Lake District National Park turned out in force to support their entries for Festival and Event of the Year in the Cumbria Life Culture Awards 2017. LDNP Chief Executive, Richard Leafe and Kerry Powell, Director of Communications and Resources were with members of the LDNP Communications team and Geraldine Pilgrim - creator of the multi-layered performance and installation Flight, which was up for Event of the Year - to meet other finalists and root for Lakes Alive.

Both awards were scheduled for the second half of the evening, so they could sit back and enjoy the first set of presentations by host Stuart Marconie to winners of Designer-Makers, furniture designers Waters Acland, Amateur Society of the Year, Wigton Theatre, The Levens Choir, and the wonderful work of film-maker Terry Abrahams. There were still several more awards to enjoy before the nerves set in!!

The second half of the evening was opened with Ulverston's amazing saxophonist Jess Gillam, who captivated the audience. Jess was awarded Musician of the Year by Melvyn Bragg at last year's Cumbria Culture Awards, and was a finalist again this year.

The second half saw awards for Artistic Collaboration and Community Arts - two new awards to celebrate just how much could be achieved by working together and with the communities. Lakes Alive didn't enter these categories but could have - maybe next year!

Before the Events award was announced, the audience were treated to readings by the newly crowned Writer of the Year, Tom Pickard - the excitement was mounting. Event of the year announced and the finalists presented: 

Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul NashInitiated by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, and as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, this new multimedia performance explores the work of one of the most important British artists of the twentieth century.

Catbells Festival of Light One of the most photogenic events of the year was organised by the Lakeland Mountain Guides and involved over 500 volunteers scaling the spine of the mountain and waiting until night fall to create this choreographed visually captivating moment with their head-torches.

And Lakes Alive's Flight was announced as an evocative promenade performance that captured the beauty, power and drama of flight in all its forms within the historic house and gardens of Brockhole on Windermere.

Go Herdwick Public Art Trail a flock of life sized, colourfully decorated fantasy Herdwick ewes – all individually painted by artists paying homage to the iconic Herdwick’s; and all in the name of the Lake District Calvert Trust.

It was only a second before hopes were dashed - but only for a second, as the award was presented Lakes International Comic Art Festival for Black Dog - a worthy winner.

The Comic Art Festival is in its fourth year and is an established date in the festival diary - Lakes Alive has a little catching up to do, but we are on the right track.

We were delighted that our partners The Brewery Arts Centre won venue of the year - a well earned award for the hard working cultural centre in Kendal.

Festival of the Year had been saved to last - it was a very competitive category.

Borderlines Book Festival, Kendal Poetry Festival and the brilliant Kendal Mountain Festival were all presented and then… Lakes Alive - deep breath, fingers crossed - and the winner is… Lakes International Comic Art Festival - smile and clap!

We will try again next year. We were honoured to be included in this fantastic celebration of Cumbrian culture.

But let's rememberer  - all the finalists are winners!!