There was a standing ovation for Pauline Ross of the Playhouse when she received the annual Business Achievement Award for 2012 at the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce annual dinner in the White Horse Hotel.
Pauline, the founder and artistic director of the theatre, was recognised in the award citation as “a true business and cultural champion”, both for her enormous contribution to the Playhouse Theatre, but also to the city as a whole. The Playhouse played an important role in winning the City of Culture title for 2013.
In making the presentation, Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sinead McLauglin said: “The two words that I would use to describe this year’s recipient are ‘leadership’ and ‘vision’. This person is one of the most influential arts activists in the UK. She founded her creative enterprise in 1992 and oversaw its award-winning renovation in 2009. It is now the largest, and one of the most artistically diverse, theatre and community arts centres in Ireland.
“Her single-mindedness and determination to set up a community arts centre in the heart of the historic Walled City knew no limits . . and indeed twenty years later it has no limits.
“Her business partners span continents, but her deep-rooted belief in Gandhi’s maxum to ‘think globally, act locally’ has served her cultural enterprise well as it still continues to grow and serve its communities of interest.”
Pauline was a popular winner and was given the standing ovation by all 300 attendees at the Chamber dinner, one of the big social events of the year in the city, held in association with BT.