South Australia is abundant with talented people, particularly in the arts and culture space. If that’s you (or someone you know), nominations for The Ruby Awards 2023 are now open.
What are The Ruby Awards?
Named after late arts patron Dame Ruby Litchfield, the annual Ruby Awards are South Australia’s biggest arts and culture award ceremony. They recognise artistic excellence, creative achievement, innovation, community involvement and inspirational leadership in South Australia’s incredibly diverse arts and culture sector.
With 11 award categories – including for outstanding collaboration, contribution, work within a festival and young achievers – all bases are covered. The awards are put on by Arts South Australia, within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement recognises an extraordinary South Aussie who, through a lifetime of outstanding service, has made an indelible contribution to arts and culture), and 2023 marks the 18th year they’ve been held.
Previous winners include world-renowned artist Hossein Valamanesh, the State Theatre Company South Australia and ActNow Theatre’s DECAMERON 2.0, WOMADelaide 2020, Scott Hicks and Kerry Heysen AM, and Windmill Theatre Co’s Baba Yaga.
James Hornsby, a Ruby Award recipient, shares the impact of the award.
Jamie Hornsby is an Adelaide-based playwright, actor, composer and photographer specialising in portraits, headshots, theatre and event photography, and “everything in between”. He’s also behind the exciting new theatre company Madness of Two, which he founded with Ellen Graham.
Jamie was awarded the Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award in last year’s Ruby Awards, and hasn’t looked back since. “I noticed a big uptick in meeting requests after I won that,” he says. “As an emerging artist it can be hard to get your foot in the door, but this is a sign that people are beginning to take you a bit more seriously.”
At the time of writing he’s headed to Sydney for his new play The Boys on The Bus, which is on at The Rebel Theatre, and is currently working on a science-fiction epic called Starweaver, made using 3D-rendering technology.
“Ticket sales seem to be going better [since The Ruby Awards],” he says. “It’s a good marketing tool and a huge validation of your own process. In those moments nothing is going right, that glass trophy on the mantelpiece (made by Adelaide’s JamFactory) shows something must be working.”
Jamie’s advice for people thinking about nominating themselves, or another person, is “just do it”. While Jamie didn’t throw his own hat in the ring (“people like me don’t win these things,” he thought), winning was a “huge surprise” and a big boost of confidence. “For creative people, it’s easy to talk yourself out of it and tell yourself that what you do doesn’t matter,” he says. “You never know who’s been paying attention to your work.”
“I’ve been very lucky with Arts South Australia and DPC,” says Jamie. “I think our State Government is punching above its weight in terms of arts funding, especially in recent years.”
How to nominate
If you or someone you know is deserving of recognition (we all know someone!), nominations are now open until September 4, 2023. Check out the nomination guidelines here.
Full list of award categories:
- Outstanding Community Event or Project
- Outstanding Regional Event or Project
- Outstanding Work, Event or Project for Young People
- Outstanding Work or Event Within a Festival
- Outstanding Work or Event Outside a Festival
- Outstanding Collaboration
- Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation or Group
- Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award
- Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award
- Stevie Gadlabarti Goldsmith Memorial Award
- Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement