The top accolade, supported by Blackburn with Darwen Council, acknowledges individuals or an organisation that has shown strong leadership, enhanced the reputation of the town and shown a strong cohesion ethos.
Residents were asked to nominate someone who deserves recognition for how they help bring our local communities together.
It’s judged and presented by Council Leader Councillor Phil Riley and is part of the hugely successful 1V Awards Dinner.
This year, Cllr Riley has chosen artist, writer and lecturer Jamie Holman as the winner.
Jamie’s work is rooted in local heritage and culture, he works from a studio in the town centre in partnership with curator Alex Zawadzki and a team of graduate assistants as ‘Uncultured Creatives’, delivering large scale art works locally, nationally and internationally.
Jamie is a founder director of Prism Contemporary, the first independent contemporary art gallery in Blackburn and is associate artist for The British Textile Biennial, he’s the Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Festival of Making NPO, and is represented by The Second Act Gallery.
Jamie also created a monumental artwork celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – attracting visitors from far and wide.
Jamie’s work has been acquired by The Government Art Collection, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery.
Council Leader, Councillor Phil Riley, said: “Jamie’s name stood out to me.
“He is at the centre of all that’s good with our efforts to drive growth through culture, showing the leadership we value and need.
“His commitment is clear to everybody.
“Jamie inspires others and nurtures talent, both at the college and by giving his time freely of his expertise. He raises aspirations and brings communities together through art.
“He acts as an ambassador for Blackburn at every opportunity, his passion for the place and people is clearly genuine and has lasting impact.
Jamie said: “It has come as an unexpected but much appreciated surprise.
“Blackburn is an exciting place to be, our cultural and artistic communities are thriving; and to be recognised for enhancing the reputation of Blackburn and bringing communities together makes me proud of the work I produce.”
The prestigious OneVoice community awards are now in their seventh year and celebrate local people from all walks of life who go over and above to make Blackburn better.
Last year’s winner of the Leader’s Award was the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society. Previous winners have included Keep Blackburn Tidy, Derek Estill of the BwD Interfaith Forum, and Scouts Lead, Stuart Parker.
The event is held at King George’s Hall on Saturday, 25th February.