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July 28, 2021

Northern rivers scoops cultural awards

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Northern Rivers Creative Pop Up Shop, Byron Bay, Photo: Jules Ober
Northern Rivers Creative Pop-Up Shop, Byron Bay, Photo: Jules Ober

It’s official: The northern rivers is confirmed as the cultural capital of regional NSW after it scooped the pool last night at a special awards ceremony held at NSW Parliament House.

Six innovative local arts and culture initiatives, including a regional museum project, a cultural festival, a youth theatre project and a creative pop-up shop, were recognised as part of the Local Government Art and Cultural Awards.

And a special mention was made of Tweed River Art Gallery director Susi Muddiman, who has recently overseen the opening of the Margaret Olley Gallery for her enduring contribution to arts and culture and a partnership award.

An award for creative use of a vacant space was shared by Byron Shire Council and Arts Northern Rivers for the 2013 Northern Rivers Creative Pop-Up Shop.

Arts Northern Rivers CEO Peter Wood, who accepted the gong with Byron mayor Simon Richardson, said, ‘this is a brilliant outcome for a region renowned for its creative communities and councils that recognise the importance of supporting the arts and cultural development’.

Ballina Shire received a participation award for Object of the Story: Reflections on Place, a collaboration between the council, the Northern Rivers Community Gallery and Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council

Clarence Valley took out the cultural tourism award for their region-wide cultural festival Plunge.

Now in its 10th year, Local Government Arts and Culture Awards president of Local Government NSW (LGNSW), Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, said that it is fitting that this year, 100 outstanding nominations were received.

‘The Awards, comprising 23 categories, were won by 19 NSW councils, with City of Sydney, Liverpool, Byron Shire and Tweed Shire taking out two categories each – a wonderful achievement that their communities should be very proud of,’ Cr Rhoades said.

The awards are a part of Vivid Ideas festival, in partnership with Destination NSW, showcased the outstanding arts and cultural initiatives councils are engaged in, including management of more than 4,000 cultural sites across NSW and development of services, programs and strategies.

Full list of local awards won:

Places for Arts and Culture: Creative Use of Vacant Spaces 

Northern Rivers Creative Artists Pop-Up Shop, Byron Shire Council

Interdisciplinary Arts and Culture: Arts and Health 

Youth ‘Mental Health Matters’ Program, Byron Shire Council

Community Participation in the Arts and Culture: Creative Ageing 

Object of the Story: Reflections on Place , Ballina Shire Council

Interdisciplinary Arts and Culture: Cultural Tourism 

PLUNGE 2013, Clarence Valley Council

Places for Arts and Culture: Improved Cultural Facilities 

Tweed Regional Museum Project, Tweed Shire Council

Leading Arts and Culture: Enduring Staff Contribution to Arts and Culture 

Susi Muddiman, Art Gallery director Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Arts Centre, Tweed Shire Council

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  1. The “..importance of supporting the arts and cultural development”? If you believe that council are so supportive, Simon, then why did you turn this space over to yet another mediocre, corporate surf shop?

    The space stood a much better chance of winning many more well-deserved awards like this had it remained an artist pop-up space sponsored by the Council. The community needs more spaces like this. What we don’t need are more surf shops. What you’ve really supported here is the removal of a short-lived-yet-award-winning space. Consider practicing what you preach, Byron council.


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