Winners of the Arts and Business NI Awards 2022

Arts organisations, businesses and individuals were celebrated at this year’s Arts & Business NI Awards 2022, in partnership with Forestside Shopping Centre, with winners announced across 11 categories. The ceremony brought together the cultural and private sectors, to celebrate the best in creative partnerships and also recognise the achievements of outstanding individuals.

The acclaimed Arts Organisation of the Year 2022 award, which comes with a £3000 cash investment from Forestside, went to Belfast Exposed, “for their pioneering creative partnerships, which have helped to create change across the community”. The leading photography organisation also took home the New Sponsor Award, for their partnership with Translink on the ‘Natural Connections’ photography competition and exhibition.

The Business of the Year Award 2022 went to The American Bar. The judges were impressed by owner Pedro Donald’s “commitment to creativity and culture and his passion for the regeneration of the Sailortown area, in which The American Bar is located.”

Arts & Business NI, CEO Mary Nagele said: “Our award winners are shining examples of the amazing benefits of collaboration between the Arts and businesses. We have a cultural sector to be proud of, and at a time when all sectors continue to face unprecedented challenges, it is hugely important we showcase the value of working together and the amazing things that can happen when we do.”

Other winning partnerships on the night included, Cahoots NI & Savills, Arts Care & Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Young at Art & U105 and Millennium Forum & Specsavers. Each winner took home a specially commissioned piece of artwork created by Sasha McVey Ceramics, which was sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

Lee Cutler, Forestside Centre Manager and Principal Sponsor commented: “We were delighted to sponsor the Arts & Business NI Awards for the second year running. The awards are a chance to shine a light on the past year’s successful creative partnerships which have helped to make Northern Ireland a more vibrant place, in which to live and do business.”

Arts & Business NI Awards have been celebrating and inspiring connections between the cultural and commercial sectors in Northern Ireland for over 20 Years. To read the full list of Award winners go to or read below.

Full list of Winners and Highly Commended from the Arts & Business NI Awards 2022, in partnership with Forestside

Creative Community Engagement Award
Winner: Cahoots NI & Savills
Highly Commended: Millennium Forum & Specsavers

Staff Engagement Award
Winner: Arts Care & Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Brand Storytelling Award
Winner: Young at Art & U105
Highly Commended: The Playhouse & The Guildhall

New Sponsor Award
Winner: Belfast Exposed & Translink
Highly commended: Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival & The American Bar

Commitment to Diversity Award
Winner: Millennium Forum & Specsavers
Highly commended: Kabosh & Cara Friend

Inspirational Trustee Award
Winner: Bernie Shiels, Stage Beyond
Highly Commended: Maria Lee, Young at Art

Arts Organisation of the Year
Winner: Belfast Exposed

Business of the Year
Winner: The American Bar

Arts Innovator Award
Winner: Stephen Kelly, c21 Theatre Company

Above and Beyond Award
Winner: Jenni Barkley, Belfast Harbour

Forestside Choice Award
Winner: Jennifer Willis, photographer for the ‘Seen to be Heard’ project

artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.