Frank Winter was a long-time member of the Auckland folk music fraternity, popular and highly respected both in Auckland and throughout New Zealand. For many years he was the proprietor of the now defunct Poles Apart Folk Club and it was during this period in 1973 that he founded the Auckland Folk Festival (see history of the festival). He was a long serving committee member and a great supporter of the festival until his death in 2003.
During his life Frank was unstinting in his support and encouragement of young performers and he inspired many hesitant musicians and singers to pursue their musical dreams. It was therefore fitting that, following his death, a young performers’ award should be established in his memory. The Frank Winter Memorial Award is presented to a talented young performer or performers, chosen by the festival committee, to help them achieve their musical goals and/or further their musical education. The recipient of the award is announced during the Saturday evening Invitation Concert.
Recipients of the Frank Winter Memorial Award
- 2019 Dominic Rowsell
- 2018 Oliver Bramah
- 2017 RhodeWorkz
- 2016 Adam Ogle
- 2015 Shimna Higgins
- 2014 Victoria Vigenser
- 2013 The Chias
- 2012 John McCauley Plans to use the award to record his first album at Heron Studios located in Kumeu.
- 2011 Presented to the Holy Cross School in memory of Jane Fromont The award goes towards costs to send the Year 7 and 8 music students to camp.
- 2010 Grace Foote Emily Roughton, and Kathleen Wojcik of the band ‘Fiddlelore’ – Produced the ‘Fiddlelore’ debut album. Sales of the album will help fund their 2011 trip to Scotland.
- 2009 Kirsty and Claire Robertson – Travelled to Ireland and performed for the President, Mary McAleese.
- 2008 Mark Mazengarb – Travelled to U.S.A. to attend guitar camps.
- 2007 Frances Dickinson – Travelled to Ireland toimmerse herself in Celtic music and culture.
- 2006 Catherine (BB Banjo) Bowness – Travelled to the U.S.A. to attend bluegrass festivals and bluegrass summer school.
- 2005 Dianne Mikkelson – Travelled to Scotland to take part in the MOD Scottish Traditional Song Festival, achieving 2nd place.