Harrogate International Festivals has been nominated for a 2023 Yorkshire Choice Award, with the charity’s Chair Fiona Movley also nominated in two categories.
Celebrating achievement in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Choice Awards raise awareness of inspirational local people and independent businesses. Winners are determined by public vote.
Harrogate International Festivals has been nominated in the Customer Services category for its delivery during the pandemic, when the charity found new ways to be part of the community so it could continue to bring the arts to Harrogate. Chair Fiona Movley has been nominated in the Inspirational Individual of the Year category, and for the Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Contribution.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Harrogate International Festivals reached out to the local community with book deliveries, ‘Music bag’ gifts for Musical Mums and stock for free community libraries, whilst also working with schools to create educational content. The charity launched the ‘View From My Window’ campaign and ‘Brass on the Bus’ event, and supported isolated audience members with a dedicated phone-line and shopping service.
Its digital offering brought the fun of the Festivals into homes around the world completely for free, as it created and launched HIF Player, HIF Player Podcast, You’re Booked and Book of the Month.
Uncertainty surrounding live events continued in 2021 and with ever-changing restrictions, the Festivals team produced a modified Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival by turning the inside out, creating a tented village, new auditorium, digital lounge, additional cleaning, swabbing and managed queues and crowds across the site.
Other events were adapted in 2021 and new ones introduced, including 1571 The Waters That Made Us and the North Pole Post Office.
The charity is also delighted to see its Chair Fiona recognised with nominations in two prestigious categories.
Chief Executive Sharon Canavar said, “Fiona’s passion, tenacity and resilience helped secure the Festivals’ survival throughout the pandemic, and we’re incredibly grateful for her outstanding leadership and contribution. During her career she has had a significant impact on a number of other organisations within our community, including Harlow Carr, St Michael’s Hospice and the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
It’s fair to say that Fiona’s legacy has had a significant impact on a number of organisations not least the one she currently supports.”
Voting is open until April 2023 and you can vote for your preferred nominees online here.