Ipswich arts festival scoops top gong

IPSWICH: Organisers of a major Ipswich arts festival are celebrating today after scooping a top gong for their efforts.

IPSWICH: Organisers of a major Ipswich arts festival are celebrating today after scooping a top gong for their efforts.

The annual Ip-Art event was presented with the regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence prize by BBC international correspondent Gavin Estler at a ceremony at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds.

Ip-Art will now go through to the next round to compete at a national level for Enjoy England's most prestigious Award for Excellence.

The festival, held in the last week of June and first week of July, is host to more than 70 events.

One of the main attraction of 2009's event was Ipswich Music Day, held in Christchurch Park, which saw several acts from all over the region perform.

Other events at the festival included an open air cinema, art exhibitions at the town hall, an Indian Summer Mela, and 'Ipswich Colourscape', involving 60 chambers of intense colour to explore.

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James Young, Ip-Art co-ordinator, said: “The award really serves as recognition of the team's hard-work, and not just in terms of this year, but for the past 17 Ip-Art festivals as well.

“A lot of people are involved in its production, from the people who donate their time, to the sponsors and supporters.

“It really means a lot to us because the more acclaim the festival receives, the more we feel inspired to develop it and make it even better for next year.

“It's also fantastic for the residents of Ipswich that the town has received this kind of profile at a regional level.”

The festival's co-ordinators thanked all those involved in the festival's production, including sponsors National Express, supporters Archant - publisher of The Evening Star, The Festival Management Group, volunteers and the audience.

Plans for the next Ip-Art are already well underway, with the programme being finalised in February. Applications to be part of the 2010 festival are welcomed at www.ip-art.com or by the events team on 01473 432869.

Are you a fan of Ip-Art? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk