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York Culture Awards launched with Benenden on board as main sponsor

15th January 2016

Plans to recognise and reward outstanding innovation and creativity within the cultural sector in York took a leap forward this week, when the new Culture Awards were launched last night (Thursday 14 January) with Benenden on board as main sponsor. The York Culture Awards, which will be held in December 2016, will celebrate, retrospectively, quality and excellence in the arts and cultural sector.

Lady Jane Gibson, Chairman, Steve Brown, Managing Director, Make It York and Lawrence Christensen, Marketing Director, Benenden, were joined by guest speakers Professor Chris Bailey, Visiting Professor, University of York St John and BBC Radio York’s Breakfast Presenter, Georgey Spanswick, to formally launch the awards on 14 January 2016 and announce that entries are now officially open.  The Right Honourable Lord Mayor Cllr Sonja Crisp also attended and was joined by the Civic Party.

Lawrence Christensen, Group Marketing Director at Benenden, said: “Benenden has been based in York for just over a quarter of a century, so we know just how vital the cultural sector is to the local economy we are a part of. Our city’s culture plays an important part in bringing together communities, which is an ethos we have much in common with.

‘We’re delighted Make It York and its partners have recognised the need for a set of awards dedicated to those who help make York the unique cultural city that it is. We’re delighted to be on board to support the awards and look forward to hearing some of the fantastic work that goes on all year round.’

Lady Gibson said, ‘York has a wealth of culture; we have award-winning museums, brilliant theatres, international music festivals and outstanding media arts organisations.  Our cultural businesses and our local communities are producing works of the highest quality that make York a great place to live but also inspire and attract people to the city.  We believe talent across our cultural sector should be recognised and by launching these awards, our aim is to raise the profile of the breadth and quality of work going on here.’

Professor Chris Bailey, Chair of the Judging Panel said, ‘This new awards ceremony is an opportunity for York to celebrate all that is best in culture and creativity in our city. The awards, which cover every aspect of art and culture, will recognise achievements by individual practitioners, businesses, educational establishments, communities and cultural organisations. We want to shout about the sheer quality of creative talent that is here, and we hope these awards, open to everyone, will inspire people to submit their work.’

Free to enter, there are eleven Awards for the taking including; Culture Partnership, Community Project or Event, Cultural Champion, Cultural Education, Cultural Equality and Diversity, Cultural Event or Festival, Film, Performing Artist/s, Production, Visual Artist and Writer.  Entries will be open until 30 September 2016 for cultural activity which has taken place between July 2015 and September 2016. Throughout the year Make It York will be promoting the Awards on Twitter with the hashtag #YorkCA16.

Georgey Spanswick, BBC Radio York, said, ‘Since moving to York I’ve been inspired by the cultural diversity and sheer talent we’ve got here in the city.  We’re delighted to support this new Awards ceremony and we’re confident there will be some incredible stories to tell throughout the year from the grass roots up and we’re excited to get the word out about the wealth of culture on offer here.’ 

The Awards will be judged by an independent panel including, Professor Chris Bailey, York St John University, Lawrence Christensen, Marketing Director, Benenden, Dr Fiona Thompson, York St John University, Gill Greaves, Relationship Manager, Museums Yorkshire at Arts Council England, Colin Jackson, Owner, Creative Learning Partnerships, Alan Millard, Chief Operating Officer, Hiscox, Judith Buchanan, Professor of Film and Literature, University of York and Charles Hutchinson, Arts Editor, The Press.

To enter the York Culture Awards visit their website.

Ends

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