Aircoach scoops major Arts & Business Award

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    Aircoach, Ireland’s leading coach operator, and the Millennium Forum Theatre in Derry, have received the ‘Creative Communications Award’ at the 2024 Arts and Business NI Awards which took place in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.  

    The organisations received the award jointly in recognition of their inventive ‘Centre Stage‘ project. The project engaged the local community as part of the youth musical FAME and supported the development of arts and culture amongst the younger generation. The project saw the Millenium Forum and Aircoach take the musical FAME on tour around several iconic landmarks in the city.

    The Creative Communications Award recognises a partnership between an arts organisation and a business that enables the arts to elevate their communications campaigns, reaching new audiences, increasing engagement, and raising their brand profiles to new heights.

    Speaking after receiving the award alongside the Millennium Forum, Celine Coleman, Commercial Manager with Aircoach, said: “We are delighted and so proud to win the Creative Communications Award in partnership with Millennium Forum. This was in recognition of a special joint project supporting the youth musical FAME and taking FAME on tour to, and performing at, several iconic landmarks around Derry/Londonderry City. It was fantastic to work with the Millennium Forum team on what was a fabulous showcase of youth talent – their love of the performing arts was very evident in their infectious enthusiasm throughout the event.  

    “As sponsors, we were gratified to support an event that had such a positive impact on the young performers involved and hopefully instil a love of arts and culture as they continue through life.”

    Speaking after also receiving the Arts Organisation of the Year Award, Cara McCartney, Development & Creative Engagement Manager at the Millenium Theatre, said:

    “These awards are an amazing win for the Millennium Forum, symbolising our commitment to community engagement and innovative collaborations.  As a charitable organisation, our focus is on forging relationships with those who share our vision of enriching our local arts and business scene in the North West. We work hard to attract partners who see the value in the arts. In this regard, Aircoach has been an exemplary partner, notably through their involvement in the successful ‘Aircoach – Fame Bus Tour’ project which supported our annual youth musical last year.

    “A heartfelt thank you goes out to every member of the Millennium Forum team, to Aircoach, all our sponsors, funders, Arts & Business NI, and our communities for their unwavering support. Their contributions have been essential in our journey to success. We look forward to creating more engaging partnerships and creative experiences that leave a lasting impact that will go beyond our theatre’s stage.”

    CEO of Arts & Business NI Mary Nagele, added: “Year on year, our awards tell the important stories of the incredible partnerships cultivated in the corporate and cultural sectors here. Visionary private sector leaders recognise the value that connecting with arts organisations brings in so many ways – from motivating a workforce to addressing skills gaps, from supporting the needs of local communities to attracting staff and customers. Arts organisations also thrive through connecting with the business sector, using their skills and creativity to make great things happen and raise their profile while doing so.”

    The Arts & Business NI Awards have been celebrating connections between the private and arts sectors in Northern Ireland for over 20 years. The awards celebrate powerful partnerships between the corporate and cultural worlds and recognise the impact that creative business collaborations have had in Northern Ireland over the last year. A full list of 2024 winners can be found at www.artsandbusinessni.org.uk