The 1st annual Scots Language Awards ceremony hosted by Alistair Heather and Frieda Morrison saw nominees and the audience from right across Scotland head to Glasgow to celebrate the Scots Language, before enjoying live performances from MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018 Singer of The Year Iona Fyfe, musician, actress and comedian Julie Duncanson, and folk singer/songwriter Steve Byrne at an exciting evening ceremony held in Glasgow’s Mitchell Theatre on 27th September 2019.
The country’s national language is spoken by over 30% of the population, particularly in the central and borders regions, with a Doric strain in the North East, and the new and hotly anticipated Awards have been established to reward excellence in schools, communities and arts.
The new ‘Janet Paisley Lifetime Achievement Award’ created in memory of the internationally recognized writer, poet and playwright was presented by her sons including actor David Paisley to Sheena
Blackhall who said: “I’m both shocked and very honoured to win the Janet Paisley Lifetime Award… I look on it mair as an award tae the Doric was weel”.
Scots Language has long been used by poets, authors, spoken in top films, and is experiencing a contemporary year on year resurgence with a fast growing number of all books being translated, and via children and social media as schools and communities connect, led by the public, influencers and media alike.
2019, The United Nations Year of Indigenous Language, was the prefect setting for Hands Up for Trad to develop a new national initiative to raise general awareness of the Scots Language on a platform for Scotland’s vibrant cultural calendar, in association with partners including Creative Scotland.
Simon Thoumire, Founder and Director at Hands Up for Trad said: “It haes bin an grand furst year o the Scots Leid Awards! Thoosans o guid fowk wi thir votes gied recognition tae oor maist able scrievers, airtists, dominies an schuils. Ah cannae wait til next year!”
Mairi Kidd, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland said:
“Creative Scotlan values an appreciates the heid role that the Scots language has pleyed, an gans oan tae pley, in shapin the cultural lanscape o Scotlan. Scots is pairt o oor historie an oor cultural heritage, wi rich oral an scrievin tradeetions that ur still gey weel alive theday in oor sang, drama, storytellin, the makin o fulms, braidcastin an leeterature. The Scots Awards gie us a wey tae celebrate a this in the UNESCO International Year o Indigenous Languages. Weel done tae abody pit forrit for an award.”
Education Scotland’s Bruce Eunson added: “We at Education Scotland ir right prood an aafil blyde tae support the ‘Scots Language Awards.’ In particular, the ‘Young Speaker Award’. Aw the weans, bairns an young spikkers across Scotland the day hiv voices tae celebrate – thir the makkers o wir future.”
Dr. Michael Dempster of the Scots Language Centre stated; “The Scots Language Centre is delighted to welcome the inaugural Scots Language Awards, particularly during this, the UN year of Indigenous Languages. The public use and promotion of Scots is increasingly to the fore all year round and these awards are a very welcome addition to the calendar. We are particularly happy to be sponsoring the Writer of the Year award. Here’s to the continued and increasing success of the language and community.”
The winners are:
1. Scots Writer o the Year, sponsored by Scots Language Centre
2. Scots Media Person o the Year
3. Scots Bairn’s Book o the Year, sponsored by Scottish Government
4. Scots Speaker o the Year
5. Young Scots Speaker o the Year, sponsored by Education Scotland
6. Scots Teacher o the Year, sponsored by the Scottish Qualifications Authority
7. Scots Schuil o the Year, sponsored by Itchy Coo and Black & White Publishing
8. Scots Project o the Year
9. Scots Business o the Year
10. Scots Performer o the Year, sponsored by TRACS
Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, commented: “I am pleased to welcome the inaugural Scots Language Awards which highlight the achievements and contribution of those strengthening and promoting Scots in the Arts, Cultural and Education sectors.
“We know the important role that the language has for many across Scotland who use it every day and these awards go some way to recognising this.”
For more information visit www.scotslanguageawards.com