Stars come out virtually for this year's Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

The winners of the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards have been revealed in a unique online ceremony to celebrate the outstanding contributions to the industry in what has been a challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hosted by Coronation Street and Emmerdale actress, Huyton-born Eithne Browne, the ceremony was broadcast live into over 300 homes where the finalists were standing by waiting for the winners to be announced.

Eithne Browne presenting at the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards 2020 Credit: Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

Guest presenters from across the city region including the Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet Matthew Ball, music artist and international DJ Yousef, actress Leanne Best and chef Paul Askew helped distribute the accolades by video link in the 15 categories.

The People’s Choice award which saw 2,300 of votes cast from across the Liverpool City Region, was awarded to The Atkinson Sefton while the Lifetime Achievement award, recognising an individual’s lifelong creative contribution to the Liverpool City Region, was bestowed on photographer, independent filmmaker and visual artist Sandi Hughes.

I always like to say that the Liverpool City Region is the country’s cultural capital; that creativity is in our DNA and we’ve really seen that on full display during this past year. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our region has continually responded with imagination, creativity and generosity to keep us all connected and our spirits high.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram

I’d like to congratulate everybody who has been nominated for an award and give a special congratulations to our award winners. I know that all of these fantastic organisations and people will play an integral role in the region’s recovery after this pandemic – I can’t wait to see what they will produce.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram
Steve Rotheram appearing virtually at the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards Credit: Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

A panel of judges including Co-Chairs of the Culture Partnership Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll, chose the finalists from more than 700 nominations this year.

Despite the region’s museums, art galleries, theatres and music venues having to close their doors for the best part of the last year, it was heartening to see how many nominations we still had for this year’s awards and the quality of work we received which made the judging all the more difficult!

Maggie O’ Carroll

The cultural and creative sector has been responsive and has shown to be a lifeline for many communities. It has proved invaluable in supporting people in their own health and well-being during these extraordinary times.

Maggie O’ Carroll
Sir Phil Redmond at Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity awards 2020 Credit: Liverpool City Region Culture and creativity awards 2020

“Congratulations to all the winners tonight at what was a dynamic digital ceremony. I’m delighted we could still get together using the power of technology to celebrate this year’s achievements in what has been a crippling year for many cultural organisations. It shows the resilience of the people of the Liverpool City Region who even now are making a significant impact to culture and creativity.

Phil Redmond

During the ceremony, the Borough of Culture title was handed from Sefton to Halton, the next of the city region’s six boroughs to hold the title.

I’m incredibly proud of how everyone took up the challenge to think differently about how we could present this year’s Borough of Culture in Sefton. Covid-19 has had a massive impact in all areas and I am grateful for all the hard work that went into what has been a difficult year for the cultural and creative sector.

Sefton Councillor and Cabinet member for Communities and Housing Trish Hardy

As we move forward into 2021 and into Halton’s Borough of Culture year, hopefully with the ongoing vaccine roll out there will be the opportunity to enjoy some of the culture and creativity the borough has to offer in more normal circumstances. We are looking forward to celebrating Halton’s Borough of Culture year and to further build on the fantastic work we have seen in previous years.

Councillor Eddie Jones, Halton Council

Winner of the Borough of Culture Star of the Year award went to Claire Morgans from YKids. The Bootle childrens, young people and family charity aims to raise world changers – young people who believe that they can, and then do make a difference. In 2019 they set up a new project - a steam punt-themed childrens bookshop and literacy project which saw a children's literacy festival.

I was absolutely shocked, I really was. When I saw the amazing people who had been nominated and shortlisted in my category. To actually win was incredible.

Claire Morgans

Meanwhile singer Jennifer John was awarded the Impact award for Covid-19 Creative Response for her Love Sings project that brought the world together to sing and raise money for charities affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

I had the idea during the first lockdown because I could see a lot of people were feeling isolated and I've always known through my work it was the best way to bring people together.

Jennifer John, Composer

Liverpool Designer Mary Lamb, Head of Liverpool based costume and fashion production space fabricationstudios, also announced the winner of the Dress it Up competition which was awarded to Velma Von Bonbon in the amateur category and Emma Russell in the professional category.

The Culture and Creativity awards were created as part of the Metro Mayor’s Percent for Culture initiative, to recognise the value and power for change that the arts, cultural and creative sector can bring in reinforcing the city region as one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, study, visit or do business.

This year’s awards covered arts and cultural events, innovation and creative activity that took place within the Liverpool City Region during the period 1st April 2019 to 12th November 2020.