Good evening and welcome to live blog HQ for The Journal Culture Awards 2013, which are being streamed live from Hall One, Sage Gateshead from 7.30pm.
As well as seeing the best of the North East's culture creators royally rewarded, you can expect to see performances from Kathryn Williams, The Lake Poets, Frankie and the Heartstrings, Kate Fox and The Mighty Doonans as the night goes on.
These are the eighth Culture Awards and will be hosted by Pitmen Painters actor, Chris Connel for the second year running.
From 6.30pm, the great, the good and the thoroughly top drawer of the region's cultural community will be gathering in the concourse at Sage Gateshead, united in their mission to applaud all that was brilliant when it came to cultural output in 2013.
Fifteen awards will be given out in categories including Performing Artist of the Year, Visual Artist of the Year, Writer of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Best Arts and Business Partnership.
The Best Events in Northumberland, Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Teesside will also be cheered... and there's a secret Special Contribution award to boot.
Feel free to get involved with our live coverage of the event. Just use the hashtag #cultureawards on twitter and we'll weave your comments into the blog.
Good evening and welcome to this year's Culture Awards from Sage Gateshead. We would like to wish all the nominees good luck and hope everyone has a good evening.
The Mighty Doonans will be opening the awards this evening and host Chris Connel was impressed when he heard them sound checking earlier today
Frankie & the Heartstrings are one of the acts performing tonight along with Kathryn Williams, The Lake Poets,, Kate Fox and The Mighty Doonans
There are a grand total of fifteen awards to be won this evening including:
- Writer of the Year
- Best Event Durham
- Best Arts and Business Partnership
- Best Event Northumberland
- North East: Museum Award
- Best Event Sunderland
- Performance of the Year
- Visual Artists of the Year
- Best Event Teesside
- Newcomer of the Year
- Special Contribution
- Best Event Tyneside
- Performing Artist of the Year
- Arts Council Award
- Best Overall Event
The Culture awards are about to get underway - these cultural lot are a tardy bunch as everyone files into Hall One to take to their seats.
Brian Aitken, Business Development Director, Trinity Mirror North East & Editor at The Journal, has taken tto the stage to open the proceedings and tell us how you raise the bar after last year's awards.
According to Sam Wonfor he has finally got his Sellfridges joke into his speech WITH accompanying photograph - now I'm intrigued to know what it is since I'm sitting in the office and not the Sage.
Kate Fox is now on stage delivering her bespoke poem featuring every last one of our nominees tonight. Now that's impressive!
Guests are tweeting about her 'fantastic & clever poem' and someone has asked if anyone is keeping count. I'm sure she hasn't missed anyone.
It's time for the first award which is Writer of the Year sponsored by UK Land Estates. The nominees are:
- Matthew Crow
- Paddy Campbell
- Steve Chambers
Good luck to you all.
Next up is the Best Event Durham and congratulations goes to the Lindisfarne Gospels! Well done!