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Photo galleries: Full details of the 2012 Norfolk Arts Awards winners

PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 October 2012

The 2012 Norfolk Arts Awards as part of the Hostry Festival. Winner of the Lifetime Contribution to Local Arts Award, Neville Miller receives his award from Susan Seddon. Picture: Denise Bradley

The 2012 Norfolk Arts Awards as part of the Hostry Festival. Winner of the Lifetime Contribution to Local Arts Award, Neville Miller receives his award from Susan Seddon. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Champions of creativity who play key roles in our county's vibrant arts scene have been honoured for their achievements at a glittering awards ceremony.

The EDP People’s Choice Award

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival was truly the people’s choice after scooping the EDP award that was exclusively voted for by the public.

The annual arts extravaganza this year brought everything from dinosaurs to cutting edge art to a special show that was 100pc Norfolk to the county for the 16-day festival in May. The prehistoric beasts from Erth’s Petting Zoo and Close Act’s opening show Invasion were among the biggest stars of the festival and other highlights included the dream-inspired AirHotel which sprung up in the grounds of Holt Hall, and the Garden Party and Festival Feast that both saw Norwich’s Chapelfield Gardens host weird and wonderful acts for all ages. Meanwhile The Voice Project took people on a musical mystery tour through the city’s streets from dawn until dusk, and the popular Spiegeltent hosted an eclectic mix of entertainment.

The NNF, which also organises the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios, was also responsible for two Cultural Olympiad events – How Like An Angel at Norwich Cathedral combined contemporary circus with choral singing, while Robert Wilson’s Walking saw part of the north Norfolk coast transformed with a series of art installations.

William Galinsky, the director of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, said the festival was thrilled to be named the EDP People’s Choice Award winner.

He said: “It is really the audience’s award, the award is for all the artists who performed, for the funders, for our friends and patrons, and the festival team and the army of volunteers who make the festival possible.

“It is becoming such a big and popular festival - 85,000 people saw the festival this year, 16,000 children saw the Dinosaur Petting Zoo and nearly 10,000 people came out for the open night show Invasion by Close Act.

“We are going from strength to strength, and it is great to be a part of Norwich and Norfolk.

“I am really grateful to everyone who voted for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival - and we have got some very exciting announcements coming up very, very soon about next year’s festival.”

Also shortlisted:

• SeaChange Arts’ Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts in Great Yarmouth which this year celebrated its fifth year with a six-day event that entertained more than 60,000 people. The 2012 festival featured an array of acts that included a spectacular aerial ballet and light show against the backdrop of a 65ft high giant, and a thrilling acrobatic show on a 10 metre-high wheel of death.

• +Wells-based Gallery Plus which was set up in 2009 by artist Trevor Woods and his wife Joanna. The inspiring gallery features ever-changing displays that show the work of a wide range of artists, and visitors can also watch Trevor at work in his on-site studio.

The inaugural Norfolk Arts Awards in association with the EDP marked the beginning of this year’s Hostry Festival and saw 12 accolades presented to those who have done great things for arts and culture in the county.

The ceremony, which was presented by the festival’s artistic director Stash Kirkbride and head of volunteers Lindsay Venn, took place at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry on Friday, and the awards founder Peter Beck said he was thrilled with the response to the evening which he said went far beyond his expectations.

He said: “It was amazing. I was astounded by the reception from everyone. It was really moving watching people come up and get their awards, especially those that have worked for such a long time in the arts in Norfolk. It was great to see their hard work being recognised. Well done to all the winners and all the nominees.”

He added that one of the great things about the awards had also been hearing about people’s passion for the county and the Norfolk arts scene in general, and that he hoped the awards would now be an annual event.

“Next year we would like to make the awards even bigger to celebrate even more people,” he said.

• The Hostry Festival runs until November 4. Visit www.hostryfestival.org

The Award Winners:

The Lifetime Contribution to Local Arts Award

Neville Miller, 82 and who lives in the Sprowston Road area of Norwich, scooped the award for his enormous contribution to the arts in Norfolk and received the biggest cheer of the night when he went up to collect his award. Neville, a veteran reporter and arts critic for the EDP’s sister paper the Evening News for 25 years, has written hundreds of reviews that have supported and inspired young actors to enter the profession.

