Finalists announced ahead of this week's prestigious Manchester Culture Awards ceremony

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 


Best Event    

HOME - Homeground 

Manchester International Festival   

Manchester Libraries - International Mother Language Day    

Submerge Festival   

Z-arts - Summer of Play


Best Exhibition

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


Best Performance

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

Emmanuela Yogolelo      

Jez Dolan   

Phill Howley      

Sharon Raymond    

Withington Walls


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 


Reform Radio      

Shooting Star Theatre School  

The Manchester College Visual Arts Team and Manchester Art Gallery - Future Creatives


Promotion of Environmental Sustainability

Ergon Theatre     

Kuljit Chuhan     

National Football Museum      

Roots and Branches      

Royal Northern College of Music


Promotion of Equality & Social Justice

Libraries of Sanctuary - Manchester Libraries

Michael Bishop    

The Oasis Choir - The Halle and The Oasis Centre      

Uncertain Futures 

Afrocats and The Whitworth


Promotion of Health & Wellbeing  

Brighter Sound and SICK! Festival    

Reform Radio      

The Edge    

The Royal Exchange - We'll Be In Touch Project  

The Whitworth


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

Danny Hassan     

Faz Barber  

Matthew Needham   

Oceana Cage Nzene 

Yandass Ndlovu       


The Manchester People's Culture Award Alistair Hudson   

ALL FM      

Drywave Recovery CIC    

Ed Wellard  

Liz O'Neill 

Block Cinema


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