The inaugural Reading Cultural Awards will celebrate the
best artistic and cultural events, organisations and artists in
Reading and the important role that arts and culture play in
making Reading a great place to live, work and do business.

Sponsored by:

Celebrating Reading

Reading’s brilliant cultural scene reached new heights during Reading Year of Culture. The Reading Cultural Awards will provide an opportunity for Reading’s cultural community, businesses and stakeholders to come together to celebrate all the amazing achievements of the past 18 months.

Who can enter?

Sponsored by Reading UK CIC and The Olympia Ballroom, the awards are open to everyone involved in the arts in Reading and will recognise excellence in arts and culture. The awards process will culminate in a glitzy awards evening at The Olympia Ballroom on Thursday 29 June.

How to enter

The awards will be presented in 12 categories (see list below) reflecting the breadth of the Reading arts scene. There is a simple nomination process with a deadline of 12 May. A shortlist will be published on 25 May. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 29 June. Shortlisted and winning entries will appear in a special awards brochure.


Entries open – 6 April
Deadline for entries – 12 May
Shortlist announced – 25 May
Awards ceremony at The Olympia Ballroom – 29 June


The Made in Reading Award

A ‘piece’ made by a Reading artist or artists. This could be a performance, visual arts piece or project created within Reading.

Reading Place of Culture Ambassador Award

Sponsored by Reading UK CIC. An artistic endeavour that has promoted Reading’s talent or Reading as a cultural destination to a wider audience.

Performance of the Year

Music, theatre, dance – this performance will have caused ripples in Reading and been widely acclaimed. The performance must have taken place in Reading but does not necessarily need to have been made in Reading.

Visual Arts Event of the Year

Fine art, film, etc – the event will have been well regarded in Reading when it took place here but does not necessarily need to have been conceived in Reading.

Cultural Space of the Year

Dedicated arts venues, unusual spaces used for art – this award recognises the diversity of great places to enjoy and perform art and cultural activities in Reading.

Celebrating Reading’s Heritage Award

Sponsored by The Olympia Ballroom and The Banquet Kitchen. A project or organisation that has raised the profile of Reading’s heritage.

Reading Arts and Business in Partnership

Demonstrating excellence in partnership working between business and arts organisation(s).

Best Education Project

A project that shows the power of art and culture to engage young people and create high-quality artistic outputs.

Festival of the Year

A festival that engaged a broad community and raised Reading’s profile with high-quality content and a great festival experience.

Young Talent – under 25

An artist or group of artists that are displaying real talent and potential at a relatively young age.

Cultural Organisation of the Year

This organisation will have demonstrated consistently high standards in terms of output and engagement.

Business Innovation in the Arts

A Reading arts or cultural project in which business has played a creative and innovative role.

Enter the Reading Cultural Awards 2017

To enter, please select the category and provide the name of the project, name and contact details of the project organisation, nominee contact details and max 500 words on how the entry meets the criteria.
The activity must have taken place in the Reading area between 1 January 2016 and 1 April 2017.

Select Category (required)

Name of Project (required)

Name of Project Organisation (required)

Contact details of Project Organisation (if known)

Name of Nominator (required)

Name of Nominating Organisation (if relevant)

Email address of Nominator (required)

Explain how the entry meets the criteria (max 500 words)


Reading UK CIC

Reading UK CIC is the economic development company for Reading. Part of the management group for Reading 2016, funder of the ARENA programme through our management of the BID and leading on the new Reading-on-Thames Festival, Reading UK CIC believe that arts, culture and heritage are at the heart of what makes Reading tick. Reading’s cultural identity plays an important role in making Reading an exciting place to work, live or do business.

The Olympia Ballroom

Located in the heart of Reading town centre on London Street, The Olympia Ballroom is one of the largest indoor venue hire locations in Berkshire. The conveniently central location, exquisite architecture and interior lends itself to corporate and private venue hire events. The main ballroom remains virtually unchanged to this day, with its original domed structure still intact. The Ballroom is filled with history dating back to the 1700s. Through the 60s, many great well known bands played at The Olympia. Including bands such as The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Birds. Today, The Olympia Ballroom continues to attract the surrounding communities with the most impressive event hire space in Berkshire, available for Weddings, Corporate Events and Community Gatherings. More information at

The Reading Chronicle

The Reading Chronicle is Reading’s only weekly newspaper providing all the latest news, sport, jobs and announcements about Reading in print every Thursday and online at The Chronicle also publishes a weekly free paper, The Reading Midweek on Wednesdays and the monthly glossy free lifestyle magazine #’Reading.

Awards ceremony

Full details of the awards ceremony on Thursday 29 June
at The Olympia Ballroom will be available nearer the time.