Who will you choose as your Manx cultural hero?

Fri, 01 Nov 2019


November is the time to get your nominations together for the ‘Reih Bleeaney Vanannan’ Manx cultural award. Named after the seagod Manannan, this annual award is made to an individual or group who has made the greatest contribution to the Island’s culture. A small group of judges from various Manx cultural organisations gather together in December to make the decision, with the winner usually announced in January.

But who could you think of proposing? You may want to nominate someone who works to promote and support an aspect of Manx culture such as art, dance, folklore, language, literature, music, history, education or the environment, or a group or society. Last year, Manx musician, singer and broadcaster, John Kaneen, was awarded the title. Previous winners include Phil Kelly (Manx language), the Michael Players (dialect theatre), William Cain (wildlife and environment), Clare Kilgallon (music, song and dance), the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (language and culture), Allan Skillan (field-walking and prehistory), and Maureen Costain Richards (Manx artistic heritage, particularly Manx crosses); the award embraces diverse aspects of Manx culture.

Nomination forms are available online here – your nomination should assume that the reader knows nothing about the individual or group and should show how they have made an impact on the Island’s culture. If they have been active in one or more areas, or have achieved something remarkable, make sure you detail this – all aspects are considered by the judges.

The winner of the award receives a donation of £500 and is invited to name a Manx cultural cause which will receive an additional donation of £500 from Culture Vannin.

Recipients are also entitled to use the letters RBV after their name.

It was Mona Douglas who championed Manannan as the patron of Manx culture, developing the original ‘Mananan Trophy’ together with Stephen Quayle. Later reincarnated as the RBV, the trophy was designed by the late Eric Austwick, and consists of the figure of Manannan standing on a piece of Pooilvaaish marble. Although the trophy is only held for a year, each recipient of the RBV is awarded a medal designed by Jenny Kissack and reproduced by Celtic Gold.

Like all friendly sea gods, Manannan takes care to listen to the people, so it’s up to you to propose Manannan’s Choice of the Year by the closing date and time of 12 noon on Friday 29 November 2019.

Nominations can be emailed or posted to us at: Culture Vannin, Fairfield House, Main Road, St John's IM4 3NA