Making Memories Appeal Shortlisted For National Industry Award

Posted on 27 April 2016

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is delighted to reveal that it has been shortlisted for a major industry award. The ‘Making Memories’ campaign – which aims to provide up to 400 free tickets to pantomime for families facing financial hardship at Christmas – has been nominated for The Emcees Arts and Culture Award for ‘Best Individual Giving Campaign’ in 2016 with fellow nominees including Battersea Arts Centre, Chichester Festival Theatre and Gate Theatre.

The Emcees Arts & Culture Awards for Excellence in Fundraising 2015 were created to recognise best practise in arts and culture fundraising and to celebrate the incredible achievements of organisations within the sector over the last 12 months.

The winners will be decided by a panel of judges, including Bernard Ross, Philly Graham and David Burgess (co-leaders of the National Arts Fundraising School), Clare Titley (Director of Philanthropy, Arts Council England), Sue Fisher (Director of Development, Science Museum) and Regis Cochefert (The Paul Hamlyn Foundation).

The winners will be announced during a national awards ceremony held at the London Science Museum on Thursday 5th May.

For children and adults alike, a visit to the theatre at Christmas is a magical experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, many families across Coventry and Warwickshire miss out on the experience. Through the support of donors and members of the public, the Making Memories campaign aims to offer families the chance to enjoy quality time together over the festive period, giving more people the opportunity to experience the joy, excitement and escapism that theatre can bring.

The campaign not only offered families quality time together and the opportunity to reduce the sense of isolation that some people feel at Christmas, but also the chance to engage with a professional theatre, often for the first time. Combining donations from pantomime bookers, corporate partners, Friends of the Belgrade, local company Barclays Bank and members of the general public, the funds raised through Making Memories in 2015/16 helped a total of 600 people experience the joy, excitement and escapism of a Belgrade Theatre pantomime.

David Jane, Commercial Director at the Belgrade Theatre said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for this prestigious industry award. Spending quality time together watching a show and building happy memories at Christmas can be a luxury and one that some people simply cannot afford. We can’t make people’s problems go away, but we can give them some respite from them, and help them to feel more positive and that’s exactly what ‘Making Memories’ is all about. By participating in national initiatives such as ‘Grow Your Tenner’, ‘Give Me Five’ and ‘Giving Tuesday’ we were able to make individual donations go a further whilst the support of local businesses such as Barclays Bank and Coventry Foodbank helped maximise the scope of the campaign, helping to spread the magic of pantomime that bit further at Christmas’.

To acknowledge those who had donated to Making Memories, 100 purple roses (to link with the 2015/16 pantomime being Beauty and the Beast), were suspended in the windows of the theatre foyer. A ‘thank you’ message acknowledging each donor was then written on a cardboard leaf and attached to the stem of the rose.

The 100 roses represented the 100 families that the campaign wished to support. By visualizing the donations, people were able to see the roses ‘blossom’ with their leaf messages as more and more families were supported through donations.

To find out more about the campaign, visit the Making Memories page on the Belgrade Theatre website.


For further media information or images please contact Kate Evans (Communications Officer – Press and Digital Media) on T: 024 7684 6715 E: