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Issue 20 - Variety is the key to Icon awards

Scotland Magazine Issue 20
April 2005


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Variety is the key to Icon awards

Tartan Week 2005, and New York was abuzz for the Scotland Magazine Icons of Scotland awards dinner held in the Starlight Room of the Waldorf=Astoria on Manhattan’s Park Avenue.

Held in tandem with the American Scottish Foundations’ Wallace Award, now in its 49th year, the Icons of Scotland awards, in their third year, have become a pivotal part of America’s Tartan Week celebrations, providing an important opportunity for Scotland to showcase the verybest it has to offer to an international audience.

In addition to representatives from the American media and trans-atlantic tour operators, that audience for the first time included a delegation from the Scottish Australian Heritage Council.

Once again guests were welcomed by the sponsors – The Drambuie Liqueur Company, The Macallan, VisitScotland and Scotland Magazine – with a veritable feast of entertainment to follow.

The awards, in seven categories, were chosen by a select group of 14 judges who are located on both sides of the Atlantic.

The dinner was prepared by Kevin Macgillivray, Chef from the Ballathie House Hotel in Perthshire, and Peter Daledda, Executive Banquet Chef of the Waldorf=Astoria; and co-hosted by the well-known Scottish broadcaster Fred Macaulay, and Scotland Magazine’s Contributing Editor, Roddy Martine.

Entertainment was provided by Gutty Slippers, The Peatbog Faeries, Fascinating Aida, Katie Targett Adams, and Caledon – The Three Scots Tenors.

Aspecial appearance was made by Hollywood star Alan Cummings, and a proportion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Cli Gaelic.

** Heart of Scotland - Rosslyn Chapel **

The award was collected by Andrew Russell, Chairman of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, and the Countess of Rosslyn.

In the village of Roslin, just a couple of miles south of Edinburgh, lies one of the most remarkable pieces of church architecture in Scotland.

Rosslyn Chapel is a 15th century medieval chapel, rich in unusual carvings and masonic symbolism. The beauty and detail and sheer extravagance of its carved stonework has to be seen to be believed.

Since its construction began in 1446, Rosslyn Chapel has evoked wonder and surprise with the beauty and intricacy of its stonework. Rosslyn Chapel, or the Collegiate Chapel of St Mathew as it was to have been, was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, third and last St Clair Prince of Orkney. It is in fact only part of the choir of what was intended to be a larger cruciform building with a tower at its centre.

The chapel has achieved recent celebrity as part of the treasure trail of the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. Its mythology is interwoven with legends of the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail, which is said to be buried in the vaults beneath the chapel.

Some of these theories are intriguing and some veer towards the fanciful. But they certainly add to the atmosphere of the place.

Rosslyn Chapel receives the Heart of Scotland award because legend, beauty and history are at the heart of both.

** Spirit of Scotland - Dr Tom Hunter **

Tom was born into an entrepreneurial family and graduated from Strathclyde University with a BA in Marketing and Economics in 1982. Anatural entrepreneur, he began his sports retail business – Sports Division – in 1984 on a few loans and a £40-a-week enterprise allowance. Before he sold the company in 1998, it had become one of the UK’s premier sports retailers and employed a total of 7500 people across over 240 stores nationwide.

Over the years Tom Hunter has headed several successful entrepreneurial ventures and is probably best known for his philanthropic work and for his dedication to entrepreneurship education, He has poured millions into The Hunter Foundation, a fund for children’s education projects.

And The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University is a world-class provider of entrepreneurship teaching.

He is chairman of the Scottish Entrepreneurial Exchange and a director of the Princes Scottish Business Youth Trust, Schools Enterprise Scotland and Young Enterprise Scotland. He is also a trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and chairman of the Make a Wish Foundation in Scotland.

Self made millionaire, businessman and philanthropist, Tom Hunter is the epitome of Scotland’s entrepeunerial spirit.

** Performance Scotland - Nicola Benedetti **

Born in West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Nicola first began violin lessons at the age of five.

Aged 16, she won the prestigious title of BBC young musician of the year 2004 and was transformed overnight from child prodigy to international artist. She has recently signed a million pound recording contract with Universal’s Deutsche Grammophon label, their biggest classical contract in 25 years.

At this year’s Glastonbury Classical Festival she performed to an audience of 10,000, and to 8,000 at the Scottish Proms at Glamis Castle. She stole the show with her performance at the opening of the Scottish Parliament building and is booked to play at New York’s Carnegie Hall this year.

Nicola brings a special feel and energy to the music of the masters. One of her prime goals is to reach out to other teens and show them how classical music is relevant to the music of today.

Nicola plays her 1751 Guarneri violin with both poise and the utmost skill. Her intonation is beautifully precise and has that glass-shattering perfection that is truly deserving of this Performance Scotland award.

** Creative Scotland - Literature - Ian Rankin **

The recipient of the Creative Scotland – Literature Award is Ian Rankin, the United Kingdom’s number one best-selling crime writer.

Touted as the ‘king of tartan noir,’ by crime fiction writer James Ellroy, author Ian Rankin is moving up the ranks of mystery both in Scotland and the rest of the world.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, he graduated from the University of Edinburgh and has since been employed as grapepicker, swineherd, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist and, perhaps surprisingly, punk musician.

Ian has accumulated a string of awards and prizes over the years, including one of the world’s most prestigious detective fiction prizes the Chandler- Fulbright Award (funded by the estate of Raymond Chandler), as well as two CWA short-story ‘Daggers’ and the 1997 CWA Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black & Blue, which was also shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America ‘Edgar’ award for best novel.

The Inspector Rebus books have been translated into an impressive 22 languages and been adapted into several successful British BBC television dramas.

** Creative Scotland - Visual Art - Fionna Carlise **

The second award in this category goes to Wickborn visual artist Fionna Carlisle. Fionna studied at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1970s. On graduating, she was one of a group who founded the 369 Gallery.

Her work has been shown as far afield as New York, Moscow and Hong Kong, has been included in shows at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Barbican, London, and is held in the collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Up until recently, Fionna was Portrait Painter in Residence at the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh. She has recently become the first artist to be invited to paint on a North Sea Oil Platform, courtesy of Total UK, and in the near future will be creating an exhibition to portray the human side of the oil industry.

Her paintings are vibrant, colourful and intensely original which makes her a front-line contender for the Creative Scotland-Visual Art Award.

** Innovation Scotland - Douglas Rae **

Edinburgh born Douglas Rae founded Ecosse Films, one of Britain’s leading film and television production companies.

Its productions have won several international awards including two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe, The Golden Rose of Montreux (two nominations), four BAFTAs, The Indies Award and The Evening Standard Award.

Ecosse’s first feature film, Mrs Brown starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, has been acclaimed throughout the world and has won 12 major awards.

Ecosse Films has also produced four series of the highly successful BBC drama, Monarch of the Glen, which is seen in 50 countries around the world.

A fifth series is currently being filmed and will be broadcast later this year.

This year Douglas will be producing a major movie, Becoming Jane Austen for Columbia Pictures, as well as several new television dramas.

He is also due to produce a film version of the celebrated Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited.

** Champion of Scotland - Donald J. Trump **

Donald’s mother, Mary MacLeod, was born in Stornoway, Scotland. She met Frederick Trump while vacationing in New York City, and the couple married in 1936.

A billionaire real estate developer, Donald J. Trump has acquired some of the most exclusive properties in Manhattan, including Trump Casino, Trump International Hotel, Trump Marina Hotel and Casino, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Tower. In doing so, he has become the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, gaming, sports, and entertainment. He is the archetypal businessman – a deal-maker without peer and an ardent philanthropist.

In 2004, he starred in his own reality TV programme, The Apprentice, which involved a selection of candidates competing against each other in the area of business to ultimately become Donald Trump’s apprentice. The programme was watched by millions of viewers each week and was wildly successful.

Trump also owns part of the three largest beauty competitions in the world: Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. He is also a successful author with best selling business books that include The Art of the Deal and How to get Rich.

** Icons of Scotland 2005 - Alan Cumming **

Alan Cumming was born in 1965 in Aberfeldy, Perthshire. He attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and studied drama for three years. He made Prague (1992), Second Best (1994) and Circle of Friends (1995) before making more films in America. His role as the Emcee in the Broadway revival of Cabaret was one of the most celebrated performances in years.

Cumming has additionally done impressive work on television, starring along with comedian Lenny Henry in the memorable 1991 TV movie Bernard and the Genie, as well as taking roles in The Last Romantics. In 1995, he co-starred and cowrote, along with previous collaborator Forbes Masson, the BBC2 series The High Life, a comedy following the misadventures of a group of Air Scotia stewards.

He has recently completed work on the animated feature Any Bully for Warner Bros, as well as independent films Neverwas (costarring Aaorn Eckhart), Eighteen and Bam Ban and Celeste, directed by Margaret Cho. His debut novel Tommy’s Tale has been published, and a fragrance bearing his name was launched in March.

** ‘Scotland the Home of Golf’Experience - Golf International **

Established in 1988, Golf International is a New York Corporation specialized exclusively in the design and operation of quality golf trips to Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, France, Spain and Portugal.

The company handles airline and restaurant reservations and plans a comprehensive schedule of sightseeing, shopping and golf to your own specifications.

Golf International is the only American based golf travel company to maintain and operate offices in Scotland, which ensures the Golf International name is the most trusted name in golf travel.

** The Wallace Award - Donald & Eleanor Taffner **

The Wallace Award goes to Donald and Eleanor Taffner for their promotion of Charles Rennie Mackintosh abroad.

The Taffners, who live in New York, have been collectors of Mackintosh and financial patrons of Glasgow School of Art for almost 30 years. They currently fund the role of curator of the school’s Mackintosh Collection and also give undisclosed cash donations.

Donald is a television producer, and Eleanor the GSA’s honorary vice-president and a boardmember of the Glasgow-based Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society. This award honours the husband and wife team for their support of Scottish icon Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and perhaps more importantly goes some way in recognising their contribution to American- Scottish relations.

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