This year we celebrated our 10th Annual Creative Edinburgh Awards! It’s been an incredible decade of celebrating the city’s creative community and highlighting the projects, people and places that flourish across Edinburgh.
The Creative Edinburgh Awards 2021 saw us gather once again for a virtual celebration as we joined together online to raise a glass to our creative scene, who continually showed strength and resilience through another challenging year.
Our Creative Edinburgh Awards shortlist movie by EasyDays creative, featuring work from all this year's incredible nominees, was released at our 10th Birthday Bash. This was followed by the live ceremony, streamed from the Fruitmarket, where we announced the winners via Zoom! Plus we hosted our kitchen-party breakout rooms where guests could meet, mingle, chat and celebrate this year’s winners!
Well done to all those who were shortlisted and a massive congratulations to our winners below!
The Creativity Award - 100 Local Businesses Edinburgh – Pilar Garcia de Leaniz
Sponsored by The School of Arts & Creative Industries - Edinburgh Napier University, The Creativity Award went to 100 Local Businesses Edinburgh. Pilar Garcia de Leaniz is a Spanish illustrator and graphic designer based in Edinburgh. She started the project with the aim to collaborate, illustrate and support 100 local businesses in Edinburgh. At the time of writing, she has illustrated 62/100.
The Start Up Award - Blunt Knife Co.
Sponsored by CodeBase and Creative Bridge, The Start Up Award was won by Blunt Knife Co., a social enterprise that supports and promotes creative women and non-binary people. They have a shop on Thistle Street where they sell art, books, music and more, plus an accessible events space to gather their community.
The Independent Award - Sarah Kwan
The Independent Award this year went to Sarah Kwan. Sarah is an Edinburgh-based freelance artist who specialises in illustration, design, fine art commissions, murals, painted window displays and signwriting. Her most recent ‘East Meets West Series’, explores the connections between Scottish / British and Chinese culture in a fun and playful way - with decorative patterns and pops of bright colour.
The Social Award - The Leith Collective
The Leith Collective won The Social Award this year. The Leith Collective is a unique retail space of 130+ artists all working together to promote their work, sustainability and support for the local community. Based in Ocean Terminal, it is designed to enable all artists, whatever their situation, to sell their work.
The City Award - EHFM
The City Award went to EHFM, an online community radio station broadcasting from Edinburgh’s Summerhall. Founded in 2018, EHFM was set up as a digital platform for local creative souls to express themselves. Since then, they’ve built up a community of presenters and volunteers who allow them to broadcast 24/7, playing anything from club to Scottish traditional music; spoken word to panel discussions.
The Commercial Award - Ice Cream at the Interval
Set up in the midst of lockdown, Ice Cream at the Interval won the Commercial Award. It was created by Stuart Smith-Gordon as a response to missing theatre, and as a way of connecting with the spaces that are home to it. The result was a series of illustrations and model kits sold, with portions of sales going direct to theatres. The name, Ice Cream at the Interval, is a nod to the treats on offer during a live performance.
The Student Award - Whatever Next?
Sponsored by Edinburgh College - Faculty of Creative Industries, the Student Award went to Whatever Next?. Founded by students Addie, Hannah & Jo, Whatever Next? creates a place where questions about adoption theory, history and culture can be accessible to anyone. It came out of conversations between the founders about growing up as Chinese adoptees in the West and wanting to provide others with access to narratives and stories similar to their own in hope of inspiring and giving solace to those a little lost.
The Collaboration Award - Arts in Tongues
Sponsored by Creative Informatics, this year’s Collaboration Award was won by Arts in Tongues. Arts in Tongues is a project created by Bilingualism Matters, Theatre Sans Accents and Starcatchers UK bridging the gap between research on bilingualism and language learning, the arts industry and local communities in Edinburgh. The project celebrates the diverse communities of bilingual artists in Edinburgh, showing the benefits of language learning, cultural immersion and creative play with early years and young people.
The Leadership Award - Sara Thomson
The Leadership Award this year went to Sara Thomson, Company Director of The Leith Collective. Alongside creating The Leith Collective, Sara is well known throughout the community for her support and guidance of other local creatives. Her business mentorship scheme has given many small businesses the help they needed and those who nominated her spoke very highly of her generosity and positive impact. Sara was also an ambassador for COP26 this year and is a strong advocate for sustainability in business.
Check out the rest of this year's shortlist and learn more about the winners in our shortlist movie on YouTube.
Explore the Creative Edinburgh Awards archive here to revisit previous winners and shortlists.