Scottish Culture Awards: time for nominations

The Sunday Herald Culture Awards, Scotland‘s cultural Oscars, are back for their second year – so it is time once again for the cream of the Scottish arts world to start writing their nominations.

Created by the Sunday Herald to celebrate the very best of the country’s talent, we are looking for the nation’s most talented stars Scots to enter and for our readers to nominate their favourite artists, events and venues. With Scots actors, musicians, writers and artists achieving huge success at home and abroad, and artistic bodies such as the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Ballet attracting plaudits and acclaim the world over, Scottish culture is thriving like never before.

The awards, in association with Edinburgh Napier University, are free to enter, so if you are working in the arts here in Scotland or representing the country abroad, make sure you put your name forward to be in with a chance of being crowned at this fantastic event and win recognition for your talent.

The Sunday Herald Culture Awards, in association with the Edinburgh Napier University, and sponsored by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, consist of 15 categories.

Last year’s awards were attended by such luminaries as Game of Thrones actress Kate Dickie, ballerina Sophie Martin and Outlander star Jamie Heughan, with video links from much-loved Scots actors James McAvoy and Alan Cumming. Cumming, McAvoy and Martin all picked up gongs as well.

Winners will be chosen by an expert panel of judges, chaired by Sunday Herald Editor, Neil Mackay and selected for their experience and knowledge of the arts and culture sector.

Neil Mackay said: “Last year’s inaugural Scottish Culture Awards were an outstanding success and we were delighted at the range and diversity of the entries. It says a lot about Scotland, a small country that punches well above its weight culturally speaking. I look forward to the rich offering of talent we have entering the awards for 2017.”

Judges include novelist and playwright Alan Bissett, photographer and Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University David Eustace, and Rhona Corscadden, senior event manager at EventScotland. “I’m delighted to be part of this year’s judging panel for the Sunday Herald Culture Awards,” she told the Sunday Herald. “I’m particularly looking forward to the entries for the Cultural Event of the Year which help bring this industry to life.”

Pauline Miller Judd, Dean of the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier will also be returning to the panel. She said: “I am delighted to be involved in the judging of the Culture Awards again this year and anticipate a wide range of quality entries across the categories. In particular, this year I am looking forward to discovering emerging talent in the One to Watch category while celebrating the success of well-established artists in the Lifetime Achievement award.”

Deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 31 and can be made online at

The awards evening will take place on Thursday July 13 at SWG3 in Glasgow. Tickets are available for £80 plus VAT, and table booking forms can be downloaded via the website.

The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards categories

Best Screen Actor: female or male, for a powerful performance in film or on TV

Best Theatre Actor: female or male, for a mesmerising stage performance that left audiences transfixed

Best Dance Performer: for an outstanding dance performance whether traditional, ballet, avant-garde, or hip-hop

Best Musical Artist: for solo singers, players, songwriters and composers, based on artistic merit as well as commercial success

Best Musical Group: for the best ensemble from rock and pop to classical and community choir

One to Watch: top new or emerging talent in any field of artistic endeavour (sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University)

Best Visual Artist: for painters, sculptors, photographers, graffiti artists or anyone working in multimedia

Author of the Year: for the literary star who has really put Scottish letters on the map

Best Live Performance: whether in a stadium of thousands or an acoustic performance in front of a small audience

Technical Award: for the top unsung heroes of the Scottish art scene – set designers, sound engineers, make-up artists, and wardrobe

Designer Award: for designers big and small in graphics, illustration, books, jewellery, interiors and textiles

Cultural Event of the Year: any event that exceeded expectations and delivered a truly enriching experience of Scottish culture (sponsored by EventScotland)

Judges Choice Award: for absolute stand-out prominence in the Scottish arts (presented by The Sunday Herald)

Best Performing Arts Venue: big or small, Scotland’s best venue

Lifetime Achievement: for a veteran of the arts scene who has flown the flag for the Scottish creative industries (sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University)