First launched back in 2018 by the council to acknowledge Manchester’s rapidly growing reputation for culture and the arts, this year’s awards ceremony takes place on Monday 4 December at Aviva Studios.
Each year the awards celebrate the very best of culture and the arts in the city with nominations invited from members of the public, arts professionals, the voluntary and community sector and others.
Well over 400 nominations were received this year across twelve different categories recognising individuals, cultural organisations big and small, and the kind of events that together help make Manchester the vibrant and exciting place for culture and the arts that it is.
With award categories including best event, best exhibition, and young creative of the year, as well as awards recognising the promotion of health and well-being, environmental sustainability, the promotion of culture and education and more, the awards reflect not only the breadth of arts on offer in Manchester but also the positive impact they have on the city.
The judging panel this year included Jackie Kay, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Salford; Yandass Ndlovu, Artistic Director of I M Pact Collective; Pete Courtie, former Senior Relationship Manager Arts Council England; Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader Manchester City Council; and John Rooney, Director of Neighbourhood Delivery, Manchester City Council.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader Manchester City Council said: “The judges were blown away again this year by the sheer volume of nominations made and what this says about the energy and enthusiasm there is in Manchester for culture and the arts.
“The calibre of all those nominated for awards is a reminder also of why Manchester is known as a place that punches well above its weight in terms of its culture and creative output.
“We’re a city that actively encourages and supports the arts as an essential part of our vibrant identity making Manchester a place that people want to be, and we can’t wait to announce this year’s winners.”
The finalists for the Manchester Culture Awards 2023 are:
Best Business Partnership
Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2022
The Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition
Levenshulme Murals with Heart Murals and Rosgal Ltd
The Modernist Society and BDP
The Whitworth and Pentagon Play
Black Gold Arts x Whitworth Takeover
Manchester Art Gallery – Baby Week
Manchester Pride Festival
Royal Exchange Theatre – The Den in M8
Band on the Wall – Heroes of Manchester
Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District and Heard Storytelling – PROUD
Manchester Museum’s South Asia Gallery
National Football Museum – Moss Side to Marseille: The Art of Michael Browne and Eric Cantona
People’s History Museum – Nothing About Us Without Us
Hope Mill Theatre – Cinderella
Manchester Baroque and Manchester Cathedral – St John Passion
Quarantine – 12 Last Songs
Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School of Music – Leonard Bernstein’s Mass
Z-Arts – Grandad Anansi
Independent Creative of the Year
Promotion of Culture and Education
All for Ukraine
Art With Heart
Community Arts North West and Curious Minds – Pushing Boundaries
Manchester Museum and the Grange School Manchester – Touching Perspectives
Youth Pride MCR
Promotion of Environmental Sustainability
Brigitte Jurack, Fieldnotes, at HOME
Manchester Histories – The History of Climate Change
Moss Side Power – House Fashion Extravaganza
The National Trust – Castlefield Viaduct
Promotion of Equality and Social Justice
GFF Damian Dance Studio
Odd Arts, Hideaway and 84YOUTH – In Our Words
Stanley Grove Primary Academy
Olympias Music Foundation – Voices of Hope
Promotion of Health and Wellbeing
Great Northern Events NW Ltd and The Oasis Centre
Lime – Create+
Manchester Art Gallery – Art of Resilience
String of Hearts
Promotion of Talent and Leadership
Manchester Literature Festival Young Producers – Flux
Reform Radio – Sound Camp
Z-arts – Chair Development Programme
Made in Manchester
Art Assembly – Castlefield Gallery
Royal Exchange Theatre – Cold Chips and Pick N Mix
The Manchester Multilingual City Poets
Young Creative of the Year
Binish Syed Qureshi
Fehintola Charis Obisesan
In addition to the twelve main award categories members of the public were also asked to nominate and to vote for the winners of the Manchester People’s Cultural Award – with the final winner chosen by public vote in association with the Manchester Evening News.
The finalists for the Manchester People’s Culture Award are:
Fly on the Wall Press/Isabelle Kenyon
Qaisra Shahraz MBE
Three Special Recognition Awards are also due to be announced on the night to recognise outstanding talent and contribution to culture in the city.