The nominations have been coming in thick and fast for the inaugural Culture Awards 2006, which will be taking place on March 26 next year.
Readers of The Journal and Culture magazine have been admirably wearing their cultural thinking-caps and sharing their thoughts on who or what should be given the honours when the evening of the ceremony at Northern Stage comes around - so thank you, and please keep the nominations coming.
Today sees the start of a once-a-week focus on each of the 13 award categories, and what better place to start than the Best Overall Event!
Culture gongs will be given out for the best locally-organised events in Tees Valley, Durham, Tyneside, Wearside and Northumberland (more on those in the coming weeks). Then one of the five will be singled out for the region-wide award, sponsored by One NorthEast.
Chris Lines, head of public relations at the regional development agency, said: "North-East England continues to demonstrate its excellence in world-class cultural events, which typify passionate people and passionate places.
"These include The Seve Trophy, Tall Ships, the Northumberland Plate and the Great North Run - to name just a few.
"And with world-class attractions such as The Sage Gateshead, The Bowes Museum, The Alnwick Garden and soon-to-open MIMA in Middlesbrough, the region is putting itself on the world stage and attracting more and more world class events.
"The region's events and cultural programmes attract thousands of visitors to the region every year and contribute millions of pounds to the regional economy.
"When it comes to staging world-class events the region is level-pegging with the best of them.
"In the last five years, North-East England has achieved a new status as one of the world's most creative places and is continuing to establish itself as an international destination. Culture and creativity have been placed at the heart of regeneration and the region is now seen as a model for culture-led regeneration across Europe.
"Culture magazine and Culture Club highlight the passion that is abundant in this region for culture. The new Culture Awards 2006 are a great way of rewarding the very people and organisations that make these events the spectacles that we all enjoy."
* Anyone can nominate a person, event or organisation to win one of the Culture Awards. To make your nomination, visit www.journallive.co.uk/cultureawards, www.thejournalcultureclub.co.uk or request a form from Julie Moorhouse on (0191) 201-6119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org