Grants and bursaries supplied by public funding bodies are discussed in 7.2.1. Some of these public funding bodies have support programmes aimed at young or recently graduated talents, such as the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), which, for example, offers wildcards for upcoming directors and screenwriters.
The Flemish government yearly awards the Ultimas (the former ‘Vlaamse Cultuurprijzen’), prizes for individuals and organisations with merits in different cultural disciplines (including an Award for General Cultural Merit and the BILL Award for promising young artists). The Flemish Government Architect awards and stimulates (together with Flanders Architecture Institute) innovating research and ideas by architects and other designers with a BWMSTR LABEL. Recently graduated architects and artists can tender for their ‘Meesterproef’-contest, which provides the laureates a chance to realise a public project. Because provincial governments in Flanders no longer hold competences with regard to culture (since 2018; see 1.2.4), provincial awards for upcoming and established artists and architects have ceased to exist.
Next to public governments, publicly funded organisations and private foundations also organise awards and scholarships for artists (see also 7.3). Among those with a long-standing tradition, we could mention the Godecharle Prize (for young visual artists), the Queen Elisabeth Competition (for classical musicians), and the BelgianArtPrize (for visual artists; formerly known as ‘Prijs Jonge Belgische Schilderkunst’). As in other countries, some awards have been criticized for a lack of decent remuneration, opaque procedures, or the activities sponsors are involved in. A recent example is the contestation over the BelgianArtPrize, which had its editions in 2018 and 2020 cancelled.
Numerous other awards for established and upcoming artists are held in various disciplines, such as the Supernova Awards (classical music), the Music Industry Awards (pop and rock), Prijs van de Vrienden v/h S.M.A.K. (visual arts), the awards of Film Fest Gent, the Henry van de Velde Awards (design), the prizes of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Arts and Sciences (KVAB, for artists and researchers), etc. Some of these are organised in collaboration with Schools of Arts (see 5.3) or with the intermediary support organisations mentioned in 7.2.1. In theatre and literature, it is not uncommon that awards span different Dutch-speaking territories. Examples of this are the Libris Literature Award or the Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs (for playwrights).
Beside grants, bursaries, scholarships and awards, we should also mention the many residency programmes offered by organisations in Flanders and Brussels to young, mid- or later-career artists. Some of the organisations mentioned in 7.2.1 also offer (international) networking opportunities for artists through holding events and meetings or participating in fairs.