Since 1992 the Cheltenham Arts Council annual awards have recognised outstanding contributions to the arts in Cheltenham made by members of affiliated societies. These take the form of citations, with the Joyner Cup awarded to the most outstanding candidate.

The Webster Cup is awarded to the most promising young person under 18 years for achievement in any branch of the arts in the preceding year. The Cheltenham Opera Group Cup is awarded to an individual or group for enterprise and innovation in music-making, and the Charles Irving Award goes to a local business for support of local arts groups through sponsorship.

Nominations for the three awards must come from affiliated societies but the recipients need not be members of an affiliated society.

The awards are presented each Autumn by a well-known person in the Arts at a ceremony at the Playhouse Theatre.

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Supported by three Cheltenham Borough Councillors, the Arts Council Executive Committee is responsible for and annual distribution of grants to member societies, with funds provided by Cheltenham Borough Council.
In 2013 grants of between £100 and £400 were distributed among 20 applicants. Applications for grants are invited in March each year.

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In 1996, the late Miss Ann Trafford made a charitable bequest to the Cheltenham Arts Council to enable the creation of The Trafford Memorial Fund. The object of the Fund is the advancement of education by promotion and encouragement of music and the arts, and, in particular music, and the production and presentation of the same in Cheltenham.

Subsequently Ann's sister, Miss Cecily Trafford, left an identical sum to the Arts Council and both legacies are now joined in the Fund. Legally all members of the Executive Committee are trustees of the Fund but it has been agreed that everyday management of the Fund will be undertaken by three members of the Committee including the Chairman and Treasurer.

Two groups in the local community may benefit from the Fund:
a. Local voluntary arts organisations normally affiliated to the Arts Council
b. Students and other young people based locally

Applications for assistance from the Fund are considered in May and November, and are usually required to be made by the end of the preceding month.

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Recent successful applicants

Amy Seyers, Trafford Memorial Fund Grant towards costs of attending the Eton Choral Course in Oxford. ‘ The course was a fantastic experience-they worked us really hard each day and I learned lots, but it was really fun too. The course finished with two performances- Evensong in St George’s Chapel Windsor, and at Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford. I made many new friends and learned a lot of things that I will now take forward to my university course, studying Music and Drama at Bath Spa University.’ Amy Seyers

Grace Towle, Trafford Memorial Fund Grant towards costs of attending National Youth Choir of Great Britain music course. ‘I learnt a lot of new and useful skills, like different breathing techniques and adjusting the tone of my voice for different moods of the song. If we weren’t having individual lessons, we were learning choir pieces for the concert at the end of the week. The pace was quite quick but all the teachers made sure everyone knew what they were doing. The whole course ended with a concert at the spectacular Royal Festival Hall. I felt very happy about coming on the course and making new friends and memories.’ Grace Towle

Friends of the Wilson won the Cheltenham Arts Council Grant to sponsor places for young people at the conference hosted in Cheltenham for the British Association of Friends of Museums under the title “Does the past have a future? Engaging the next generation”. Places offered to Megan Stanton-Cole from Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Ben Coombs and Abi Mellor from Dean Close. Ben Coombs said "I would like to add my thanks to the Friends of the Wilson for giving me the opportunity to see how events and especially conferences are run, plan and managed. I really enjoyed my time working alongside the team.” Ben,Dean Close School Abi Mellor said of the experience; “Thank you for the experience, it was lovely meeting all the team and everyone was very friendly.” Abi, Dean Close School Megan said 'Thank you very much for the opportunity you gave me with the conference. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.” Megan Stanton-Cole, Cheltenham Ladies’ College Friends of the Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum.

2015 winners list

The Opera Group Cup: Vicki Beauregard (nominated by Promenade Productions). The Joyner Cup: Linda Kirkhope (Cheltenham Camera Club).The Charles Irving Award: Subtone Jazz Club (nominated by Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts). Cheltenham Arts Council Awards: David Drinkwater (Cheltenham Local History Society), Roger and Maureen Jenner (Cheltenham Italian Society),Tudor Williams (Cheltenham Writers Circle).

Supporting the arts in Cheltenham

Coverage in The Echo

THE arts scene in Cheltenham, particularly in the voluntary and amateur sectors, is thriving.

That’s the view of the chairman of Cheltenham Arts Council, Karen Jones.

The body, which makes grants to support arts organisations across the town, has given out its annual awards.

Karen said: “We are lucky in Cheltenham to have such a thriving and vibrant voluntary arts sector providing so many excellent opportunities to enjoy, experience and appreciate all branches of the arts.

“Our annual award ceremony is an important event in the Cheltenham Arts Council calendar where we recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions to the arts in Cheltenham with nominations coming from our member societies.

“The Webster Cup is awarded to the most promising young person under 18 for achievement in any branch of the arts in the preceding year. This year it went to Nia Chittenden, who will be appearing in Dido and Aeneas with the Youth Opera Project this weekend.”

“The Charles Irving Sponsorship Award went to Nametags4U, owned by Cliff and Caroline Carter, for their sponsorship of the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts this year.”

Mr Carter said: “It was a nice surprise to get the award.

“We put up a few thousand to sponsor the festival when we heard that the council was withdrawing its sponsorship.

“Our children and other in our family have all competed in the festival. We thought it would be a shame it disappeared through lack of sponsorship, if you look at the thousands of children who go through and take part in the festival every year.”

James Harrison of Cheltenham Music Society won the Joyner Cup.

David Manifold of Promenade Productions and the Cotswold Savoyards won the Opera Cup.

Angela Walker of Cheltenham Italian Society, Peter Tomlinson of Cheltenham Chamber Orchestra, Gina Wilson of the Friends of the Art Gallery and Museum, Pat Sillitoe of Cheltenham Art Club, and Josie Brown of Workers’ Educational Association were all also winners

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Previous successful applicants

Rosie picked up her award from Meurig Brown, Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival. Rosie Weston

2013 Trafford Grant recipient Calum Anderson filming his short film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story ‘2Bro2B’ in Cheltenham. Calum Jones

Young singer Nia was awarded the Elizabeth Webster Cupin 2014 for her outstanding performance in music. As well as her many contributions to music via her involvement with several local choirs, Nia is a member of and soloist for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain's Girls Choir and this year also took the lead role in Gloucestershire Youth Opera's production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Nia Chittenden



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