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Ruby Awards give SA's arts sector cause to celebrate


The shortlist for the 2020 Ruby Awards, announced today, highlights the diversity and creativity of South Australia’s arts and culture sector.

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The awards are presented across 11 different categories – encompassing festivals, shows and individual achievement – with 108 nominations received in 2020 compared with 113 last year.

Most of the nominated works and events took place before the COVID-19 shutdown began, with the judging period for the awards covering July 2019 to June 2020.

“The Ruby Awards honour the best of South Australia’s arts and culture,” said Premier Steven Marshall, in congratulating the finalists.

“In a year of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we continue to celebrate the events, activities and projects that make South Australia great.”

Holden Street Theatre’s Grounded, starring Martha Lott, has been shortlisted for best work within a festival.

A number of nominees are shortlisted in more than one category, including Patch Theatre (for its Adelaide Festival show The Lighthouse), Holden Street Theatres (for outstanding contribution by an organisation or group, and for its Fringe show Grounded), the Australian String Quartet (for outstanding contribution by an organisation or group and its interactive experience Project Ludwig), the 2019 SALA Festival, and the Art Gallery of SA (for the 2019 Tarnanthi Festival and the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art).

Patch Theatre artistic director Geoff Cobham says there is a strong feeling of camaraderie among South Australian artists and arts organisations, and the Ruby Awards ceremony – on December 16 – will offer an opportunity to get together and celebrate the vibrant sector after a difficult year.

Patch’s show The Lighthouse has been shortlisted for the best work within a festival award and best work, event or project for young people.

Cobham says around 4000 people saw the interactive light and sound show during its sold-out Adelaide Festival season at the Queens Theatre.

“We had babies through to a 91-year-old through… it’s a new frontier for us, branching out into installation work that connects with all ages so the conversations about our shows can ripple out through the family.”

The Lighthouse is now set to tour Australia over the next few years, with negotiations underway for an international tour. Patch will also present a new interactive work at the Art Gallery of SA in 2021.

Although the arts sector has struggled this year, Cobham says many people have used the time off stage to create exciting new projects.

“Even though COVID has put the handbrake on, it’s looking really rosy for the future.”

The winners of the 2020 Ruby Awards will be announced on December 16 at a ceremony at the Art Gallery of SA that will also be livestreamed.

The full 2020 shortlist:

Best festival

Best work or event outside a festival

Best work or event within a festival

Best community or regional event or project

Best work, event or project for young people

Made in Adelaide

Outstanding contribution by an organisation or group

Those shortlisted for the Premier’s Award For Lifetime Achievement, the Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award, the Stevie Gadlibarti Goldsmith Memorial Award (outstanding achievement or contribution by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander individual or a South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-focused organisation) and the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award (individual contribution to community arts and cultural development) include:




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