in once a week.

“Investing in youth to help them succeed is a priority for Statoil, which is why we are pleased to be supporting this program for a third year,” says Paul Fulton, President for Statoil Canada. “We believe that youth who have talent and are dedicated to a dream should be supported because they are our Heroes of Tomorrow.  They will give back to society and we will all see the benefits. We are happy to support Gwenyth to help her achieve her dreams in the arts. She’s worked hard to get here and we wish her great success in her studies in the future.”

Since inception, the ArtsSmarts program itself has awarded over $2.24 million to 539 projects involving all artistic disciplines province-wide. The program has employed 1,285 artists who have worked with an estimated 85,000 students and 4,200 teachers.  Further information on the ArtsSmarts program and the Statoil ArtsSmarts Scholarship can be found at

Media Contact:
Joshua Jamieson
Communications Officer, ArtsNL
Phone: (709) 726-2212 ext. 203
Mobile: (709) 746-6531
Toll free: 1 (866) 726-2212 (NL only)

Alex Collins
Communications Lead
Statoil Canada Ltd.
Mobile: (709) 769-8967
Phone: (709) 738-8644

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (now known as ArtsNL) is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; one community representative (with an interest in the arts); one business representative (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual grant of $1.9 million from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.

2016 Statoil ArtsSmarts Scholarship presentation photo

Above (L-R):
Reg Winsor, Executive Director for ArtsNL; Gwenyth Puddester, winner of the 2017 Statoil ArtsSmarts Scholarship; and Mr.Paul Fulton, the President for Statoil Canada.