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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.

The Heritage Council has announced details of this year’s National Heritage Week Awards, inviting nominations from event organisers across Ireland. This approach marks a change from the last two years, when all organisers were automatically entered into the running for an award, a move facilitated by the digital-only approach to National Heritage Week that was brought about by the pandemic.

This year, however, following the full return of in-person events, digital project and in-person event organisers must put themselves forward for consideration for an award.

Nominations for the National Heritage Awards will be open on Saturday, 13th August and close on Monday, 5th September at 5pm. A nomination form will be available on www.heritageweek.ie.

Award categories

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

  • 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.
  • Sustainable Heritage Award: Awarded to the event or project that best demonstrated a reconnection with the skills and traditions of the past and how these can be applied to the future or passed to the next generation, or the event or project that best considered how we can conserve our rich built, cultural and natural heritage, contributing to developing a more sustainable future.
  • Biodiversity Award: Awarded to the event or project that successfully encouraged a greater appreciation of our natural world or a consideration of the variety of plant and animal life in the area, and / or conservation of native species and natural landscapes, and / or that considers a resilient and sustainable future for the environment.
  • 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 authorities Water Programme
  • Sustainable and Inclusive Event Award: Awarded to an event that successfully incorporates environmentally friendly practices to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the natural world and that made a special effort to share heritage with everyone in the community, including those who are new to heritage, those who do not have local roots or those who have additional accessibility needs.
  • 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 sustainable heritage and/or biodiversity.

Award criteria

All submitted projects will be considered on the basis of their fulfilment of the criteria established for National Heritage Week 2022, as follows:

  • Community engagement: has the project maximised engagement with the local community?
  • Cross-generational collaboration: has the project brought different generations together to share knowledge and skills?
  • 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?

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.

A judging panel, convened by the Heritage Council, will consider submitted heritage projects for awards under the categories listed above. Awards will be announced in October 2022.

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