The Cultural Endowment of Estonia presents four types of annual awards for contributions in culture and sport:
- Lifetime Achievement Awards
- Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia
- Annual Awards of the Endowments
- Kultuuripärl (Cultural Pearl) Awards
For the Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment of
Estonia, each separate endowment presents their nominees and the supervisory board of the Cultural Endowment selects one laureate in each of the
following categories: architecture, audio-visual art, music, literature, physical fitness and
sport, visual and applied arts, dramatic art, and folk culture. Laureates
of these awards are given the title “Artist of the Year”, “Musician of the Year”
The Annual Awards of the Endowments are presented by the specific endowment panels in their respective categories. Any number of nominations are accepted by each endowment panel and an average of 10 awards are presented in each category every year for a high level of professional achievement or a significant contribution to the development of the specific field.
The Kultuuripärl (Cultural Pearl) Awards have been presented by the Endowment since 2006, to recognise the professional dedication of individuals in the counties who are active in the arts, folk culture, and physical fitness and sport.
Along with the monetary award, each laureate receives a symbolic award. Since 2013, this has been a sphere – titled “Jonnakas” (Untopply) by the designers – that is spun in brass with a lead weight added before being given a protective coating. In addition to the Cultural Endowment logo etched into its surface, the cultural field or endowment as well as the name of the laureate and year are engraved into the surface of the award. Laureates of the Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment and Lifetime Achievement Awards receive a sphere with a gold coating, the diameter of which is 200 mm, and laureates of the -Annual Awards of the Endowments receive a sphere with a copper coating, 150 mm in diameter.
The “Jonnakas” awards are designed and produced by Risto Tali and Rait Siska.