SUNDERLAND’S cultural contribution to North East life has been recognised with a string of awards.
The Journal Culture Awards were held at the Sage Gateshead on the evening of Wednesday 17 April.
Pop Recs Ltd, a Sunderland city centre shop and performance venue, won the Sage Gateshead sponsored Newcomer of the Year Award.
Based in Fawcett Street, the centre is managed by rising stars Frankie and the Heartstrings.
There were three strong contenders in the Best Event Sunderland category – the National Glass Centre re-opening; Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens and The Social, led by North East Photography Network.
The Vanity of Small Differences won and Jo Cunningham Manager of Sunderland Museum was thrilled to receive the award (below: Trina Murphy Sunderland City Council Museums, Heritage and Arts Manager, Jo Cunningham Sunderland Museums Manager with actor and event compere Chris Connel).
She said: “The team and I couldn’t be happier to receive this Culture Award, the Grayson Perry exhibition was really special.
“We had so many visitors from all over the country, and abroad, and this was supported by an extensive programme of events and education activities to make sure as many people as possible could see and enjoy the exhibition.”
More than 120,000 people visited the Perry exhibition to view the Sunderland inspired tapestries that were created alongside the widely-acclaimed Channel 4 documentaries ‘All in the Best Possible Taste – with Grayson Perry’.
The Sage event saw both city songsmiths The Lake Poets and Frankie and the Heartstrings give superb, heartfelt performances.
Singer songwrite Martin Longstaff played with his band The Lake Poets and also did a solo of ‘Shipyards’ dedicated to his Grandad.
In their Sage Gateshead debut Frankie and the Heartstrings gave a typically energetic performance of two new songs, before being awarded with the Newcomer of the Year award.
Councillor John Kelly, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, presented award for Visual Artist of the Year.
This category was supported by See it Do it Sunderland and won by Gateshead based filmmaker Cecilia Stenbom for her work on identity in a consumer driven society.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson attended the event and said: “It’s an honour to support and celebrate our rich North East culture and it’s fantastic to see such a strong representation from Sunderland at this year’s awards.
“I’m really proud of the talent we have in our city and it’s great that this is being recognised and rewarded.”