24 March 2017back

Outstanding collaborations between business, arts and heritage celebrated in Glasgow

Elly Rothnie and Stella Litchfield, from the National Theatre of Scotland and named as first winners of new Fundraising Excellence Award

Outstanding partnerships between the business and cultural and sectors have been celebrated at Scotland’s leading Awards ceremony recognising excellence in this field. The Arts & Business Scotland 30th Annual Awards were presented last night (Thursday 23 March 2017) at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Janice Forsyth with the Awards objects designed by Oliver F Conway. Photo Credit: Eoin Carey, Room Credit: Studio 3, Robertson Learning and Engagement Centre, RSNO Centre

The first winners of a new award, created for the 30th Awards, recognising an individual or team that has made a significant contribution to the fundraising efforts of an arts, or heritage organisation in Scotland was revealed at the ceremony.  Elly Rothnie and Stella Litchfield of National Theatre of Scotland were named as the first recipients of the Fundraising Excellence Award.

The coveted Leadership Award this year went to Bruce Minto, OBE, for showing outstanding leadership in the arts in 2016. Co-founder of law firm Dickson Minto, Bruce was awarded an OBE in the 2015 New Year Honours List for services to Culture.  Bruce became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Museums Scotland in August 2012, after five years as Chair of National Museums Scotland’s Development Board in which he led a successful campaign raise around £13 million in private funding from over 1,000 donors. As Chairman of National Museums Scotland, Bruce has continued his inspirational leadership and played an active role in securing a further £7.8 million to create 10 stunning new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland. These opened in 2016, marking 150 years since the Museum’s foundation.

Commenting on his award Bruce Minto, OBE said: “I am honoured to receive this prestigious award from Arts & Business Scotland. I have been involved with National Museums Scotland for over ten years now, firstly as Chair of the Development Board and then as Chair of the Board of Trustees. I hugely enjoy working with the staff and supporters of National Museums Scotland and this award is in fact testament to their energy, drive, expertise and unfailing commitment.”

The winners of this year’s awards received a specially commissioned awards object sponsored by Atlantic Quay and created by Edinburgh designer Oliver F. Conway, a former student of Glasgow School of Art. Oliver has previously redesigned the coveted statuette for the Scottish BAFTAs and also created awards objects for the Herald Angels and Scottish Politician of the Year. Creating the Arts & Business Scotland 30th Awards objects is Oliver’s most significant venture yet using his own designs.

In the partnership awards, the five category winners for the 30th Annual Awards are:

  • Enterprise sponsored by Turcan Connell: Glasgow City Council & Art Pistol
  • People: Deloitte & National Theatre of Scotland
  • Placemaking sponsored by VisitScotland: MacRoberts LLP & The Cumnock Tryst
  • Innovation sponsored by Black Light: Scottish Environment Protection Agency & Right Lines Productions
  • International: IFS Worldwide & Cultural Documents

Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive, David Watt said: “The partnerships, projects and individuals celebrated at the Arts & Business Scotland Awards, one of our most diverse to date, illustrate the appetite within the business and cultural and sectors to ensure Scotland is a nation which has creativity and cultural engagement at its heart.

“This year’s winners showcase the very best of what can be achieved through partnership working across the length and breadth of the country and we are delighted to recognise such tremendous achievements.”

The Business Creativity category, sponsored by Inksters Solicitors, recognises a business that has taken the lead in establishing and developing partnerships with cultural organisations in order to drive and develop commercial opportunities for both parties which impact the wider community.   Check-It Scaffold Services showed such initiative in sponsoring Scottish Ballet to work with David Dawson, an internationally renowned choreographer, and his team to create a new version of Swan Lake.

The Turcan Connell sponsored Enterprise Award, which recognises a partnership that has developed business expertise or entrepreneurial opportunities within the cultural organisation, went to Glasgow City Council and Arts Pistol for successfully collaborating on a project to find an enterprising solution to the particular issue of graffiti in Glasgow’s city centre.

The People Award, for a partnership that has used the power of culture to engage with and educate people in Scotland’s communities, went to The National Theatre of Scotland and Deloitte who collaborated on Granite – the largest cultural project ever undertaken in Aberdeen. This transformational project introduced the Aberdeen community to theatre, raising significant awareness of the history and fabric of the city.

The Enterprising Museum Award sponsored by Museum Galleries Scotland, which celebrates a museum that has shown outstanding innovation or entrepreneurship to deliver an ambitious high-impact museum experience in 2015-16, was won by Auchindrain for The Runrig Project.  From humble beginnings receiving funding to provide work experience for one unemployed young person, the project has grown, providing opportunities for a diverse mix of young people to gain experience in buildings and land maintenance, administrative skills or use of modern media and technology.

Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Auchindrain on this fantastic achievement. Their project showed real integrity and depth in breaking down the barriers to participation, demonstrating the commitment of museums across Scotland to social inclusiveness. I am delighted that their tenacity and imagination in realising their project ambitions has been recognised through the Enterprising Museum Award.”

