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Brighton hospice art wins Best Event in the City award

Author: Leila Hawkins
26 September 2017

A sculpture trail of giant puppies created to raise money for Martlets Hospice in Brighton has won Best Event in the City 2016.

The Snowdogs by the Sea trail was on the streets of Brighton and Hove for nine weeks, raising over £310,000 for the hospice. At the auction hosted by celebrity auctioneer Tim Wonnacott, over 10,000 people tuned in to watch the bidding live on Facebook and saw Snowdog “Max” sell for £22,000.

Local artists created the majority of the bespoke Snowdogs and many gave their time to run workshops with schools and young people to extend the reach of the project.

Research by public art events organizer Wild in Art and NGI Statistics identified that the Snowdogs reached every demographic in the city, including people who may not previously have thought an art event was for them.

Another key benefit of the event was its effect on health and wellbeing in the city, with people being encouraged to get outside and walk more. Families also reported a positive effect as visiting the Snowdogs encouraged them to spend more time together.

The Snowdogs also touched people in very personal ways. Niamh Storey Davidson, a dog loving nine-year old, died of a rare Wilms’ tumour in 2014. Niamh’s family and friends, in particular her twin brother Zach, knew she would have loved the Snowdogs. As a school community they got together to raise the money to bid for “Bobby” and it now stands as memorial to Niamh in Balfour School playground.

Imelda Glackin, Chief Executive of Martlets Hospice, collected the award for Best Event in the City alongside Charlie Langhorne, director of event partner Wild in Art.

In an emotional speech Imelda said:

“We are delighted to have won this award, as not only was Snowdogs a phenomenal fundraising success for the hospice, but it also touched so many people in the city and brought the whole community together. It was a huge risk for an organisation like Martlets to put on such a large-scale event, and we are so grateful to the Brighton and Hove business community for getting behind and being part of that success. Snowdogs had such a positive impact on the city of Brighton and Hove in so many different ways, and we could not have done it without you.”

Martlets Hospice has announced that there will be another trail in autumn 2018, but have yet to announce what the sculptures will be.

For more information visit Martlets Hospice

See more articles in Community engagement

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