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Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival Inc held its Annual General Meeting on Sunday 26 November at Bistro One46.

Nick Minogue, President made his report on activities during the year.

Robert Calkhoven summarised the satisfactory financial position of the Festival.

The Committee re-elected was as follows:

- Nick Minogue, President

- Robert Constable, Vice President

- Robert Calkhoven, Treasurer

- Caroline Minogue, Secretary

Members: Elizabeth Clark, Colleen Fry, Gary Moore, Alan Squirrell

Artistic Director: Belinda Webster

The meeting recognised the extensive and outstanding contribution made to the running of Arts in the Valley by Jeannette Dumbrell, previously Vice President. It was unanimously agreed that she be granted Life Membership.

Over drinks and canapés Belinda Webster offered some details of the concerts to be held on the weekend of 5th/6th May 2018. Details are on the What’s on page!


Welcome to the eleventh AGM of the Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival.

I will try to give you a sense of what your committee has been accomplishing over the course of the last year. Some of it, such as the 2017 Festival, is probably known to most of you but other elements may be less obvious. Together with the Treasurer’s report this should allow you to determine whether your Committee is doing a good job.

You will also hear, after the meeting, from Belinda Webster, our Artistic Director, on our plans for next year.

Finding the energy to put on a festival, this last one our sixth as an organisation, can be daunting. There is a good deal of energy to be found however, within the Committee. Talents displayed over the last year went well beyond the obvious artistic elements and include production management, with its demands for finding volunteer teams, cutting down bamboo (for flags), delivery of chairs and glasses, and vital supplies of biscuits, or that of curating the sculpture show.

We also draw on the energy of our committed volunteers who do everything from looking after our performers, to car parking and venue management. Finally, we draw upon the general community and membership support we receive, which suggests to us that there are many of you who value the very idea of Arts in the Valley and of the Festival. Many of you are here this evening. Thank you to all, including especially those who helped us underwrite the Festival by giving us significant donations. The financial support is invaluable but the moral support counts for a great deal as well.

To maintain our pace, we have recently determined to appoint a Manager to help us get the website and our Member communications under better control, and to enable us to accomplish more by making better use of specialist skills in web management and graphic design. We hope you will see the results over the coming year!

Looking back over the last year the main event was the May 2017 Festival, opened, like its predecessor in 2007, by our very supportive patron The Hon Jane Matthews AO. Judging by the survey results, our guests enjoyed all the 19 performances we put on and most concerts were sold out. About 800 tickets were sold for our various musical events, quite impressive for a weekend festival of 3 Hall and 6 Hausmusik concerts.

We were all touched by the tribute piece to our late co-founder, Elizabeth George, who died earlier this year. The work was composed by Martin Wesley-Smith and played by the Goldner String Quartet. The remaining program offered kotos with Satsuki Odamura, harps with Alice Giles, old favourites such as Ian Munro and Andrew Ford and of course more from the Goldner Quartet, as well as a recital from Dimity Hall and Julian Smiles, and Cathie Travers’ piano accordion accompanied by Annette Tesoriero.

We were delighted to be revisiting some of our favourite Hausmusik locations such as Peter and Jill Butler’s Alcheringa and Robert Constable’s Serenata as well as introducing a new venue, Andrew Goy’s Wollanderri with a lovely view over Lake Yarrunga.

On top of the very enjoyable musical side of the Festival there was Sculpture in the Valley. This was Colleen Fry’s first shot at Sculpture Director and what a success it was! We increased the prize money to $25,000 and received 170 sculptures which were seen by 2,000 or so visitors. We sold 40% of the works over 3 days of one of the best sculpture shows most of us can remember. The quality of the show was very high and some of you will have noticed that the recent Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi was unable to find a more fitting First prize than Orb, the David Ball work which had already taken out the Sculpture in the Valley top prize. John and Denise Wright were marvellously accommodating in preparing Cedar Grove for the event and remarkably sanguine about the cleaning up afterwards.

In the course of the show the Kangaroo Valley Public School made some $4,500 by running the café which was a great result for the community.

Committee member Robert Constable launched an initiative for a Choral Workshop which was held in September. It and was so successful we plan to repeat it annually. The number of choirs within easy distance of Kangaroo Valley is considerable and over 100 participants enjoyed the choral direction of Sam Allchurch and of Robert over the weekend, culminating in a brief concert on the Sunday.

We very much like the idea of serving the community by holding this sort of workshop. In the same way we were pleased from a community point of view that KV Public School earned so much at the Sculpture in the Valley cafe. We also have a number of physical resources such as glasses and specialist lighting for events in the Hall or other venues and have been very happy to make these available to other community groups. We would be happy to do more for the community over the next year. We are also hoping to be able to work with the Osborne Park Trust to help improve some of the facilities in the Hall.

Our event plans for next year already include a second Choral Workshop, some musical events which Belinda will talk about in a moment and a Visual Arts show for October.

I would like to thank the members of the Committee. We have met a dozen times over the last year and all have made a real contribution to the outcomes which I have described. So thanks to Belinda Webster for her inspiration and knowledge of the music scene, to Robert Calkhoven for his unflappable approach to our finances, to Caroline Minogue for her diligence in producing minutes and keeping us on track, to Colleen for her brilliant curation of Sculpture in the Valley, Robert Constable for his musical advice and the spark which lead him to come up with the Choral Workshop idea, Gary Moore for always seeing both sides of a question and for his work in preparing the Visual Arts Show, Elizabeth Clark for her calm and efficient work looking after our performers in the last festival, and for agreeing to join the committee, and Alan Squirrell for his constant support and encouragement to us all, as well as his diligent bar tending skills. I would also like to note the departure of one of our hardest working members, Jeannette Dumbrell. She is proving difficult to replace, as measured by the number of times we have had to refer back to her to get things done! In recognition of her service to the Festival we think it appropriate to appoint her a Life Member.

Nick Minogue

26 November 2017


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