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21:12 25/04/2021

For close to 10 years, has been rewarding cultural and tourism initiatives in Brussels that have contributed to the promotion of the city at a national and international level with the Awards, including such categories as best gastronomic concept, evening experience, public initiative and most noted exhibition.

However, 2020 was a very challenging year and every area of the industry has been affected. This has forced members of the sector to reinvent themselves and rethink the way they operate.

Even though, just like every other year, the call for candidates for the 2021 Awards has been launched, thanks to the pandemic this will be a very special edition entitled Our Local Heroes.

As usual the winners will be elected by the general public and a jury made up of professionals from the tourism and culture sector, but new categories have been added to reward Brussels' creative initiatives that were born during this difficult period.

Brussels projects, initiatives or concepts are invited to register for one of the following six new categories:

1. Best creative alternative: This award recognises the best initiative taken in response to the health crisis that allowed the tourism partner/actor to continue their activity by offering a new proposition but maintaining their DNA, eg: a club, bar or restaurant that held an exhibition, a takeaway service or DIY.

2. Audacious new project: This recognises an audacious new concept or venue launched in the midst of the crisis, eg: the launch of a new concept, offer, restaurant, exhibition.

3. Solidarity initiative: The best individual or collective initiative to help people in need, eg: housing for the homeless, food collection points for the disadvantaged.

4. Sustainable initiative: This award recognises the initiative which, despite the challenging context of the health crisis, has best contributed to reducing its environmental impact by questioning the way it operates, eg: zero-waste initiatives, companies that decided to use only ethical Brussels bicycle delivery services.

5. Co-creation: The best collaborative initiative between partners created in the context of the health crisis, eg: initiatives organised by several museums, the incorporation of concepts or works from other museums, the creation of joint products between a number of local companies to support the sector.

6. Brussels on stage: This award recognises the initiative which, through its very existence, has enabled Brussels to shine on the national and/or international scene, e.g: an initiative that has made a name for itself beyond our borders. 

The deadline for the candidate call is 9 May. The public will vote from 20 May to 3 June followed by the announcement on 7 June of the five nominees in each category. The jury will then choose the winners in time for the awards ceremony which will take place on 29 June in accordance with the sanitary measures applicable on that date.

Written by Richard Harris