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Vote for your People's Choice Award finalist in the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity awards 2021

Wide panaramic shot of church showing the seating in daylight - credit David Munn
Photographs by David Munn...

THE public can now vote to decide which of this year's 6 finalists in the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards will be crowned the winner of the People's Choice Award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture.  The 6 finalists in the People Choice Award are:-

Bill Elms - Liverpool Theatre Festival - The Liverpool Theatre Festival held 19 show stopping performances of 12 productions for live performance fans for its inaugural staging at St Luke's Bombed Out Church in Liverpool.
BlackFest - A homegrown grassroots Arts festival developing work by Black artists including music, theatre, film, visual arts, spoken word and poetry.

Gaynor La Rocca - The Artistic Director, at Knowsley's Imaginarium Theatre, a community arts based theatre organisation, which provides an extensive creative community programme for local people.

Milap - an Indian Arts and Culture company, producing a performance programme of festivals, events and tours, for Indian music and dance students and artists.

The Atkinson - Sefton's home for music, theatre, art, literature and history offering an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts.

Writing on The Wall - WoW promotes and supports equality, diversity and inclusion. Their exciting writing development programme nurtures new and aspiring novelists, poets and spoken word artists.

Photographs by Patrick Trollope...

Votes can be cast online. People can vote for more than 1 of the 6 finalists, but cannot send multiple votes from 1 email address. The vote closes at 5pm, on 26 January 2021, when the results will be totted up and the winner announced at a digital ceremony, on Friday, 19 February 2021.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:- "Our Culture and Creative Arts sector are central to who we are as a City Region. We've missed it so much and we know how hard the sector has been hit by this Pandemic. Whilst we have been able to give some support, so many arts organisations have had to adapt to survive the past year. Now, as the vaccine hopefully comes on stream, I know the sector will play a key role in our economic recovery. Good luck to all of the People's Choice nominees, everyone has worked incredibly hard in tough circumstances and any one of you would be a worthy winner."

This year's awards cover arts and cultural events, innovation and creative activity that has taken place within the Liverpool City Region during the period:- 1 April 2019 to 12 November 2020 which included activity which specifically took place during the 1st lockdown. Across all categories, 45 finalists have been whittled down from more than 700 nominations from across the whole of the City Region this year, in a huge show of support for the cultural sector which has suffered a massive impact in the face of Covid19. They were chosen by a judging panel led by Chairs of the Culture Partnership, Phil Redmond and Maggie O' Carroll who have also decided on the beneficiary of this year's Inspiration Award for Lifetime Achievement, but it's now down to the public to declare the People's Choice.

Councillor Ian Maher, The Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy at the Combined Authority and Leader of Sefton Council said:- "Covid19 has meant an incredibly difficult year for the cultural and creative sector and these awards recognise the hard work of everyone whether that's within traditional setting or across our communities in the Liverpool City Region. I'd like to encourage everyone to vote in the People's Choice category and wish all of the finalists good luck."

All entrants must live, study and / or work in the Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) or have created work / projects that significantly benefit the residents or visitors to the Liverpool City Region and/or has positively contributed to the development of the local economy. To cast your vote or for more information on the finalists please go to:- LiverpoolCityRegion-CA.Gov.UK.

Extended lockdown led to Liverpool musicians writing, recording and filming stick puppet cowboy musical in their flat

"WE are April Moon and we started making music in our Canadian hometown on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. We have been living in the UK for the past 8 years working as full time musicians and usually play pubs and clubs around:- Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria. When lockdown was imposed, in March, and our full calendar of gigs disappeared, we found that live streaming, while fun, wasn't fulfilling our artistic needs, so we decided to take on a different type of project. The result is a whimsical, kitschy, cowboy themed musical journey that definitely gets a bit strange at times, touching on authoritarianism, over indulgence and even existential crises. The catchy, boot stomping songs were all written and recorded by us in our home studio, located in Liverpool, with a couple of character voices added by neighbourhood friends (inside our social bubble of course!) As the story developed alongside some of the new things and feelings we were experiencing, stick puppets were hand painted, a green screen was built in the flat and new animation techniques were learned resulting in a project that was as much to entertain ourselves as any audience. With so many people stuck at home right now, we'd love to be able to share our creation with a wider audience and give them a smile and maybe even a dance in their living room :) Please enjoy!" Jaime April and Jason Moon.

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