It's official! Winchester's creative talent is outstanding!

Press Release: 12/06/2006

Winchester's outstanding creative industries are getting regional and national recognition for their amazing achievement and innovative ideas.

The Hat Fair festival (the UK's very first festival of Street Arts) was honoured last week by the District's business community at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards, when they received the annual Millennium Egg Award which was crafted by Jeremy France jewellers. The Award acknowledges their contribution to the economic and cultural development of Winchester, by delivering a unique event on the first weekend each July (since 1974) - an event which not only brings in 20,000 visitors and £500,000 extra income to the city, but is now recognised as one of the top five Street Arts events in the UK, presenting memorable national and international spectacular performances and young people's educational and procession programmes. This year's event runs from June 30 to July 2, details on www.hatfair.co.uk  .

On the same evening, Winchester artist Alex Hoare received an Art Plus Award from the Arts Council of England, South East and the South East England Development Agency to develop an art installation on the site of the Nunnaminster, an archaeological site next to the Winchester Guildhall. Art Plus is a competitive award scheme led by Arts Council England, South East and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) which seeks to improve our environment - whether streets, schools or other public spaces - by including the creativity of artists in their design. The Award will allow Alex to develop her idea for opening up the history of the old Nunnaminster by creating a sunken sculptural garden which can link the past to the present in a creative and thought-provoking way.
Alex is one of the talented group of artists based at the Colour Factory in Gordon Road and its satellite the Light Factory www.thecolourfactory.org.uk  

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio Holder for Culture Heritage and Sport said, "One of the reasons why Winchester is such a special place is the creative people who live and work here. Hundreds of artists, performers, designers and crafts makers live and work in the District, giving it a unique and ever-changing personality. I am very proud of all our creative professionals and their vision for a vibrant and colourful future for the Winchester District."