Published on Saturday 24 March 2018

Prof Oliver Friggieri receives the Lifetime Achievement Award

Arts Council Malta has announced the list of winners for the first edition of Il-Premju għall-Arti, the national arts awards which celebrate the achievements of the cultural and creative sectors.

The award acknowledges excellence in artistic work premiered during the preceding year and are unique in their focus on culture and the arts.

“These awards are another way in which we recognise and encourage excellence in the arts, as well as strengthening the sector so as to foster its further growth,” said Culture Minister Owen Bonnici at the Awards Night, a red carpet gala event which was held at Teatru Manoel yesterday evening and broadcast live on TVM2.

The winners – spread over 11 categories – included Prof Oliver Friggieri receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award while Francis Sultana received the Ambassador for the Arts Award. The People’s Choice Award, which was voted by members of the public, went to MADC for their production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, which also had the highest number of nominations, received the Best Production Award for Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, Europe Day Concert.


Other categories included Best Project in the Community, Best International Achievement, Young Artist of the Year and Best Creative Enterprise. The categories were selected according to Arts Council Malta’s strategic priorities as outlined in the Council’s Strategy2020, its five-year plan for the cultural and creative sectors.

The winners were selected by a jury of sectoral experts and Arts Council Malta representatives from the nominations submitted through an open call.

The Awards covers projects, productions or activities in the cultural and creative sectors which have been premiered or presented between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017. 

The winners received a prestigious award, a sculpture in glass and ceramic, by Maltese artist Kane Cali.

A tribute to Maestro Joseph Vella, who passed away recently, was also presented during the event.

“The Awards are set to become a yearly appointment for artists and all those involved in the cultural and creative sectors, serving as a point of inspiration,” said Arts Council Malta executive chairman Albert Marshall.

Il-Premju għall-Arti is an initiative of Arts Council Malta through the National Fund for Artistic Excellence within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government. Il-Premju għall-Arti is proudly supported by Hotel Phoenicia, Nexos Lighting & Video, 111 Holdings, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Teatru Manoel and PBS.


Best project in the community

Aħdar id-Deżert
Opening Doors Association

Best International Achievement

Charlene Farrugia’s international performance
Charlene Farrugia

Best work for young audiences

Fanfare Family Concert
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Best Artistic Programme or Season

ŻiguŻajg Arts Festival for Children and Young People 2016
Fondazzjoni Kreattività

Best Creative Enterprise

Anvil Game Studios

Young Artist of the Year

Matthew Schembri

Artist of the Year

Moveo Dance Company (Dorian Mallia, Diane Portelli)

Production of the Year

Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, Europe Day Concert
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

People’s Choice Award

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Ambassador for the Arts Award

Francis Sultana

Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof Oliver Friggieri

Photos by Sebio Aquilina