Here are all the winners from the York Culture Awards 2018

Our cultural champions… Photograph: Make It York

Meet the cream of York’s cultural crop.

Writers, musicians, artists and performers were honoured in the third annual York Culture Awards tonight (Monday, November 19).

Winners were revealed at a celebration hosted by BBC Radio York breakfast presenter Georgey Spanswick at York Theatre Royal.


The awards ceremony opened with a new film, showcasing the cultural vibrancy of the city, produced by local film maker Ben Porter from Hewitt & Walker.

Other performances included an excerpt from the upcoming Noughts & Crosses stage production, a dance performance from York Youth Dance and a musical performance from local musicians, Hyde Family Jam, who describe their music as ‘folk gone wrong’.

More than 100 entries

York Culture Awards were created to celebrate excellence in the city’s arts and cultural sector. Altogether 110 entries and nominations were received for the awards this year and the panel of independent judges chose 15 winners out of the 55 finalists.

Delma Tomlin was crowned cultural champion. As director of the National Centre for Early Music she promotes a year-round series of jazz, world, folk and early music concerts, as well as an inspiring education programme.

Delma has also spearheaded the York Early Music Festival, which this year included 27 concerts, lectures and workshops & featured 137 musicians. In 2008, Delma’s work across the wider region was recognised when she was awarded the MBE for services to the arts in Yorkshire.

Jane Lady Gibson, Chair, Make It York, said:

  • Since we launched these awards three years ago it has been heartening to see so much of York’s creative talent recognised.

    I’m especially delighted to see Delma crowned Cultural Champion. She has worked tirelessly to put York on the national and international map for its thriving music scene.

    From its launch in 2000, Delma has turned what was once a neglected church into a nationally recognized centre for excellence for the arts.

Full list of winners

Outstanding Community Arts Project
Winner: Explore Labs
Highly Commended: Fulford Rocks

Inspirational Teacher
Winner: Roger Ward, Senior Guide, Fairfax House

Excellence in Cultural Equality & Diversity
Winner: Out of Character Theatre Company
Highly Commended: Beningbrough Hall (National Trust) ‘Sitters and their Stories’

Outstanding Cultural Festival (Small)
Winner: York Early Music Festival
Highly Commended: TakeOver Festival, by York Theatre Royal

Outstanding Cultural Festival (Large)
Winner: York Festival of Ideas, by University of York
Highly Commended: The Great Yorkshire Fringe

Outstanding Cultural Collaboration
Winner: Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre & York Theatre Royal
Highly Commended: York Arts Education & Explore York


Excellence in Media Arts
Winner: Yorkshire’s Jurassic World at the Yorkshire Museum

Outstanding Performing Artist
Winner: James Swanton, actor and writer
Highly Commended: Chechelele World Music Choir

Outstanding Live Performance
Winner: The Howl & The Hum
Highly Commended: Say Owt Slam: Clash of Champions

Outstanding Busker
Winner: Hyde Family Jam
Highly Commended: Charlie Swainston

Outstanding Visual Artist
Winner: Sue Clayton, artist
Highly Commended: Lauren Roberts

Excellence in Writing
Winner: Robert Powell, poet

Rising Star
Winner: Fran Christie, for her film as a part of the Eighteen project
Highly Commended: Joe Lamyman

Best Cultural Experience
Winner: Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre
Highly Commended: The Secret Garden, by York Theatre Royal

Cultural Champion
Winner: Delma Tomlin, Director, National Centre For Early Music