A rural arts group that ignited a passion for creativity in their local area, and a piping band that raised thousands of pounds to enter a mainland competition – and won! - have been selected as this year’s Epic Awards winners for Scotland.
Representing the Scottish Government, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop presented the awards and prizes to winners Braemar Creative Arts Festival, runners-up Lewis Pipe Band and People’s Choice winners The Great Tapestry of Scotland.
Ms Hyslop said: “The Epic Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of people who participate in cultural activities and help others to do so purely for the love of it.
“These awards demonstrate an ongoing commitment to ensuring our communities get the support they need to create and participate, so all the hard work and imagination that contribute to their cultural life is recognised and rewarded.”
She added: “The Scotland runner-up, Lewis Pipe Band, has nurtured talent and ambition in young people from the Isle of Lewis and I looked forward to their performance at the awards.”
The Epic Awards are an annual event run by Voluntary Arts.
They shine the spotlight on excellence and achievement in the amateur/voluntary arts, and champion creative cultural participation.
The 2014 winners received a range of prizes, including mentoring memberships, cash prizes, and the beautiful Epic awards themselves.
Being short-listed, or winning an Epic Award, can also have very positive effects for voluntary arts groups who find they are taken more seriously by funders and have their profile raised locally and nationally.