For more than ten years, the visit.brussels Awards have been rewarding Brussels' cultural and tourist initiatives that have earned the capital national and international acclaim.
The 7 wonders of Brussels
The winners are selected by the public as well as by a jury composed of professionals from the tourism sector and the press. This year, two new categories have been introduced that reflect essential elements of smart tourism. The new Public Vote award will also recognise the initiative that receives the most public votes.
Head over to the "Winners" tab to find the winners from the previous editions..
The public will first select the five best projects in each category. Then, a panel of Brussels tourist industry professionals and journalists will pick the winners from among the finalists, founding their choice on seven criteria:
- client centricity,
- sustainability (ecological, economic and social),
- The efforts to make the project accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
The awards ceremony will be held on 19 october 2023.
The visit.brussels Awards are divided into 6 categories and one public prize
Brussels On Stage
This prize rewards an initiative that has greatly contributed to the influence of Brussels on the international scene.
Example: an original initiative that has been talked about beyond our borders.
This award recognises the initiative that has best helped to reduce its environmental impact by questioning the way it operates.
Examples: zero-waste initiatives, companies that have decided to use only ethical Brussels bicycle delivery services, etc.
This award recognises the best initiative resulting from collaboration between different partners.
Examples: actions organised by several museums, inclusion of concepts or works from other museums, creation of joint products by several local companies to support the sector, etc.
Audacious New Project
This award recognises an innovative and audacious concept/place.
Examples: opening of a new concept, a new offer, a new restaurant, a new exhibition with an original concept, etc.
This award recognises a digital project that is innovative, inclusive and accessible to all visitors.
Example: original app useful for people visiting the capital.
Best Nightlife Experience
This prize, supported by the Brussels Night Council, rewards an innovative and original initiative that has put the Brussels night scene in the spotlight, both in Belgium and beyond our borders.
This award recognises the initiative that receives the most votes in all categories following the online public vote, regardless of the jury's choice.
Brussels On Stage
The European Union supports Ukraine - Mini-Europe
Following the application of Ukraine to join the EU, the Ukrainian Embassy asked Mini-Europe to reproduce monuments and scenes to thank and ask for greater support from Belgians and Europeans. As a result, mini versions of the Ukrainian independence column, the official exchange between Ursula von der Leyen and President Zelensky, a line of Ukrainian refugees and a Belgian aid convoy to Ukraine were all set up. Dramatic and moving, the edutainment set questions visitors about the situation of Ukraine and its inhabitants. - 26 July 2022 to 31 December 2023
DIWALI BRUSSELS - The Festival of Lights - Art Lounge 9 asbl
Brussels has become the venue for the largest Indian festival in Western Europe: DIWALI BRUSSELS. In 2022, more than 17,000 people visited Brussels’ version of the mythical Indian festival of lights. It’s an authentic and epic journey to India in all its folkloric diversity. A whole day of dance, music, culture, fashion, workshops and, of course, taste, thanks to the numerous food stands that came to share the culinary marvels of the subcontinent. - 16 October 2022
Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival
Every year in March, the Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival, organised by explore.brussels, highlights the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region. Guided tours (outdoors), family activities, school sessions, a vintage fair, careful thought given to PRM and most importantly, guided visits through fantastic Art Nouveau and Art Deco interiors that are usually closed to the public. - 12 to 27 March 2022
Graduation Ceremonies VUB - Class of 2022
In 2022, for the 3rd year in a row, the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) had the honour of welcoming its graduate students at the Grand-Place in Brussels. 1,950 graduates from no less than 79 different countries (Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, India, China, Peru, Thailand, Rwanda, USA, Japan, Dominican Republic, etc.), very much looked forward to the ceremony in 2022, all accompanied by their friends, family and relatives. The reception that followed the presentation was held at the beautiful Mont des Arts. - 10 to 12 October 2022
Kunstenfestivaldesarts is a festival devoted to contemporary theatre and dance, performance and visual arts. It takes place every year in about thirty different cultural venues and in public spaces in Brussels and accompanies established and emerging artists in the creation of daring pieces that are firmly anchored in our current world. It is international, as it invites artists from all over the world to bring us a great diversity of practices and different points of view. It’s also from Brussels, reflecting the identity and diversity of the city and encouraging mobility among audiences. - 7 to 28 May 2022
Centenary of the Jean Massart Botanical Garden - Bruxelles Environnement
In 2022, the Jean Massart Botanical Garden celebrated its 100th anniversary. It enjoyed a whole programme of activities for the occasion, designed by Brussels Environment, the ULB and CIVA. Visitors were able to discover the history of the gardens in an exhibition, themed guided tours and a photo exhibition of the fauna and flora of the site. Several different cultural events took place during the summer: a show for children called "polliniZzaction", the night of the ULB museums, open-air cinema sessions, storytelling walks (by Théâtre de la Parole), courses for children (CIVA), etc. - 22 May to 15 October 2022
Docks Ecological Shopping Centre
