The cream of Norfolk’s creative scene will be honoured at a new awards ceremony opening this year’s Hostry Festival at Norwich Cathedral.

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The 2012 Norfolk Arts Awards, in association with the EDP, will kick off the arts festival in October with a red carpet celebration of the county’s artists, performers, writers, venues and festivals.

The glittering evening on October 26 will feature 12 awards including everything from lifetime contribution to business and the arts to theatre to best newcomer.

Readers have the chance to nominate their favourite local artist, performer, venue or organisation for the EDP People’s Choice Award.

Peter Beck, founder of the Norfolk Arts Awards, said: “The idea for the Arts Awards came from the idea that the arts in Norwich and Norfolk is on the march. Not only is this a way of celebrating artists, arts venues and organisations; it is also a way of promoting what we do in the arts in Norfolk to people outside the county. Since the Hostry Festival is all about Norfolk and Norwich we thought the awards would be a fantastic way to start the festival.

“There are 12 awards and one is the EDP People’s Choice Award – an opportunity for the general public to take part. People could nominate a venue where they have seen something fabulous, a local performer or theatre company, visual artist or an education project. The main criteria for this award is all nominees must be based in or have produced work in Norfolk.”

To nominate, visit www.norfolkartsawards.co.uk and submit the details. Nominations must be received by September 14. A shortlist will be selected and published on the website where people will be able to vote for their favourite.

EDP editor Peter Waters said: “We’re delighted to be part of the 2012 Hostry Festival and Norfolk Arts Awards. There’s an exciting line-up with across-the-board appeal and this initiative is another piece in the jigsaw of creating an all-year festival calendar for the city and county.”

The awards will include the Theatre Award, Music Award, Fosters Solicitors Business and the Arts Award, the Hy Kurzner Arts Entrepreneur Award, Education and the Community Award, Lifetime Contribution to the Arts Award, Dance Award, Visual Arts Award, Broadcast and Press Award, and Peter Barrow Bursary for Best Newcomer.

There will also be the Nature Writing Prize run by the Book Hive in Norwich.

For more information about the awards visit www.norfolkartsawards.co.uk

The 2012 awards will take place on October 26 at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry from 7pm. The red carpet awards event will also include an after-show reception. Tickets cost £20. To book call 01603 218450.

• The 2012 Hostry Festival will take place from October 26 until November 4. Topping the arts festival bill is Hamlet: The Undiscovered Country, a newly-created sequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and before each of the shows inclusive theatre company Total Ensemble will perform a piece of movement theatre exploring Hamlet’s themes. Other highlights are staged readings of A Visit to the Villa Edouard VII by Julian Maclaren Ross and Voices: Moments from the Lives of Others by Adrian Drew.

Five Marys Waiting, a new play by David Banks, is being presented as a staged reading in a double bill with a concert starring cellist Clare O’Connell and violinist Marcus Barcham-Stevens.

Younger audiences can enjoy watching Thumbelina presented by Norwich Puppet Theatre and also Tilly the Talespinner and Obee Joyful. The closing event will be a free screening of the classic Hamlet film starring Laurence Olivier.

Visit www.hostryfestival.org. Tickets can be bought at the cathedral shop or on 01603 218450.

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