taking our culture forward

Who should win the Island's top award for Manx culture?

Thu, 26 Oct 2023

Last year's recipient, Fiona McArdle RBV
Last year's recipient, Fiona McArdle RBV

Did you know the Isle of Man has its own ‘January honours’ for Manx culture? Well, it’s time to think about who should be awarded the ‘Reih Bleeaney Vanannan’ – or RBV for short – for 2024.

Nominations are open throughout November and the process couldn’t be easier – there’s a simple form to fill in, and all you have to do is write about why an individual or a group should be recognised, whether they’ve achieved something incredible for Manx culture recently, or have been involved for many years.

Reih Bleeaney Vanannan means Manannan’s Choice of the Year, and last year it was Fiona McArdle whose outstanding contribution to so many aspects of Manx culture meant that she was chosen. Fiona’s work in promoting and developing the Manx language, Manx music, song and dance, Manx history, and so much more, meant that she was a worthy winner.

The award covers the broad sweep of Manx culture, represented by previous winners who include Nigel Crowe (genealogy, land division, history), John Kaneen (music, collecting, and broadcasting), Phil Kelly (Manx language), the Michael Players (dialect theatre), William Cain (wildlife and environment), Clare Kilgallon (music, song and dance), the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (language and culture), Allan Skillan (field-walking and prehistory), and Maureen Costain Richards (Manx artistic heritage and Manx crosses).

The award recognises Manannan as the patron of Manx culture, and comprises a trophy designed by Eric Austwick, a medal designed by Jenny Kissack, together with donations to the recipient and to a Manx cultural cause of their choosing. Nominations from the public are reviewed by a small group of judges from various Manx cultural organisations, with the winner usually announced in January.

Nomination forms, rules and guidance notes are available on our website here or by emailing us – your nomination should assume that the reader knows nothing about the individual or group and should show how they have made an impact on the Island’s culture. If they have been active in one or more areas, or have achieved something remarkable in the past year or over their lifetime, make sure you detail this – all aspects are considered by the judges.

Nominations close at 12 noon on Friday 1 December 2023.