He also performs for various theatre groups in Norwich, and has acted at the Maddermarket Theatre and the Sewell Barn Theatre for more than 30 years. Before moving to Norwich, Neville was a theatre reviewer for other papers, writing reports of opening nights at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon and at major London theatres.

Hostry Festival artistic director Stash Kirkbride said: “We could not think of a more respected and much-loved individual to receive the award this year.”

Neville said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, To have won is quite tremendous. Thank you very much indeed.”

The Theatre Award

Sheringham Little Theatre won the Theatre Award for its professional summer repertory programme which is one of the last surviving summer repertory seasons in the country. Now in its 52nd year, it continues to attract packed houses and nearly 30,000 people attended events last year.

Debbie Thompson, from the theatre, said: “Wow! I am really, really excited and amazed. Thank you very much. I love this little theatre. It is a very special place.”

Also shortlisted:

• Norwich Theatre Royal – for its high quality, diverse programme of shows.

• Norwich-based Thalia Theatre Company – for its inclusive theatre programmes and productions.

The Fosters Solicitors Business and the Arts Award

The John Jarrold Trust was awarded the accolade for supporting arts organisations and groups across the county including Norwich Puppet Theatre, the Maddermarket Theatre, Broadland Youth Choir, The Garage, Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, The Cawston Band, Livewire, Shakespeare Schools Festival, Community Music East, and Broadland Music Festival.

Caroline Jarrold said: “I am absolutely delighted. It is very special to us because we do love the arts in Norfolk.” Also shortlisted:

• May Gurney – for its sponsorship of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival’s MG Free outdoor programme of entertainment.

• Norwich-based East Publishing – for its imaginative and effective re-brand of Norwich Puppet Theatre

The Broadcast and Press Award

Norwich community station Future Radio scooped the award for its support of local music and DJs. Based in West Norwich, Future Radio is part of Future Projects and uses the tag line ‘The Community Alternative.’ It champions emerging music acts by running The Next Big Thing competition which in 2009 was won by Ed Sheeran.

Kate Roma, from Future Radio, said: “We are so much more than a radio station and it would not be possible without all the volunteers and all the radio guests and partners across Norwich. Thank you - we are delighted.”

Also shortlisted:

• The Rialto based in Aylsham – for its high-quality poetry publications over the past 27 years and support of local poets.

• BBC Voices at The Forum in Norwich – for its training programmes giving local people the opportunity to learn about film-making and radio.

The Bernardine Coverley Nature Writing Competition was being organised by the Book Hive shop, in Norwich, to celebrate Norfolk’s natural beauty, and also as a tribute to Ms Coverley, a traveller, writer and gardener, who lived in just over the border in Suffolk.

The prize was given to two writers – 26-year-old Ashley Ford, from Shipdham and EDP feature writer Keiron Pim, who is 34 and lives in Norwich.

Henry Layte, from The Book Hive and who ran the competition, said: “Both the winning entries responded to the theme of the title - Night and Dark - in exactly a way I had hoped, but also made the idea totally unique to them.

“Their descriptions of experiencing the outside nocturnal world, both natural as well as human, were brilliantly rendered, conjuring exactly their mental and physical responses, as well as illuminating the change that comes over both people and landscape when they are immersed in darkness.

“They are both deserving winners!”

• See the EDP on FridayNov 2 when an excerpt from both writers’ award-winning work will be published.

The Education and Community Award

Norwich artist Anita Staff won for her work with disadvantaged and hard to reach members of the community, using photography and film to help them break down stigmas.

Her project Perception, an exhibition of photographs featuring sex workers, aims to challenge conventional opinions about the industry and give the participants a chance to portray themselves as they would like others to see them.

Anita said: “I accept this award on behalf of every single brave, incredible person I have ever worked with. Thank you.”

Also shortlisted:

• Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Arts Project – for work with patients, their families and staff, providing arts activities and artworks within the hospital.

• Norfolk and Norwich Community Arts (In Harmony Project) – for the group’s musical and performance work with disadvantaged young people.

The Dance Award

Thursford Christmas Spectacular won for its large-scale dance performances that are one of the UK’s leading Christmas shows. Every year Thursford presents a festive feast of seasonal variety amidst century-old carousels and steam engines. John Cushing, Thursford producer and director, said the award was “a great honour.”

