Creativity and Culture Celebrated at the Galway Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

Galway’s biggest annual business event, the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, this year celebrated culture as part of its celebration of business in Galway.

The inaugural Culture and Creativity Award was established and supported by the Galway Culture Company in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce to celebrate and recognise the cultural sector in Galway and its contribution to business in the city. The winner was Galway Community Circus.

Speaking about the award, Kenny Deery, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said that “The arts are part of the backbone of the city. It’s a major sector that contributes hugely to economic, social and tourism development across the city but also helps promote us globally, and tonight is a real celebration of that. We are the first Chamber of Commerce in the country to establish such an award and we are delighted to work in partnership with the Galway Culture Company on recognising and highlighting the value and indeed the appreciation we have for culture in our city.”

Kylemore Abbey was named “Business of the Year” at the Galway Chamber Business Awards 2022, in association with the Shannon Airport Group. They were recognised for their “immense contribution to employment in Connemara” and “as a dynamic, sustainable business which continues to innovate and pivot their offering to meet the needs and expectations of their customers and their exceptional cultural offering.”


Marilyn Reddan on behalf of the Galway Culture Company stated that “We wanted to really highlight the very significant role that arts, culture and creativity plays in Galway. We are really delighted to work in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce on the establishment of the first award for Culture and Creativity and we look forward to more announcements on further initiatives next year.”

The winner of the President’s Award was Garry Hynes, co-founder and artistic director of Druid. Garry, as an artist, together with her co-founders Marie Mullen and Mick Lally, put her faith in establishing the very first professional theatre company outside of Dublin.

A strong artistic vision coupled with incredible business acumen has seen Druid grow into an internally renowned theatre company, adored by us all locally and acclaimed internationally. Garry, through her vision has grown the Druid Business, owning their own set of buildings in the heart of the city, including the Mick Lally Theatre on Druid Lane (named after the late co-founder) and employing a core team of 12 rising to over 100 on part-time contract throughout any year while all the time producing international theatre from the heart of Galway City. Their mission to be a touring theatre without peer, anchored in the West of Ireland and looking to the world, producing and presenting the best work, both new and old, with boldness, agility, passion and flair has been at the core and beating heart of Garry’s driving vision for the success and growth of the company.

Speaking about the awards, Dermot Nolan, President of Galway Chamber said, “It was truly a delight to see so much of the Galway business community come together for this event. Our awards have always strived to bring the Galway corporate community together – from start-ups to multinationals. The size doesn’t matter, what matters is how you conduct your business. That has always been the ethos of these awards and it was once again reflected in those who were nominated and honoured on the night. We were delighted to celebrate culture as a significant driver within the city and in particular acknowledge Galway Community Circus as the winner of the inaugural Culture and Creativity Award, and I was delighted to award the President’s Award to Garry Hynes. Our sincere thanks to the Galway Culture Company and their partnership on establishing the award and we look forward to many more collaborations in the future.”