Helen Dalby, Viewers & Content material Director, Attain North East & Yorkshire opened this night’s occasion. Here’s what she mentioned:
Women and gents, good night and welcome to a shocking setting right here at Durham Cathedral, a really particular location from which to welcome you to the 14th annual Journal Tradition Awards.
Tonight actually has been a very long time coming, and extra about how our cultural industries have weathered the storm that has been 2020 and 2021 in only a second.
Nevertheless, earlier than that, a short phrase on the historical past and legacy of this occasion. We’ve been very proud, over the previous decade and a half, to explain these Awards because the premier celebration of the cultural excellence and variety we’re fortunate sufficient to take pleasure in right here within the North East.
The Tradition Awards has all the time been flooded with nominations, and that exhibits us simply how a lot this area’s cultural heritage is treasured. It has by no means, ever been extra essential for us, as residents of the North East, to get behind these companies and present them our assist.
The Journal has written concerning the North East’s triumphs and tragedies since 1832. Championing the area’s arts and tradition is a core pillar and model worth of what we stand for as a writer, and one shared by all of Attain’s North East titles – the Gazette and Chronicle, and our web sites Teesside Reside and ChronicleLive.
It’s central to the explanation why, in February 2020 simply earlier than the coronavirus pandemic hit us all so exhausting, we relaunched the celebrated Passionate Folks, Passionate Locations marketing campaign. Its regional pleasure and id message bursts with all of the the explanation why the North East is, with none shadow of a doubt, the easiest place through which to dwell, work, research and spend your leisure time.
It’s apparent that the final yr and a half has thrown up many grave challenges each to companies, and to the individuals who work for them. Whereas we’ve all been impacted, the humanities and hospitality sectors have suffered setback after setback and battled continuously altering circumstances past their management.
However it has been unimaginable to see not solely their resilience, but additionally the enterprising creativity, the ingenuity in diversification, and the robust group spirit that has shone via within the arts trade’s unwavering willpower not simply to outlive, however to thrive.
We’re, we all the time have been, a area of entertainers. A heat place, in spirit if not in local weather, recognized for our welcoming hospitality and good humour throughout each nook of the North East. And that want to welcome, to host, to take care of our company, to create and to entertain stays undimmed by the disaster of the pandemic.
It might be remiss of me to not mirror on the good many terrific occasions and performances that occurred in 2019, earlier than a lot of our on a regular basis life was placed on pause. In abnormal occasions, we’d have celebrated these occasions and achievements final yr, they usually mustn’t be forgotten.
Our job tonight is to have fun an enormous breadth of exercise in our arts trade over nearly two years – and, in fact, to look ahead as properly, and get you all as excited as we’re about what’s to return in our area in 2021 and past.
However I’d like to present a particular point out to the North East Dance Co-operative and the work they did with the Nice North Museum on ‘The Museum Exercise’, and in addition to the beautiful tenth anniversary of our host metropolis of Durham’s lovely Lumiere pageant of sunshine, which welcomed its one millionth customer in 2019. I do know a lot of these right here tonight might be as excited as I’m about what’s in retailer later this autumn for the 2021 version. Let’s give all these organisations which hosted occasions in 2019 a deserving spherical of applause.
Again to tonight’s celebration. Right here we’re in lovely County Durham, and tonight marks our return to Durham Cathedral. Our huge because of the Cathedral workers for his or her generosity in internet hosting us tonight. And I’m very a lot wanting ahead to seeing Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring artwork set up Museum of the Moon which is about to mild up the Cathedral from 13 September via to 11 November.
I can’t consider a extra majestic backdrop for this. Nor for this night’s celebration and leisure that showcases the wealthy seam of expertise we possess on this a part of the world. It’s a pleasure to convey the awards to County Durham not lengthy after we celebrated the primary birthday of our devoted County Durham Reside web site.
As ever – certainly, greater than ever – these awards are solely made attainable by the assistance of our valued headline, venue and class sponsors and supporters.
Explicit thanks go to Durham County Council, our headline sponsor, which is exhibiting continued dedication to tradition within the county not least via its bid for Metropolis of Tradition standing in 2025.
We’d additionally prefer to thank Arts Council England for his or her ongoing assist of the Tradition Awards, in addition to class sponsors MIMA & Teesside College; Newcastle Metropolis Council; North East Tradition Partnership; The Northern College of Artwork; The Northern Studios; Northumberland County Council; and the College of Sunderland. Many of those organisations are long-running Tradition companions who assist these Awards yr after yr. I additionally need to thank our good host Chris Connel, Dave Whetstone and the judging panel, tonight’s performers and our staff at Attain Occasions for all their work in making tonight occur.
Earlier than you sit again and revel in our fantastic menu of leisure, please indulge me in a single ultimate spherical of applause for the whole lot this passionate, resilient and extremely gifted trade represents to our area, and to indicate our unfailing appreciation each of our artists and those that assist them.
Thanks. You’ll discover protection of tonight’s occasion on ChronicleLive, and an image particular in Saturday’s Journal. Please tweet on the hashtag #journalcultureawards and let’s see if we will get this trending – our performers, nominees and this glorious venue deserve nothing much less.
As I mentioned firstly, this has been a very long time coming and I do know you’re going to like it.
I’d now prefer to introduce Amy Harhoff, the Company Director of Regeneration, Economic system and Development at Durham County Council, our headline sponsor this night.
Thanks for listening and good luck to all our finalists.