The Placemaking category, sponsored by VisitScotland, recognises a partnership that has strategically shaped the cultural activities in a specific geographical area or has contributed to an increase in cultural tourism in that defined area. The Cumnock Tryst is a small rural music festival in Ayrshire curated by renowned composer Sir James MacMillan, who grew up in the town.  With the support of MacRoberts LLP, the festival was able to invite Nicola Benedetti’s trio for a magical experience of beautiful music for local and visiting concert-goers. 

The Glasgow Life Award for Inclusion sponsored by Glasgow Life recognises a project or organisation that enables individuals, groups and communities experiencing discrimination to participate in culture and arts and fully express the richness and diversity of modern Scotland.  Indepen-dance, an inclusive dance company for people with disabilities and their carers, to enjoy, express, and fulfil their potential through dance, were the winners of this Award. 

Councillor Archie Graham, OBE, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Indepen-dance creates fantastic opportunities for people with disabilities and their carers to learn about and take part in dance.  From being on stage in high profile innovative professional productions, to taking classes and joining in with a thriving social community and much more, they open up the world of dance and creativity to participants. They are an inspired, inspiring organisation and hugely deserving of the Glasgow Life Award for Inclusion.”  

The Innovation category, sponsored by Black Light, was won by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and partner Right Lines Productions, for Rapid Departure, an interactive comedy theatre show which explored the topical issues of climate change and preparedness for flooding events.  The SEPA sponsorship allowed film maker Tim Flood to record aerial footage over each venue with a drone camera.  Video artist John McGeoch created clips showing the venue surrounded by flood water for a mock “live TV broadcast” during each show presented by well-known BBC reporter Craig Anderson.  In a category that celebrates the development of pioneering and transformative output, this collaboration shows an innovative and spectacular way of using drone technology to provide customised performances as a creative solution to a very practical issue. 

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. The winning collaboration between International Freight and Shipping (IFS) Worldwide and Cultural Documents unites their expertise to enable Scottish and Scotland-based artists to tell stories about the international nature of our contemporary society, enabling an international exchange programme to sustain contemporary practice between Scotland & Italy.

The ceremony was hosted for the tenth year by broadcaster and writer Janice Forsyth who currently hosts her own daily live, arts and music show for BBC Radio Scotland.  Janice is currently developing WatchScotch, a global digital subscription service, bringing the best of Scottish culture – gems from the film & TV archive, plus new content – to Scots at home and abroad.

To open the ceremony, Scottish Ballet, Scotland's national dance company, performed a passionate duet titled Jealousy.  Choreographed by James Cousins, winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award set up by director and choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne OBE, Jealousy is a powerful duet, set to the haunting melody ‘O God protect me’ from experimental composer Ben Frost.  Jealousy takes its inspiration from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 novel written from the viewpoint of a man who suspects his wife of adultery.  Sexy, atmospheric and voyeuristic, Jealousy offers an intimate viewpoint of a passionate and obsessive relationship, performed by Scottish Ballet dancers Claire Souet and Barnaby Rook Bishop.

On arrival, guests were presented with canvas gift bags created by pupils from Islay High School.  The two-day project, sponsored by Glasgow School of Art, saw pupils worked with textile artist Laura Spring, named as one of the Guardian’s brightest new design talents for 2017, to create designs and screenprint the bags as part of Glasgow School of Art’s widening participation remit.

40% of partnerships shortlisted for the 30th Awards were first-time sponsors of culture and recipients of New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) Grants.  The NAS Grants programme match funds business sponsorship of the arts and culture and has generated many partnerships which have gone on to win A&BS awards. Funded by the Scottish Government in partnership with Creative Scotland, the scheme has leveraged over £7.5 million into more than 500 new and ambitious arts projects since it began in 2006.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP said: “I congratulate all those shortlisted in the Arts & Business Scotland Awards 2017. As previous winners show, when culture and business collaborate they can achieve excellent outcomes. 

“Arts & Business Scotland are delivering some fantastic work driving successful partnerships between business and cultural organisations and helping our vibrant cultural sector to thrive.

“Building on this, we are committed to providing continued support to the programme in 2017, creating new business opportunities in the arts and heritage sector during the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”

*Image - Janice Forsyth with the Awards object designed by Oliver F Conway, sponsored by Atlantic Quay. Photo Credit: Eoin Carey, Room Credit: Studio 3, Robertson Learning and Engagement Centre, RSNO Centre

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Arts & Business says …

“I congratulate all those shortlisted in the Arts & Business Scotland Awards 2017. As previous winners show, when culture and business collaborate they can achieve excellent outcomes. 

“Arts & Business Scotland are delivering some fantastic work driving successful partnerships between business and cultural organisations and helping our vibrant cultural sector to thrive."

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP