President’s Report 2008-2009

The Club Committee has again produced a varied programme and many exciting artists for the club over the past year.

While the club is currently in a reasonable financial position it is a constant struggle to bring a varied programme of events and not operate at a financial loss. Attendances at some of our club meets and concerts have not generated enough revenue to cover costs.

The committee took a decision towards the end of this year to raise the door entry prices but at the same time increasing the benefits for club members. We hope this will enable the club to continue bringing top quality folk artists and ambience for the membership to enjoy, encourage continued membership of the club and encourage more people to become club members.

It is of note that while prices ‘at large’ have risen over the years the club has resisted putting up its prices. The reality is that the same amount of money these days doesn’t go as far as it did 10 years ago. This is not a sustainable position in the long term and so we have had to bow to the inevitable and make some small increases in or prices. Even so this still represents good value for money.

The club successfully applied for a grant this year from Creative Communities Waitakere to promote some events aimed at generating more interest in folk music, especially amongst the young. This is an important initiative that we hope will bring more visitors and members to the club and keep it viable.

We cannot though rely upon external funding as a means of ensuring the future of the club. It is up to us all as members, to do what we can to support the club. One of the easy things we can do is to bring a friend and a young person (especially young people) along to the club at least once in the coming year. We hope to actively to encourage this concept by giving each member of the club a “Bring a non-member free” voucher with their membership renewal. Why keep such a good thing a secret? You never know, those new people we introduce may become members or regular visitors and help the club continue.

Of major importance was the club becoming registered this year with the Charities Commission which will benefit the club when it is seeking grants from funding bodies. A few, but important changes to the Rules were ratified at a Special General Meeting on 26th June 2009.

The Club Library continues to grow with the addition of CDs from visiting artists and the recordings of Club and Concert Nights made by our own recording team. In our library we have tapes of Club Nights in dating back to 1982. This is probably a unique New Zealand archive and an important one to preserve. A project to digitise this archive and improve our storage is currently being established. We intend to seek external funding for this in the forthcoming year.

The club has continued to develop its “Young Performers Showcase”, a unique feature amongst folk clubs. We see this as a means of supporting and encouraging young people to explore the folk music genre and develop their performance skills. We also ran the Welcoming Concert Auckland Folk Festival 2009 and this has been entrusted to again us for the 2010. As part of the 2009 Titirangi Festival of Music the club produced the Folk Song Storybook at Lopdell House for which we had good feedback but again the evening was not well patronised. It is important though that the club continues to make itself more visible in the village by contributing to evens such as the festival.

The support of the club members is vital. I again encourage all club members to get involved by letting the committee know what YOU would like the committee to organise. Without this input the committee can only guess at what you want from your club.

All that remains is for me to thank my colleagues on the committee for their hard work over the past year and wish the incoming committee and the club a successful 2009-2010.

Ian Bartlett. Club President – 2008-2009

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Last Update: 2014-08-20