The Docks Bruxsel shopping centre is a model of sustainability and energy efficiency, showing how buildings can be designed and operated to minimise their environmental impact while providing a comfortable and accessible space for visitors. Its Breeam Excellent certification and carbon neutral goal make it a leader in the sustainable real estate industry. Docks Bruxsel is the first large shopping centre in Europe to receive the "CO2 Neutral" label after an audit by CO2 Logic. - 15 January to 12 December 2022
Brussels Beer Project stops far-away export
Following the awarding of the B-Corp label to companies making a positive impact, Brussels Beer Project took the radical decision to no longer sell its beers outside Europe after 9 years of exporting to 8 non-European countries. These sales accounted for 10% of production volume, and above all, the shipment of 50 tons of single-use plastic drums. This decision drastically reduced the carbon footprint of the BBP, which is working on completely abandoning the use of plastic drums and concentrating its business on Belgium's neighbouring countries. - From 1 October 2022
The Barn Bio Market
The Barn project started up in 2017 and launched several different initiatives in 2022: a collaboration with a delivery app available in e-commerce, allowing for better accessibility to products; a vegetable production plot to reduce the number of intermediaries between production and the consumer; and finally, the opening of a new store in Auderghem that puts new sales volumes to work for sustainable agricultural projects. - 3 January 2022 to 17 February 2023
The Walden Festival is an adventurous summer festival and was created by the founders of the Klarafestival. What is the idea behind it? To enjoy music in all its diversity on different stages in and around Leopold Park in Brussels, the green heart of the European Quarter. The organisers believe that conscious choices can have a positive impact. This is why they are taking sustainable steps to reduce the festival's ecological footprint and actively inspire visitors, musicians and partners. - 16 and 17 July 2022
Toots 100. The Sound of a Belgian Legend - KBR
In 2022, the 100th birthday of Toots Thielemans was celebrated with Toots 100. The Sound of a Belgian Legend. KBR and the MIM joined forces to create this unique sound exhibition featuring the collections of both institutions. Visitors were immersed in a musical atmosphere and learned more about the life and musical career of Brussels hero Toots. An exploration made possible through sound and video clips, an interactive quiz, an audio session in a beautiful setting and the opportunity to play with this world famous ketje themselves. - 22 April to 31 August 2022
Belgium Beer Week 2022 - Beer Idiots vzw
Launched by non-profit Beer Idiots, the third Belgium Beer Week took place in 2022 and featured bars, brewers and beer museums from Brussels, around Belgium and the UK, Germany, Austria, Poland, Brazil, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Italy and others. The project is a co-creation - bars and organisers create events featuring Belgian beer and culture during the week while Beer Idiots promote it before and during Belgium Beer Week. - 22 to 28 August 2022
In.out.siders - LaVallée asbl
The first edition of In.out.sider was held in October 2022 in LaVallée. In association with Urban Boat (France) and the Krakke Festival (Berlin), this free festival questions the topic of disability within artistic practices through a rich musical programme, an exhibition of raw art, conferences and workshops. In.out.sider hopes to increase the visibility of artists with disabilities in current cultural programming. - 12 to 16 October 2022
Detours Festival X Théâtre National
Every year, No Way Back organises Detours, an urban festival that hosts dance creations, battles, performances and street art. To accomplish its mission of bringing the street into theatres, No Way Back has created the Urban Dance Caravan with the National Theatre: dancers from Belgium, Casablanca and Goma perform on temporary stages like stations, right in the heart of Brussels. The public is then invited to the main stage of the National Theatre for the final battle of the Detours Cyphers. - 2 July to 28 September 2022
Solar Rooftop - Les Organisateurs srl
Perched on the roof of Bozar, Solar pays homage to the original plans of Victor Horta, whose wish was always to make the flat roof of the Centre for Fine Arts accessible to the public. This perched garden opened in 2022 and promises to be a haven right in the heart of the city: a sparkling winelist, a breathtaking view of Brussels, an unmissable historical venue and a custom layout, designed by Les Organisateurs. - 15 April to 30 September 2022
Audacious New Project
UP - Circus & Performing Arts - Espace Catastrophe
UP - Circus & Performing Arts is the new name of the Espace Catastrophe, now installed on the LionCity site in Molenbeek. UP is a centre for the creation of Belgian and international circus, and for a contemporary repertoire. Up is somewhere where everything is possible, that is open to all, where you can come to "see", "do" and "exchange", and where you can also allow yourself to "dare". Spring 2022 also saw the joyous return of UP FESTIVAL (Best International Event 2019 awards), the International Circus Biennial, which took place over a 13-day programme. - All year 2022
Mazette - cooperative brewery-café in Marolles
Installed where the Skieven Architek restaurant used to be, Mazette is a cooperative that brings back meaning to the term "Brussels brewery". On the menu: beer brewed in-house, seasonal cuisine that enhances the sourdough breads kneaded and baked on the premises, as well as a series of non-alcoholic beverages also made within the four walls. All of this is topped off with warm service in a friendly place that’s open to all. The selection of raw materials according to a precise policy and the home-made production of the products guarantee quality and autonomy of action. - From 17 March 2022
Queering Brussels - L'architecture qui dégenre asbl
Queering Brussels was a collective exhibition aimed at the public that was held at the Halles Saint-Géry. Its mission was to highlight experiences and reflections related to LGBTQIA+ identities in constructed societies. The subjects of the exhibition are directly related to the relationships of domination in our society such as gender, sexuality and sex - and how these elements can shape our relationship to the city. Queering Brussels focused on an analysis of the city, in three languages: English, French and Dutch. It was a pioneer project in our country. - 10 September to 21 November 2022
StrEat Fest - Tatou Production asbl
StrEat Fest was an audacious street food festival that brought together chefs and other artisans of taste for a delicious weekend. The first event took place in 2022 at Tour & Taxis and blended food, art, culture, sports and music. The challenge for gourmet chefs is to come and try their hand at street food. Combining these unique culinary discoveries with other sectors (concerts, street performances, workshops, markets, etc.) enriched the visitor's experience and gave the event a truly innovative dimension. - 12 to 15 May 2022
To mark the opening of the 2022 season, Bozar gave a new and attractive dimension to its ticketing system and whetted the curiosity and cultural appetite of the public. Tickets were available via a new distribution network consisting of a vending machine in the Grand Hospice garden and an exclusive delivery service via the Deliveroo platform. During this period, people could buy duo tickets for concerts, exhibitions and conferences, packaged in collectors' boxes specially produced for the occasion. - 22 September to 7 October 2022
SING! an interactive classical concert for primary schools and residential care centres - La Commission communautaire flamande (VGC)
SING! was an interactive concert in which children from Brussels were able to play percussion with their bodies, make their voices heard and sing in several different languages in the Henry Le Bœuf Hall at Bozar. On stage, the National Orchestra of Belgium played well-known melodies of symphonic music. The whole thing was livestreamed to residents of nursing homes and residential care centres in Brussels and Flanders. In order to get the residents in shape for the concert, the CFC organised a sitting gym session and singing workshop beforehand. - 8 March 2022
Augmented reality tour "An inclusive look at the 16th century" - Musées Maison d'Érasme & Béguinage
Along with its handy booklet, the "An inclusive look at the 16th century" tour provides a critical and inclusive view of emblematic works of art from the collections of the Erasmus House, in light of current issues. When perspectives are opened up, numerous stories come to light! Visitors explore the different rooms in search of the works of art concerned, with the help of the booklet, and then scan them using the "Artivive" app installed on their smartphone or on a tablet they can use. The works of art then come to life directly on the screen. - From 6 February 2022
Kinshasa Now @ VirtualPalace - Retinehotel sprl
The Heritage Days audiences were welcomed to the VirtualPalace, Rue Royale, set up in the former Gaumont building, a historic mansion restored to its original 1860's condition. Every half hour, 25 spectators donned a virtual reality headset to experience Kinshasa Now, a film by Marc-Henri Wajnberg. It tells the story of Mika, a young boy accused of witchcraft who takes control of his own destiny. The rest of the audience who wandered around the hotel were able to watch excerpts from Kinshasa Kids and I am Chance, by the same director, thus discovering the Kinshasa trilogy. - 10 September 2022
Recontextualisation of the City of Brussels’ Comic Book Trail
30 years on, the comic book trail now sees each of its 69 murals equipped with QR codes providing further information. These notes provide information on the artists who worked on the comic strip concerned, as well as on the characters, heroes or heroines, present on the mural. The consortium also identified stereotypical representations on the murals or in the comic they were taken from, in order to better decipher them. This is a way to revitalise and recontextualise one of capital’s great artistic attractions. - All year 2022
Fun city games for kids - Coddy
Since 2020, Coddy has been organising urban adventures to discover Brussels while having fun, by means of puzzles that encourage users to observe their environment. In 2022, Cody launched "Kids Explore: Brussels", an urban adventure in the city centre. Thanks to this game children can discover the city’s tourist attractions. They also launched "Peter Pan: The Lost Shadow", an urban adventure that takes place in Cinquantenaire Park, a new playground for Coddy. The games are available in French, Dutch, English and Italian. - From 1 November 2022
Best Nightlife Experience
The Agenda - Mademoiselle Productions
Cocktails, DJ sets, drag shows, exhibitions... The Agenda provides a variety of opportunities to promote the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. The management of this new bar comes from the Cabaret Mademoiselle team. The Agenda is a desire for equality, safe parties and the deconstruction of cultural notions of gender; it is strategically located in the historic centre of Brussels, in the former DNA bar, with its large windows which open onto the street, showing that the capital of Europe is inclusive, welcoming and ready to party. - From 7 January 2022
XRDS - Crossroads - Delco vzw
Created by Fuse, XRDS is a Brussels electronic music festival, rooted in its community. XRDS stands out from the rest of the festival scene due to its location under the Anderlecht overpasses and by its edgy programming that showcases local talent, from up-and-coming to established artists. The festival attracts a highly diverse audience thanks to the special attention it pays to groups that are under represented in electronic music, such as women, visible minority artists, members of the LGBTQ+ community. - 3 & 4 September 2022
Brussels By Night Federation
The Brussels By Night Federation represents, supports and promotes the Brussels nightlife sector. From clubs and community groups to nightclubs, arts centres, concert halls, labels and festivals, BBN works for a united, inclusive and committed nightlife industry. Its aim is to support and preserve the creative and festive nightlife industry while promoting respect and comfort for all audiences. It represents and defends the interests of the Brussels festival sector by organising recovery events and meetings between industry professionals. - All year 2022
