Soaring Eagle Fund and Fine Art Grants for 2SLGBTQ+ creators takes flight


After beginning his fundraising campaign in 2021, Nova Scotian musician Drake Jensen officially launched his Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia Soaring Eagle Fund and Fine Arts Grants this week.

Currently based in the Ottawa area, the Glace Bay-raised performer created the initiative to fund projects and creators in the 2SLGBTQ+ community in rural Nova Scotia with the goal to foster local artists and grow opportunities for creative workers with grants of up to $1,000.

“I’ve never felt as much joy as when we launched this grant project designated to help five 2SLGBTQ+ people like myself,” says Jensen in the project’s launch announcement.

The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia is currently accepting applications for the Soaring Eagle Fine Arts Grants, with an application deadline of Feb. 11 at 5 pm AST.
Grantees must be a resident of rural Nova Scotia or have some direct connection to rural Nova Scotia, and must identify or work directly with the 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Projects must be within the fine arts disciplines. Grantees must have an applicant organization that is a qualified donee as defined by the CRA, including registered charities or First Nations and other registered municipal or public bodies performing a function of government in Canada.

Jensen’s fundraising effort began in 2021 with an emotional rendition of Leon Dubinsky’s Cape Breton anthem Rise Again, recorded with former Spoons member and Broadway musical director Rob Preuss and New York drummer Ray Marchica (James Brown, Barbra Streisand).

Downloads of the song by Jensen’s fans and arts supporters got the ball rolling to make the Soaring Eagle Fund a reality.

“I loved putting this song together for Drake – it’s such a well-loved piece of music, and I think our version really highlights the beauty of Drake’s voice,” says Preuss, who conducted and played for Mamma Mia! in Toronto and on Broadway for 15 years.

“The fact that it’s being used to help raise funds for such a good cause makes me proud and honored to have been a part of it all.”

The Soaring Eagle Fund and Fine Arts Grants join a series of Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia initiatives like the Community Sparks Grant Program, for projects related to climate change, the Emergency Community Support Fund and a series of 2021 gender equality grants in communities like Tatamagouche , Potlotek First Nation and Port Hawkesbury.

When he announced the fund’s creation in 2021 the singer recently named best country artist by the Ottawa Awards said he hoped it would grow to support a wide range of artistic projects in Nova Scotia’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, but starting with a focus on creators living outside of urban centers would provide the kind of opportunities that weren’t available to him while growing up in Cape Breton.

“I’m on a platform now that represents something so important to me, and that is reaching that person (just like) me, and telling them that there is somebody out there that understands them and gets them,” said Jensen in May.

“You can do this, you can do anything you want to do, you don’t have to wait until you’re 40. There are people out there who are willing to help you, and I think that is the message that comes along with this.”

For more details about the Soaring Eagle Fund and Fine Arts Grants, visit

The deadline for applying to the 2022 round of the Soaring Eagle Fund and Fine Arts Grants for rural 2SLGBTQ+ artists and those who work with the community is Feb. 11.

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