Epic Awards

The Epic Awards shine a spotlight on the achievements of creative groups across the UK and Republic of Ireland each year.

The 2020 Epic Awards closed for applications on 14 June 2020. This year, a diversity of inspiring groups and projects were awarded at our first virtual ceremony on Thursday 22 October. Discover the stories of each winner. Read more in our press release.


Each year, shortlisted entries are put forward for the highly coveted People's Choice Award while winners and runners-up from each of the four main categories (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales) are selected by our panel of judges.

The Epic Awards are an annual chance for your creative group or project to be recognised for the incredible work you've done over the past year. 

Follow Voluntary Arts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with news about this year's Epic Awards. 

 

Roscommon Solstice Choir - BBC Breakfast

2017 People's Choice Award winners Roscommon Solstice Choir celebrating their win on BBC One's Breakfast show

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Musicians in Exile"Where can I go to make music?" asked one refugee from El Salvador arriving in Scotland. The answer he was given was “Musicians in Exile” - a community project for asylum seeking and refugee musicians in Glasgow.

Professional facilitators help the ensemble shape their rehearsals, but what and how they play and perform is up to the musicians themselves. There is a great deal of intercultural interaction between the musicians, supporting each other musically and performing in mixed languages and styles. 

As many asylum seekers flee without their instruments, these are purchased where possible and given to the musicians on long-term loan. Once every two months, they perform in Glasgow, livestreaming the concerts on their Facebook page. This gives everyone a regular goal and also presents the musicians to the wider public. 

Legally forbidden to work, playing in the ensemble offers the musicians an outlet to give back to their host communities. Music is a universal language, with the power to bridge cultural and language barriers - asylum seekers who are still mastering English, as well as audiences unfamiliar with the cultures of new Scots, find this particularly meaningful. 

Through the group, the musicians build a new sense of family, networks with local musicians and retrieve their intrinsic cultures, benefiting their own well-being and that of the wider community.

 

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