Scots Language Awards 2021: Poet Len Pennie hosts award ceremony to champion Scots

Scots celebrities, artists and speakers gathered in Dundee on Saturday evening for the 2021 Scots Language Awards hosted by note-0Scots poet Len Pennie and writer Alistair Heather.

Scots celebrities, artists and speakers gathered in Dundee on Saturday evening for the 2021 Scots Language Awards hosted by Scots poet Len Pennie. Picture: Contributed

The Awards took place at Broughty Ferry’s Gardyne Theatre and recognised the efforts and work of those who champion Scots’ unique culture, music and words.

Not only did Pennie, known on social media as Miss PunnyPennie, host the ceremony, she also took away the award for Scots Performer o’ the year.

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She has said in the past that her grandparents were the ones she had to thank for getting her into Scots, providing her with not only the words, but the confidence to say them.

Scots Speaker o’ the year, sponsored by Scots Language Centre, was won by Iona Fyfe, while Scots Teacher o’ the year went to Kerry Fraser from Perth High School.

The Scots Project o’ the year was awarded to the Scots Dictionary for Schools app and Scots Bairns Book o’ the year went to The Glasgow Gruffalo’s Wean, by Elaine C. Smith.

Cabinet Secretary for Scotland’s Languages, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “These awards demonstrate that Scots is a vital part of this country’s cultural identity, and it is crucial we encourage and nurture the creativity of those who speak the language.

“The Scottish Government is proud to sponsor these awards and my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”

Ellie Beaton, BBC Young Traditional Music Semi Finalist, performed at the Scots Language Awards in Dundee. (Picture credit: Martin Shields)

The audience, many of whom were gathering from across the Scots community for the first time since before lockdown, were treated to interviews with the 13 award winners, as well as live performances from Victoria McNulty, Anna Stewart, Cameron Nixon, Alison Miller, and Ellie Beaton.

The awards were launched in 2019 by Hands Up for Trad, an organisation funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland which strives to increase the profile and visibility of traditional Scottish music and culture.

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This year, the Scots Champion Award went to John Hodgart, while the Janet Paisley Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland, went to Derrick McClure.

Bruce Eunson, of Education Scotland, said about the event: “Anither year o brilliant projects, organisations, individuals an mair.

"Lovely ta hae the chance ta git aabody an aa the important wark thegither in wan room fir a right good fun.

“Wi sae mony interestin pieces o wark happenin it maks wis at Education Scotland aafil blyde ta be involved an ta sponsor the Young Scriever o the Year agayn.”

Voting was open between Monday, September 6 and Sunday, September 19, and a record number of votes were recorded this year.

The other award-winners included Hope and Lucy Freeman, who won Young Scots Writer o’ the year, and Victoria McNulty, who won Scots Writer o’ the Year.

The Scots Media Person o’ the year was won by Littlest Chicken, and Scots Schuil o’ the Year went to Troqueer Primary School in Dumfries. Lidl won the Scots Business o’ the year and Graeme Armstrong, who wrote The Young Team, won Scots Book o’ the year.

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