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CULTURAL AWARDS 2023 – RESULTS

30-Nov-2023

Gibraltar Cultural Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture have announced the results of this year’s Cultural Awards. The winners were presented with their awards at a prestigious Gala event at The Sunborn Hotel which was broadcast live by GBC.

The Awards aim to celebrate Gibraltar’s arts and culture, looking at the achievements and successes of individuals and groups. These awards recognise and highlight potential, ability, talent, and achievement, whilst at the same time supporting the community’s artistic and cultural development.

The selection process included an open invitation to the public for nominations, which led to a shortlist approved by the Cultural Awards Board. The public was then invited to be part of the process and vote for the shortlisted nominees via a telephone vote set up by Gibtelecom. The Board also voted on awards for Rising Star, Special Achievement, Extraordinary Achievement, Cultural Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement.

The Award winners are as follows:

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD – presented to Louis Emmitt-Stern

Louis Emmitt-Stern has had a sterling year in London with continued success for his ‘Spaceship’ production which opened at the London VAULT Festival selling out its entire run before opening night. The play received 4- and 5-star reviews, winning the Origins Award for Outstanding New Work. It was further identified as one of the five best plays from the festival from over 550 productions, also featuring in an event anthology. The play’s successful run continued as it transferred to Soho Theatre in the heart of the West End for an extended 3-week engagement. Louis won the Tony Craze Award in 2021 for his debut play SLIPPERY, currently in development for full production. This young playwright is currently developing original work for both stage and screen, whilst also teaching and acting in the UK and Gibraltar.

YOUTH AWARD (21 and Under) – awarded to Nicholas Raggio

Nicholas Raggio, member of the Bayside and Westside Drama Company 2023 and GAMPA acting student had a great year winning the Best Youth Actor award for his role ‘C’ in ‘Natives’ at the
Gibraltar International Drama Festival. ‘Natives’ also played at the Duncan Rand One Act Play Festival in Kent, UK, winning Best Play, with Nicholas winning Best Actor. He also impressed in his role as ‘Brit’ in GAMPA’s musical theatre offering of ‘We Will Rock You’ with a mature and committed performance. His community engagement in the arts has also seen him producing features for both TV and radio.

RISING STAR AWARD – awarded to Luna Lee

Luna Lee’s potential at her young age has been recognised with this new award. Luna won the Best Youth Actress award at the Gibraltar International Drama Festival for her portrayal of ‘Amy’ in ‘Signed, Me’ by GAMPA, later taking the role to the National Drama Festivals Association in Coventry. Luna was recognised as the Most Promising Vocalist at the Gibraltar Festival of Young Musicians and received a Parasol Foundation scholarship for ‘Promise and Potential’. She has also featured in numerous productions, including GAMPA’s ‘The Dream Catcher’ and as part of the Gibraltar Youth Choir.

SENIOR AWARD (22 and Over) – awarded to Shane Dalmedo

Shane Dalmedo is a committed artist and member of the Fine Arts fraternity who is continuously evolving and developing her work which includes paintings, sculpture, 3D creations and animations. A recent highlight was her selection for the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with ‘Sunday Drive’ from 1000’s of entries. This artwork had previously been recognised with the Sculpture Award at the Spring Visual Arts Competition. In the past year her artworks have also been exhibited in La Linea and Algeciras with Kitchen Studios, Gallery Kent in Tangier as part of a Cultural Exchange and at a special exhibition in Bermondsey Project Space in London. Her unique style makes her work distinctive and recognisable.

BEST EDUCATIONAL PROJECT – awarded to GAMPA and Parasol Foundation for their International Women’s Day Project
The International Women’s Day programme by GAMPA and The Parasol Foundation saw a weeklong initiative with a variety of events raising awareness and dialogue around the subject. An art exhibition featuring female artists at GEMA Gallery curated by Kitchen Studios delved into related topics; a workshop with music and drama therapists at Clubhouse Gibraltar engaged female users; a music recital at the City Hall celebrated performers, an immersive theatre experience with dance, comedy and speech explored themes related to female relationships and roles, and a discussion on ‘Embrace Equity’ put the spotlight on issues that concerned young people. The project was an innovative concept that was well received by the community.

CULTURAL AMBASSADOR AWARD- presented to Simon Bolland

Simon Bolland has been gracing the professional West End stage since he graduated from the prestigious Arts Ed in 2014. His early start in Gibraltar’s theatres were with Danza Academy and GAMPA where his performances were always standout. His diversity and theatre and dance skills make him a well-rounded performer who can take on a variety of roles – ensuring his continued success and popularity in the West-End. His list of performances is inspiring and impressive: part of the ‘Anything Goes’ production which won two Tony Awards; playing the leading man Schlomo in Fame in London’s West End and performing in ‘The Wedding Singer’ at the Troubadour. He also boasts main roles in productions of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Ragtime’ and ‘Singing in the Rain’. Most recently Simon has taken on one of the main characters in the 5-star reviewed production of ‘Guys and Dolls’.

EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – presented to Christian Hook

Winning the Sky Arts Portrait of the year in 2014 catapulted Christian’s career. Over the last decade he has emerged as one of the most significant artistic voices of his generation. He has been recognised with awards and critical acclaim with several of his paintings now held in important private collection, with some also found in prestigious public spaces such as the Scottish National Gallery, The Museum of Liverpool, the V&A and the Bolton Museum. His dedication to research and keeping up with the latest scientific and technological advances has led him to create art which is consistently both innovative and adventurous. He has had celebrated sitters to include Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Sir Richard Branson, the Duchess of York, Sir Ian McKellen and most recently, Dame Judi Dench. Christian Hook has achieved an authentic and personal style which is recognisable and unmistakable.

THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – presented to Albert Hammond

From early popularity with local band The Diamond Boys on the Rock in 1960, Albert Hammond has seen six decades of hit songs and 360 million records sold worldwide. He has found success on three continents in both English and Spanish as a solo performer, songwriter and producer. His songs have been recorded by superstars and legends in the music industry: Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, The Carpenters, Neil Diamond, Julio Iglesias, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Tom Jones, Johny Mathis, Chicago, and Leo Sayer, to name but a few. Albert has been recognised with many awards and accolades over the years and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in America in 2008. His career is still thriving with his latest album being launched next year. Albert has no secret formula and puts his success down to hard work, consistency and dreams.

Minister for Culture, The Hon. Christian Santos GMD MP, said: “I would like to congratulate all the nominees and of course the winners. It is because of their work, commitment, creativity, vision and talent that Gibraltar has a cultural scene that we can be proud of. I sincerely hope our actors, musicians, dancers and actors are inspired by those who have been recognised at the Gala tonight and continue working just as hard in their respective fields to carry on our cultural legacy.”