White, Portia May National Historic Person

Truro, Nova Scotia
Portia May White © Advertising Material Produced by Columbia Concerts, Inc., Public Archives of Nova Scotia / MG 100, Vol. 245, 15a
Portia May White
© Advertising Material Produced by Columbia Concerts, Inc., Public Archives of Nova Scotia / MG 100, Vol. 245, 15a
Portia May White © Advertising Material Produced by Columbia Concerts, Inc., Public Archives of Nova Scotia / MG 100, Vol. 245, 15aWhite, Portia May © (courtesy Canada Post Corporation)
Address : 454 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1995-07-06
Life Date: 1911 to 1968

Other Name(s):
  • White, Portia May  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 1995-004, 1995-OB-10

Importance: Acclaimed vocalist from Black Nova Scotian community

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque: Zion United Baptist Church 454 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia

The first African-Canadian woman to win international acclaim, contralto Portia White had a remarkable career on the concert stage. Born to a musical family, she was taught to sing by her mother and sang in the choir of this church where her father was pastor. Her talent was nurtured by the Halifax Ladies' Musical Club and Dr. Ernesto Vinci of the Halifax Conservatory. Between 1940 and 1948 her debuts in Toronto and New York, and recitals across North and South America and in the Caribbean became a source of pride for all Canadians.