Culture Night Belfast nominated for UK-wide arts award – and needs your vote
Organisers of the event are calling for support to help mark its tenth year by bringing home a prestigious National Lottery Award
Organisers of Culture Night Belfast are calling for residents of the city and beyond to get behind its bid to win a UK-wide award for National Lottery-funded projects.
The event, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, was the only Northern Ireland finalist named in the National Lottery Awards 'Arts' category, and now needs public votes to help it go all the way.
Having already been shortlisted ahead of over 700 other organisations, the annual highlight of NI's cultural calendar is now up against six other nominees, including Hull's year as UK City of Culture for 2017.
The National Lottery Awards celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the support they receive through the National Lottery. Other projects based in Northern Ireland to be nominated include the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme and Connswater Community Greenway for Environment, HURT for Health, HMS Caroline for Heritage and Blind Tennis at Windsor for Sport.
Run by the Cathedral Quarter Trust, Culture Night Belfast is a major celebration which takes place every September, last year attracting more than 100,000 visitors to 350 free events across 150 locations in the city. Crowds of up to 150,000 people are expected for this year's milestone edition on September 21 and organisers hope that locals in particular will rally behind the award nomination, which they described as 'a tribute to the city'.
The 'Big Gay Wedding' officiated by author Glenn Patterson at Culture Night Belfast 2015
Susan Picken, Cathedral Quarter Trust director, said: 'We’re putting the call out to the people of Belfast and beyond! We are absolutely delighted that Culture Night Belfast has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards 2018 and with the local public’s help, we know we’re in with a chance.
'Culture Night has become a do not miss event in Northern Ireland’s cultural calendar. When it started in 2009, 15,000 people attended – now it attracts more than 100,000.
'This year, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Culture Night, we would dearly love to mark this occasion by winning the National Lottery Award for the Best Arts Project, for the city and the people that make it such a special place to live, work and play in!'
Paul McErlean chair of the Cathedral Quarter Trust said: 'Culture Night Belfast being nominated for the National Lottery Awards is a huge honour, not to mention a superb start to our 10th anniversary celebrations. The Awards are UK-wide, with extremely stiff competition.
'For Culture Night to make the shortlist for Best Arts Project is a recognition of how far we’ve come in the past decade as well as a massive tribute to Belfast’s arts community. Culture Night is their free gift to the people of Belfast and its visitors and what a night it has become. This nomination is also a tribute to the hard work of the Culture Night team and the wider Cathedral Quarter Trust as well as our key financial supporters and sponsors.
'Now it’s down to cold hard votes, and we’re calling on as many people as possible to get behind us and help us make the tenth year a Culture Night to remember!'
Musician, activist and National Lottery Awards Ambassador, Professor Green, added: 'It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise over £30 million each week for good causes, that extraordinary projects like those in the finals of the National Lottery Awards are possible.
'Culture Night Belfast is an impressive event and a real asset to its local community. So what are you waiting for? Give them your support and get voting!'
To vote for Culture Night Belfast and other Northern Ireland organisations nominated in the National Lottery Awards go to https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. Find out more about Culture Night Belfast at https://www.culturenightbelfast.com.