It’s time to salute success, from entrepreneurs to artists. The Spirit of Scotland Awards are back – let the voting begin
Best-selling authors, world-renowned artists, cutting-edge game designers – as Scots we have so much of which to be proud
At a time when there is endless discussion about what it means to be a Scot, perhaps there’s no better moment to celebrate the achievements of those whose endeavours mark both them, and us, as a nation capable of spectacular success.
Across the fields of Business and Sport, Writing and Music, the Environment and Food, Screen and Art, Scots consistently display their ambition and creativity. The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards 2013 is an opportunity to recognise and reward the efforts of those who by dint of their talents have triumphed over the past year.
But how do we draw together a year in which although we basked in a long, hot summer – dining al fresco without anoraks or tartan blanket-wrapped knees, swimming (drysuit-less) in the seas around our stunning coastline – just as the crocuses popped through the earth, an Arctic blast whipped down the west coast plunging 20,000 homes into darkness; a year in which Scotland’s natural resources have provided a renewed bounty, while our scientists and entrepreneurs continue to find new and innovative ways to resource our future; and in which new sporting talents soared as established institutions all but crumbled? Perhaps the only consistency is to be found in the ambition and talent, which in good times and bad, are in evidence across every aspect of Scottish life.
Politically speaking, it’s been a year like no other with the announcement in March that the independence referendum will be held on September 18, 2014. More than this, it was also decided that 16 and 17-year olds will have their say in that historic vote. Whatever the outcome we can be sure that as we move towards that date, we are being given an opportunity to contemplate not only what Scotland is, but what it could be.
Culturally, Scotland continues to punch well above its weight, from the Edinburgh International Festival in which more than 2,200 artists from 36 nations filled the stages of the capital in 220 performances and events over 24 days, to T in the Park celebrating its 20th birthday in raucous style at Balado. From classical music in uniquely Scottish surroundings – the glorious East Neuk Festival, the triumphant event at Lammermuir – to book festivals in Edinburgh, Glasgow and soon Dundee – we are a nation awash with artistic talent and creative ability. Best-selling authors, world-renowned artists, cutting-edge game designers – as Scots we have so much of which to be proud.
In sporting terms, this year was always going to have a tough task to live up to 2012’s stellar Olympics, but, in fact, 2013 has held its own. He may already have triumphed on the hallowed grass of Centre Court by winning his Olympic gold medal last year, but there has surely never been a sweeter moment in Andy Murray’s career, or for the the nation’s tennis fans, than his stunning and historic victory in the men’s singles at Wimbledon. And Murray wasn’t the only sporting Scot excelling this year – the Scottish women’s curling team triumphed at the world championships, lightweight boxer Ricky Burns retained his world championship and Ryan Mania rode his way to victory in the Grand National.
This week’s nominees illustrate the calibre of the people from whom you’ll be choosing over the next month or so. Included is JK Rowling, a previous winner, but also a woman who continues to augment her reputation both as a writer still interested in finding new creative challenges (how else can we explain her use of a pseudonym on her most recent novel?) and an outspoken champion of social justice. William McIlvanney, too, a man rightly celebrated as the inventor of Tartan Noir with the re-issue of his classic Laidlaw trilogy earlier this year now occupies a place on our shortlist. In the Screen category, as well as familiar faces such as Peter Mullan and Kate Dickie, director Paul Wright and producer Claire Mundell are celebrated for their achievements. Wright has directed several award-winning short films and this year saw his first feature, For Those in Peril, featured as part of the Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival. Mundell is an acclaimed producer who as well as producing feature films, develops TV drama for the BBC.
Over the next month we’ll be reminding you of the people who have made 2013 a year of success for Scotland. In next week’s magazine we’ll introduce the nominees for both the Environment and Food categories. In the following weeks, we’ll turn our attention to Sport, Business, Music and Art. And, of course, there’s the coveted Top Scot award, an accolade bestowed upon an individual chosen by you.
The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards 2013 is your opportunity to vote for the Scots who have made you proud: the people who have exceeded all expectations and triumphed in their chosen fields. The contenders in each category have been shortlisted by the Awards judging panel, but the winners will be chosen by you. Happy voting.
How to vote...
To vote in the awards simply complete the entry coupon, or vote on-line at
Voting for the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards begins with Screen and Writing – and with it the chance to reward those who inspire. Take part and you could win too
Scotsman Publications and Glenfiddich are giving you the chance to cast your vote for the people who make you proud to be Scottish. The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards® is your opportunity to recognise those who are excelling in their field and are pioneering new developments across Scotland’s rich cultural spectrum.
This year you can vote for nominees in the categories of Food, Music, the Environment, Screen, Art, Business, Writing and Sport. The nominees have been shortlisted by the Awards judging panel but it is over to you to decide the final winners.
The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards, now in their 16th year, have grown to be regarded as among the country’s top accolades – made all the more important because the final winners are selected by you, the people of Scotland. Last year, readers cast their votes by the thousand for winners including Scotland’s Olympians, actress Kelly Macdonald, Gaelic songstress Julie Fowlis and businesswoman Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne of Genius Foods.
In the coming weeks, Weekend Life will profile the four shortlisted individuals in each of the awards categories, all keen to receive your votes. You can also vote for the Top Scot award, an open category where you can vote for the Scot whom you feel has most excelled in their professional field and furthered Scotland’s reputation for achievement at home or abroad.
The consulting panel for the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards includes: Ian Stewart (Scotsman editor), Sally Gordon (Glenfiddich), Peter Irvine (Unique Events), Fiona Bradley (Fruitmarket Gallery), Stewart Harris (SportScotland), Leslie Hills (Skyline Productions) and correspondents from The Scotsman newspaper.
Vote for your favourite
Since 1887 The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded by William Grant and is still wholly owned by his descendants today. A bookkeeper in a local distillery, William dreamed of making his own whisky and saved for 20 years so that in 1886 he could buy some land in the valley of the River Fiddich in Speyside.
Here, he and his family (his wife, seven sons and two daughters) built the Glenfiddich Distillery with their own hands and on Christmas Day 1887,
the very first Glenfiddich spirit ran from the stills. Last year Glenfiddich celebrated 125 years of whisky-making at William’s distillery.
Vote to win a visit to the home of Glenfiddich – the world’s most awarded single malt
Voting in this year’s Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards will automatically give you the chance to win a luxury two-night break for two including a VIP visit to the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. The winner and their guest will stay at multi-award-winning Meldrum House country hotel and golf course in scenic Oldmeldrum, renowned for its delicious cuisine and luxurious rooms. They will also be taken on an inspiring Pioneers’ Tour of the Glenfiddich Distillery. This tour combines an in-depth visit with the chance to bottle your own whisky and enjoy a nosing and tasting masterclass of some of Glenfiddich’s finest single malts aged up to 30 years.
The combination of Meldrum House’s sophistication and style and Glenfiddich’s beautiful, historic distillery showcasing whisky-making at its very finest is sure to make for a most memorable visit.
10 runners-up can raise a glass to mark this year’s awards with a
bottle of award-winning Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, the world’s favourite single malt.
More information on the Glenfiddich range and prize conditions can be found at
All entrants must be over 18.