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Culture Awards 2011: Best event Northumberland

WINNER: The Electric Estate - CRAGSIDE was seen in a different light for a second year running when it became a thoroughly Electric Estate.

The Northumberland Lights team has once again given its treatment to Cragside, near Rothbury

WINNER: The Electric Estate

CRAGSIDE was seen in a different light for a second year running when it became a thoroughly Electric Estate.

The National Trust property near Rothbury, was treated to a Northumberland Lights makeover.

Inspired by inventor and engineer Lord Armstrong who lived there, a newly designed illuminated trail, entitled Fantasy Forest, was created on which visitors encountered sound and light installations as well as inventions and storytellers, who guided and interacted with them along the way.

The Pinetum, house, cascade and famous Iron Bridge were at the heart of the trail with installations being created by children from Northumberland and Tyneside.

Zoe Bottrell, director of Northumberland Lights, said: "We were again inspired by Lord Armstrong's obsession with energy efficiency, renewable power, engineering excellence and a devotion to the beautiful trees and gardens of Cragside, for this year's Electric Estate."

FINALIST: Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival

OPENING with a world premiere of a North East England/Iranian co-production I Am Nasrine, commissioning two new works and showcasing pieces by a 30 artists and film makers – the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival was supposed to be on its 'off' year.

Every other year there is a 'main' festival, but the 2011 appetite-whetting weekend certainly showed the organisers simply can't simply coast along during the year in between.

The Festival captured the imaginations of over 5,500 people from across the region and Scottish Borders, and beyond during three action-packed days.

The event also saw significant development in the Festival's youth programme with more than 300 young people getting involved.

Melanie Iredale, festival director, says: "We're chuffed to bits. To be shortlisted two years in a row really is great recognition of how the Festival continues to grow, and we're really grateful to The Journal Culture Magazine, and to those who nominated us."

FINALIST: Twelfth Day with the Delavals

A lost tradition of Twelfth Day celebrations were brought back to life at Seaton Delaval Hall.

November Club – the award winning performing arts company – helped local people relive the excitement of the Twelfth Day Cake and associated party, where guests would draw lots for characters they were to play over dinner.

The itinerant players performed daily to audiences of 52 people, and audience participation produced a light-hearted march back in time in celebration of the ancient custom.

Cinzia Hardy, creative producer, November Club, says: "Twelfth Day with the Delavals' was an ambitious project that told some of the many stories of the Hall and the Delavals themselves.” It also created a vehicle for people to tell their own stories about the Hall, creating a continuum into the future...we all had a lot of fun despite the freezing cold conditions!"


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
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