The Creative Lives Awards (formerly Epic Awards) celebrate imagination and initiative in participatory arts across the UK and Republic of Ireland. 

Who are the Creative Lives Awards for?

The Awards recognise engagement, partnership, innovation and creative development across voluntary and community-led projects and groups; often shining a spotlight on those ‘unsung’ heroes who lead and sustain creative cultural activity for the benefit of others.

The Awards are intended to be as inclusive as possible. Please tell us how we can advise or support you with an application if need be.

Why are you running these awards?

Creative Lives wants to highlight and share good practice to inspire others to be creative. We also want to celebrate the many benefits - individual and collective - that being creative can bring.

What period does the 2022 Awards cover?

1 September 2021 - 30 September 2022 (on-going projects are also eligible)

Our arts organisation ran an engagement project with a community – are we eligible?

Yes - the important thing is that the initiative and running of the project was predominantly volunteer-led.

Our project includes some paid staff – are we eligible?

Yes, as long as volunteers played a significant role in the planning and delivery of your project.

We received some funding to support our project – are we eligible?

Yes. Please acknowledge all sources of funding where appropriate. 

Does it matter how our group is constituted? Do we need to be a registered charity?

Being constituted as a group or being a registered charity is not a requirement. The Creative Lives Awards celebrate the activity that has happened and impact that it has made. 

Does it matter that our group has previously been shortlisted or won a Creative Lives Award (or Epic Award)?

No - previous entrants, including winners and runners-up, are welcome to apply again. 

Who judges the Creative Lives Awards?

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.

All shortlisted groups can also receive votes from the public in order to win the People’s Choice Award. This is voted for online via the Creative Lives website.

All shortlisted groups are also invited to vote for one of the groups (not your own!) to win the Peer Award for Excellence.

When will we hear if we’ve been shortlisted for, or won, a Creative Lives Award?

The deadline for applying is Monday 19 December 2022. A shortlist will appear on the Creative Lives website by Thursday 22 December 2022, at which point all shortlisted groups can start canvassing votes for the People’s Choice Award.

A winner and runner-up from each nation will be chosen by our judging panels by late January 2023, and the Creative Lives Awards ceremony will take place in Leeds in early March. All travel and accommodation will be covered for two representatives from each winning group. 

If you have any other questions, drop us an email at [email protected] - we're happy to help!