Organisers of the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) have announced that three new sponsors are on board for the next edition of their prestigious awards, to be presented during the show on Monday April 8th.
Pyramid Gallery, York, Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge and ACID (Anti Copying in Design), join existing award sponsors The Giftware Association (GA), NAJ (National Association of Jewellers), Greetings Today magazine and DesignGap/ArtGap. The full sponsorship line-up for 2019 is as follows:
• Pyramid Gallery will sponsor the BCTF Award for Excellence
• Heart Gallery will sponsor the Best Newcomer Award
• ACID will sponsor the Post Newcomer Award
• GA will sponsor The Giftware Association Award for Excellence
• NAJ will sponsor the Award for Excellence in Jewellery
• Greetings Today magazine will sponsor the Greeting Card Award
• DesignGap/ArtGap will sponsor the Wow Factor Award, with the winner decided by exhibitor votes.
Established in 1982, Pyramid Gallery is an independent craft and art gallery in the centre of medieval York that stocks British sourced art and crafts, specialising in handmade jewellery and British studio glass.
Commenting on the new sponsorship agreement, owner, Terry Brett, said: “Since taking ownership of Pyramid Gallery in 1994, I regard this show as the most relevant and useful to me for sourcing handmade crafts and art of the right quality for my business. The show is always a joy to visit and gives me the opportunity to chat to makers that I have known and represented for many years. Some makers at this event have supplied Pyramid Gallery since 1982.
“I have always had high regard for the BCTF Awards and the opportunity to sponsor a category comes with a great responsibility. It feels to be a great privilege for me. As part of our sponsorship we will offer a gallery exhibition to the winner and runners up. The timing and nature of each artist’s show will be arranged with the winners to suit their needs, as some will require a bigger space than others. We will also publicise the shows”.
Alison Bartram, owner of the Heart Gallery was also very pleased to be involved, saying: “I am delighted to have been asked to sponsor the BCTF Best Newcomer Award and hope that I can fill the big shoes that Angie and Paul (of previous category sponsor, Craft & Design Online magazine) have left for me to fill. It’s an absolute honour and I am really looking forward to 2019. I would love to offer exhibition opportunities to newcomers and nurture them through the process as well. What I can offer depend on who the winner of Best Newcomer is. For example, if we select an artist it could be a solo show, but a jewellery designer would probably form part of a group exhibition in the gallery”.
Heart Gallery opened in 2006 with a clear vision to support artists/designers and makers in the UK and hopefully change the way people shop by seeing how important it is to support and shop locally. Alison has been visiting BCTF to help fulfil this remit for almost two decades. Alison adds: “We have helped to put Hebden Bridge on the map as a town full of independent shops that meant in 2016 we won two awards – Best Small Market Town and The People’s Choice.”
ACID Chief Executive, Dids Macdonald commented: “ACID is delighted to sponsor the Post Newcomer Award at next year’s BCTF event, and we were also delighted that there was such a good response to the ACID seminar on design protection at the 2018 show.”
A representative of ACID will judge the award from around 30 post newcomers exhibiting at BCTF 2019. The winner will receive complimentary ACID membership for a year which includes free initial legal advice on intellectual property and design issues, access to the ACID IP Databank to upload evidence of original designs, along with the full range of ACID member benefits. In addition to this, the winner will be presented with a unique ACID trophy, £100 shopping voucher and an ACID Member Focus promoting their products to the ACID community.
“ACID is very much looking forward to developing our relationship with BCTF”, Dids added.
Giftware Association chief executive, Sarah Ward, explained why she thought it was important to support the BCTF awards, saying: “The Giftware Association, as the voice of the gift industry, is proud to be one of the sponsors at BCTF. We are particularly delighted to have been asked to present our Award for Excellence, which gives our talented designer-makers much-deserved recognition, and gives their products more crucial visibility.
“With a more varied and accessible gift market than ever before, shows that promote strongly design-led gifts, particularly those made in smaller studios, are vital. For the GA, learning more about these smaller businesses and the challenges they face allows us to better help the whole industry face those challenges.
“BCTF is a great show for the Giftware Association to support, which is reflected in our membership base, it’s the smaller, independent micro and macro businesses that need our help and it’s the inclusiveness of this show that supports and builds confidence amongst these companies.“