Cultural Awards will join the Great Lakes Australia Day Awards MidCoast LGA (overall news) by NOTA - September 18, 2015September 16, 2015 Great Lakes residents involved in the arts will now be able to increase their ‘visibility’, with Great Lakes Council announcing that our Cultural Awards will join the Australia Day Awards and become an annual event. Nominations are now open and your entry is being sought! Many Great Lakes residents will be aware that Council has conducted Cultural Awards since 2007, either as an annual or biennial program. “The Great Lakes Cultural Plan 2012 – 2015 includes a process for recognising contributions to the arts in the Great Lakes through an awards program” said Council’s Community Development Coordinator, Ms Lyndie Hepple. “The awards have recognised individuals, groups and youth in the disciplines of Visual, Performing and Literary Arts, and acknowledged people for their support which fostered distinctiveness and a sense of place in the Great Lakes.” Council commenced the Arts Awards process earlier this year, with the assistance of a small working group of committed community members, and a number of worthy nominations have been received. Nominees and their nominators have been advised that their nominations will now be re-categorised into the new categories and carried forward for consideration in the Australia Day Awards. For new nominations, the Award categories are: Junior Artist – demonstrating excellence in any one of the Performing, Visual or Literary Arts; Artist Award – demonstrating originality and creativity in any arts practice (music, theatre, dance, drawing, painting, photography, artisanal practice, digital works, prose, poetry, history, biography, autobiography, fiction or nonfiction); Local Champion of the Arts – an organisation or individual which has provided major local support for the arts, culture and creative growth, through volunteering, philanthropy or advocacy. “The awards are well received and valued by the arts community,” said Ms Hepple “and Council believes that to further lift the profile of the Awards, it is advantageous to include them in the Australia Day Awards.” Council’s Australia Day celebrations attract 400 to 500 people each year. In the past, judging of the nominations has been performed by a group of three judges, all of whom are chosen for their contributions to the arts, but who reside outside of the Great Lakes Local Government area, to eliminate any bias in the judging process. This process will be continued for the Australia Day awards. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate anyone in the community who they feel has made a contribution to the arts in the Great Lakes. Self-nominations are encouraged. The nomination form can be downloaded from Council’s website.