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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


63 different projects entered into prestigious awards event across 11 categories.

The many ways South African business throws its weight behind the country’s arts community is spotlighted by entrants into the 12th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American.

63 different projects were entered into the prestigious awards event across 11 categories, with many projects entered into several different categories. An additional five entries were received for the Mentor of the Year Award, which pays tribute to those individuals who contribute their time and expertise to others working in arts projects and organisations.

In total, there are 105 contenders for nominees and winners in this 12th annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American – an increase on last year’s event, specifically related to first-time entries, that underscores the different array of relationships between business and the arts.

“We are thrilled at the number of entries we have received across all categories and look forward to rewarding those businesses and arts projects that have really stood out during the past year. The large number of first-time entries is also exciting as it indicates the diverse support of the arts through business,” says Michelle Constant, CEO of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).

Business Day Editor, Peter Bruce, is also upbeat about the diversity and depth of entrants for the 12th Annual Business Day BASA Awards. “Looking at the entrants makes it clear just how many of our core constituents are working with South Africa’s arts community. It’s been said before but a country can only fully develop if its arts are allowed to thrive and this is what we are seeing so impressively in the entrants.”

For Anglo American – who has supported the Awards since 2004 – involvement in the Business Day BASA Awards is part of a vision that sees arts as an indispensable part of South Africa's progress towards being a nation which embraces diversity across all platforms.

“As the Partner of Choice, we believe that there is immense value in celebrating collaboration between business and the arts,” says Kuseni Dlamini, Head of Anglo American SA. “These Awards are a platform which brings artistic endeavours, imagination, innovation and ingenuity to a creative fore."

The 2009 judges are an esteemed collection of people in business and arts. The panel features CEO of the Constitution Hill Trust, Dr Ivan May; Loerie Awards MD, Andrew Human; playwright and director Welcome Msomi; co-founder and head of Vega School of Advertising, Gordon Cook; theatre and dance writer/journalist Adrienne Sichel; business entrepreneur, South Africa’s former High Commissioner to London and currently executive chairperson of Peotona Holdings (an investment company that deals with business development), Cheryl Carolus; and, Mastrantonio Holdings CEO Giovanni Mariano.

The seven judges have been hard at work, sifting through the high-quality entries to determine this year’s nominees and winners. The full list of nominees is expected to be released early in August, ahead of the event, which takes place at Johannesburg’s newly renovated Turbine Hall (in support of the Newtown Precinct) on August 31.

Designed to bring South Africa's business and creative communities together, the 12th Annual Business Day BASA Awards are once again presented in partnership with Anglo American and Business Day.

BASA was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of government and the business sector, to secure the future development of the arts industry in South Africa, through increased corporate sector involvement. Established as a Section 21 company, BASA is accountable to both government and its business members.