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National Heritage Week Awards

The Heritage Council's National Heritage Awards celebrate the most engaging projects and events organised by National Heritage Week project organisers.

Events and digital projects can be nominated for consideration the National Heritage Week awards.

The National Heritage Week awards opens for nominations each August. Events and digital projects can be nominated for consideration for an award.

The closing date for submissions was Thursday 31st August 2023

Award categories

This year’s National Heritage Week Awards will comprise the county awards, as well as a number of special categories, outlined below;

  • National Heritage Hero Award: Awarded to an individual or organisation that has demonstrated – over a substantial period of time – an outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of heritage. This award is based on nominations from the public.

  • Living Heritage Award: Awarded to the event or project that successfully encouraged a greater appreciation of an element of our Living Heritage- traditional crafts, skills and practices.

  • Wild Child Award: Awarded to an event or project that successfully encouraged children and families to get outdoors and enjoy and explore the heritage and biodiversity in their locality; to look at the world around them differently; to open their eyes to the diverse beauty of the landscape in their area.

  • Water Heritage Award: Awarded to an event or project that best explored how a canal, river, lake or sea shaped the heritage of a locality or celebrates water as an integral part of our natural heritage, as well as being a vital part of our future, or reflects on what more we can do to conserve this valuable resource. The Water Heritage Award is in association with the Local Authority Water Programme.

  • Inclusive Event Award: Awarded to an event or project that made a special effort to share heritage with everyone in the community across age groups, including those who are; new to heritage; those who do not have local roots; those who have additional accessibility needs.

  • Irish Language Award: Awarded to an event or project that took place through the Irish Language and/or encouraged participation or activity in the Irish language.

  • Sustainability and Climate Award: Awarded to an event or project that made a special effort to incorporate environmentally friendly practices to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the natural world OR an event that provided education on the impact of climate change and good sustainability practice.

  • County Award: Awarded to the best event or project in each Local Authority area based its ability to: maximise the involvement of a community in developing the project; include all age groups in your community in the project development / execution; grow awareness of an aspect of heritage in a community; or build on an existing heritage project, or heritage network in a community and consider the themes of Living Heritage.

The closing date for submissions was Thursday 31st August 2023

Award criteria

All projects must also clearly promote at least one aspect of natural, cultural or built heritage, and have a clear educational value by helping people to engage with and find out more about heritage.

All submitted projects will be considered on the basis of their fulfilment of the criteria established for National Heritage Week 2023, as follows:

  • Community engagement: has the project maximised engagement with the local community? How have you promoted your event to the public and invited your community to take part?
  • Cross-generational collaboration: has the project brought different generations together to share knowledge and skills? how have you made an effort to include different age groups?
  • Awareness-raising: is there a clear plan for growing awareness of the project at community-level and beyond?
  • Existing networks / resources: has the project organiser(s) drawn on heritage organisations and resources (websites, guides, etc.) to inform their project?

A judging panel, convened by the Heritage Council, will consider submitted heritage projects for awards under the categories listed above. Awards will be announced at the National Heritage Week Awards Ceremony in early October 2023.

If you have any questions about the National Heritage Week Awards, please contact heritageweek@heritagecouncil.ie.