Clubbing on a Sunday, a rare time slot in Belgium. Spirito is an unusual and iconic location in the capital with a passionate crowd and community, offering personal and musical discoveries. One Sunday a month, ON SUNDAY can be experienced as a true interlude, where time is suspended and which everyone is free to embrace in their own way. Whether you come for the love of music or just to end the weekend in style, ON SUNDAY always creates an atmosphere perfect for escapism... Dance first, think later! - 9 October 2022 to 9 April 2023
Listen Festival 2022
Listen is the first urban music festival in Brussels dedicated to alternative electronic music, born from a desire to drive local talent to the next level. In recent years, the festival has evolved into a 5-day takeover of the city, with DJ sets, concerts, discussions, workshops, exhibitions and more. Every year, many visitors from Belgium and abroad come to Listen to discover the complete musical spectrum. Listen continues to collaborate with the most exciting guardians of Brussels’ music scene. - 30 March to 3 April 2022
The jury of the 2023 edition
Secretary-General, KANAL Foundation
Managing Director, MCI Benelux
Journalist, Editor and Host « Autrement, After », BX1
Journalist, De Standaard
Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh
Secretary-General, Brussels Hotels Association
Frederick Da Soghe
Administrator/Vice President, HoReCa Brussels Federation, bars and nightlife section
Méabh Mc Mahon
TV Reporter, Euronews and BRUZZ
Journalist ‘C’est du Belge’, RTBF
The winners of the 2022 edition
More about the 2022 winners
Brussels Jazz Weekend Balcony Edition - vzw Jazz Projects asbl
Best Creative Alternative
To follow the current health measures, Brussels Jazz Weekend revised the formula of its famous festival by organising semi-acoustic open air concerts from a balcony that is emblematic of the various Brussels municipalities. Each concert could be heard by 50 seated music lovers. Cycle routes even guided the most sporty listeners from one municipality to another. All Brussels musicians were also invited to give a mini-concert from their own window or balcony on Saturday 29 Many between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. In this way, live music could be heard throughout the Brussels-Capital Region as a sign of hope. Brussels Jazz Weekend – Balcony Edition was not a real festival, but rather a journey of musical discovery.
Project dates: 29 May to 30 November 2021
Chose Qui Bouge – VOLTA
Brussels On Stage
Chose Qui Bouge is a Belgian digital festival that presents emerging musicians in an intimate and exclusive setting. The concerts are professionally filmed with subtle lighting and studio-quality sound. The aim of this project is to reach a few important players in the musical landscape, in addition to the audience. Chose Qui Bouge was born following the closure of concerts venues. VOLTA had to adapt to the new regulations. The original idea of having a limited audience to watch performances was dropped, but this pushed the film crew to film them as faithfully as possible to recreate the experience of a live performance for the audience and the musician(s). Thanks to their collaboration with Decoratelier, they were able to recreate magical moments on the screen. The videos were first broadcast by VICE.BE. It is one of the most ambitious projects produced by VOLTA to date.
Project date: 26 April to 30 December 2021
Pay What You Can - Kaaitheater asbl
Audacious New Project
In line with their new motto ‘How to be Many’, the Kaaitheater is trying to make tickets accessible to as many people as possible. This is why it has chosen an à la carte payment system. Each show has a suggested price, which used to be the standard price. It's up to the public to decide whether this ticket price suits their current financial situation... or not. If a lower price enables them to come to the theatre more easily, they are free to choose this price. You can also pay a higher price to enable others to pay less. The traditional discount system does not therefore apply in this new system. The Paspartoe & Article27 prices remain valid for those entitled to them.
Project dates: 9 June to 19 December 2021
Grand Hospice x Jardin - Pali Pali
Pali Pali, an accelerator of cultural, social and solidarity projects, is managing the temporary occupation of the Pacheco site until December 2023 under the name Grand Hospice. The programme includes a cultural and social third place offering a variety of collective services and activities to inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhoods, and beyond. Following a call for projects to occupy the spaces, over 150 applications were received to turn this historic site into a meeting and drop-in point in the district. The goal is to group together several complementary activities, to provide a mediation and drop-in centre and to use social innovation. Pali Pali is partnerinng with Jardin to manage the gardens and the open-air café. Jardin transforms spaces into breathtaking place where the emphasis is always on the experience.
Project date: since 1 July 2021
Hearth Project: Rethinking food for all - H.EART.H PROJECT
Hearth Project Hearth Project is a non-profit association created in December 2019 by the chef Elliott Van de Velde and Adeline Barras, with the goal of raising awareness of food wastage and giving vulnerable people access to good quality meals. The non-profit association collects unsold goods from large retailers and transforms them on a daily basis with the help of volunteers into complete and nutritional meals that are sold to associations. Heart Project has a strong network of partnerships with both companies in the food industry and charities that purchase meals at low prices. Alongside this and in order to finance its activities, the non-profit association has for 2 years been organising awareness-raising gastronomic events using unsold food products. In 2022, it will open its fine-dining restaurant where the reuse of the products collected is the order of the day and the profits of which will be used entirely to finance the distribution of meals during charity events.
