The Journal Culture Awards 2014: RECAP from the event at Sunderland Minster

Recognising and rewarding the best of North East creative talent tonight at the Journal Culture Awards in Sunderland

The Journal Culture Awards 2014 are taking over Sunderland Minster tonight.

Recognising and rewarding the best of North East creative talent, 16 trophies, made by Gateshead artist, Corinne Lewis-Ward will be handed out in categories including Performing Artist of the Year, Writer of the Year, Best Events in Northumberland, Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, Best Newcomer, Performance of the Year and Visual Artist of the Year.

There will also be special awards for Young Achievement and a Special Contribution to North East Arts and Culture. But tonight isn't just about giving out gongs. We're also lucky enough to have a top drawer bill of entertainment from Sunderland band Hyde and Beast; Whitburn-born singer Nadine Shah (both of whom are finalists in the Performing Artist of the Year category); award winning author David Almond, who will be reading an exclusive extract from his libretto of the Opera for Sunderland; and folk singer, Richard Dawson.

If that wasn't enough, a dozen members of Hawthorn Primary School's wonderful In Harmony orchestra will also be doing their stuff on stage too. Stay tuned for updates on who's won what and all the rest of the action from Sunderland Minster. We'll be live blogging from 7,30pm

7:05 pm
Simon Duke

Welcome ladies and gents to the Culture Awards 2014 coming to you live from a warm and buzzing Sunderland Minster

7:23 pm
Simon Duke

I'm Simon and I'll be guiding you through what sets to be a stellar celebration of all things good and great about North East culture

7:25 pm
Simon Duke

Canapes have been nibbled and prosecco sipped and now the Minster is brimming with excitement with 5 minutes until we kick off the whole shebang

7:27 pm
Simon Duke

Plenty of Journal and Chronicle staff here ready to take in all the Culture Award action


7:29 pm
Simon Duke
Get Culture Award educated

If you're not au fait with all things Culture Awards we forgive you.

Here's a handy all you need to know guide

7:33 pm
Simon Duke
Last minute change of personnel

We've got a change of face for tonight's presenting duties. Unfortunately Chris Connel was taking ill earlier today so the fantastic Alfie Joey from BBC Radio Newcastle has stepped in right at the last minute. We salute you Mr Joey!

7:35 pm
Simon Duke
And we're off!

NCJ Managing Director Stuart Birkett takes to the stage to the strains of Cheryl's Crazy Stupid Love

7:36 pm
Simon Duke
Top notch talent

Stuart Birkett: "Nominations confirm the talent we have in the North East tonight. To get here tonight is a true achievement."

7:38 pm
Simon Duke
Get your acceptance speeches ready...

Stuart Birkett: "I wish all tonight's nominees the best of luck."

7:39 pm
Simon Duke
Woodhorn are having a ball!

The Woodhorn team are already enjoying themselves


7:40 pm
Simon Duke
Better than a Brit!

If the nominees triumph tonight they can take home a beauty of a statue

7:42 pm
Simon Duke
What's it all about Alfie

Alfie Joey jokes Chris Connel was scared to cross over the water to Sunderland- well plenty of people have. A packed house seem up for a cracking night here at the Minster

7:43 pm
Simon Duke
All night long

The after show party has already been mentioned and the reaction suggests plenty will be attending!

7:45 pm
Simon Duke
Washington represented

The team from Washington Arts Centre are out in force


7:46 pm
Simon Duke
First award of the night

First award of the night. Writer of the Year. Nominees: Alison Carr (The Soaking of Vera Shrimp), David Almond (GNR Million script) and Peter Mortimer (Death at Dawn). It's anyone's for the taking

7:47 pm
Simon Duke
And the winner is...

A very popular one here in the room....David Almond. Many lapped up the awe inspiring GNR Million ceremony and David's words played a massive part in that

7:49 pm
Simon Duke
Swiftly moving on...

Next up is an award focused on the city we're in tonight- Best Event Sunderland. The nominees are Show Me The Money at The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, summer Streets and Sunderland Stages

7:51 pm
Simon Duke
Dancing in the Streets

And the winner is....Summer Streets. Another popular choice with the audience

7:52 pm
Simon Duke
Best seat in the house?

Journal reporter Barbara Hodgson has got a great view


7:54 pm
Simon Duke
Number three

Best Arts & Business Partnership. In the running are: Berwick Visual Arts & Simpsons Malt for Lowry in Berwick, Northern Stars  Documentary Academy with intu Eldon Square & Metro Centre and Port of Tyne & various partners


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer