How to enter for an AHI Award  

The Awards cover nine different categories. You can enter projects in the first six categories using the entry form. You can also download the appropriate form to nominate people for a Young Interpreter or Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Entering your project for an award? Please read the category descriptions below and choose the most appropriate category for your project or event.

  • If your project could fit into more than one category, please pick the most relevant one e.g. if your project takes place both indoors and outdoors, think about where the main part of the experience happens and choose that category.
  • Don’t worry if you’re not sure you’ve picked the right category! The Awards judging panel will make the final call to make sure your project is judged fairly against similar ones (and they will let you know if they move it).
  • To be eligible, projects or events must have launched to the public in Britain or Ireland between 1st April 2019 and 5th April 2021.
  • Entry for the awards has now closed.  However, nominations for the Young Interpreter and Lifetime Achievement awards are being accepted until Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Award Categories

Young Interpreter (free to enter)

Sponsored by Michael Hamish Glen - Wordsmith & VisitMôr Ltd

This category is all about celebrating the work of inspirational young people who are involved in, or have led, a project that shares our heritage, nature, culture or science.

We invite organisations or individuals involved in such projects to nominate young people aged between 16 and 21 who are actively helping to engage people with their heritage and creating memorable visitor experiences. Young interpreters can be employees, interns, students or volunteers.

Lifetime Achievement (free to enter)

Sponsored by AHI

This special award recognises an outstanding and lasting contribution to the heritage interpretation profession over a significant period of time. We welcome nominations for people who have been a constant and consistent advocate for interpretation, and who have – whether as a practitioner, trainer or academic – developed interpretation as a discipline, created great visitor experiences and inspired others in the sector.

Indoors - Entries Closed

Sponsored by Novadura

This category is for permanent or semi-permanent indoor projects that engage people inside, and provide interpretive visitor experiences in heritage, nature, culture or science. Projects can be physical and/or digital indoor experiences, and should be installations that can be visited on site or online by site judges during summer 2021.

We welcome any kind of indoor experience in this category, from tiny churches to palaces, village halls and schools, museums and visitor centre, in one place or several.

Outdoors - Entries Closed

Sponsored by HDC International

This category is for permanent or semi-permanent projects that engage people outside, and provide interpretive visitor experiences in heritage, nature, culture or science. Projects can be physical and/or digital outdoor experiences, and should be installations that can be visited on site or online by site judges during summer 2021.

Outdoors really does mean anywhere outside, from a small garden to a landscape, a street to a city centre, a forest to a town centre park, and at one location or many.

Temporary Event or Activity - Entries Closed

Sponsored by Artemis Scotland Ltd

Have you launched a time-limited activity between the 1st April 2019 and the 5th April 2021? Did it engage people with your heritage, nature, culture or science?

Entries can include temporary activities lasting from a couple of hours to a whole season. They can be part of a wider existing project or a standalone, and they can be at your site, off-site or online.

We’re looking for creative approaches to enhancing visitor experiences through the use of time-limited events or activities. These could include pop-up exhibitions, festivals, costumed interpretation, guided walks, family activities, theatrical experiences, performances, short films, music performances, dance, light shows – anything temporary that engaged people with the stories of your heritage, nature, culture or science.

Lockdown Response - Entries Closed

Sponsored by Bright White Ltd

Did you close to the public, or have to cancel an event or activity, between March 2020 and March 2021 as a result of Covid-19? Did you respond by creating a remotely delivered project or activity to engage people with your site, collection or stories when they couldn’t visit? If so, this category is for you.

Any type of media is welcome as long as your aim was to engage your locked-out visitors with part of the heritage, nature, culture or science that you normally interpret on site or were planning to offer face-to-face in that period. We are especially looking for innovative and engaging experiences. Examples of initiatives include dedicated webpages, apps or social media conversations, online events or talks, virtual tours, videos, interactives, packs or trails for visitors to pick up. Anything that took your stories out to distanced audiences when you could not open to the public, or hold your planned activity or event, is eligible. We may not have included your type of initiative in our examples. If in doubt, please drop us a line.

The important thing is that your interpretation was developed in response to Covid-19 when your venue was closed or your event cancelled due to lockdown, and that it is not part of your usual online or remote offer.

Community Engagement - Entries Closed

Sponsored by Anglezarke Dixon Associates and Red Kite Environment

This category is for projects where the community takes the lead, or where organisations work in equal partnership with their communities, to tell local heritage, nature, culture or science stories.

We are looking for projects where community groups or organisations are directly involved in planning and delivering experiences for local people and/or visitors. These can be temporary events or permanent displays or activities, and can take place indoors, outdoors or online.

Communities are diverse, and we welcome entries that range from groups of local people to communities of interest and experience.

Untold Stories - Entries Closed

Sponsored by AT Creative and Info-Point

Are you telling the story of groups, communities or events that have been overlooked or excluded in the past? Are you shining a light on untold, unheard or under-represented aspects of our history? Are you working with groups whose voices are not often heard at heritage and cultural sites? If so, we’d like to hear about your project.

We are looking to recognise courageous creativity, and to showcase projects that celebrate all aspects of our shared history and achievements.

Award for Excellence - Entries Closed

Sponsored by AHI

This award, chosen by the judging panel, is given to the most inspiring, innovative and inclusive project from among the category winners. The overall winner will be the very best of the best new projects successfully and effectively engaging people with our heritage, nature, culture or science, and will also be taking positive action towards diversity and climate sustainability.