Matthews’ Arts Showcase Initiative scoops Best Use of Creativity in the Community award

A unique arts collaboration driven by took the honours in a major national awards ceremony at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin last night (Mon Sept 19).

The Arts Showcase Initiative, in partnership with Louth and Monaghan County Council Arts Offices, won Best Use of Creativity in the Community at the 25th Allianz Business To Arts Awards.

The annual awards attracted a record number of entries this year and among the other category winners on the night were RTE, Sky Arts, ESB, Bank of Ireland and An Post.

The Arts Showcase initiative was also shortlisted in the Best Small Sponsorship category.

The initiative promotes and provides innovative advertising support to a succession of artists across a range of disciplines over a three-year period.

Every six months, a deserving person from the creative sector across the arts disciplines in Louth, Monaghan or East Meath is selected as the showcase winner and have themselves or their works featured as an advertisement on the full back of a coach.


The award was received on stage by Paddy Matthews, Managing Director of, and Cllr Paul Bell, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council.

This practical Business to Arts initiative was launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys and the then Minister for Business and Enterprise Gerald Nash to celebrate the 20th anniversary of in May 2015.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise and champion the spirit of collaboration between businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships; bringing the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society.

“I couldn’t believe it when we were announced as winners for an initiative that has exceeded our expectations in terms of success,” said Managing Director Paddy Matthews.

“I’d like to thank every artists that has entered our initiative through our website, and urge them to keep doing so, as the rewards for winning are vast in terms of exposure.

“The first two winners have been singer songwriter Sinead McNally from Knockbridge and artist Orla Barry from Dundalk and their art is seen on the back of a Matthews bus by thousands of people a day.

“We have always put the art and culture of the area to the fore in our numerous day and extended tours which promote the north east, and we see the benefits in promoting the artistic life of the region.”

Louth County Council CEO Joan Martin was delighted that this unique initiative has now been given national exposure.

“This award shows the power of imaginative thinking on behalf of local business and local authorites – a simple idea, well implemented that has gone on to reach out to thousands of people a day on behalf of the arts.”

Louth County Arts Officer, Brian Harten, is delighted with the exposure that has given to local artists.

“Louth County Council takes pride in the creativity of our artists, and increasing awareness of their work through such a high-profile partnership with can be a great boost to the careers of visual artists, musicians, craftspeople, and all creative professionals.”

Artists bidding to be the latest winner of the Arts Showcase Initiative are asked to enter via their website.