North Yorkshire impresario James Cundall’s Lunchbox Theatrical Productions company picked up the awards for Best Cultural Experience and Outstanding Cultural Collaboration, the latter in tandem with York Theatre Royal for this summer’s productions of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Castle car park site, converted into a Elizabethan theatre village for ten summer weeks.
Fifteen winners in all were announced at Make It York’s third annual York Culture Awards, held at York Theatre Royal, where Delma Tomlin, director of the National Centre for Early Music, collected two awards too. The first was for Outstanding Cultural Festival (Small), the summer festival held at the NCEM; the second was a personal honour, Delma being named Cultural Champion for her work for the summer and Christmas Early Music festivals; the NCEM’s year-round series of jazz, world, folk and early music concerts; the York Mystery Plays and for education and youth music projects at the Walmgate church building.
In 2008, incidentally, was awarded the MBE for services to the arts in Yorkshire.
Jane, Lady Gibson, chair of Make It York, said:
“Since we launched these awards three years ago, it has been heartening to see so much of York’s creative talent recognised. I’m especially delighted to see Delma crowned Cultural Champion. She has worked tirelessly to put York on the national and international map for its thriving music scene. From its launch in 2000, Delma has turned what was once a neglected church into a nationally recognised centre for excellence for the arts.”
Hosted by BBC Radio York breakfast show presenter Georgey Spanswick, the ceremony was opened by Jane, Lady Gibson and heralded by a new film showcasing the cultural vibrancy of the city, produced by film maker Ben Porter from Hewitt & Walker.
This year’s awards patron, York film maker Mark Herman, and the chief executive of Arts Council, Darren Henley, who was in York today to meet the city’s cultural figureheads, both took to the microphone before the award announcements on a night designed to throw a spotlight on York’s creative talent and cultural scene.
Mr Henley praised the vibrancy of York’s arts and culture scene and how it was embracing technological advances, while Mr Herman said:
“There’s a hugely diverse range of talent in this city and I’m honoured to be part of this celebration of excellence in culture. I hope these awards will inspire the winners and finalists to go on to even bigger and better things. If you love what you do, the sky really is the limit and I’m confident you’ll be hearing a lot more about some of our winners and finalists tonight.”
From 110 entries and nominations received for the awards, the panel of independent judges chaired by York film maker Kit Monkman chose the winners from 55 finalists.
Further winners were: Outstanding Community Arts Project, Explore Labs; Inspirational Teacher, Roger Ward, senior guide at Fairfax House; Excellence in Cultural Equality & Diversity, Out Of Character Theatre Company; Outstanding Cultural Festival (Large), York Festival of Ideas, run by University of York.
The Excellence in Media Arts award went to Yorkshire’s Jurassic World at the Yorkshire Museum; Outstanding Performing Artist, actor and writer James Swanton; Outstanding Live Performance, York band The Howl & The Hum, who were unable to attend in award ceremony tradition, and Outstanding Busker, Hyde Family Jam.
The Outstanding Visual Artist award was won by Sue Clayton; Excellence in Writing, poet Robert Powell, and Rising Star, Fran Christie, for her film as a part of the Eighteen project.
The ceremony also featured three performances: a preview excerpt from Pilot Theatre’s upcoming 2019 production of Noughts & Crosses; a dance performance from the new York Youth Dance, produced by York Dance Space; and an exuberant celebratory set by award winners Hyde Family Jam, performing their “folk gone wrong” music.
Mr Herman, director of Brassed Off, Little Voice and The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, revealed he was into his second year of writing a script about the three Hull trawlers that went down within days of each other in 1968 with only one survivor. He is also working on a film about Spike Milligan.
For the full story please see the York Press website.