(L-R: Jennifer John, Sarah Lovell, Mike Wharton, Maggie O’Carroll, Ngunan Adamu and Claire Morgans)

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched this year’s Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity awards as nominations open for the awards’ third successive year.

The opening of nominations was marked by a celebration event hosted by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Ngunan Adamu – who will be presenting this year’s ceremony – featuring some of last year’s winners, including People’s Choice winner The Atkinson in Sefton, Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’ Claire Morgans, from community organisation Ykids and singer Jennifer John, who took home the Impact Award for individual Covid-19 Creative Response.

They were treated to a live performance from Jennifer John’s choir Love Sings at the launch and met in person for the first time, as the 2020 ceremony earlier this year was held online.

More than 700 nominations came in from across the six local authority areas of the Liverpool City Region last year, and organisers hope to beat that total for 2021, based on the level of culture and creativity taking place. Culture is not only defined as professional arts, cultural events and performances. It also includes the voluntary and community sector who use creative approaches that are innovative and transformational.

The two awards introduced last year in the midst of Covid-19; the Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response (individual) and the Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response (organisation), will remain for 2021 to recognise the continued work which has used culture and creativity to make a significant impact on people’s lives during the pandemic.

Categories include:

  • The People’s Choice – For Outstanding Contribution to Culture
  • Artist of the Year
  • Arts Organisation of the Year
  • Student Inspiration Award
  • Impact Award – Health & Wellbeing
  • Impact Award – Environmental Sustainability
  • Impact Award – Improving Education & Learning
  • Impact Award – Improving Community Cohesion
  • Impact Award – International Reach
  • Impact Award – Future World of Work
  • Impact Award – Sustainable Business in Arts
  • Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response (individual)
  • Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response (organisation)
  • Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’
  • Judges Inspiration Award – significant contribution to Culture

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:

“The Liverpool City Region is the country’s cultural capital; that creativity is in our DNA and we’ve seen it on full display over the past year. As we have emerged the pandemic, people across our region have stepped up with imagination, creativity and generosity that I know will help to lead our creative recovery.

“I’m sure this year’s awards, when we’re able to come together properly, celebrate our creative talent and recognise the resilience that got us through the pandemic, will be a memorable occasion for us all.”

Cllr Mike Wharton Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leader of Halton Council said:

“Halton is delighted to be hosting this year’s awards as the final part of our Borough of Culture celebrations. It’s also the first time I’ve been involved in the awards as the Portfolio Holder for Culture so it’s a really exciting year for us. I’d like to encourage people across the Liverpool City region to enter themselves or nominate the projects you feel have made a big difference in the last year.”

Maggie O’ Carroll Co-Chair of the Cultural Partnership said:

“I think it is so important that we recognise the remarkable contribution that individuals and organisation working within the Arts and Cultural sector are making not just here in LCR but nationally and globally over the past year. Despite the continued impact of Covid-19 restrictions this sector has managed to reframe what and how they do their work. It is impressive how the creative sector and all the people to work within manage to adopt and continue to enrich the lives of residents across the city region in so many different ways. I’m looking forward to finding out how innovative everyone has been this year!”

Co-Chair of the Cultural Partnership Sir Phil Redmond said:

“When we introduced these awards, the aim was to encourage and recognise creativity wherever it occurred, not restricted to what are traditionally known as arts and culture. Creativity occurs under a microscope as much as a spotlight; within a workshop as much as a studio; to produce a cad drawing as much as an artiste’s sketch. Creativity occurs in our daily interactions, it helps shape us, and builds the culture that bonds us. So, be creative in spotting creativity and nominate anyone or anything that needs wider recognition.”

Activity must have taken place between 13 November 2020 and 12 November 2021; nominations can be completed online and the closing date for entrants and nominations is Friday 12 November 2021.

After this date the judging panel will shortlist the finalists for each category from the nominations received. For the People’s Choice Award – Outstanding Contribution to Culture, the Liverpool City Region community will then be able to vote for their chosen winner.

Nominees must live, study and/or work in the Liverpool City Region (e.g. Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) or have created work/projects that significantly benefit the residents or visitors to the Liverpool City Region and/or has positively contributed to the development of the local economy.

The LCR Culture and Creativity awards were created as part of the Metro Mayor’s Percent for Culture initiative, to recognise the value and power for change that the arts, cultural and creative sector can bring in reinforcing the city region as one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, study, visit or do business.

The ceremony will take place on 2 March 2022 and more details will be revealed in due course.

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