On 15 November 2019, the official ceremony of presenting the "Patron of the Year" National Awards established by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation took place at the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg. This honorary title was conferred upon three most outstanding philanthropists. The event was staged as part of the agenda of the VIII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum's Business Venue.
Applications for the Awards had been submitted by 27 regions of Russia. The patrons provided documentary evidence of donating a total amount of one billion rubles in 2019.
Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky took part in the official awards ceremony. 'This award is a rightful recognition of contibutions made by numerous Russian patrons who support projects in the area of culture, realize their personal responsibility for the preservation of heritage sites, propagate culture and arts by making them accessible and closer to thousands of Russians, and primarily to the population of the country's regions. I'm grateful to all those who are engaged in this noble activity!' claimed the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky.
According to Vladimir Voronchenko, Chair of the Executive Board of "The Link of Times" Cultural and Historical Foundation, Director of the Fabergé Museum, 'the Award is conferred upon those who possess the gift of intuition and initiative, who devise and, more importantly, materialize projects of global significance in our culture. We are particularly pleased to host this event!'
The awards ceremony commenced with the special award for the exhibition series "Masterpieces of Old Russian Painting Schools from Collections of Russian Museums" presented posthumously to the founder of the Moscow Museum of Russian Icons Mikhail Abramov who had tragically died in August 2019. The award was received by the late philanthropist's widow and son.
Three benefactors were announced as the Patrons of the Year 2019: Vasily Vereshchak, Chair of the Executive Board of the Vladimir Regional Public Organization "The Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov Architectural and Historical Complex", for the restoration of the Holy Hierarch Church and the foundation of the Alexander Suvorov museum complex; Patokh Shodiev, Member of the Board of Directors of the International Fund, for general sponsorship of the Japanese Kabuki theatre company's tour in Russia; Michail Karisalov, Chair of the Executive Board of "Sibur", for the support of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow).
Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation awarded 17 other philanthropists from various regions of Russia with Certificates of Gratitude. The Organizing Committee assessed the multiple contributions of donors to beneficiary organizations and the financing of cultural and educational events, restoration of temples, foundation of museums and cultural centers, sponsorship of exhibitions and festivals, the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, donation of valuable objects to museum collections, launches of social initiatives in the area of culture, and so forth.
Among the laureates of this year's Award are Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Yuri Abramov (St. Petersburg), President of the "Creative World" International Foundation (Samara), General Director of "KINEF" OOO Vadim Somov (St. Petersburg), the founder of "Ingeoservis" OOO Alexei Vlasov (Berezino, Pushkinskiye Gory), Deputy Chair of the "Lanta-Bank" Executive Board, General Director of the AZ Museum of Fine Arts Natalia Opaleva (Moscow), Anatoly Zizin (Saratov), General Director of the "Puzhalova Gora" ski resort and the "Aquarius" hotel Andrei Knyazev (Gorokhovets), General Director of "Saha Art Press" OOO Ayan Potapov (Sakha Republic), Director of the Shmotyev Family Fund Alexander Shmotyev (Ekaterinburg), General Director of "SUGDAK" Vladimir Kryukov (Khabarovsk), Director of "Armstrong Building Products" OOO Alexey Yevdokimov (Yelabuga), Adviser to the Chair of Executive Board of "Almazergienbank" Joint-Stock Commercial Bank Ludmila Nikolayeva (Sakha Republic), Financial Director of "Sibneftegazstroi" Ramil Kiyamov (Aitovsky settlement, Bashkortostan), the "Admiral Logistic Group" OOO Executive Partners Yuri and Dmitry Saulidi (St. Petersburg), Member of the Council of the Federation at the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Dmitry Savelyev (Tula), General Director of "Salomon" JSC Mussa Ekzekov.
The primary purpose of the "Patron of the Year" campaign that has been held for the sixth time in Russia is the revival and development of the patronage traditions, promotion of sponsorship and financing efforts in support of culture made by enterprises, institutions, organizations, and citizens. The “Patron of the Year” title is conferred upon prominent benefactors for their support and financing of the projects aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of Russia.
This year, the entries are put forward not by the regional Ministries of Culture but directly by the cultural institutions that have received patronage support. At the same time, the number of nominations for the finalists is reduced to three. The innovations are meant to help determine the most prominent patrons and raise the Awards status.