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Winners annoonced for the Scots Language Awards 2020

Published: 27 Oct 2020

Photo of Janey Godley

Scots Speaker o the Year, Janey Godley. Photo from janeygodly.com

In Scots

Ower the weekend o 23rd an 24th October, the 2020 Scots Language Awards, wir celebatit online wi a gaitherin o kenspeckle fowk fae aa the airts includin comic Janey Godley. Twa days dedicatit tae Scots leid an cultur saw a Friday nicht concert fae sangster Iona Fyfe an her trio. Forby the Setturday nicht Scots Language Awards wi the annooncin o the winners, in the coorse o the day thir wis the ‘Wee Gaitherin’, a series o collogues on the Scots leid.

Scriever an broadcaster Alistair Heather hostit the Awards ceremony on the event organiser’s Hands Up For Trad Facebook an YouTube channels.

The Awards gie richtfu recognition tae the mony dedicatit fowk wha in days lang syne an in oor ain times gie a muckle amoont o thirsels tae makin shair the guid Scots leid is keepit tae the fore in its cultur, music an wirds.

Public votin on the nominees wis cairrit oot atween 5th an 18th October at www.scotslanguageawards.com.

The award for Scots Speaker o’ the Year went tae comic Janey Godley. In thae soberin times o this virus pandemic, she hae makit voiceowers in her ain style an leid fae a wheen o the First Meenister’s Covid briefins. Janey Godley hae gied us a guid lauch, yet wi the richt message, an she hae gied us a new catch-phrase wi ‘Frank, get the door’.

Janey, makin an unexpectit appearance at the event, telt the audience: “I am absolutely stunned and honoured to win an award for something that I was told to be ashamed of for so long, my ain Scots tongue.”

Event foonder Simon Thoumire fae organisers Hands Up For Trad said: “Janey’s voiceowers aa haed an inklin o the public health briefin messages at thir hert while makin shair we cuid fin lauchter at the situation, it was sic a joy to hae her jine the Scots Language Awards audience live on the nicht, an we wir delichtit tae receive a record number o public votes for her.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney statit : The Scottish Governmint is prood tae be a sponsor o the Scots Leid Awards again this year. We hae seen a breadth o talent cam tae the fore in the past twa year an this can anly gae fae strength tae strength while increasin the uis o Scots in iveryday life.
“Ma congratulations tae aa thae wha wir nominatit an ah wish them weel in the future.”

Viewers wir treatit tae videos, live blethers an interviews wi the Winners o 12 Awards, as weel as performances fae Gerda Stevenson, Jim Malcolm, Shona Donaldson and last year’s Scots Performer o the Year Winner Gary Robertson. Winners includit the Lifelang Achievement Award, won by Jack Stuart, an the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award sponsored by Creative Scotland, which this year went tae James Robertson. See ablaw for the fu list o winners.

Karen Dick, Interim Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities at Creative Scotland said: “This second edition o the Scots Language Awards is a fantastic celebration o the vibrancy an diversity o Scots leid an cultur. This year, Creative Scotland is especially prood tae sponsor the Janet Paisley Services tae Scots Award. Forby, we wid like tae offer oor mony congratulations tae James Robertson, recognisin a lifetime o achievemint as a scriever, poet, editor and ambassador for the Scots leid.”

Marylin MacLean Waters, Qualifications Manager of Languages in Scots, German, Urdu, Gaelic (Learners and Gàidhlig at the SQA Qualifications Directorate added: “Thank you tae Hands Up For Trad for the chance tae be involved in this year’s Scots Language Awards again. SQA developed and launched a wheen o new qualifications in Scots back in 2014. Workin closely wi oor networks o teachers an education professionals, it is fantastic tae see how students o aa ages hae embraced wholehertitly the opportunity tae learn aboot the history an developmint o Scots, an tae communicate in Scots in contemporary, creative an incredibly inspirin ways. Although things are lookin very different this year, the pooer o Scots tae bring creative an professional communities thegither continues tae grow, as this excellent event demonstrates aa too weel. Guid luck aabody!”

