The team at the Millennium Forum are celebrating today following their success at last night’s Arts & Business NI Awards.  The North West’s premier arts venue scooped two prestigious awards, taking home the ‘Creative Communications Award’ and the coveted ‘Arts Organisation of the Year Award’ at the ceremony which took place in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.

The Forum, one of Ireland’s largest purpose-built theatres, was recognised for its long-term commitment to delivering inventive projects with local businesses, including its recent ‘Centre Stage’ partnership with Aircoach, which engaged the local community as part of the youth musical FAME and supported the development of arts and culture amongst the younger generation.

The ‘Arts Organisation of the Year’ award celebrates an outstanding arts organisation from the Arts & Business NI member network which has excelled in delivering business partnerships, demonstrating excellence, innovation and ambition.  The ‘Creative Communication’ award recognises a partnership between an arts organisation and a business that engaged the arts to elevate their communications campaigns, reaching new audiences, increasing engagement, or raising their brand profiles to new heights. 

Cara McCartney, Development & Creative Engagement Manager at the Millennium Forum was thrilled to be bringing home the two awards.  She said:

“These awards are an amazing win for the Millennium Forum, symbolising our commitment to community engagement and innovative collaborations.  As a charitable organisation, our focus is on forging relationships with those who share our vision of enriching our local arts and business scene in the North West. We work hard to attract partners who see the value in the arts. In this regard, Aircoach has been an exemplary partner, notably through their involvement in the successful ‘Aircoach – Fame Bus Tour’ project which supported our annual youth musical last year.  

A heartfelt thank you goes out to every member of the Millennium Forum team, to Aircoach, all our sponsors, funders, Arts & Business NI and our communities for their unwavering support.  Their contributions have been essential in our journey to success.  We look forward to creating more engaging partnerships and creative experiences that leave a lasting impact that will go beyond our theatre’s stage.”

Celine Coleman, Commercial Manager with Aircoach added:

We are delighted and so proud to win the Creative Communications Award in partnership with Millennium Forum.  This was in recognition of a special joint project supporting the youth musical FAME and taking FAME on tour to, and performing at, several iconic landmarks around Derry/Londonderry City. It was fantastic to work with the Millennium Forum team on what was a fabulous showcase of youth talent – their love of the performing arts was very evident in their infectious enthusiasm throughout the event. 

As sponsors, we were gratified to support an event that had such a positive impact on the young performers involved and hopefully instil a love of arts and culture as they continue through life.”

CEO of Arts & Business NI Mary Nagele also comments:

Year on year, our awards tell the important stories of the incredible partnerships cultivated in the corporate and cultural sectors here. Visionary private sector leaders recognise the value that connecting with arts organisations brings in so many ways – from motivating a workforce to addressing skills gaps, from supporting the needs of local communities to attracting staff and customers. Arts organisations also thrive through connecting with the business sector, using their skills and creativity to make great things happen and raise their profile while doing so.

Every winner at this year’s awards can be proud of the contribution they’ve made, not only to their own organisation and their partner, but also to the cultural and economic fabric of Northern Ireland overall.”

The Arts & Business NI Awards have been celebrating connections between the private and arts sectors in Northern Ireland for over 20 years. The awards celebrate powerful partnerships between the corporate and cultural worlds and recognise the impact that creative business collaborations have had in Northern Ireland over the last year. A full list of 2024 winners can be found at www.artsandbusinessni.org.uk Any business interested in joining the award-winning team at the Millennium Forum for future collaborations should contact Karen Sullivan at karens@millenniumforum.co.uk or telephone 02871 272793.