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> > > Winners revealed at DaDaFest Awards 2009, Liverpool
two women hold a certificate and a trophy

Artist Rachel Gadsden [left] and Rebecca Fawcett of Parliamentary Outreach. Rachel won the DaDaFest Arts Award for her work on the Breaking Barriers project with the Parliament team. Photo courtesy

The annual DaDaFest Awards are for many people the highlight of DaDaFest. This year’s awards were presented on 3 December 2009 at a black tie event at the Hilton, Liverpool.

Over 200 people enjoyed a keynote speech from Phil Redmond and the fun went on to beyond 11.30 for some hardy revellers.

The evening was presented by agit-prop comedy trio No Excuses: Mandy Colleran, Mandy Redvers Rowe and Ali Briggs reformed for the evening, renaming themselves So Many Excuses for the occasion.

Award night audiences were treated to music from the DaDaSings choir, who worked with Ayotunde Falona, Caroline Parker and Sense of Sound, a group of hearing singers and deaf signers bringing a fresh perspective to signed song.

Read a feature in the Liverpool Echo about the award ceremony
two guitarists and a singer on stage

Heavy Load

DaDaFest 2009 Award Winners

Artist Rachel Gadsden won the Arts Award for her ‘Breaking Barriers’ arts outreach workshops working with Parliamentary Outreach. Rachel is now working with Parliamentary Outreach and Disability Arts Online on a follow up project, Rethinking Parliament.

The DaDaFest Newcomer Award went to photographer/ digital artist Carrie Beckwith. Carrie who is partially sighted, lost her sight completely for 18 months because of the side effects from medication for depression.She says she is keen to use the recent recognition from winning the DaDa Award to help her develop further digital portraits of disability. She is keen to become more involved in disability arts.

Julie McNamara won the prestigious Writers Award for her recent body of work, including her new piece Crossings, seen at DaDaFest and reviewed by Mandy Redvers-Rowe for dao.

Heavy Load, the punk band from Brighton, won the Best Community Event/Group DaDaFest Award. The band, together since 1996, is composed of musicians with and without learning disabilities. They make a vibrant and raucous buzz and were recently commissioned to make the theme music for Channel 4s comedy drama, 'Cast Offs.'

Disability artist and political activist Nabil Shaban was given the Lifetime Achievement DaDa Award, sponsored for the last five years by National Museums Liverpool. He’s long been an inspiration for Deaf and Disabled artists of all kinds and his dedication and struggle for recognition was rewarded with an Award.