Hands Up For Trad, buildin on the success o thir ‘Blether wi’ Heather’ broadcasts durin lockdoon, presenter Alistair Heather this week spoke online wi Itchy Coo’s Matthew Fitt an James Robertson, an hostit a live Wee Gaitherin’ atween 11am an 5pm on the Setturday. The Wee Gaitherin’ includit sessions wi Shetland ForWirds, Faa-Fit an Fitwye (includin Frieda Morrison, Director o Scots Radio, and Dawn Leslie fae Aberdeen University, an Oor Vyce. At 3pm the Scots In Education session saw The Scots Language Centre's Laura Green jined by scriever/storyteller Susi Briggs an Scottish Language Dictionaries' CEO Rhona Alcorn tae blether aboot aa that is new an excitin in Scots in education. Audiences learned aboot hoo Scots features in the curriculum at different stages, the impact that it haes on bairns an the resources available tae help bairns learn Scots.

Bruce Eunson of Education Scotland said: “Followin on fae the inaugural awards in 2019, it’s fantastic tae see sae mony inspirin projects, books an fowk gittin a chance tae share an celebrate thir wark. We at Education Scotland ir delighted tae be involved agayn, an wid lik tae gie a big thank you tae aa the schuils, teachers, wee weans an braw bairns wha hiv excelled in thir use o Scots language in classrooms aa across the country.”

The 12 Award Categories, Sponsors & Winners are

  • Scots Writer o the Year: Stuart Paterson
  • Scots Media Person o the Year: Paul McNichol and Ronny Costello, Dode Fox Podcast, (Dundee Utd. Podcast)
  • Scots Bairns Book o the Year, sponsored by Scottish Government: The Itchy Coo Book o Hans Christian Andersen by various (Itchy Coo)
  • Scots Speaker o the Year: Janey Godley
  • Young Scots Writer sponsored by Education Scotland: Ciara Dillon
  • Scots Teacher o the Year, sponsored by the Scottish Qualifications Authority: Claire Kerr, St Andrew’s Primary School
  • Scots Schuil o the Year, sponsored by Itchy Coo and Black & White Publishing: Banff Academy, Aberdeenshire
  • Scots Project o the Year: Wee Windaes - National Library of Scotland
  • Scots Business o the Year: The Wee Book Company
  • Scots Performer o the Year sponsored by Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS): Iona Fyfe
  • The Lifelang Achievement Award: Jack Stuart
  • Janet Paisley Services to Scots sponsored by Creative Scotland: James Robertson

Simon Thoumire of organisers Hands Up For Trad finished saying: “I’m sae thrilled at the calibre o this year’s incredible winners for 2020’s Scots Language Awards, which in aa weys are reflective o the pivots takin place within cultur due tae Coronavirus an the lockdoon.”

Organisin boady Hands Up for Trad is fundit bi the National Lottery throu Creative Scotland, an cam aboot in 2002 tae grow awaurness o Scottish traditional music an cultur makin it mair visible throu wittins, advocacie an eddication tae airtists, participants an audiences.

In 2019, The United Nations Year o Indigenous Language, Hands Up for Trad alang wi Creative Scotland brocht forrit The Scots Language Awards, a new annual award ceremony celebratin the verra best in Scotland’s strang cultural calendar an giein cognizance tae oor ain guid Scots leid. In a grand nicht at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library Theatre, the Award’s mony ither sponsors includin Education Scotland an Itchy Coo / Black & White Publishin gaithert thegither for a nicht o music an entertainmint tae celebrate an reward excellence in schuils, communities and airts.

Wi a speerit o optimism, Hands Up For Trad hae makit plans for Dundee’s bonny Marriat Ha, a pairt o the toon’s Caird Ha complex, tae host the 2021 Scots Language Awards. Anent the 2020 Awards takin place online, it’s aa aboot keepin the Scots leid an the braw fowk wirkin wi it in the public ee, keepin gaein forrit an makin the event happen.

