Cygnet Folk Festival AGM 2018

The 36th annual Cygnet Folk Festival achieved that now familiar moment where it entirely eclipses all of the work that went before it through the year. Even when the windy wet squalled its arrival, it could not hold back the promise of magic-through-music being delivered. Each year we marvel at the quality, diversity and talent that is the essence of what makes this festival so special, and each year it redefines us.

At the centre of all of this magic is our community. Our dedicated volunteers, community groups, sponsors, partners, local businesses, and the Cygnet and wider Huon Valley community. The tremendous support we have from them all is what makes this happen every year.

I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Huon Valley Council, and the ongoing interest they have in providing assistance to the committee.

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 part-time paid Festival Coordinator 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.

Key achievements this year included continued work on our path to zero waste; a collaboration with University of Tasmania researcher Terese Fiedler that will see a publication on sustainability; improved consultation and engagement with our Cygnet residents through our community liaisons, the contribution of audio/visual equipment to the St James Auditorium, the early hiring and induction of our new Festival Coordinator, and a small financial surplus.

And on the subject of Festival Coordinators, we now say goodbye to the incomparable Joe Pickett who provided smooth sailing this past year as our Festival Coordinator. We are so grateful to Joe for stepping into the fray rather late in the game and so efficiently putting the pieces together. He has navigated us through 3 out of the past 4 festivals, with incredible results. He now hands the reins over to Franklin resident Bridget Binnie who has already demonstrated her positive energy, acumen and flair for this position. We look forward to working with her.

As we transition to the appointment of our new committee and move forward to our annual festival planning session, we will work diligently incorporate the valuable feedback, thoughts and suggestions that have been so gracefully provided to us through our recent and now clearly annual “community conversation.”

I would like to thank my fellow committee members and management team for the sacrifices they have made with their time, attention and talents this past year – they have truly gone above and beyond: Anne Foale (Vice President), Michael Thomsen (Treasurer), Robert Durand (Secretary and Community Liaison), Susan Appleton (Committee Member), Bonnie Ferguson (Committee Member), Sally Port (Committee Member and Community Liaison), Michael Bentley (Committee Member), Heather Cuthbertson (Committtee Member), Raymon Mainsbridge (Committee Member), Erin Collins (Artistic Director), Joe Pickett (Festival Coordinator), Bridget Binnie (Festival Coordinator) and Beryl Farrell (Mercado Wilderness Guide). Thank you all!

As your President I am honoured and grateful 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



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