DURHAM was once again bathed in a wonderful glow when Lumiere returned.
Over four evenings, visitors to the city were invited to roam streets illuminated by 35 different lighting installations – some of them by internationally renowned artists and others by creative newcomers.
Ross Ashton's Crown of Light at Durham Cathedral made a welcome return visit while there were many examples making use of the art of illumination.
Kate James, festival and events manager, Durham County Council, says: "150,000 people enjoyed the spectacle that was Lumiere 2011, more than double the number who attended in 2009, which is astounding considering the festival ran for a total of 20 hours!
"The nominations also recognise the calibre of artists, production crew, volunteers and support staff, all of whom made Lumiere possible."
FINALIST: BRASS: Durham International Festival 2011
IF brass music is your thing, there was only one place to be last summer.
The much-looked-forward-to celebration of the genre in many forms (and then some) once again refused to disappoint with an eclectic programme which saw the likes of the Stavanger Brass Band rub shoulders with The Jive Aces and The Unthanks.
Venues all over the city and wider county play host to performances and events during the festival including concerts from Eminence Brass, The Big Chris Barber Band, The Trimdon Concert Band performing a new piece written for them by Kathryn Tickell, Sax player Jan Garbarek and The Soul Rebels from New Orleans all had their place on the bill – as did The Durham Miners' Gala, and much more besides.
Sally Dixon, arts development team manager, Durham County Council, says: "In our view the BRASS 2011 programme was the best yet. The festival had more new commissions than ever before- a total of ten in the programme - which gave it such a locally distinctive feel and created unique experiences for audiences.
'We also provided talented young musicians with the opportunity to perform on stage with internationally renowned Soul Rebels Brass following a three-day residency. It's great that the achievements of the festival have been recognised once again."
FINALIST: Durham Book Festival
ANOTHER year, another Book Festival in Durham which did exactly what it should – bring together people from all walks of life while shining a reading light on a varied crop of literature and its creators.
Journalist Jon Ronson; Antarctic explorer Melanie Challenger; poets with an interest in the urban fringes Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts; and John Mitchinson, whose wife refers to his brain as "the skip" all came to educate and entertain.
Produced by New Writing North, the 21st such festival also welcomed Hilary Spurling, General Lord Richard Dannatt, Marcus Brigstocke and Val McDermid, Richard Dawkins, expert baker Dan Lepard, novelist Adele Parks and ad man John Hegarty.
Claire Malcolm, New Writing North, says: "We are really delighted to be shortlisted. The 2011 Durham Book Festival was an extraordinary event, jam packed with exciting authors and speakers. "We had our biggest audiences ever last year and it now feels like the festival is eagerly awaited by readers each year which we’re delighted about."