Both the government and private institutions award prizes to cultural professionals in various fields. In the last few decades, there has been a marked growth in the number of prizes, which has a significant impact on cultural production and consumption. Their number can be estimated at over 700, varying in many ways: from oeuvre prizes to encouragement prizes for young talent or specific groups like students, women or the elderly; from national, provincial and regional/municipal prizes to prizes named after a person with exceptional merits in a specific area; from large or small sums of money to statues or commemorative coins; and from all possible sectors in the field of arts, cultural heritage and media, literature and libraries to trans-sector prizes for arts education, art criticism or cultural diversity.
The Johannes Vermeer Award and the Prix de Rome are two of the most famous prizes awarded by the central government. The Johannes Vermeer Award rewards exceptional talent in the arts, in order to honour the artist’s work and to stimulate future projects. To this effect, the laureate receives EUR 100 000. The Prix de Rome is awarded to exceptional artists and architects younger than 40 years of age, in order to trace talent and trends in the visual arts.
Besides these state awards, notable awards are for instance the Royal Award for Modern Painting which was instituted by King Willem III in 1871 and is nowadays handed out by King Willem-Alexander. The Louis d’Or (best male actor) and the Theo d’Or (best female actor) are awarded by the Association of Directors of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD). The VSCD also awards the Golden and Silver Cricket for best youth theatre productions. The Bank for Dutch Municipalities (BNG) awards a yearly prize to the municipality with the best policy on cultural heritage. Several film festivals know well respected awards, amongst which the Netherlands Film Festival (Golden Calves) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Tiger Awards). Several commercial organisations also hand out awards. Grants and scholarships are mostly awarded by the cultural funds.