Since 2013, we've been celebrating the city’s creative community at the annual Creative Edinburgh Awards, highlighting the projects, people and places that flourish across Edinburgh.
2020 marked a year we'll never forget. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our world was flipped with uncertainty and a new 'normal' introduced! At Creative Edinburgh that didn't stop us hosting our annual awards - in a time when a little celebration was needed more than ever!
The Creative Edinburgh Awards 2020 saw a virtual celebration take place as we joined together online to raise a glass to our creative scene, who continually showed strength and resilience through these difficult times.
The night saw the premiere of our Creative Edinburgh Awards movie by easydays creative, featuring work from all this year's incredible nominees, the LIVE ceremony as we announced the winners via Zoom Webinar and our after-party, featuring a set from Edinburgh electronic synth-pop duo Maranta, recorded at 54EP with the help of EML and Temmy Mack.
Well done to all those who were shortlisted and a massive congratulations to our winners below!
The Start Up Award - The Flock
Sponsored by Creative Informatics, The Start Up Award went to The Flock, a digital magazine for 'women who rise' which promotes forces for good in fields including creative arts, charity, politics and sustainability. Launched during the Coronavirus pandemic, the magazine was founded and edited by Jennifer Crichton from her home in East Lothian and reaches a network of creative women empowering them with stories from inspirational women.
The Creativity Award - This Evening’s Performance Has Not Been Cancelled
This Evening's Performance Has Not Been Cancelled won the Creativity Award for its participatory opera project connecting performers and audiences. As live performances were cancelled globally, sound artist Zoë Irvine, kiosk/web design Lindsay Perth, artistic director of Bergen National Opera (BNO) Mary Miller and BNO production manager Vilde Gustavsen, devised and delivered a unique artistic experience during lockdown. Involving the curation of a bespoke call centre with over 60 opera professionals from 9 cancelled opera productions, the project reached over 500 callers and generated over 24 hours of one-to-one telephone conversations over two evenings.
The Student Award - Kat Cass - Menstrual Products
Sponsored by Edinburgh College Creative Industries Faculty, the Student Award went to recent Edinburgh College of Art Illustration graduate Kat Cass for her project Menstrual Products. Describing her work as 'menstrual activism', Kat's project looks to spark conversations about menstrual care using visual language as a tool to educate, empower and eradicate stigma surrounding our cultural perceptions of menstruation in the UK.
The Independent Award - Saras Feijoo - PlayfulFest
Curated by Saras Feijoo, PlayfulFest won the Independent Award for its International Playfulness Festival which grew out of Edinburgh-based Clown Cabaret Scratch Nights. For 2020, PlayfulFest had to transition its programme from Summerhall to Zoom, with a digital programme which brought a global audience together with speakers and workshops unlocking playfulness and fun in different creative and non-creative disciplines, shining a spotlight on play as a core part of our humanity.
The Social Award - Seed Sprout Change
Seed Sprout Change won the Social Award for their work which sought to reconnect individuals with nature during the recent lockdown. Through the planting of seeds and regrowing of vegetables, the project included the design and distribution of Gardening Kits, the curation of an online community to share knowledge with others and the utilisation of neglected spaces that had the potential for gardening.
The 2020 Award - Lyra
Sponsored by Creative Bridge & Codebase, Lyra won the 2020 Award. Lyra is a charity based in Artspace in Craigmillar with a vision of having a positive impact on the lives of children and young people in the community through engagement in their performing arts programme. Launching Lyra Goes Digital amidst the global pandemic, the artists and staff of Lyra used creativity to pivot their entire live activities and pastoral care programme online. Using their communication skills, they held weekly Zoom sessions ensuring their commitment to helping young people access high-quality arts and activities for free continued while at home.
The Commercial Award - Splintr - Safe Server
Designed in the midst of lockdown, Safe Server won the Commercial Award. The invention from the Leith-based small design studio and fabrication was created as an alternative to the makeshift doorway serving stations that were springing up over the city to enable businesses to continue trading during lockdown while keeping customers and staff safe. The created units sit on wheels with a protective barrier that expands to fit any doorway and could be customised for companies with logos, using clever design and fabrication to tackle new and unforeseen problems created by COVID.
The Collaboration Award - Sing the Gloaming
Sing the Gloaming won the Collaboration Award for its project, created by Professor Simon Kirby and artists/musicians Tommy Perman and Rob St John. Taking its inspiration from Simon’s research in the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Language Evolution, the project on light, landscape and language was created using experimental art and music featuring Scottish musicians including Kenny Anderson, Nerea Bello, Aidan Moffat, Emily Scott, Su Shaw, Hanna Tuulikki, and Andrew Wasylyk. Once each singer had finished their recordings, they were passed onto the next singer, who in turn listened and improvised their own ‘light word’ piece. Melodies emerged and evolved in this process: mirroring the real-world evolution of the words themselves.
The City Award - Creative Bridge
The City Award went to Creative Bridge, a pre-accelerator programme for creatives in Edinburgh who want to learn about product development, innovation and startup thinking. Operating as part of the Creative Informatics programme and run by CodeBase, Creative Bridge is a 10-week early accelerator which strives to break down barriers and explore new horizons across the capital by bringing innovation and experimentation closer together in a programme where creativity is the norm for all participants.
The Leadership Award - Hannah Lavery
Sponsored by Creative Informatics, the Leadership Award went to Hannah Lavery. Hannah Lavery is an award-winning poet and theatremaker who throughout COVID and the subsequent lockdown, held a weekly writing workshop for writers of colour across Scotland which has been described as a "lifeline" during the uncertainty that COVID-19 presented while giving writers in Scotland space to archive global movements for both present communities and future generations. Hannah also provides mentorship for emerging and established writers of colour and curated the series 'Sorry I Was On Mute' for Fringe of Colour Films.