News: Culture Awards Add Comedy Category

The Sunday Herald Culture Awards has added a comedy category to its awards for the first time.

This follows an open letter written by Scottish comedy promoter/entrepreneur/organiser of the Scottish Comedian of the Year competition Alan Anderson who drew attention to the strength of comedy in Scotland and its enduring cultural value.

In the letter Anderson wrote: "The awards are supported by Event Scotland, an organisation funded by the Scottish Government. However it appears that Comedy has been completely blanked by these awards. Is Comedy not culture?"

Anderson pointed to the Edinburgh Fringe festival: "The World's biggest arts festival, some say a massive big comedy festival. Since 2008 Comedy has dominated the festival by being the genre with the largest number of shows, performers, tickets sales and thus revenue generated.

The Scottish comedy scene is stronger than it has ever been. In the last 12 months Scotland's three largest cities have each had new large full-time comedy venues open, with another large national operator about to open what is expected to be Scotland's largest and most expensive comedy venue in Glasgow shortly. 

As well as our big name TV stars like Kevin Bridges, Frankie Boyle, Susan Calman and Limmy, our comedians are winning or being nominated for awards internationally (Chris Forbes at Perth W.A. Fringe World, Ray Bradshaw at Adelaide Fringe, Colin Cloud on America's Got Talent).

Celebrating culture is great. A nation's culture tells outsiders the story of that nation. Scotland is a nation of story tellers, a nation where we take the grim, the romantic and the political, then we joke about it. We are renowned across the globe for our humour. 

Ask any typical Glaswegian, Dundonian or Doonhamer to name you a great or famous Scottish ballet dancer, opera singer or orchestra leader and I bet they struggle. Ask them to name you a famous Scottish comedian and they will give you a list that starts with Billy Connolly, Ricki Fulton, Jack Milroy, Chic Murray and goes on and on and on. 

Are Scotland's comedians not an integral part of Scottish society and Scottish culture?"

See the full list of categories including the new category – Biggest Contribution to Scottish Comedy – here.



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