Cygnet Folk Festival AGM 2015-2016
January 8, 9, and 10th of 2016 marked the delivery of the 34th annual Cygnet Folk Festival in a manner, I believe, that has honoured the cherished tradition of this most iconic cultural event. The unmitigated success of these three incredible days is a testament to the fellowship, efforts and talents of so many people and the strong sense of community that pervades Cygnet and the Huon Valley.
As posted on our website “The Cygnet Folk Festival is a not-for-profit community event organised by a volunteer management committee (Huon Folk Inc.), a paid Festival Manager and Artistic Director, and many dedicated people volunteering their time and expertise.”
As provided by our constitution, our basic objectives are to produce and promote the festival, promote interest and awareness of folk music and its kindred activities, foster cooperation in others toward that end, and encourage good fellowship between all persons interested in folk music and kindred activities. I believe we have delivered on these objectives in strong measure, have preserved the solid foundation this festival is built upon, and have worked to sustain a bright future for the festival.
In February of this year we said goodbye to Joe Picket, our Festival Coordinator, whose considerable talents, professionalism and calm demeanour have stood us in such good stead these past two years. We wish him well in his endeavours. As that chapter closed, we have turned the page to welcome our new Festival Manager, Cherie Stewart, to the organisation. In the brief few weeks since Cherie was selected, it is clear we will be in very good hands with this highly talented professional.
I have all confidence that the Cygnet Folk Festival will continue to prosper, and to that end I do have two recommendations for the next committee to consider moving forward. The first is a minor revision of the constitution which would allow a percentage of the committee to be elected with intent to serve a two year term. This provision would result in a smoother annual transition of committee membership, and a stronger, more secure future for the festival that protects the considerable corporate knowledge held by some committee members. The second recommendation is to work toward a strategic plan for the festival. One that facilitates community engagement and stakeholder interests into the process.
Additionally I believe that the success of the 2016 festival is in no small part due to the strong fiscal discipline demonstrated by the committee, and believe that should continue to be a tenet of the next committee, along with efforts toward grants and appropriate sponsorship of the festival.
As the outgoing President I am very honoured to have been a part of this festival, and a part of this community. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience of fellowship, and I thank you all for your support and dedication to this worthy endeavour!
Vallorie Hodges - President