Project date: throughout 2021
J'appelle un étudiant - ASBL 1Toit2Ages
The non-profit organisation 1Toit2Ages aims to promote intergenerational relationships by putting students looking for accommodation in touch with seniors who have a spare room, and vice versa. In 2021, in order to combat everyone’s loneliness during lockdown, the non-profit organisation launched its project ‘Solidarité Covid’ (Covid Solidarity). Numerous actions were set up. On the student side, young people were faced with major financial difficulties in paying their rent or simply feeding themselves. 1ToitAges therefore organised the delivery of food parcels. Following the ‘Call a senior’ campaign launched in April 2020, the organisation set up the major ‘Call a student’ campaign, in order to support students who had lost motivation. On the senior side, the most disadvantaged also received a parcel. The whole team planned regular calls to the elderly to ensure that they were not suffering from the ongoing situation. Finally, New Year’s gifts were delivered door to door. That was the perfect opportunity for a get-together or a chat on the doorstep, with the necessary social distancing.
Project dates: 1 January to 30 May 2021
IAH Congress 2021 - MCI Benelux S.A.
Best B2B Congress/Event
IAH2021 "Inspiring Groundwater" is the 2021 edition of the annual conference of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, organised by its Belgian branch (association CBH-BCH). Water is a basic product, even though it is essential to life. IAH2021 was an opportunity to discuss all the issues from ground water, climate change, the pollution of resources, the chemistry of water, geothermal and mineral springs, cross-border aquifers and the artificial recharge of aquifers. In total, 17 topics were put forward for one week to scientists in the global community of hydrogeologists.
Project dates: 6 to 10 September 2021
The winners of the 2021 edition
More information on the winners of the 2021 edition
.be modern - Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Best Creative Alternative
How, against the backdrop of the health crisis, can interest in the activities of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts be generated among a national audience? The solution appeared with the ".be modern" exhibition, which promoted the museum's modern and contemporary art collections. In parallel, a series of bilingual FR-NL video clips (with English subtitles), intended for the social networks (Facebook, Instagram) and Museums website, aimed to approach the modern and contemporary works from a new, original and accessible angle. Played throughout the exhibition, they helped, on the one hand, to arouse the curiosity of Internet users and, on the other, to continue reflection post-exhibition.
Project date: 2 October 2020 to 21 February 2021
EXI(S)T, Parcours Photographique dans Bruxelles (dé)confinée - La Fabrique des Regards
Audacious New Project
EXI(S)T was originally an exhibition of contemporary Belgian photography in public spaces. The idea was to make art accessible to all by counteracting the trend of digitalisation. From June to September, the heart of the capital was literally invaded by countless images. Nearly 100 photographs by 50 photographers were displayed in a variety of cultural advertising spaces, replacing the traditional posters of events cancelled due to the public health crisis. Since December, the EXI(S)T works have also been distributed in book format free of charge in the streets, in book boxes and on railway station platforms. EXI(S)T offers an alternative artistic experience through the photographers' views of the current period.
Project date: June to September 2020
Doctors Without Borders at Tour&Taxis
In order to meet the accommodation needs of homeless people suffering from COVID-19, Tour&Taxis provided more than 8,000m² free of charge for a triage centre managed by Doctors Without Borders in collaboration with Samu Social and BXLRefugees. This infrastructure was set up to enable homeless people, vulnerable migrants and undocumented people with COVID-19 symptoms to isolate, be tested and receive suitable care under good conditions. The centre was able to accommodate up to 150 patients at the same time.
Project date: April 2020
BeCook! - Bons Plaisirs srl
BeCook! is a business incubator which supervises food-related project leaders who want to start out (again) after the pandemic. These entrepreneurs are supported and have access to compatible infrastructure and the digital tools necessary for their success. Thanks to BeCook!, 13 entrepreneurs were able to start or resume a project in 2020 and were able to generate 46 full-time equivalent jobs. BeCook! is also a GoodFood ambassador. The project is housed in the Greenbizz buildings and has a reduced ecological impact thanks to the use of solar energy generated by the building. Thanks to these measures, BeCook! saved more than 33 tonnes of CO2 in 2020. The facilities were also converted to be fully accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
Park Poétik – WIELS
Park Poétik is the COVID-proof alternative to the SuperVliegSuperMouche festival. During the summer of 2020, socio-cultural partners, artists and residents joined forces to organise a participative artistic summer. The public spaces of the communes of Saint-Gilles and Forest were used as places for artistic meetings for both young and old. Over 150 activities flooded the streets, parks and squares with poetry. Street theatre, play areas, circus acts, performances, mobile sound system... the artists did not lack ingenuity when making this free and long-lasting open-air event a reality.
Project date: 1 July to 31 August 2020
Circus in the City - Espace Catastrophe
Brussels On Stage
At the height of the 2nd lockdown, Espace Catastrophe showcased the circus with its Circus in the City project. 29 circus artists brought life to seven bistros that were closed in seven Brussels communes. Based on a random schedule and times that were not advertised - to avoid gatherings - the artists gave brand-new performances, created in situ, offering passers-by a few furtive and ephemeral moments of exchange, off-stage and off-camera. During these three and a half months, Circus in the City gave the city a new lease of life, re-connecting artists with audiences and (re)creating lost links.
