The summer months remind me why I became a DFL (it’s OK, I can admit it now). 19 years in sunny Whitstable.
It’s not just the fact that the seaside becomes somewhere I do like to be beside – but the art scene flourishes.
My pick of the bunch though is the Culture Awards. They reached a glittering climax this month as the final winners were selected from 250 business and creative people from all across Kent
The Awards took place in the University’s Rutherford Hall in an evening that included live entertainment from Lucky Moyo and Swale Swings with the Canterbury Gospel Choir, Richard Navarro and Nicholas Thurston, plus performances from last year’s One to Watch Winner Luke Jackson and this year’s One to Watch winner, CoCo and the Butterfields, all stunning.
A record thirteen awards were given out in total including a special Award for Kent’s Cultural Icon created to celebrate the University of Kent’s 50th anniversary year.
Speaking for the award organisers, Canterbury for Culture, co-chairs Tim Deeson and Liz Moran said: “The Culture Awards now represent the digital, youth and commercial sectors, highlighting the world class collaboration that takes place in the region. It was also really exciting to be able to feature live performances from award winners during the event.”
New for 2014, every award category was judged by its own individual panels of experts, which makes the level of consensus even more remarkable. The shortlisted entries were all applauded for the quality of the work but the final winners shone out.
Jonathan Watts at Lenleys of Canterbury, long-time sponsors, said: “Every year it just gets better.”
International Film star Orlando Bloom took over 50% of the popular vote to become Kent’s Culture Icon.
In a public vote, Orlando secured over half of every vote cast making him a convincing winner, against such big names such as , my own favourite Brenda Blethyn from Ramsgate.
Orlando, who is currently filming in the USA, sent a personal video message to the audience, thanking everyone who had voted for him, and explaining just how important it is for Kent’s cultural scene to stay vibrant and exciting. He recalled his days dreaming of being an actor and congratulated Canterbury on the richness of is cultural scene today.
The award was collected on Orlando’s behalf by his mother, Mrs Sonia Copeland Bloom who still lives in the Canterbury area. She added her own thanks to Orlando’s and confided that he was particularly honoured to have been chosen by the public in his home county.