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Vote for your favourites in the Epic Awards People’s Choice

epic awardsWhat do two nationwide Olympic quilting projects, a community heritage project in Weardale, a Morris side from Bristol, a folk arts festival in Oxford, a Birmingham choir, a music organisation from Somerset, a therapeutic knitting group in Bath, a brass band from Derby and a community glee club in Sheffield and have in common? They’ve all made it onto the shortlist for the 2013 English Epic Awards! 

And now people can vote for their favourite to win a People’s Choice Award. The Epic Awards are an initiative of Voluntary Arts, the development agency for amateur arts and crafts activity across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Voluntary arts groups from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland entered the Epic Awards, with just a handful chosen from each nation to go through to the next round. An overall winner and runner-up from each country will be chosen by a panel of experts – but the People’s Choice award will be voted for by the public. 

The shortlisted entries all used their skills and passions to encourage participation in the arts and crafts and improve life in their local community. The English shortlist features:

  • A Gift of Quilts: Stitchers from all over the country made quilts to be given to participating countries at London 2012.
  • Glee Bah Gum : a choir where people from all walks of life and varying musical abilities can come to enjoy making music together.
  • Derwent Brass: a brass band based in Derby with a repertoire of contemporary music.
  • Stitchlinks: a therapeutic knitting group helping people to manage pain through craft activity, social contact and skill sharing.
  • Rag Morris: The eyes of the world were on Rag Morris when they danced at the Olympic Closing ceremony.
  • Folk Arts Oxford: Folk Arts Oxford ran a weekend festival including Morris dancing, concerts and a ceilidh to promote folk in the area.
  • Drama in the Dale: A community heritage project using the arts as a means to explore the legacy of lead-mining in the Dale.
  • Quilts 4 London: Inspired by the Olympics, one woman mobilised 15,000 people to make 17,000 pennants as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
  • City of Birmingham Choir: Equinox is a project based on the richness of West Midlands’ cultural and musical life.
  • Churchill Music: ‘The Same Flame’ is a commission of a five song cycle for mixed choirs of all ages and abilities.

 To read all about the shortlisted entries, and vote for their favourite projects, people should visit before the deadline on Wednesday 30 January 2013. Winners will be announced on the Epic Awards website at the end of January.