Inaugural East Side Awards
After a year of hard work, planning, and judging, the inaugural East Side Awards finally took place on Thursday 26th of January at Hastings Stormont Hotel and was attended by more than 200 glamourous guests and nominees. After a champagne reception and entertainment by musicians from Grosvenor Grammar School and an opening performance from NiStars, the gala was presented by BBC journalist, Tara Mills.
Each of the finalists truly showcased the best that East Belfast has to offer and the winners were picked from a range of twelve categories including Tourism, Business Growth and Contribution to The Arts, and were presented to a range of individuals and organisations spanning the commercial, arts, community and voluntary sectors.
The most prestigious accolade of the evening for Outstanding Contribution was awarded to East Belfast businessman James Brown MBE. In 2011, Mr Brown received his MBE for services to the community and the undisputed decision to honour James recognises the outstanding contribution he has made to East Belfast throughout his life.
Jonathan McAlpin, the chief executive of East Belfast Enterprise and the driving force behind the awards, said: “These awards were commissioned to celebrate the stars of East Belfast and to recognise the drive, ambition and passion they have for this little corner of our city in which they play sport, do business, volunteer and entertain. It’s been a real labour of love for me to develop the vision into the reality and to see the awards come to life following what has been an extremely well supported and very successful process. I would like to personally congratulate all the winners of the inaugural Eastside Awards and thank the judges for their expertise in the difficult task they had in choosing the finalists and eventual winners from the standard of entries received.”
Following a delicious three course meal and the presentation of the awards, guests were treated to a performance by The Ronnie Greer Blues Band and special guests Ken Haddock and Anthony Toner.
The full list of winners
- Eastside Award for Tourism sponsored by The Foundry: Belfast City Sightseeing
- Eastside Award for Digital Innovation sponsored by Connect Telecom: Big Pixel Creative
- Eastside Award for Food Product or Services sponsored by McGuinness Fleck: Little Pink Kitchen
- Eastside Award for Contribution to Sport sponsored by Charles Hurst and Fleet Financial: Glentoran Academy
- Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts sponsored by Millar McCall Wylie: Strand Arts Centre
- Eastside Award for Education sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas: Go-Berserk
- Eastside Award for Contribution from the Community Sector sponsored by Solv Group: Orchardville Society
- Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport: Krizzah Policarpio
- Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Avec Solutions: Sean Brannigan
- Eastside Award for Business Contribution sponsored by Ulster Bank: Rebound Physio
- Eastside Award for Business Growth sponsored by NIJobfinder: GPS Colour Graphics
- Eastside Award for Business Start Up sponsored by East Belfast Enterprise: SENsations Learning Support C.I.C.
The Eastside Awards were sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport, Avec Solutions, Belfast Telegraph, Connect Telecom, East Belfast Enterprise, The Foundry, Charles Hurst Fleet Financial, McGuinness Fleck, Millar McCall Wylie, NIJobfinder.com, Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd, Solv Group and Ulster Bank.