Birthday cake

At the end of 2013 I attended Creative Edinburgh‘s Awards bash at The Bongo Club.

As well as an opportunity to highlight some of the city’s most inventive and inspiring individuals and businesses, the event doubled up as their 2nd Birthday party and a farewell do for Lynsey Smith, who has gone on to work with the British Council in London but remains a member of the Creative Edinburgh Steering Group.

It was fantastic to meet so many of their lovely members (they have almost 1000 in total), and enjoy tasty beverages from Edinburgh’s own Barney’s Beer, music from local legends FOUND, Jesus H Foxx and Esther Swift, some delicious birthday cake and lots more fun and games.

And it was for a good cause too, as all profits from ticket sales went to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). As Lynsey said: “this cause is something close to our hearts. As creative professionals, a lot of work on our own, we don’t have human resources departments, and sometimes we all need an extra hand.”

Here’s a brilliant video by Eoin Carey to give you a taster of the night.

Acceptance Speeches

Open to all creative & techies based in Edinburgh, the Creative Edinburgh Awards highlight the inspiring, cultural and economic contributions many have made to this fine city. I caught up with the winners of this year’s awards (on behalf of Creative Edinburgh) for some post-celebration acceptance speeches.

Unite Award

Winner: Edinburgh International Science Festival – Mini Makers Faire

Criteria: Either the way in which you work or the product or service you offer, has united a workforce, audience, community or client group.

Science Fest

A spokesperson for EISF said:

“Winning the Unite award is incredibly important to the Science Festival and a hugely proud moment for all who worked hard to make the Mini Maker Faire such a success in its first year.

At the Festival, we’re always looking for new ways to showcase the creativity and pioneering spirit at the heart of science and technological development, and the Mini Maker Faire proved the perfect vehicle to bring innovators of different disciplines together in a celebration of art and technology.

Creative Edinburgh has been a great to resource to the Science Festival team on since its creation two years ago. It provides a unique space where all different strands of our creative community can come together to meet, discuss and collaborate across a diverse platform of work. For our organisation in particular, having a forum to present what we do in a cultural context, is fantastic.”

Innovate Award

Winner: Edinburgh International Film Festival: Film Fest Miles

Sponsored by McClure Naismith

Criteria: Here we were looking for an individual, project or business which either offers an innovative product or service, or who are developing new alternatives to a traditional route to market or audience.

EIFF

Ross Perth, Head of Marketing at EIFF said:

“It is a real honour to win the Creative Edinburgh Innovate Award for my EIFF Film Fest Miles, a web app to drive engagement with, and admissions to, the more niche areas of the festival programme.

As a marketing professional, with a background as a Creative, my passion is effective ideas that engage audiences and to have my Film Fest Miles initiative recognised with this award means a great deal.

Bringing an idea to life and seeing it generate commercial return is inspiring, but receiving such accolade from an industry hub is truly amazing.”

Growth Award

Winner: Location Scotland

Sponsored by Santander

Criteria: An individual or business who has demonstrated real growth in either their turnover, customer/audience reach or service/product offering in the last 12 months.

Location Scotland

Location Scotland told me:

“Winning the award is a huge accomplishment for the whole Location Scotland team. Most of our clients are overseas so to gain this recognition in our home city makes us very proud!

Creative Edinburgh plays an intrinsic part bringing the creative and corporate communities together in the city. Their informative and sociable events have given this growing community a much-needed boost.

Location Scotland has shown high growth in terms of the increase in the number of both national and international productions we have brought to Scotland. The continual investment in our location database has enabled us to showcase Scotland throughout the world. Our productions have also increased local economic return across the country. There has also been continuous growth and investment in the company, with staff numbers increasing over the past year and also doubling the size of our studio facilities.”

Promote Award

Winner: Blipfoto

Sponsored by Marketing Edinburgh

Criteria: Your work, project or business has promoted Edinburgh nationally or indeed, internationally.

Blip Foto

Joe Tree, Founder & CEO of Blipfoto said:

“Sharing a photo a day is a simple idea, but it’s one that’s spread like crazy. And while Blipfoto’s very much a global concept these days, we’re very proud of our city and use every opportunity to promote it to our global users – from partnerships with the famous Festivals to user-organised meet-ups in the city.

We’ve always known Edinburgh’s a special place – the creative and tech scene here is thriving – but Creative Edinburgh has helped open our eyes further to the talent here. More importantly, it showcases the spirit of co-operation that fuels the deep-rooted entrepreneurship in the capital.

“Not only is winning the Promote Award a huge boost for me and the rest of the team at Blip, but it’s a timely reminder of the exciting launch pad that Edinburgh has become, not just for us but for many others too.”

Best New Creative Start-Up 2013

Winner: Make Works

Sponsored by Business Gateway

Criteria: 
An individual or business that have been trading for 1 year or less.

Make Works

Fi Scott, founder and design director at Make Works, said:

“Winning the Best Creative Start Up Award from Creative Edinburgh was a huge boost for the Make Works team, and came at the perfect time having just finished our first large scale project – the Make Works Tour.

It was great to be able to pull the team together and reflect on what we have managed to do over the past year, and makes us want to work even harder in 2014. We also are completely obsessed with our Bonnie Bling knuckle-dusters, which now sit pride of place in the studio!

We are looking forward to next years programme from Creative Edinburgh (which looks amazing!) and continue to meet more creatives within that exciting community.”

creative_edinburgh_logo2So there you have it from this year’s inspiring winners. Maybe it could be you in 2014? To become a member, sign up here.

Creative Edinburgh asked me to thank their board, all of the judges and this year’s sponsors including The Skinny and The Bongo Club.

Photos: Nic Rue