Cumbria Life Culture Awards 2017


The Best of Cumbria

75 finalists are revealed for the second Cumbria Life Culture Awards at Theatre by the Lake. Here are the 75 finalists chosen to represent the best of Cumbrian culture at the second Cumbria Life Culture Awards.


Amateur Society/Group of the Year

Barrow Operatic & Dramatic Society
Producing musical theatre and drama in Barrow since 1910.
Carlisle Green Room Theatre Club
An amateur dramatics theatre based at West Walls Theatre in Carlisle.
Kendal Community Theatre
A relatively new theatre company performing in and around Kendal.
*Wigton Theatre Club
Owns and runs the John Peel Theatre, Wigton.
Workington Amateur Operatic Society
Presenting live theatre in the Workington area for more than a century.

Artistic Collaboration

Brewery Poets
A 30-year collaboration of Cumbrian poets who meet at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.
Cumbria Printmakers
A collaboration championing printmaking through exhibitions, events and workshops.
Evocative Objects at Sprint Mill
A collaborative exhibition between Victoria Eden and Jan Goodey at Sprint Mill, Burneside.
*Fun Live Aspirational Music Education
FLAME is an orchestral music project developed by students from Cockermouth School supported by Cumbria Music Education Hub.
Tales of a Long Conflict – Prism Arts Studio Theatre
Prism, based in Carlisle, created ‘TLC’ to commemorate the Battle of the Somme.

Choir of the Year

Herdwyck Consort
A Norse word meaning ‘sheep pastures’, the name reflects the group’s strong connections with the Lake District.
Keswick Choral Society
A mixed voice choir performing a varied repertoire of classical and modern choral music.
K Shoes Male Voice Choir
Formed in 1929, the choir performs in support of local and national charities.
*Levens Choir
Celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016 and has an innovative, wide-ranging repertoire.
Wigton Choral Society
A long-established choir with a repertoire of religious and secular music from the 15th to 21st century.

Community Arts Award

An arts organisation which works with the communities of Barrow and Furness.
Brewery Youth Arts
BYA is part of the Brewery Arts Centre’s community participation and outreach programme.
Mirehouse Residents Group – Pathways to Prose
A creative writing project between Mirehouse Residents Group and Valley Primary School, Whitehaven.
From its Kendal studios, S2C works with adults recovering from physical and mental health conditions.
Wordsworth Trust
The Trust delivers its community programme from its base at Dove Cottage, Grasmere

Designer/Maker of the Year

Charlie Whinney
A designer/maker whose work combines fine art, architecture and design.
Jan Goodey
A ceramic sculptor working on delicate, small-scale sculptures and jewellery.
*Jim Malone
One of Britain’s foremost potters, Jim is a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain.
Lawrence Leith
Artisan musical instrument maker, working in a mix of media including wood, metal, ceramics.
*Waters and Acland
Designer-makers of bespoke fine furniture from their workshop at Staveley.

Event of the Year

*Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash
The world-premiere in Kendal of a multimedia performance by artist/ filmmaker/musician Dave McKean. (Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the World War One centenary.)
Catbells Festival of Light
Organised by Lakeland Mountain Guides, walkers defined the spine of Catbells with head torches (and captured by professional photographers).
Flight (Lakes Alive)
A performance and installation at Brockhole by artist Geraldine Pilgrim (co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW).
Go Herdwick Public Art Trail
A flock of life-sized artist-decorated Herdwick ewes which appeared in unexpected places throughout the central Lakes.
Somme 100 Commemoration Community Arts Project
A Remembrance event at Carlisle Castle commemorating Armistice Day and the Somme centenary.

Exhibition of the Year

Cumbrian Art: Picturing Places
An exhibition at Tullie House, Carlisle which drew on its extensive collection of art inspired by Cumbria’s
landscapes and townscapes.
Museum of Water
Publicly donated water and associated stories exhibited in the Old Boat House at Wray Castle, Windermere.
paperscissorsbook: Highlights Contemporary Craft Tour
Paper-cuts and artists’ books from 20 international artists at The Old Courthouse, Shap and St Mary’s, Kirkby Lonsdale.
*Winifred Nicholson in Cumberland
A major Abbot Hall exhibition curated by art historian Jovan Nicholson, the artist’s grandson.
Wordsworth Country: Lakes, Mountains and Waterfalls
Explored how Wordsworth’s words drew people to the area to which he became inextricably linked.

Festival of the Year

Borderlines Book Festival
An annual and growing celebration in Carlisle of the written and spoken word.
Kendal Poetry Festival
The inaugural festival brought national and international poets together for readings, workshops and discussions.
Kendal Mountain Festival
A celebration of outdoor adventure including art exhibitions and book and film events.
Lakes Alive
A new festival of ‘spectacular happenings’ in Windermere and Kendal.
*The Lakes International Comic Art Festival
The only festival of its kind in the UK, it took over Kendal for a weekend of exhibitions and events.

