The finalists in the running to be crowned winners at the prestigious Manchester Culture Awards have been announced as the city gears up for its annual celebration this week of the stand-out cultural and creative highlights of the last year.
Each year the annual awards celebrate the very best of culture and the arts in Manchester - recognising individuals, organisations big and small, and events that together help make the city the vibrant and exciting place for culture and the arts that it is.
Launched in 2018 by the council to acknowledge Manchester's rapidly growing reputation for culture and the arts, this year's awards saw a record number of nominations made. Well over 450 nominations were received and considered by judges - 466 in total, far eclipsing last year's total of just over 300.
Nominations were made across 12 different categories, with award categories including best event, best exhibition, and young creative of the year, as well as awards recognising everything from partnerships forged by cultural organisations with others, environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, to the promotion of culture and education, and a unique Made in Manchester award.
The exceptional quality of all those nominated gave judges the unenviable task of deciding which entries should go through to the final round in each category.
Judges this year included Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council: Princess Arinola Adegbite, Manchester Culture Awards Young Creative of the Year Winner 2021; Venessa Scott, visual artist; Pete Courtie, Senior Relationship Manager Arts Council England; and Neil Fairlamb, Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods, Manchester City Council.
Members of the public were also invited to nominate individuals and organisations for The Manchester People's Culture Award - a special award made in partnership with the Manchester Evening News, with the winner chosen entirely by public vote.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council, said: "The sheer volume of nominations we received this year shows what an appetite there is for culture in all its forms here in Manchester. We're a city that champions creativity and culture, and actively encourages the arts as an essential part of our identity and what helps make Manchester a great place for people to live, work, visit and invest in.
"Four years on from the very first Manchester Culture Awards they are another reminder of just how much talent, energy, and enthusiasm there is for culture and the arts in the city and we're determined to keep on playing our part in supporting the sector and helping it to thrive."
The winners of this year's awards will be announced at a ceremony to be held this week on Thursday 24 November.
The list of finalists in each category is as follows:
Best Business Partnership
Barry Bennett Ltd and Venture Arts
Brother and The Halle
HOME & Ask Real Estates
Manchester Contemporary Art Fund and Manchester Art Gallery
Royal Exchange Theatre & Warner Media
HOME - Homeground
Manchester International Festival
Manchester Libraries - International Mother Language Day
Z-arts - Summer of Play
HOME - Poet Slash Artist
Manchester Art Gallery - Derek Jarman Protest!
Manchester Hip Hop Archive
Science and Industry Museum - Cancer Revolution - Science, Innovation and Hope
Venture Arts - Completely A Hustling Place
Contact Young Company - Saturnalia
Hope Mill Theatre - The Wiz
Manchester International Festival - When The Birds Land
Miray Sidhom - THE BREAD WE BREAK
Z-arts - The Gift
Independent Creative of the Year
Made in Manchester
Amid the Mirk Over the Irk - When Irish Meets Klezmer
Manchester Young Carers Music Project
Mapping Migrant Voices - Olympias Music Foundation et al
Postcards from Oxford Road - Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Poetry Library
Things That Go On Things
Promotion of Culture & Education
Creative City Youth Sketchbook Club
Shooting Star Theatre School
The Manchester College Visual Arts Team and Manchester Art Gallery - Future Creatives
Promotion of Environmental Sustainability
National Football Museum
Roots and Branches
Royal Northern College of Music
Promotion of Equality & Social Justice
Libraries of Sanctuary - Manchester Libraries
The Oasis Choir - The Halle and The Oasis Centre
Afrocats and The Whitworth
Promotion of Health & Wellbeing
Brighter Sound and SICK! Festival
The Royal Exchange - We'll Be In Touch Project
Promotion of Talent & Leadership
Brighter Sound Leadership Programme
Contact - Young People's Theatre
Manchester International Festival 21 - Creative Fellowship
Vic Elizabeth Turnbull
Z-arts - Chair Development Programme
Young Creative of the Year
Oceana Cage Nzene
The Manchester People's Culture AwardAlistair Hudson
Drywave Recovery CIC