Project date: from November 2020 to March 2021
The winners of the 2020 edition
More about the 2020 winners
Best Gastronomic Concept
Wolf, the brand-new food market in the centre of Brussels, moved into the former CGER ticket office. It's home to 16 restaurants, a juice bar, a chocolate maker (produced on site), a dessert bar, two bars, a micro-brewery and an organic market. It offers a comprehensive gastronomic experience for all audiences and all ages.
Nuits Sonores & European Lab
Nuits sonores & European Lab Brussels is an annual urban and innovative festival co-produced by BOZAR and non-profit Arty Farty Brussels. The event focuses on electronic and independent music, and offers a space to discuss the great changes of our time and imagine the culture of tomorrow.
Located in the heart of Ixelles, See U, an initiative led by SAU-msi.brussels, is today Belgium's largest temporary occupation dealing with social and sustainable innovation, learning and experimentation. See U brings together, over 25,000m², a community of more than 100 project leaders who animate the site on a daily basis. Projects from the worlds of associations, business, culture, academia and education have found a home there.
Brussels Grand Depart 2019
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx's first Tour de France victory, the City of Brussels entrusted Brussels Major Events with the general coordination of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. It was 61 years after the previous Grand Depart in Brussels and 9 years after the Tour's last visit to the capital.
Un Autre Bruxelles, Bruxelles des Autres
Production of an alternative tourism guidebook for Brussels neighbourhoods in collaboration with 20 Brussels social cohesion associations, active in the field of French language learning, both in literacy and FLE (French as a Foreign Language). The aim of this guide is to contribute to the promotion of Brussels as an international city, while at the same time, promoting Brussels' neighbourhoods, their unique characteristics and their charm.
Hotel Indigo Brussels City
The Hotel Indigo Brussels - City opened its doors in November 2019. The hotel's lush green façade provides a stunning contrast with the glass and steel office buildings that tower above the bustling place Rogier.
New Event & Touristic Location
Recyclart is at the crossroads of artistic programming and the social economy. After it moved out of its former home at Brussels' Chapelle-Kapellekerk station in 2018, the Brussels-Capital Region offered to host Recyclart in a former printing works on the banks of the canal in Molenbeek. In 2019, the organisation built, in record time, a party room and an industrial-style bar, as well as a vegetarian restaurant and its own offices.
The World of Bruegel in Black and White
Most Noted Exhibition
The KBR's "The World of Bruegel in Black and White" exhibition was an opportunity to admire Bruegel's prints up close. The KBR was at the forefront of the rediscovery of Bruegel's lesser-known masterpieces. Its complete collection of prints was exhibited throughout the Bruegel celebration year.
The European Weeks of Regions and Cities #EURegionsWeek
International Congress & Fair
The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual 4-day event during which cities and regions demonstrate their potential in several areas: growth, jobs and the implementation of the European Union's Cohesion Policy. They also demonstrate the importance of the local and regional level in good European governance.
The winners of the 2019 edition
More information on the winners of the 2019 edition
FESTEN is a project created by director and co-producer Alain Leempoel. It was a specific experience that brought 22 actors together on stage every evening, plus technicians and 9,000 spectators who took part in this meta-theatre over the month. FESTEN is now 20! In 1998 there was a film, in 2003 a theatre adaptation and in 2018 a stage production in Brussels. In September, FESTEN created a giant wooden tent at the Boitsfort Hippodrome, newly renamed DROH!ME! They chose DROH!ME because they wanted to be part of the redevelopment of the site, which had remained an abandoned part of our heritage for too long. The inside of the tent was turned into a dining hall ready to welcome guests for dinner in the heart of the FESTEN family intrigue. Wherever visitors sat, the staging and scenography offered an extraordinary theatre experience with a high degree of proximity between actors and spectators, with the latter seated in a circle around the action. Spectators could book their place at the table for dinner in the heart of the FESTEN family intrigue.
The Smurf Experience
Most Noted Exhibition
Organized in the framework of the 60th anniversary of the Smurfs, The Smurf Experience is a breath-taking plunge into the magical world of the little blue characters. Thanks to a larger-than-life setting and live performances spread over 1500 square meters, visitors become "as tall as 3 apples", which is the ideal height to live as a real Smurf and to discover their way of life and customs. But the wizard, Gargamel, is creating an evil machine that is threatening the world of the Smurfs. Visitors are invited to set out on an adventure and to help the Smurfs bring peace and quiet back to their village. Cross a waterfall using video mapping, escape from the cage where Gargamel has imprisoned you and hitch a ride on the stork's back for an unforgettable virtual reality experience. The Smurf Experience is also a commitment to promoting sustainable development as it presents an educational path illustrated by the 17 sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations.
Festival UP! - International Circus Biennial
The Festival UP! International Biennale is the most important event at the Espace Catastrophe. It gives expression to new circus forms in the heart of the Capital, with a demanding and diverse Belgian and international programme featuring a surprising range of circus arts. The 12 days of the Festival UP! take place throughout Brussels, in halls, under a circus tent and in public spaces. The 2018 event brought together 13 cultural partners for 45 performances, in front of 12,500 enthusiastic spectators. Two exceptional meetings further enhanced this event, namely the opening of FocusCircus with an evening event at BOZAR and, after three sessions at La Villette in Paris, Fresh Circus#4, a seminar for the development of Circus Arts, which attracted around 400 professionals from 34 countries. The Festival UP! is a showcase for modern circus arts and is one of the key events for the contemporary circus.
