Creative Edinburgh Awards: The 2021 Winners

Some of Edinburgh's finest creative talent and most exciting creative projects were celebrated at this year's Creative Edinburgh Awards – here's a look at the winners.

Article by Peter Simpson | 18 Nov 2021
  • Creative Edinburgh Awards

At the end of another long year for the creative industries, it's nice to have something positive to report. Something positive, like some awards! 

Creative Edinburgh are celebrating their tenth birthday this year, and their awards – showcasing some of the best of the city's creative talent and projects – took place over Zoom this evening. Edinburgh's community radio station EHFM received this year's City Award for their work in supporting the club and music scenes and showcasing them to an international audience, and artist Sarah Kwan received the Indepedent Award for her work celebrating and supporting people from East and South East Asian cultures, through her East Meets West illustration series and her ESA Scotland non-profit.

The Leith Collective were awarded this year's Social Award – the Collective provides a fair and supportive opportunity for local makers and artists to sell their work on the high street – while its founder Sara Thomson won this year's Leadership Award. Another retail space, the social enterprise Blunt Knife Co., won the Startup Award for their initial work in founding and launching a space dedicated to art and work by women and non-binary people.

The Creativity Award went to illustrator Pilar Garcia de Leaniz for her project depicting the people behind 100 local Edinburgh businesses on Instagram, while the Commercial Award was given to Stuart Smith-Gordon for Ice Cream At The Interval. Smith-Gordon – inspired by his love of theatres and disappointment at not being able to visit them during lockdown – produces and sells make-at-home kits depicting iconic theatres from across Edinburgh and beyond.

The Student Award went to Whatever Next?, a podcasting and art project aiming to create discussion and dialogue around the experiences of adopted people, and the Arts In Tongues project from Bilingualism Matters, Theatre Sans Accents and Starcatchers won the Collaboration Award. A huge congratulations to all of this year's winners and nominees, a full list of whom can be found at the bottom of the page; here at The Skinny we are acutely aware of how much time and commitment it takes to produce Any Thing, so well done to all involved.

Creative Edinburgh Awards 2021 Shortlist (winners in bold)

The Creativity Award
Sponsored by The School of Arts & Creative Industries, Edinburgh Napier University
100 Local Businesses Edinburgh – Pilar Garcia de Leaniz
Sex Education Xplorers (S.E.X.) – Mamoru Iriguchi
Farewell North – Kyle Banks

The Startup Award
Sponsored by CodeBase and Creative Bridge
Somewhere EDI CIC
Blunt Knife Co.
The Edinburgh Pottery Studio

The Independent Award
Sarah Kwan
Bill Addison
Ornella Joaquim

The Social Award
Out of the Blueprint
The Leith Collective
Lyrical Life

The City Award
ReDrawing Edinburgh
Leith Theatre

The Commercial Award
100 Local Businesses Edinburgh – Pilar Garcia de Leaniz
Ice Cream At The Interval – Stuart Smith-Gordon
Scotland’s Stories – Graeme Johncock
New Signs for Animation – Jonathan Mortimer & Team
The Student Award
Sponsored by Edinburgh College Faculty of Creative Industries
Whatever Next?
Michael Gately
Maxime Rommes & Sarah Harvie
Bol Ke Lab

The Collaboration Award
Sponsored by Creative Informatics
The Others
INTER – Edinburgh Napier University & SGN
Flourish Project
Arts in Tongues

The Leadership Award
Sara Thomson
Sarah Calmus
Chris Davey

Disclosure: Peter Simpson, who wrote this piece, was one of the judges for the 2021 Creative Edinburgh Awards.