Cygnet Folk Festival AGM 2016-2017
The 35th annual Cygnet Folk Festival came to life on January 6, 7, and 8th of 2017, charging the air with an amazing diversity of music and talent - from the corners of our beautiful island state to the far-flung countries of the world. Honouring the tradition of many previous festivals, the melding of community, fellowship and volunteerism are clearly among the strongest reasons for the delivery of another successful festival. 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. The tremendous support we continue to enjoy from our dedicated volunteers, community groups, sponsors, and partners is simply remarkable. I would also like to acknowledge the Huon Valley Community Bank for their kind financial support this year.
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 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. It is my opinion that we have again delivered on these objectives, as well as begun to lay the foundations of a stronger, more sustainable future for the festival.
A number of key achievements were realised this past year, including work toward a strategic plan, investments in improved signage, and strong strides forward on the path to zero waste. We also have recently held the first of what we hope will be a regular feature of consultation and engagement with our stakeholders – particularly those within Cygnet and the Huon Valley. Our “Community Conversation” was extremely well attended, and allowed us to gain valuable insight on how the community perceives the festival, as well as answer questions, and seek input on priorities and future efforts.
Last month we bid farewell to Cherie Stewart, who served as our Festival Manager for the past 13 months. We wish her well on her new path, and have now begun recruiting to fill this key position.
Over the next few weeks, we will transition to a new committee and hold the annual festival planning session, and I am hopeful we will see submission of 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.
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), Susan Appleton (Committee Member), Karen Cosier (Committee Member), Bonnie Ferguson (Committee Member), Sally Port (Committee Member), Isabel Sykes (Committee Member), Erin Collins (Artistic Director) and Beryl Farrell (Mercado Wilderness Guide). Thank you all!
As your 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!