Around the World in 183 dishes
Best Gastronomic Concept
Since July 2017, Around the World in 183 dishes has invited the curious, citizens of Brussels and elsewhere, to explore the mosaic of cultures that make up Brussels, the most cosmopolitan city in Europe. Initially designed as a project to combat food waste, it is now an inter-cultural meeting place based around cuisine and arts. Every month two major events - brunch and a cultural evening - showcase one of the 183 nationalities found in Brussels. This is a stationary journey during which a community tells and shares the story of its country and the reasons for its arrival in Belgium. Around the World has already stopped off in 23 countries. Each monthly meeting starts with the initiative of one person who becomes a chef and ambassador for their country over the course of a weekend. Brunch is cooked using unsold foodstuffs collected by volunteers every evening of the week by bike from sustainable partners (organic supermarket and fine bakery) and thanks to a team of 45 volunteers.
KANAL - Centre Pompidou
New Event & Touristic Location
KANAL - Centre Pompidou, the future Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, is located in the 35,000m² of the former Citroën garage in Brussels. Pending the start of renovation works, which are scheduled to end in 2022-2023, KANAL opened its doors on 5 May for a 13-month preview. In collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, the public will be able to discover this mythical building through several exhibitions, large installations, ten new creations by Brussels artists and a programme of live shows.
Harmon House was finally able to open its doors on 1 October 2018 after two years of renovation work. The work renovated and extended the 19th century mansion on the Chaussée de Charleroi in Saint-Gilles and turned it into a four-star boutique hotel. The aim was to breathe new life into this magnificent building, which had been left derelict. A great deal of work was carried out in order to do this, including the restoration of all the internal and façade mouldings and the addition of two additional floors on the main building. The building also now has a veranda that can be opened 75%, as well as welcoming contemporary decor. An energy optimisation system has also been installed.
Renovation of Bourse station
Bourse station, located in the centre of Brussels, the Belgian and European capital, and close to a number of centres of interest such as the Grand Place, Manneken Pis, the AB and the Beursschouwburg, needed renovation to bring it in line with the new Brussels urban dynamic. The renovation project for Bourse pre-metro station transcended the notion of station, by pushing the new urban activities of an intermodal station to their limit: pre-metro (tram), bicycle parking, bicycle point and workshop and a presentation space for cultural diversity, called "Qartier". This renovation was based on a trailblazing architectural programme that was translated into original spatial research and a great sense of detail in both the materials used and the equipment fitted, offering an authentic walk from the city centre for Brussels residents and visitors alike.
MAGRITTE. Atomium meets Surrealism
Unexpected & Original Concept
René Magritte and the Atomium, two monuments of Belgian heritage, projected visitors into an experience that required all the senses and was suitable for all ages. The Atomium paid a unique tribute to René Magritte, the icon of Belgian surrealism famous around the world, fifty years after his death. The Atomium invited visitors to discover this exceptional exhibition from 21 September 2017 to 9 September 2018. Some of his most striking works came to life. Transformed into decor and unveiled, they allowed visitors to experience the surrealist world of René Magritte. This exhibition on the masterpieces of René Magritte allowed visitors to experience, interpret and plunge into the surrealist world of the greatest Belgian artist, uncover the message hidden behind the works of art and discover the exceptional decors. René Magritte and the Atomium, two icons of Belgian heritage.
TALES@home - Talking About Language and EmotionS at Home
International Congress & Fair
Foyer vzw is an integration centre and focuses on projects for and in collaboration with immigrant communities in Brussels. These families are pretty much multilingual by definition and projects based on a multilingual upbringing are therefore one of the key topics. The focus lies on empowering the families, improving their mother tongue and learning the integration language. In a two-year European project led by Foyer, the specific focus lay on multilingualism and how this is experienced within families. A digital tool was developed that can be used to reinforce the language environment and in situations where language choices have a negative impact on welfare or opportunities for language learning. Partners from England, Italy and Lithuania were all involved in the project. The outcome, after two years of work, was a conference and expert meeting on 8 and 9 May 2018 with the title: 'Talking about Language and EmotionS at home. A project aimed at empowering multilingual families.' 130 people attended the conference, 1/3 of whom came from abroad: experts in the field of multilingualism and international participants connected with the project.
The winners of the 2018 edition
More information on the winners of the 2018 edition
Brussels Electronic Marathon
« L’Union fait la Force »
Brussels Electronic Marathon is a celebration of a beautiful city and its citizens that make, play, or enjoy experiencing electronic music. BEM is a grassroots project that supports and promotes our local artists, places and spaces. This is the Sound of Brussels: BEM17 was 33 locations, 66 collectives and concepts, supported by some 130 volunteers, 65 events hosting 229 local artists, from all corners of the electronic music world (hip-hop, electronica, techno and house, noise, ambient and neoclassical as well as glitch and acousmatic). A diverse sound for a diverse city. A better future: electronic music and culture isn't only late-night parties. Workshops for children, talks, screenings and concerts for the first generation of music lovers were all part of our event. Furthermore, a city is an organism that lives by day and by night, and as such topics such as health, transport and fairness are at the core of BEM's DNA.
