Arts & Business Awards 2021, in partnership with Forestside : The Shortlist



Our judges have deliberated, and the results are in!

We'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who applied for the Arts & Business NI Awards 2021, in partnership with Forestside. We received a record number of high quality applications, each of them a great credit to the organisations and their work of the past 18 months.


Inspirational Trustee

  •         Neil McClure, The Portico of Ards
  •         Louise Rossington and Adam Knight (Co-Chairs), Theatre and Dance NI
  •         Julie Mc Gowan, University of Atypical
  •         Rosie Timoney, Bruiser Theatre Company
  •         Betty Brown (CEO), Royal Ulster Academy
  •         Shona McCarthy, Oh Yeah Music Centre
  •         Stephen Beggs, Tinderbox Theatre Company

Brand Storytelling

  •         Bounce Culture & Baker Tilly Mooney Moore
  •         Big Telly Theatre Company & Cathedral Quarter BID
  •         Cahoots NI & The Junction
  •         Cinemagic & Bank of Ireland
  •         Docs Ireland & TG4
  •         Royal Ulster Academy & KPMG
  •         Young at Art & U105
  •         Seedhead Arts & Community Arts Partnership & Dillon Bass

Creative Community Engagement

  •         Cinemagic & George Best Belfast City Airport
  •         Belfast International Arts Festival & Belfast Harbour
  •         Booktrust NI & SONI
  •         Prime Cut Productions & Clanmil Housing Association
  •         Cahoots NI & The Junction
  •         Eastside Arts & Connswater Shopping Centre
  •         Young at Art & CQ BID

Mental Health & Wellbeing

  •         Belfast Exposed & Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  •         Place to Wonder & Heron Bros
  •         c21 Theatre Company & Doyle Shipping Group
  •         Cinemagic & George Best Belfast City Airport
  •         Millennium Forum & Diamond Corrugated
  •         Commedia of Errors & Radius Housing
  •         Strand Arts Centre & Specsavers Connswater

New Sponsor

  •         R-Space Gallery & Fusion Antibodies
  •         Belfast International Arts Festival & Belfast Harbour
  •         Oh Yeah Music Centre & Translink
  •         Cahoots NI & The Junction
  •         Cinemagic & Bank of Ireland
  •         Rainbow Factory & Phoenix Natural Gas
  •         Royal Ulster Academy & Hambly and Hambly Gallery

Staff Engagement Award

  •         Belfast Exposed & Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  •         Keith Acheson & Citi
  •         Lyric Theatre & FinTrU
  •         Belfast Ensemble & Herbert Smith Freehills
  •         Young at Art & Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  •         Emer Maguire & Citi


CLOSED CATEGORIES (shortlist nominated by A&BNI and Forestside as principal sponsor)

Business of Year Award

Awarded to a business that has excelled through integrating Arts & Culture through different facets of its business strategy.

  •         Citi
  •         Connswater Shopping Centre
  •         George Best Belfast City Airport  
  •         Translink

Arts Organisation of the Year

Presented to a local arts organisation which has consistently sought to develop and pioneer new ideas, whilst demonstrating a progressive and creative approach to business partnership. The winner of this category also receives £3,000.

  •         Royal Ulster Academy
  •         Cahoots NI
  •         Belfast Exposed 

Forestside Choice

This award recognises the work of a stand-out arts organisation and includes a financial investment of £1,000 for the category winner.

  •         Cinemagic
  •         Cahoots NI
  •         Portico of Ards

A&BNI Choice: Most Creative Response/Adaptation to Pandemic

Awarded to an agile arts organisation who took the challenges of COVID-19 and used then to strategically adapt or inform their work, ultimately continuing to stay true to their purpose/mission.

  •         Arts Care
  •         Belfast Exposed
  •         University of Atypical
  •         Tinderbox
  •         Commedia of Errors

Arts Innovator

This award showcases a pioneering arts practitioner, who brought a particularly unique and inventive approach to their work during 2020

  •         Stephen Kelly, C21 Theatre Company
  •         Paul McEneaney, Cahoots NI
  •         Ray Giffen, The Duncairn

Above & Beyond Award

Awarded to an individual in the business sector who has not only actively engaged with the arts sector, but gone above the call of duty to assist arts organisations/practitioners in 2020.

  •         Brendan Mulgrew, MW Advocate
  •         Mark Case, Whitenoise
  •         Peter McVerry, U105


Join us on Awards night!

Register here for the free ceremony, taking place on 17th June at 6pm.

Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.