He said: “For the last 36 years we have employed thousands of dancers from all over the country, and I think this year we have the finest team ever so I would urge you all to visit this tiny little village in the middle of Norfolk and you will be surprised at what you see there.”

Also shortlisted:

• State of Flux DanceFilm Company – for the Norwich-based group’s contemporary performances, in particular Forgetting Natasha.

• Full Tilt – for high quality dance training for young people at The Garage in Norwich.

The Hy Kurzner Arts Entrepreneur Award

The Bo Nanafana Social Club – run by Norwich-based Helen Stoneley and Tristan Roche and their team of DJs, comperes, dance tutors and venue dressers – was named the winner for its popular themed dance and cabaret club nights that have taken place since 2007 and showcase local performers and international acts.

Helen and Tristan were delighted with the award and paid tribute to the whole The Bo Nanafana Social Club team and the Norfolk audience that they said were “amazing.”

Also shortlisted:

• Richard Penguin – for promoting local musicians through his independent music nights, radio programmes on Future Radio and his reviews, writing and promotional work.

• Delaval Astley and the Holt Festival team - for creating a high-quality and diverse week-long celebration of the arts.

The Music Award

Aude Gotto, from Norwich, won for her work in establishing the King of Hearts, an arts and music venue in Fye Bridge Street, Norwich.

The venue pioneered baroque music and contemporary work and helped launch young musician’s careers. It was forced to close in 2010 due to funding cuts but Aude continues to be involved in supporting musicians and live music events in Norfolk. King of Hearts trustee Howard Green accepted the award on behalf of Aude and he paid tribute to the way Aude brought the King of Hearts to life.

Also shortlisted:

• Burning Shed – for the Norwich record label’s support of local musicians, helping them to publish and promote their work.

• Recorder and fiddle player Laura Cannell – for her work with experimental early folk band Horses Brawl and her solo work.

The Visual Arts Award

Contemporary artist Chris Kendrick, from Norwich, won for his exceptional figurative oil paintings. He uses traditional glazing techniques to produce distinctive paintings, and his work is displayed throughout the region, London and beyond. He is exhibiting at The Assembly House until November 19 and at The Southwold Gallery in December.

Also shortlisted:

• Anteros Arts Foundation – for high-quality gallery spaces in Norwich and in Bergh Apton, and educational activities for local artists.

• Print to the People at Stew Studios in Norwich - for inclusive and interactive educational work with the local community through the medium of screen printing.

The Peter Barrow Bursary Award For Best Newcomer

Eighteen-year-old Charlie Skinner, who lives in Cromer, was awarded the bursary to help him follow his dream of going to drama school and becoming a professional actor.

Charlie has just completed his BTEC Performing Arts Diploma at City College Norwich and is a member of Norwich Young People’s Theatre with which he is soon to appear as Mr Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

His previous theatre credits include Bugsy Malone, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors and Songs for a New World.

Peter Barrow said: “We are so pleased to award this year’s bursary to Charlie Skinner.

“He’s a real talent of the future with multiple skills, acting, singing, dancing and even acrobatics. It’s fantastic to be able to help him on his way.”

Charlie said: “I am completely honoured by this award and feel proud to be part of the arts in Norfolk.”

The Lifetime Contribution to Local Arts Award

Neville Miller, 82 and who lives in the Sprowston Road area of Norwich, scooped the award for his enormous contribution to the arts in Norfolk and received the biggest cheer of the night when he went up to collect his award. Neville, a veteran reporter and arts critic for the EDP’s sister paper the Evening News for 25 years, has written hundreds of reviews that have supported and inspired young actors to enter the profession.

He also performs for various theatre groups in Norwich, and has acted at the Maddermarket Theatre and the Sewell Barn Theatre for more than 30 years. Before moving to Norwich, Neville was a theatre reviewer for other papers, writing reports of opening nights at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon and at major London theatres.

Hostry Festival artistic director Stash Kirkbride said: “We could not think of a more respected and much-loved individual to receive the award this year.”

Neville said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, To have won is quite tremendous. Thank you very much indeed.”

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