Awards

The Creative Lives Awards - formerly the Epic Awards - are an annual celebration of the achievements of voluntary and community-led creativity.

Each year, we invite creative groups across the UK and Ireland to share their achievements with us, so we can give you a well-deserved moment in the spotlight. To see the highlights of last year's ceremony, watch the short video below:










Shortlist

We received lots of wonderful applications for our 2022 Awards and really enjoyed reading about all the things creative groups across the UK and Ireland achieved between September 2021 and September 2022. It was tough, but we managed to reduce the entries down to a shortlist of 36 groups. Our judging panels will be meeting in January to pick winners from each nation - but now it's up to YOU to choose who wins the coveted People's Choice Award. Read the shortlist and vote for your favourite now! 

Judging

Each year, a judging panel is assembled in each nation (England, Ireland/N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales) which features Creative Lives staff and trustees, representatives from local stakeholders and previous winners. The panels choose a winner and runner-up from each nation.

Prizes

Winners receive a bespoke award inspired by the region our Awards Ceremony takes place in, a framed certificate, a cash prize and free access to all of Creative Lives’ future ‘Creative Learning’ online training sessions. Previous applicants have also found that being shortlisted for, or winning, a Creative Lives Award has benefitted them on funding applications and raised their profile considerably. Plus two representatives from each winning group will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony - which will take place on 7 March 2023 at Aspire in Leeds - with all travel and accommodation paid. 

Here’s what one previous winner had to say: 

It was wonderful to feel that recognition and it really did spread the word about us, almost overnight. It gave us an incredible confidence boost. 

The Awards have been running since 2010 - meet some of our previous winners here. And to see who won last year's Awards, and get a sense of what to expect at our Award ceremony, watch our film captured at Coventry Cathedral here.

Black Box Belfast
Winners of the 2021 Ireland Creative Lives Award, Black Box Projects are created and run for and by people with learning disabilities, supported by a team of dedicated volunteers and the Black Box venue in Belfast.

With many members already experiencing isolation prior to the pandemic, lockdown presented a serious challenge, but one that the team were determined to overcome together. Straight away, a programme of remote activities was put in place by the group: 'Creating Connections' every Tuesday afternoon, 'Moon Music' every Thursday afternoon and 'Global Discussion Group' and 'Book Club' once a month.

Other activities through the year focused on mental health and wellbeing, staying safe online, an animation project, a biodiversity project and more. Partnerships with PS2 Belfast, NI Science Festival, University of the Atypical and Libraries NI, among others, helped to bring variety and new expertise to the mix.

All of this provided a vital, regular routine for group members and a sense of order and familiarity in the chaos when a lot of other important services were closed.

"Our volunteers are more confident, creatively innovative and have developed resource skills, demonstrating flexibility and the ability to work well under pressure and despite unprecedented circumstances!" Seonaid Murray, Black Box Projects

Learn more about Black Box Projects