RTÉ has received the 25th Anniversary Special Award from Business to Arts in recognition of its long-term contribution to the development, support and promotion of the arts during the 25-year history of the awards, including its achievements in partnership with Ireland 2016.

The award was presented to RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes, Head of Arts/Cultural Strategy Lorelei Harris and Chairperson of the RTÉ Board Moya Doherty at a special ceremony at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre last night.

RTÉ was nominated on the night for the large-scale `RTÉ: Reflecting the Rising’ event, for their commitment to promoting the arts via the `RTÉ Supporting the Arts’ campaign and for a range of partnerships during the 25-year history of the awards. The judges noted in making the decision that since its establishment RTÉ has remained the largest Irish employer of actors, writers, musicians, film-makers and other creative professionals.

On accepting the award, Dee Forbes said, “RTÉ is honoured to accept this award and I would like to thank the judges for recognising the important role played by RTÉ in both creating and supporting the arts in Ireland. The arts are core to RTÉ's mission, something which has been evident in the success of our ambitious programme of content and events to mark this centenary year and in our commitment to helping support a large number of arts events locally and nationally every year through the RTÉ Supporting the Arts scheme. I am a great believer in the power of the arts and I am also a great believer in collaboration, both of which will remain central to the future of RTÉ as a beacon of creativity in Ireland.”

RTÉ also received nominations in two other categories at this year’s Business to Arts awards: Best Large Sponsorship – over €50,000 value category for RTÉ & Various Artists/Organisations in association with Ireland 2016 for RTÉ Reflecting The Rising; Judges’ Special Recognition Award for Portfolio of Investment category for Partnerships with RTÉ Supporting the Arts & RTÉ Reflecting The Rising with Ireland 2016.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts, said, “The judges of the 2016 Allianz Business to Arts Awards unanimously recommended the special 25th Anniversary Special Award’ for outstanding/long-term commitment to the development of the arts in Ireland by a company or organisation be presented to RTÉ.  RTÉ was nominated in 2016 for the large-scale event `RTÉ: Reflecting the Rising’, for their commitment to promoting the arts via the `RTÉ Supporting the Arts’ campaign and for a range of partnerships during the 25-year history of the awards. The judges noted in making the decision that since its establishment RTÉ has remained the largest Irish employer of actors, writers, musicians, film-makers and other creative professionals.”

Other winners on the night included Cartoon Saloon and the Butler Gallery (Best Midsize Sponsorship award) Sky Arts/Sky Ireland and Brink Films, Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera (Best Large Sponsorship), ESB/Feis Ceoil (Best Long-Term Partnership), Matthews Coach Hire/Louth County Council arts office (Best Use of Creativity in the Community), Dublin Dance Festival and Barbara Knezevic (Jim McNaughton Perpetual Award for Best Commissioning Practice), and Axis Ballymun Creative Space (DAA Arts Award).

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships to bring businesses and the arts into mutually beneficial relationships across society.