RELEASE: ArtsNL and Equinor announce 2023 Equinor ArtsSmarts Scholarship recipient

Oct 20, 2023


October 20, 2023 (St. John’s, NL) – ArtsNL and Equinor Canada are pleased to announce the 2023 Equinor ArtsSmarts Scholarship recipient. The scholarship of $2,500 is awarded to a Newfoundland and Labrador high school student who enrolls full-time in a degree or diploma program at a recognized publicly funded Canadian university, college, or post-secondary institution specific to education in the arts. The scholarship was established as part of Equinor’s partnership with ArtsSmarts, and ongoing commitment to arts and cultural development in the province.

Gray Parsons - 2023-24 Equinor ArtsSmarts Scholarship Recipient“We are pleased to announce that Gray Parsons of St. John’s has been awarded the Equinor ArtsSmarts Scholarship,” says Melanie Martin, Executive Director of ArtsNL. “The scholarship will assist Gray’s post-secondary education at École nationale de cirque (National Circus School) in Montreal, Quebec, where he is studying aerial rope in the fall of 2023. We applaud Equinor’s ongoing commitment to foster the arts through this scholarship as part of our larger ArtsSmarts partnership with them.”

A graduate of Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s, Parsons was accepted to the National Circus School after a four-day audition in Montreal. “Art has always had a huge impact on my life,” says Parsons. “I love the freedom that comes with being able to express myself, especially through a physical medium. Over the past nine years, I’ve been so lucky to train (and then coach) at iFly Aerial Arts in St. John’s. My happy place is sharing my passion for circus, either through engaging with an audience, coaching, or just being a part of a collective circus community.”

“Art education fuels creativity and innovation, essential elements in shaping a sustainable future,” says Tore Løseth, Country Manager with Equinor Canada. “We are delighted to support the ArtsSmarts Scholarship once again, knowing it paves the way for aspiring artists and innovators to shape a brighter tomorrow. Congratulations, Gray.”

Further information on the ArtsSmarts program and the Equinor ArtsSmarts Scholarship can be found at

Charlene Jackson
Communications Officer, ArtsNL
Phone: (709) 726-2212 ext. 3

Alex Collins
Head of Communications, Equinor 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; two community representatives (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual allocation of $5.2 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.


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