Art Gallery of the Year

*Abbot Hall Art Gallery
A Grade I listed villa in Kendal exhibiting contemporary and historic art.
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House
Overlooking Windermere, it shows contemporary craft exhibitions and historic craft displays.
Castlegate House Gallery
Cockermouth gallery exhibiting contemporary paintings, sculpture and ceramics and championing northern art.
Heaton Cooper Studio Archive Gallery
Grasmere gallery showing work by the Heaton Cooper family and a wide range of art genres.
Upfront Gallery
Gallery near Penrith promoting the visual arts in Cumbria and running the annual Upfront Open competition.

Museum of the Year

Ruskin’s former home overlooking Coniston Water, now
a museum and centre for the arts.
Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life
Carlisle’s newest visitor attraction, telling the 300-year story of Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment.
Ruskin Museum
A ‘cabinet of curiosities’ telling the stories of Coniston.
*Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery
Carlisle-based regional museum displaying art, archaeology, natural history, local and social history.
Wordsworth Museum (and Grasmere History Group)
Museum next to the poet’s Grasmere home, Dove Cottage. The Grasmere History Group meets in the adjoining Jerwood Centre.

Musician of the Year

*Ian Hare
An experienced and versatile musician who is active as an organist, choir director and composer.
Jolan Gidney-Craigen
Cumbrian singer known as Jolan who came second in the BBC’s The Voice.
Jess Gillam
Ulverston saxophonist Jess reached the Final of BBC Young Musician 2016.
Matthew Pagan
Carlisle member of ‘musical theatre boy band’ Collabro, which won Britain’s Got Talent in 2014.
Martin Roscoe
A pianist renowned for his versatility, Martin is equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances.

Photographer/Filmmaker of the Year

Ashley Cooper
Passionate about the environment, Ashley records the effects of global warming through his photography.
John Darwell
Works on projects that reflect his interest in social and industrial change, the environment and issues around mental health.
*Paul Kingston
The ‘Public’s Favourite’ winner of the Royal Meteorological Society and the Royal Photographic Society Weather Photographer of the Year 2016.
*Terry Abraham
Independent outdoors filmmaker/producer and photographer promoting Cumbria’s heritage and beauty.
Tim Fisher
A critically acclaimed photojournalist with an array of Honourable Mentions (nine in the International Photography Awards 2016).

Venue of the Year

Beggar’s Theatre
Modern and versatile venue based in the heart of the community of Millom.
*Brewery Arts Centre
The cultural hub for Kendal and beyond, providing memorable experiences across seven art forms, 52 weeks a year.
Carnegie Theatre and Arts Centre
An all-round community venue in West Cumbria with a proscenium arch theatre, bar/café and studio spaces.
Florence Arts Centre
A hub for art, film, workshops, comedy and theatre in West Cumbria.
Upfront Arts Venue
A rural arts venue at Hutton-in-the-Forest near Penrith with an art gallery and music and puppet theatre and its own puppet company.

Visual Artist of the Year

Alan Stones
Alan’s paintings, drawings and prints are essentially human in their concerns, depicting figures and nature affected by man.
Karen Babayan
Karen’s work explores themes of identity, migration and diaspora through multi-disciplinary works, including photography and print
Linda Cooper
Linda has had many private commissions and has exhibited widely, most recently in 2016 at Heaton Cooper Gallery.
*Margaret Harrison
Margaret is a radical artist whose practice extends through 50 years with works in the Tate collection.
Rachel Gibson
Rachel works with drawing, printmaking and painting media, sometimes combining them with elements of video and sound.

Writer of the Year

Helen Farish
Helen’s third poetry collection, The Dog of Memory, is a ‘meditation on memory’ reflecting her relationship with Cumbria.
Jacob Polley
Jacob uses the language of folklore to describe his upbringing in rural Cumbria in his fourth poetry collection, Jackself.
Malcolm Carson
Poet Malcolm Carson draws on his physical and emotional landscape. Route Choice is his third collection.
Rory Stewart
Rory explores identity, borderlands and his relationship with his father in his non-fiction work, The Marches.
*Tom Pickard
Opening with the Lark & Merlin sequence, Tom’s latest work, Winter Migrants features poetry and a poetry-diary.

Special Awards

John Fox and Sue Gill
The Mary Burkett Award for Outstanding Contribution
to the Arts in Cumbria

Ian Forrest and Martin Johns
Judges’ Special Award for Creative Contribution to Cumbria

Go Herdwick Public Art Trail
Judges’ Special Award for Outstanding Achievement

Maddy Prior

Cumbria Life Award for Lifetime Achievement


Entries and reader nominations close 5pm, Friday, December 9.
Finalists contacted w/c January 2, 2017.
Finalists published Cumbria Life February edition, from Thursday, January 19.
Winners presented Cumbria Life Culture Awards at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, Friday, February 3, 7.30pm.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.