25 October 2014back

Outstanding collaborations between business and arts celebrated in Glasgow

John Wallace receives Award for Leadership sponsored by Chevron Upstream Europe at Arts & Business Scotland Awards

Outstanding partnerships between the cultural and business sectors have been celebrated at Scotland’s leading Awards ceremony recognising excellence in this field. The 2014 Arts & Business Scotland Awards were presented last night (Friday 24th October) in Glasgow at the new-look Theatre Royal.

Credit Eoin Carey

The coveted Leadership Award this year went to John Wallace, retired principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, for showing outstanding leadership in the arts in 2013. Commenting on his award John Wallace said: “It means a lot to me and my inspired team at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland that WE are being recognised as being world leaders in cultural education at every level. Although I am collecting the award, institutional leadership is a collective effort and I am full of gratitude to my colleagues for making me responsible for their huge appetite for innovation.”

 This year’s partnership awards were redefined into five new categories with award winners receiving a specially commissioned awards object created by Glasgow-based artist and designer Fraser Ross. Category winners are:

  • Placemaking: Inksters & Scottish Ensemble / Shell UK Limited & Theatre Modo (Joint winners)
  • People: TOTAL E&P UK Ltd & Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Digital Innovation: Quartic Llama & National Theatre of Scotland
  • Entrepreneurial / Sustainability: Sloans Bar and Restaurant & Noise Opera
  • International: Nomad Exhibitions & Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive, David Watt said: “The winners of this year’s Arts & Business Scotland Awards are testament to the vibrant and thriving arts sector we have in Scotland and while we celebrate this we must not forget the huge contribution that is made by business sponsorship which genuinely is the lifeblood of these wonderful collaborations.

“The standard this year was overwhelming and our judges had the enormous responsibility and unenviable task of selecting each of the category winners. The winners showcase the very best of what can be achieved through partnership working across the length and breadth of the country and Arts & Business Scotland is proud to recognise such tremendous achievements.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP added: “Arts & Business Scotland has worked hard to forge new relationships between arts organisations and businesses, attracting new fund raising collaborations and on-going sponsorships over many years. The links built between those working in arts and business offers scope for developing exciting and long lasting connections which benefit both sectors. 

“These Awards show the huge progress that has been made in this area. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting collaboration, partnerships and connections in the arts and culture for wider benefit, and the award winners are an excellent example of what can be achieved through this approach.”

The Placemaking category, sponsored by VisitScotland was this year’s most closely contested award splitting the judges who finally agreed to make the collaborations between Inksters & Scottish Ensemble, and Shell UK Limited & Theatre Modo joint winners. The award recognised two partnerships that have strategically shaped the cultural activities in a specific geographical area or have contributed to an increase in cultural tourism in that defined area. Inksters enabled Scottish Ensemble to take a genre-defying programme of music to Shetland in 2013. The programme featured Seavaigers – a double concerto for Shetland fiddle and Scottish harp, which was written by Sally Beamish for fiddler Chris Stout, harpist Catriona McKay and Scottish Ensemble. Aden-een, the Shell Fireworks Parade 2013, was a youth regeneration project led by Theatre Modo in partnership with Shell UK Limited at Aden Country Park, Mintlaw. The project brought together the community in a high profile celebration of its culture and community.

The People Award, for a partnership that has used the power of culture to engage with people in the wider community went to TOTAL E&P UK Ltd & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). Nickum (Doric for ‘young rascal’) is an inspiring programme of early years musical activity across Aberdeen. This is a partnership project with Starcatchers, TOTAL E&P UK Ltd and Aberdeen City Council, developed for family centres and nurseries in the city. The project builds on the RSNO’s successful Astar initiative. As a culmination of the project, an interactive show, entitled Hup!, was delivered in some of the city’s most deprived areas.

In the Digital Innovation category, sponsored by Accenture Scotland, it was Quartic Llama & National Theatre of Scotland that impressed the judges with their innovative use of digital technology to enhance the work of a cultural organisation. Other was interactive, live theatre played out in the real life city of Dundee. The project used digital technology to open theatre up to a wider creative world, fostering new partnerships, collaborations with the games industry and new experiences for both sectors.

