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Honouring Manchester’s Cultural Gems: Nominations Open for 2024 Awards


The Manchester Culture Awards are back for 2024 with nominations opening this week for the prestigious awards that recognise the city’s cultural and creative highlights over the last year.

The awards were launched in 2018 by the city council to acknowledge Manchester’s rapidly growing reputation for culture and the arts, with the annual awards recognising the very best of culture, creativity, and the arts in the city – from the grassroots up.

They recognise individuals, events, and organisations big and small, that together help make Manchester the vibrant and exciting place for culture and the arts it is.

Nominations for this year’s awards open this week on Thursday 30 May, with nominations accepted across twelve different categories, including Best Event, Best Performance, Best Exhibition and Young Creative of the Year, as well as other awards that shine a spotlight on some of the important themes of our times such as health and well-being, the environment, and social justice.

This year will once again also see a special award made in partnership with the Manchester Evening News. The Manchester People’s Culture Award will be presented to an individual or organisation whose dedication and contribution to culture in Manchester stands above the rest and deserves to be recognised, with the final winner of the award chosen by public vote.

Nominees for each of the awards must either be based in the city of Manchester, or have a strong track record of delivering activity for the benefit of people who live in or visit the city, or that benefits the local economy. Nominations are welcomed from professional, amateur and community sectors.

All nominations must reflect activity that has taken place between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024 – apart from the Manchester People’s Culture Award, which recognises achievement over a number of years.

To be recognised for a Manchester Culture Award, nominees must be involved in one or more of the following areas: visual art, music, theatre, performance, dance, film and broadcast media, literature, digital art, photography, craft, or heritage arts.

Honouring Manchester's Cultural Gems: Nominations Open for 2024 Awards
Boshra Gjam, one of the hosts of the Manchester Culture Awards 2023

The nomination categories are: 

Young Creative of the Year

A young person (aged 13-25) who is inspiring future generations of Mancunians and others through their creativity, and/or is supporting others to be creative.

Promotion of Health and Wellbeing

Fantastic creative activity that helped people feel better in their body and/or mind.

Promotion of Equality and Social Justice

Making change and creating opportunities for equality and diversity to thrive.

Promotion of Environmental Sustainability

Taking action to have a positive impact on the environment and climate change

Promotion of Talent and Leadership

Great work supporting others to develop their skills and talents for future success

Promotion of Culture and Education

Supporting education and engagement through cultural and creative activity.

Best Business Partnership

A partnership that supports culture and helps it flourish in Manchester.

Best Event

A brilliant event that you think should be recognised. It could have been live or on-line.

Best Performance

A performance, in any art form, that was amazing and really impressed you. It could have been live or on-line.

Best Exhibition

An arts or heritage exhibition that you thought was amazing. It could have been in a venue or on-line.

Independent Creative of the Year

A person working independently in the creative sector who is inspiring and innovating through their artform and/or delivery of projects in the city.

The Made in Manchester Award

A physical, digital or other form of creativity that demonstrates the depth of amazing work in the city. We are particularly keen to capture art forms that have been less represented in the awards to date. Some examples include poetry, film, street art, graphic design, music, crafts, or other forms

The Manchester People’s Culture Award

A nomination for someone who deserves to be celebrated for their dedication and contribution to culture and creativity in Manchester. This is an award with a difference, because the final winner will be chosen by a public vote in association with the Manchester Evening News. Achievements can have taken place over several years.

Honouring Manchester's Cultural Gems: Nominations Open for 2024 Awards
Manchester Culture Awards 2022 Poet Lemn Sissay Winner of a Special Recognition Award

“Culture, creativity and the arts are at the core of city life in Manchester and a huge part of what makes Manchester such a great place to live, work and visit.

“With a richly diverse talent pool of artists and other creatives on our doorstep living and working here, it’s no surprise that we’re a city that embraces culture in all its forms and fully recognises the social as well as economic benefits it brings.

“The huge response we’ve had over the past five years to the Manchester Culture Awards since they first began clearly show the city really is alive with creative activity, and the brilliant nominations – that come in each year in their hundreds – are further proof of that.

“The creative scene here in Manchester is fantastic and we can’t wait to get this year’s nominations in and hear more about who you think deserves an award.”

Councillor Garry Bridges, Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council

Once all the nominations are in, judging will take place over the summer ahead of a special awards ceremony to be held at the end of the year – with more details to follow on this soon.

In addition to deciding the finalists and winners in each of the main award categories, judges also have discretion to present Special Recognition Awards to anyone who they consider has made a real difference to the cultural life of the city. Previous recipients of Special Recognition Awards include poet Lemn Sissay OBE, former Halle Music Director Sir Mark Elder, poet performance artist dramatist and writer SuAndi OBE, and former Director of HOME Dave Moutrey OBE.

A longstanding member of the cultural community in Manchester with a background in theatre, performance and education, Dave is known locally, regionally and nationally as a big advocate for the power of the arts. He is also Director of Culture at the city council.

Boshra Gjam, one of the hosts of the Manchester Culture Awards 2023 (1)
Manchester Culture Awards 2022 Dave Moutrey who was presented with a Special Recognition Award

“It says something about a place and what it offers if people like me – who have been involved in the arts for a long time now – still get excited both about what’s on offer every day for audiences in the city and also about the sheer breadth of opportunities that exist locally for artists and creatives at all stages of their careers.  

” And that’s really what makes Manchester so special and the Manchester Culture Awards so important – they’re a chance to recognise and celebrate the heady mix of creative content, opportunity and talent that puts Manchester’s cultural scene head and shoulders above the rest. So get nominating!” 


For more information about the Manchester Culture Awards and to make a nomination, visit manchester.gov.uk/cultureawards 

Nominations close at midnight on 27 June.  

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