Brussels is a Plaizier
Most Noted Exhibition
What did Brussels look like 50 years ago? From June to September BOZAR took you back in time with an exhibition about the Plaizier publishing house. Since 1977 this Brussels publishing house has built up an image library including vintage postcards, prints, calendars and books. Architectural gems and urban transformations were superbly represented, while objects reflected the particular trajectory of two editors Wijnand and Mieke Plaizier. Their love for the Belgian capital became evident in each illustration. In addition to their purely documentary value, the photos bore witness to the way in which the people of Brussels remember and cherish their city, thus lending form to the collective memory. Let's all share our favourite parts of Brussels. #itsmyplaizier
Art Brussels, which features among the most famous of contemporary European art fairs, took place for the second year running in the iconic Tour & Taxis building. Aside from the head-hunter or talent spotter dimension that remains written into the fair's DNA, Art Brussels can count on trusted links built up over many years between the galleries loyal to the fair and more than 25,000 Belgian and foreign visitors who have not missed Art Brussels for anything over the years. Art Brussels stands out for the quality of the Belgian and international galleries it profiles, yet also and undeniably for that additional injection of soul provided by all the fringe elements it manages to take in, such as the artistic programme, the discussions and debates and free guided tours… In 2017, Art Brussels hosted 145 galleries from 28 different countries, presenting a total of more than 650 artists.
International Congress & Fair
The first edition of BIF Market took place in 2017 to mark the 35 years of the BIFFF, which had already organised and supported "Frontiers" for three years on the trot, as the first European co-production market for genre film. The world's genre cinema industry has presented its films along with its "Work in Progress", and also took the opportunity to promote its companies or institutions, before a panel of professionals who are interested and convinced about the genre appeal. The BIF Market is the foremost genre film market and, in the future, may become a revolving platform between genre film productions and production and post-production houses in Brussels and in Belgium. And lastly, the BIFFF is the ideal occasion to make such encounters happen.
Best Gastronomic Concept
Le Local is the first culinary nursery in Brussels: a restaurant that offers chef cuisine and a place for young people to get started and thrive in catering and design, while training them in the principles of circular economy. From the field to the plate, from the plate to the field, nothing is left to chance in this zero-waste restaurant that gives pride of place to Belgian producers and fine produce: short supply chain, compost, conservation method, commitment and communication. Indoors, the same philosophy extends to all the décor, which has been made by designers working with recycled materials. Meaning you get the chance to dine at old bureaux desks from the European Commission!
La Tricoterie - Links factory
New Event & Touristic Location
La Tricoterie has dreamt up a "links factory". A place of "encounter" where different disciplines, generations and groups mingle in a spirit of exchange and emulation. The cultural agenda (concerts, shows, expos) also includes a civic programme (discussions, lectures, repair café, intergenerational workshops, philosophy café). In tandem with these activities, the spaces are offered for hire and dedicated to the organisation of events. The project aims to become a sustainable event space at the heart of Brussels, one that takes a simple approach: invest meaning and reflection into the event practices of La Tricoterie and those of client-partners.
Sleep Well Youth Hostel - Full renovation
Sleep Well is a youth hostel with 241 beds located in the heart of Brussels. Following a fire in January 2012, it underwent full refurbishment. In order to improve its energy-saving performance, reduce the environmental footprint and respond better to users' expectations, the building has been transformed and undergone numerous improvements. Passive extension and roofing, co-generation and thermosolar panels (prize for outstanding building and passive new construction), form part of the environmental investments made. The warm modern design, the creation of a duplex designed for families and the development of spaces to encourage encounters and exchanges among users have made the Sleep Well a place where everyone, regardless of their age, can enjoy life in a youth hostel in maximum comfort. The works will conclude in April with the creation of a games room and a guest kitchen.
Kiosks in the parks
The project developed by Bruxelles Environnement consisted of the installation of five kiosks with a small catering business and café in various parks in the Brussels Capital region. These kiosks, open throughout the summer period from 1 July to 30 September, are aimed at users of green spaces, people of Brussels together with Belgian and international visitors. They also seek to create a social link between users, enhance local initiatives in sustainable food and showcase the green heritage of Brussels through a unifying and enjoyable activity in a place where design and sustainable development can be grasped in complete simplicity, around some delicious food or a nice drink!
Brussels From Above
Unexpected & Original Concept
Brussels from above was a spectacular 360° virtual reality project, created by Belgian photographer Herman Desmet. This project showed - via the www.brusselsfromabove.be website - the Brussels skyline from a whole different perspective. All of the panoramic photographs were taken from places that are not, or rarely, open to the public: rooves, towers, cranes, etc. On the website, visitors could use their mouse to scroll through 360°, and click on hotspots in each photograph that took them to new locations in the city. These locations could also be viewed by going through the menu. Thanks to this virtual reality project, the capital of Europe was be viewed in a magnificent new way.
Become one of the 7 wonders of Brussels
- 22 February 2023 (midnight): closing of the call for entries
- 27 March 2023: start of public voting
- 17 April 2023 (midnight): public voting closes
- 21 April 2023: announcement of the five nominees per category chosen by the public; except for the results of the Public Vote category which will be revealed at the ceremony.
- 19 October 2023: visit.brussels Awards ceremony
Contact & Press
Noémie Wibail : email@example.com