• Biography

    Sylvia D. Hamilton is a Nova Scotian filmmaker and writer. Through her work as a filmmaker and artist, she has brought the life experiences of African Nova Scotians to the mainstream of Canadian arts. Her first film, Black Mother Black Daughter, has been seen in over forty film festivals throughout North America and Europe, and her films have gone on to win awards and be screened in festivals in Canada, the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia received both the 1994 Maeda Prize awarded by the NHK-Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and a 1994-Gemini Award. Her most recent film is Portia White: Think On Me, a documentary about the extraordinary Canadian contralto who was known as Canada? Marian Anderson. It has been widely broadcast on VISION TV, BRAVO! and national and regional CBC TV.

    Her writing (literary and non-fiction) has appeared in a variety of Canadian journals and anthologies. She was a contributor to and co-editor of We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History published by the University of Toronto Press in 1993.


    • Sylvia Hamilton's work has appeared in From Tam Tam to Internet: Telecoms in Africa; Motherhood Redefined: Changing Identities and Patterns; Atlantis, A Women's Studies Journal; We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up, and more.

    • Seleceted List of Productions
      • Think On Me: Portia White. Maroon Films Inc.

      • No More Secrets: A Two Part Series About Violence Against Black Women.Maroon Films Inc.

      • Against the Tides: The Jones Family, Hymn to Freedom Series. Almeta Speaks Productions Inc.

      • Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia. National Film Board of Canada, 1993.

      • Black Mother Black Daughter. National Film Board of Canada, 1989.

    • Nova Scotia Community College, Honourary Diploma, 2002

    • Dalhousie University, Doctor of Laws 2000

    • Halifax Progress Women of Excellence Award, 1996, Arts and Culture Category.

    • Baha'i Community of Canada, 1996 Race Unity Award.

    • CTV Fellowship Award, for Banff Television Festival, June 1995.

    • Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Doctor of Letters (1995).

    • AMTEC Media Festival Award of Excellence, Lethbridge, Canada, 1994.

    • Maeda Prize, 21st Japan Prize, International Educational Program Contest, Tokyo, 1994

    • Winner of a 1994 Gemini Award; 'Speak It!'

    • Atlantic Film Festival, Rex Tasker Award for Best Atlantic Canadian Documentary, 1993.

    • Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival, Golden Sheaf Award, Yorkton, Saskatchewan, 1990.