Peter Brady: in 2020’s Year of Cancellation, why the Shark Awards?

Fair question.

In fact I and the team have asked ourselves that question many times and we ARE the Shark Awards.

Even facing the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought we must make the effort – the best creative brains are still having great ideas (maybe more of them?) so we’re not going to ignore them.

Our history and background involves one constant – we always support the creative, and we’ve ALWAYS sided with – and argued for – the creative. Those who are told are ‘obsessing’ over ideas or are ‘never satisfied’ – we exist for them.

And that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Plus we feel a tremendous sense of loyalty to our unique festival – this year’s our 58th awards and we know that if we’re not THE oldest creative festival/awards in the world, we’re certainly in the top three.

For many of those years we were simply a broadcast award and festival, but in recent years, as the world changed, we added much more. First came the addition of print and posters, then new directors, young creatives, then new media digital categories, design, short films and music videos. It just seemed to make sense to embrace as much creativity as we could, and evolve along with the rest of the world.

Then something wonderful and organic happened (apologies for using that word but I promise not to say holistic.) More categories meant we needed more judges and those judges started talking (a lot!) about ‘craft.’

And as the years have gone by, more and more the idea of craft has become what our awards and festival has become known for.

There was no ‘craft plan’ as such, so we don’t feel we can take all the credit for that.

However as this wonderful ‘accident’ all stemmed from the people who came as judges and speakers, we’re happy to take some of the credit for choosing great people.

Or to put it another way, if the calibre of the judges we’d invited hadn’t been first rate and if they hadn’t been full of passion, for not only ideas but craft too, we doubt we’d have attracted the entries we have over the years from some of the world’s top creative people, agencies, designers and production companies.

Sure we’re a small festival compared to some, but we never feel small and we know we’re regarded throughout the world for our passion and dedication to creativity and craft and our ability to attract not only amazing work but amazing judges too.

So why the Shark Awards?

If you’re all about ideas and craft, the question really should be: why the hell NOT the Sharks?

Hopefully, see you in The Spaniard sometime soon where you may be able to immerse yourself in some craft beer – creatively speaking of course.

Peter Brady is chairman of the Shark Awards in Kinsale, Ireland. The festival runs from Steptember 30 to October 3. Entry details are here.

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