The Scots leid hae lang bin yaised bi scrievers, spikken in oor weel kent films an camin mair an mair tae the fore ilka year whan communities jine wi ilk ither, the media, fowk o influence an the lik bi wey o social media.

Stey abreist oan @handsupfortrad Instagram @handsupfortrad, Tak tent o us oan Facebook @handsupfortrad an yaise hashtags:
#ScotsLeid2020
#HUFTOnline
#ScotsLanguage
#ScotsLanguageAwards2020

In English

Scots celebrities, artists and speakers including comedian Janey Godley gathered online to celebrate culture and language over the weekend, with a music concert on Friday 23rd October by the Iona Fyfe Trio, and a daytime Wee Gaitherin followed by the 2020 Scots Language Awards on the evening of Saturday 24th October.

The Awards, which kicked off online at 7.30pm, recognises the heroic efforts and work of the people and organisations who all champion Scots’ unique culture, music and words. Writer & Broadcaster Alistair Heather hosted the inspiring evening on organiser’s Hands Up For Trad’s Facebook & YouTube channels.

Public voting on the nominees was open Monday 5th October to Sunday 18th October at www.scotslanguageawards.com, and the Scots Speaker o’ the Year Award went to comic Janey Godley for her ‘Frank Get The Door’ Nicola Sturgeon pandemic voiceovers, who made a surprise appearance joining the audience live at the online event.

Janey told the audience: “I am absolutely stunned and honoured to win an award for something that I was told to be ashamed of for so long, my ain Scots tongue.”

Event founder Simon Thoumire of organisers Hands Up For Trad said: “Janey’s voiceovers held the public health briefing messages whilst ensuring we could find laughter at the situation, it was such a joy to have her join the Scots Language Awards audience live on the night, and we were thrilled to receive a record number of public votes for her.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney stated: “The Scottish Government is proud to be a sponsor of the Scots Language Awards again this year. We have seen a breadth of talent come to the fore in the past two years and this can only go from strength to strength while increasing the use of Scots in everyday life. My congratulations to all those who were nominated and I wish them well in the future.”

Viewers were treated to videos, live chats and interviews with the Winners of 12 Awards, plus performances from Gerda Stevenson, Jim Malcolm, Shona Donaldson and last year’s Scots Performer o the Year Winner Gary Anderson. Winners included the Lifelang Achievement Award, won by Jack Stuart, and the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award sponsored by Creative Scotland, which this year went to James Robertson. See below for the full list of winners.

Karen Dick, Interim Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities at Creative Scotland said: “This second edition of the Scots Language Awards is a fantastic celebration of the vibrancy and diversity of Scots language and culture. This year, Creative Scotland is especially proud to sponsor the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award. We’d also like to offer our many congratulations to James Robertson, recognising a lifetime of achievement as a writer, poet, editor and ambassador for the Scots language.”

Marylin MacLean Waters, Qualifications Manager of Languages in Scots, German, Urdu, Gaelic (Learners and Gàidhlig at the SQA Qualifications Directorate added: “Thank you to Hands Up For Trad for the chance to be involved in this year’s Scots Language Awards again. SQA developed and launched a wheen of new qualifications in Scots back in 2014. Working closely with our networks of teachers and education professionals, it is fantastic to see how students of all ages have embraced wholeheartedly the opportunity to learn about the history and development of Scots, and to communicate in Scots in contemporary, creative and incredibly inspiring ways. Although things are looking very different this year, the power of Scots to bring creative and professional communities together continues to grow, as this excellent event demonstrates all too well. Good luck everyone!”

