The jury for the Visit.Brussels Awards & Networking Night awarded, on Tuesday evening at the Tour & Taxis location, nine Brussels cultural and tourist initiatives out of the 74 initiatives shortlisted by the public. The ceremony took off with video showing the faces of individuals assembled in the Place de la Bourse, following the March 22nd attacks. “This evening is unfolding within a very particular context,” Laurette Onkelinx, President of Visit.Brussels declared. “Brussels is currently suffering alongside the victims of the March 22nd attacks and their families.”
“I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the courage of our emergency services, hospitals, the police and intelligence services,” she went on. She is also the leader of the Brussels PS (Socialist party). “Brussels is suffering at the economic, social and cultural level. After the November ‘lockdown’ and the prohibition of fireworks in December, the March attacks had very significant consequences. Likewise, this has been the case in the capitals which witnessed similar atrocities, such as Paris, Tunis, Copenhagen, Bamako in Mali… However, Brussels would not be Brussels if it simply resigned itself to events.”
Ms Onkelinx both highlighted and praised the emergency measures taken at regional level for the benefit of the hotel trade and cash flow in the business sector.
The award for the category New concept 2015 went to the mobile laboratory for restoring ancient stone coffins. The museum Train World scooped the prize for the category New Event & Tourist Location 2015 and Train Hostel best Hotel Newcomer 2015. The Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2015 (the international contemporary art festival) was chosen as the winner in the category International Event 2015. The award for the Most Notable Exhibition 2015 went to “Lascaux – La chapelle Sixtine de la préhistoire” (this is a cave containing paintings dating back to ancient times).
The Brussels Beer Project scooped the prize for Best Gastronomic Concept. Les 50 hours of Beurschouwburg (fifty hours celebrating art including the abstract and the unsual through different media) took the prize for Evening experience 2015. The Expo-sciences International 2015 was awarded a prize in the category International Congress & Fair 2015.
The category Public Initiative 2015 was scooped by the so-called “I shop on Sundays”.
At the end of the ceremony, STIB and Bruxelles Airport staff were presented, to great audience applause, two Visit.Brussels Honorary Awards (for special recognition for their response in the March 22nd attacks).