The Turcan Connell sponsored Entrepreneurial/Sustainability Award, which recognises a partnership that has developed business expertise or opportunities within the cultural organisation, went to Sloans Bar and Restaurant & Noise Opera. Sloans Bar has established a sustainable commercial future for Noise, a company dedicated to producing new opera in exciting new places, by becoming their business partner.  Through cash sponsorship, in kind support, business expertise, access to their associated PR and ticketing companies, as well as delivering further sponsorship through their wider business networks, Sloans Bar is participating with Noise Opera in a vibrant exchange of business expertise from the business to arts sector.

The International Award is for a partnership that has supported the cultural organisation’s international activities or that has leveraged international support for the cultural activities of an organisation within Scotland. Nomad Exhibitions & the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) demonstrated this through the international exhibition A Tale of Two Cities, showcasing the development of the World Heritage cities of Nanjing and Edinburgh. A pioneering global partnership between Nanjing Museum, Nomad Exhibitions and RCAHMS, it was launched at the reopening of Nanjing Museum and has welcomed over one million visitors. This international partnership has developed capacity and skills at RCAHMS, brought investment from China into Scotland, led to business growth for Nomad Exhibitions, and enhanced the profile of Scotland’s heritage in China.

As well as rewarding outstanding and creative partnerships between arts organisations and businesses, the Awards recognise key individuals and projects which have made a significant contribution to the arts in the previous year. The Glasgow Life Award for the most creative contribution to realising the ambition of Festival 2014, this year went to the Citizens Theatre for their On Common Ground project. Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Like the Cultural Programme itself, On Common Ground was one of the most ambitious productions ever staged by the Citizens Theatre – and that it brought the community within the performance through the streets of the Gorbals, epitomised the very best of Festival 2014.

“The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games were the best ever, because as generous hosts we wanted to hear our guests’ stories as much as telling our own. The mesmerising performance, music and story-telling on those long summer evenings in the Gorbals Rose Garden will live long in the memory of Glasgow’s moment in the global spotlight.”

The Enterprising Museum Award sponsored by Museum Galleries Scotland which celebrates museum which has shown outstanding commercial innovation was presented to Abbot House in Dunfermline for their project the Abbot Brew House. Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland said: “Abbot House in Dunfermline is a worthy winner of the Enterprising Museum of the Year Award in the face of three very strong shortlisted projects.  Their transformation of an under-used outbuilding into a dynamic 17th century-style brew house was both innovative and creative, and visitors can now experience the brewing process first hand while enjoying a taste of history. The beers are available in the café and shop, and used in the Garden Café’s recipes, from pies to chutneys.

“It is increasingly important that museums are commercially minded. By regarding visitors as consumers, museums become more focussed on the whole experience for their audiences. Getting this right, like Abbot House has done will lead to an even brighter and longer future for museums and a more sustainable museums sector.”

The annual Awards event saw a change in format this year to take advantage of the ongoing improvements to the Theatre Royal Glasgow with a move away from the traditional sit down dinner. The evening which was based loosely around the theme of connectivity included a drinks reception, bars and canapés with a buffet provided by Wilde Thyme. Guests were entertained by performances from Scottish Opera and students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland while the theatre auditorium was dressed with a decorative piece of art created by children from St Ninian’s Primary School led by Glasgow printmaker Ursula Hunter.

Sponsors of the event include Accenture Scotland, Black Light, Chevron Upstream Europe Freight Design, Glasgow Life, J Thomson Colour Printers, Museums Galleries Scotland, Tesco Bank, Turcan Connell, Whyte & Mackay, and VisitScotland, WEST Brewery, with citizenM as the hotel partner and the Herald as the Awards’ media partner. 

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Arts & Business says …

 “The winners of this year’s Arts & Business Scotland Awards are testament to the vibrant and thriving arts sector we have in Scotland and while we celebrate this we must not forget the huge contribution that is made by business sponsorship which genuinely is the lifeblood of these wonderful collaborations."

David Watt, Chief Executive