Arts & Business NI have announced Forestside Shopping Centre as the new headline sponsor for the annual Arts & Business Annual Awards, as part of a 3-year sponsorship agreement.
Arts & Business NI works to forge dynamic partnerships between the business and arts sectors in Northern Ireland; the Arts & Business NI Awards is a flagship event in the cultural calendar and acts as an important platform to celebrate stand-out partnerships and projects between the cultural and private sector in Northern Ireland from the preceding year.
Forestside has demonstrated itself as a true patron of the arts, through its partnerships with several professional music festivals across Northern Ireland and its ongoing commitment to supporting emerging young musicians and songwriters. Most notably, this was recognised with Forestside being awarded the coveted title of Allianz Arts & Business NI Business of the Year Awards in 2019.
Forestside will replace Allianz as headline sponsor, who generously sponsored the awards for 14 years.
Mary Nagele, CEO of Arts & Business NI commented:
“As a previous winner of our Business of the Year title, Forestside are a true champion of the Arts and a fitting new headline sponsor for these important Awards. There are so many vital partnerships between the private sector and the arts across NI that are helping businesses and communities thrive. It is crucial, especially in these times, that we take time to celebrate and acknowledge all that these creative collaborations have achieved.”
Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented:
“The strong support of major business enterprises such as Forestside for the Arts & Business NI Awards and for the arts in general, sends out a very positive message about the value of arts and culture to local business. As we move towards the reopening of our services and the recovery of our social, economic and creative lives, our two important sectors will be working closely together, supporting each other through the challenging months ahead and creating some truly exciting partnerships along the way.”
Forestside has been an active and engaged business member of Arts & Business NI since 2017, having demonstrated its commitment to supporting the arts through its Future Festivals project with Sunflowerfest and Young Guitarist Competition with Belfast Guitar Festival. The centre also offers affordable unit spaces on the underground level to small local businesses and creators, including fine artist Francis McCrory, to facilitate opportunities for centre shoppers to discover their work. Their dedicated recording studio is also located on this level, and is available for bookings from any local recording artists.
Lee Cutler, Centre Manager of Forestside Shopping Centre commented:
"Forestside are very proud to step forward as sponsors of the Arts & Business NI Awards, following in the footsteps of Allianz who have made an incredible contribution to Arts in Northern Ireland. We take on this role at a time when creativity has never been more critical and celebrating the amazing partnerships between Arts and Business organisations has never been more important."
In light of COVID-19 restrictions, the Arts & Business Awards 2021 will take place as a virtual ceremony in June 2021. Nominations for entries will open in early March 2021, when applicants will find full details regarding submissions on the Arts & Business NI website and social media channels.
Arts & Business NI and Forestside look forward to delivering a ceremony which celebrates artistic excellence and showcases the amazing and innovative projects that the arts and business sectors have forged over the last 18 months.
Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.