Photo by Megan Jansen Last week, Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Alana Paon accepted the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s Shelagh MacKenzie Award and the Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award on behalf of her son Gharrett, from Nova Scotia Lieutentant-Governor Arthur LeBlanc.

HALIFAX: The MLA for Cape Breton-Richmond was proud to accept two awards on behalf of her son during a ceremony last week in Halifax.

Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor Arthur LeBlanc presented the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s Shelagh MacKenzie Award and the Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award to Alana Paon, who was representing her son Gharrett at the awards gala.

“I attribute my son’s continued success to his passion, strong work ethic and positive attitude,” Paon said in a statement released by the Progressive Conservative caucus last Friday.

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“In our one-parent household, there were many moments of incredible hardship and adversity, especially during the holiday season. It is important never to give up hope, for I have learned that from the most difficult circumstance can sometimes be born the most precious gift.”

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Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Alana Paon is pictured with her son Gharrett, the recent winner of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust’s Shelagh MacKenzie Award and the Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award.

Gharrett Paon is an actor, producer, and co-founder of Rebel Road Films. He graduated from Dalhousie University in May 2017, on the same day his mother was elected. He was awarded a residency in the Canadian Film Centre’s Cineplex Entertainment Film Program in July 2017. He is currently developing a coming-of-age Indigenous drama feature film called Wildhood, and a documentary series called Spirit Talker. 

“There have been many joyous moments over the years as I watched my son Gharrett grow into a successful filmmaker,” the Cape Breton-Richmond MLA said.

“To see him continuously achieve his goals and find success in an industry he loves, brings me great happiness.”

Despite her opposition to the Liberal’s controversial changes to the provincial Film Tax Credit, Paon, the PC critic for Business, Trade and Tourism, remains bullish on the industry.

“I remain hopeful for the future of filmmaking in our province, despite the industry’s recent setbacks,” Paon noted. “Our province needs bright young minds. We need bold new ideas. We need to lead without fear of the inevitable challenges to come. If we are to leave a positive legacy for our sons and daughters, we need to lead by example.”

Paon added her congratulations to all 2017 Nova Scotia Talent Trust award recipients.

“You have contributed to the culture and success of our beautiful province. As you go through life, I hope you will invest it forward and become strong role models for other young Nova Scotians.”

Like his mother, Gharrett Paon added that the Nova Scotia Talent Trust is an important organization for young filmmakers.

“Arts organizations like the Nova Scotia Talent Trust are essential to the development of emerging artists,” Gharrett said. “I’m consistently humbled by the incredible talent in this province. To be recognized with these awards is truly an honour.”