Manchester City Council

Manchester Culture Awards finalists announced

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


Best Event    

Black Gold Arts x Whitworth Takeover

Manchester Art Gallery – Baby Week

Manchester Pride Festival

Royal Exchange Theatre – The Den in M8

SICK! Festival


Best Exhibition

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


Best Performance

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

Abel Selaocoe

Isabella Leung

Jackie Bailey

Leslie Thompson

Mary Burke


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

Reform Radio

The National Trust – Castlefield Viaduct


Promotion of Equality and Social Justice

Amber Stother 

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


Factory Sounds

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

Sally Hirst

Tashan Biggs

Yelena Lashimba


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:


Alex Reuben

Dympna Gould

Fly on the Wall Press/Isabelle Kenyon

Keisha Thompson

MM Jazz

Qaisra Shahraz MBE

Rod Kippen

Young Identity


Three Special Recognition Awards are also due to be announced on the night to recognise outstanding talent and contribution to culture in the city.


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