Winners of Festival Awards 2017 announced

Celebrating just a few of the many wonderful venues and volunteers involved in #BristolDOD

As part of the Architecture Centre 2016/2017 Annual General Meeting, held in the Watershed on Wednesday 15 November, the winners of this year’s Bristol Doors Open Days Festival Awards 2017 were announced.

Each year the festival is able to run thanks to the huge effort and enthusiasm of the venues and volunteers involved. Quite simply the free festival could not happen without the venues that kindly open their doors, the experts who give their time for tours and talks, and the vast number of volunteers who keep it all going. To acknowledge and celebrate this huge effort the Architecture Centre ran an awards as part of the AGM.

Six awards were handed out during the evening, each of which reflected key areas of the festival programming. The categories were:

  1. New Venue
  2. Visitor Experience
  3. Family Offer
  4. Marketing & Communications
  5. Community Award
  6. Volunteer Contribution
  • © Chris Wilkins Photography

 New Venue – Awarded to Avonmouth Asphalt Plant

To keep the festival fresh after 24 years, we aim to involve new venues, sites, and activities in the festival programme each year. The winner of Best New Venue this year has been selected due to their outstanding first year efforts and excellent visitor feedback. Programming two full days of site tours and family activities celebrating sustainable design and engineering feats.

  • © Chris Wilkins Photography

Visitor Experience 2017 – Awarded to Bristol Medical Simulation Centre

Opening a venue for Bristol Doors Open Days involves more than simply unlocking the door. A great deal goes on behind the scenes to ensure the visitor on the day has the best possible experience. From the signage outside to the welcome at the door, through to the quality of the tours. The winner of this year’s Best Visitor Experience did just this. A venue not normally open to the public, this venue organised itself, and presented itself, to festival goers very successfully. Visitor feedback wrote of how much they learned through interesting and informative tours and how welcoming the staff were.

  • © Chris Wilkins Photography

Family Offer 2017 – Awarded to St Paul’s Church Circomedia & Ujima Radio

The Architecture Centre took over the running of the festival in 2014 and a key audience we wish to involve year on year is that of families and children – aiming to get the next generation aware of, and inspired about, the city’s design. As venues sign up to the festival we encourage all of them to host, were feasible, a family offer as part of their weekend opening. This year 57 venues, over half of the programme, hosted a family offer of some kind, from bell ringing, puppet making, to becoming a BBC DJ. This year’s award for Best Family Offer goes to a venue whose whole weekend programme centred around involving families and young people in the venue’s space.

  • © Chris Wilkins Photography

Marketing and Communications 2017 – Awarded to The Island

Promoting the festival and getting as many people to hear about it is critical to its success. This year we saw an increase of visits to 70,000+ over the weekend. Alongside central festival marketing we encourage all the venues and participants to promote their involvement through their own channels – amplifying the festival message. The award of Best Marketing of 2017 goes to a venue who on limited resources delivered a holistic marketing campaign from designing their own print to a complete social media operation.

  • © Chris Wilkins Photography

Community Award 2017 – Awarded to Malago Greenway Berry Maze

Bristol Doors Open Days not only celebrates the city’s physical places and spaces it also celebrates its neighbourhoods and communities. We could not have a vibrant built environment without a vibrant community of people. Many of the venues and events in the 2017 programme were hosted by community and voluntary groups. Often on a shoestring we wanted to acknowledge the groundswell of community involvement through the Community Award. The winner of this year goes to a project that is revitalising its area and inspiring its local people. During Doors Open Days they hosted a popular community day, full of hands on activity, creatively challenging what can be done to underused spaces of Bristol.

  • © Chris Wilkins Photography

Volunteer Contribution 2017 – Awarded to Judy Goldsmith

The festival simply could not happen without the vast numbers of volunteers who give their time and expertise to the weekend. To highlight the personal contribution given by many of the wonderful volunteers and members of staff we asked venues to nominate an individual from their team. We were inundated with nominees, however one stood out. Nominated by her venue Jacobs Wells Baths, they said; ‘she brought the entire day to life with her informed research about the history of The Baths and her informative tours. The day would not have been the success it was without her commitment and passion – About The Baths, about saving the heritage building and about ensuring that memories do not become lost and forgotten.’

The awards celebrated just a few of the many wonderful venues and volunteers involved in the programme. We would like to thank everyone once again for their involvement and look forward to next year when Bristol Doors Open Days returns on 14-16 September 2018.