Manchester Culture Awards - finalists announced

Following a phenomenal response to the call for nominations for the first ever Manchester Culture Awards, details of the shortlisted nominees can now be revealed.

The awards recognise the best of culture in the city over the last year and have been established by the council to recognise the massive contribution culture makes to the city's economy, and the role of culture in helping make Manchester a vibrant place where people want to live, work, and play.

The cultural call-out back in June this year saw nearly 300 nominations made across twelve different award categories.

The volume of entries along with the exceptional quality of all those nominated, meant it was no easy task for the judges who had the unenviable task of deciding who should go through to the next round of judging. 

The judging panel was made up of Sara Todd, Deputy Chief Executive Manchester City Council; Alison Clark, Director North & National Combined Arts Director, Arts Council England; Mags Bradbury, Associate Director Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Central Manchester University NHS Trust; Keisha Thompson, Manchester writer, performance artist and producer; and Mark Dobson, independent cultural consultant; and Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure.

After much discussion and debate five nominees were shortlisted in each category and will now go forward to the final stage of judging.  

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture, and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said: "We had a phenomenal response to our call-out for nominations and such was the calibre of organisations, events, exhibitions, and individuals nominated that the bar was set very high for them to get through to the final stage of judging.

"It was a really tough job to whittle all of the nominations down, and it's going to be even tougher to decide which of the five finalists in each category should be crowned the winner."

Full list of finalists in each award category:


Young Creative of the Year

Ali Wilson

Annalise Browne

Jonathon Heyward

Dominic Bennett

Mohammed Leonardo


Promotion of Health and Wellbeing

Streetwise Opera



Manchester Museum

Manchester Art Gallery


Promotion of Equality & Diversity

The Proud Trust

Women's Words on Manchester

Venture Arts

Olympias Music Foundation

Amani Creatives


Promotion of Environmental Sustainability

Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team

Manchester City Council Events Team and Walk The Plank


Bridgewater Basin Eco Partnership

Z-Arts and St Philip's Primary School


Promotion of Talent and Leadership 


HOME Young Creatives


Venture Arts

Young Identity


Best Business Partnership


Museum of Science and Industry

Halle Orchestra and Siemens

Z-Arts and One Manchester



Best Event

Paris-Manchester 1918 - RNCM

What Is the City but the People? - Manchester International Festival commission

This is Human - Project X, HOME

Manchester Science Festival 2017 - Museum of Science and Industry

This Vibrant Thing - PlatformMcr and Manchester Libraries


Best Performance 

The Welcoming Party - Manchester International Festival, Z-Arts, Theatre Rites co-commission

Tony Walsh - This is the Place

#BeMoreMartyn - Hope Theatre Company

Illuminate - Company Chameleon

She Bangs the Drum - Contact Young Company and People's History Museum


Best Exhibition

Sonia Boyce - Manchester Art Gallery

Stories of Sacrifice - British Muslim Heritage Centre

Waqas Khan - Manchester Art Gallery

Beyond Dementia - The Whitworth

Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights - People's History Museum


Inspiring Innovation

Comma Press

The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre

Old Abbey Taphouse


Manchester Street Poem - Manchester International Festival commission


Outstanding Contribution

Carcanet Press

Manchester International Festival

This is the Place (book) - Tony Walsh

Royal Exchange Theatre

Linda Brogan - Excavating the Reno


In addition to the main nomination categories with winners to be decided by the panel of judges, members of the public were also invited to join in with the awards and vote for their own cultural winner through the Manchester People's Culture Award - a special award to be made in association with the Manchester Evening News.  

List of nominees for the  Manchester People’s Cultural Award in association with the Manchester Evening News:

Esme Ward

Tony Walsh

Liz O'Neill

Linda Brogan

Stephen Evans

Video Jam

Clayton Hall Living History Museum

Dave Moutrey


Winners in all categories will be announced at a special awards ceremony being held at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 14 November. 

For more information on the awards visit: 


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