Building on the success of the ‘Blether wi’ Heather’ broadcasts Hands Up For Trad’s been doing during lockdown, presenter Alistair Heather spoke online with Itchy Coo during the week and hosted a live Wee Gaitherin’ between 11am and 5pm on the Saturday. The Wee Gaitherin’ included sessions with Shetland ForWirds, Faa-Fit an Fitwye (including Frieda Morrison, Director o Scots Radio, and Dawn Leslie from Aberdeen University, and Oor Vyce. At 3pm the Scots In Education session saw The Scots Language Centre's Laura Green joined by writer/storyteller Susi Briggs and Scottish Language Dictionaries' CEO Rhona Alcorn to talk about all that is new and exciting in Scots in education. Audiences learned about how Scots features in the curriculum at different stages, the impact that it has on children and the resources available to help children learn Scots.

Bruce Eunson of Education Scotland said: “Followin on fae the inaugural awards in 2019, it’s fantastic tae see sae mony inspirin projects, books an fowk gittin a chance tae share an celebrate thir wark. We at Education Scotland ir delighted tae be involved agayn, an wid lik tae gie a big thank you tae aa the schuils, teachers, wee weans an braw bairns wha hiv excelled in thir use o Scots language in classrooms aa across the country.”

The 12 Award Categories, Sponsors & Winners are:

  • Scots Writer o the Year: Stuart Paterson
  • Scots Media Person o the Year: Paul McNichol and Ronny Costello, Dode Fox Podcast, (Dundee Utd. Podcast)
  • Scots Bairns Book o the Year, sponsored by Scottish Government: The Itchy Coo Book o Hans Christian Andersen by various (Itchy Coo)
  • Scots Speaker o the Year: Janey Godley
  • Young Scots Writer sponsored by Education Scotland: Ciara Dillon
  • Scots Teacher o the Year, sponsored by the Scottish Qualifications Authority: Claire Kerr, St Andrew’s Primary School
  • Scots Schuil o the Year, sponsored by Itchy Coo and Black & White Publishing: Banff Academy, Aberdeenshire
  • Scots Project o the Year: Wee Windaes - National Library of Scotland
  • Scots Business o the Year: The Wee Book Company
  • Scots Performer o the Year sponsored by Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS): Iona Fyfe
  • The Lifelang Achievement Award: Jack Stuart
  • Janet Paisley Services to Scots sponsored by Creative Scotland: James Robertson

Simon Thoumire of organisers Hands Up For Trad finished saying: “I’m so thrilled at the calibre of this year’s incredible winners for 2020’s Scots Language Awards, which in all ways are reflective of the pivots taking place within culture due to Coronavirus and the lockdown.”

Organising body, Hands Up for Trad funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, was formed in 2002 and exists to increase the profile and visibility of traditional Scottish music and culture through information, advocacy and education to artists, participants and audiences.

In 2019, The United Nations Year of Indigenous Language, Hands Up for Trad launched this new annual award ceremony for Scotland’s vibrant cultural calendar, celebrating the best in the Scots Language, in association with Creative Scotland. In a prestigious ceremony at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library Theatre, the  Award’s many other sponsors including Education Scotland and Itchy Coo / Black & White Publishing gathered together for an evening of music and entertainment in the country’s national language spoken by over 30% of the population, particularly in the central and borders regions, rewarding excellence in schools, communities and arts.

In 2021 the Awards are booked to take place in Dundee’s beautiful Marryat Hall, within the city’s Caird Hall, but for 2020 it’s all about making things happen to keep going forward whilst also celebrating and recognising those who work with the Scots language, and the event will take place online.

Scots Language has long been used by authors, spoken in our top films, and is experiencing a contemporary year on year resurgence via social media as communities connect led by the public, influencers, and media alike.

Keep up to date on Twitter @handsupfortrad Instagram @handsupfortrad, watch on Facebook @handsupfortrad and use the hashtags:
#ScotsLeid2020
#HUFTOnline
#ScotsLanguage
#ScotsLanguageAwards2020

Media Contact

For further information please contact Chris Hunt at Genuine via chris@genuine.scot