A special celebration of Norfolk’s stars of the arts
PUBLISHED: 13:05 20 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:14 20 September 2015
Archant Norfolk 2015
Norfolk’s great cultural champions were celebrated at a special ceremony at Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre.
The 2015 Norfolk Arts Awards in association with the EDP took place on Saturday night and saw 18 awards presented to individuals and organisations who are true superstars of the arts.
The winners included Norwich’s GoGoDragons! trail, Norwich Arts Centre and artist Matt Reeve who were all presented with EDP People’s Choice Awards which were voted for by our readers.
Two Special Awards For Outstanding Contribution To The Arts were also presented – one to Norwich City Council’s Events Team for playing a key role in bringing BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend music festival to Earlham Park, and one to the team behind the GoGoDragons! trail which captivated people of all ages this summer.
Richard White from Claxton Opera was given the Lifetime Contribution to the Arts Award while actress Grace Leeder received the Peter Barrow Bursary For Best Newcomer.
Stash Kirkbride, co-founder of the Norfolk Arts Awards, said: “The great mixture of people that we saw being celebrated proves once again what a vibrant place Norfolk is for the arts.
“To see so many people celebrated at this red carpet event was wonderful. A huge thank you to the team who made it happen.”
BBC Radio Norfolk’s Nick Conrad and Thordis Fridriksson hosted the event, and entertainment included a Norwich Fashion Week Showcase Catwalk and music from Simon Brown, The Voxettes, Lauren Dove and Simon Smith.
THE 2015 NORFOLK ARTS AWARDS WINNERS:
• EDP People’s Choice Award - Best Individual: Matt Reeve
Matt Reeve, based in Felthorpe, is described as having “an amazing devotion to the promotion of art and enjoyment of creativity.” His recent projects include creating three of Norwich’s GoGoDragons! (Aurelia, VroomVroom and Patch) and illustrating the children’s book Norwich: City of Dragons.
• EDP People’s Choice Award - Best Small Organisation: Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich Arts Centre won Best Small Organisation for a second year. The vibrant venue which presents a mix of music, live art and more, and champions emerging talent, was nominated for how it “continues to fly the flag for excellence across multiple arts forms in Norfolk and is recognized around the UK and beyond.”
• EDP People’s Choice Award - Best Large Organisation
GoGoDragons! art trail, brought to Norwich by children’s charity Break and Wild in Art, featured 84 dragons by local artists and sponsored by local organisations and 120 baby dragons by schoolchildren. The colourful clan was said to have “brought colour and life to the streets of Norwich” and “huge opportunities for appreciation of the arts to those who wouldn’t dream of entering a gallery.”
• Lifetime Contribution To The Arts Award, sponsored by Maddermarket Theatre: Richard White - Claxton Opera
For more than 25 years Richard White has produced, directed and conducted operas in Claxton. Originally staged at Claxton Manor, Mr White went on to create an opera house in his home, the Old Meeting House, transforming his living room into a theatre every summer.
• Special Award For Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Norfolk: GoGoDragons!
The GoGoDragons! trail was brought to Norwich by children’s charity Break and Wild in Art and encouraged everyone to enjoy visual art.
• Special Award For Outstanding Contribution To The Arts In Norfolk: Norwich City Council’s events team.
The team played a huge role in bringing BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend to Earlham Park where 50,000 music fans enjoyed acts such as Florence and the Machine, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift and Muse.
• Norfolk Icon Award: Caroline Flack
TV presenter Caroline Flack, who grew up near Thetford, became Norfolk’s dancing queen when she was crowned 2014 Strictly Come Dancing champion with Pasha Kovalev. A regular on our TV screens, she currently presents The X Factor.
• The Hansells Solicitors And Financial Advisers Business And The Arts Award: Adnams
Adnams sponsors Norfolk and Norwich Festival’s Spiegeltent and supports Holt Festival, Southwold Arts Festival, Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Playhouse and HighTide Festival at Aldeburgh.
• The Theatre Award: Sewell Barn Theatre
The company of professional and amateur volunteers is committed to staging challenging and inspiring productions in a unique theatre space in Norwich.
• The Hy Kurzner Arts Entrepreneur Award: Norwich Print Fair
Norwich Print Fair’s popularity has grown immensely since it was started by artist Martin Mitchell. This year the event at St Margaret’s Church Gallery is celebrating its 20th year.
• The Music Award: Norwich Philharmonic Society
Norwich Philharmonic Society presents an ambitious programme of classical concerts each year at St Andrew’s Hall and is celebrating its 175th year in its 2015/16 season.
• The Broadcast And Press Award, sponsored by Newsmakers PR and Reputation Managers: BBC Voices
BBC Voices, at The Forum, is a media workshop and production unit for film, music and radio. It has helped many people start broadcasting careers.
• The Visual Arts Award, sponsored by Mediamakers Media Training: Toni Lawton - Sweet Arts
Toni Lawton is project manager for Sweet Arts, a Norwich-based creative organisation which runs innovative projects that provide support for vulnerable women.
• The Fashion And Costume Design Award, sponsored by Norwich Fashion Week: Kirsteen Wythe
Kirsteen Wythe was costume supervisor for WildWorks’ outdoor spectacle Wolf’s Child at this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival, has worked with many shows at Norwich Theatre Royal, and founded burlesque label Boom Boom Baby.
• Dr Frank Bates Musical Theatre And Dance Award: Pasco-Q Kevlin - Norwich Arts Centre
As Norwich Arts Centre director, Pasco-Q Kevlin plays a key role in the venue supporting local performers by providing opportunities to showcase and develop work. The venue presents a vibrant programme of entertainment across the arts.
• The Education And Community Award, sponsored by TEN group: Marcus Patteson - Sistema in Norwich
Marcus Patteson is director of Sistema in Norwich which aims to transform young people’s lives through music, providing opportunities to learn instruments and play in an orchestra.
• The Jarrold New Writing Award, supported by The John Jarrold Trust: Alan Marshall and Mascot Media for The Artful Hare and other books
Alan and Marion Marshall run Sutton-based Mascot Media which produces beautiful books promoting artists. The Artful Hare has been a big hit this year, and features 74 artists.
• The Peter Barrow Bursary Award For Best Newcomer: Grace Leeder
Grace Leeder developed her love of performance at Hewett School in Norwich before achieving a musical theatre degree. She is now at East 15 Acting School.
The Norfolk Arts Awards was the opening gala event of Hansells Hostry Festival which runs from October 19 to 31. Visit www.hostryfestival.org
Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at email@example.com