Annual Reports

President's Report: 2010

Midsumma 2010 was another great festival. I'd like to firstly acknowledge and thank the team of volunteers that made it great. Midsumma, unlike most arts and cultural festivals is not only reliant on a strong and committed volunteer base, but is created and shaped by volunteers within the queer community. This year's life member nomination, Alan Drummond is a fantastic example of a person whose contribution to the running of the festival is impossible to quantify. He works all year round and amongst other activities he created and now edits a high quality regular communication that connects Midsumma to the community. To all the board members that volunteer their time and ideas: sincere thanks and appreciation. To the Midsumma performance hubs and venues thanks for making Midsumma great and accessible to people Melbourne wide.

To every person who participated in working groups, collected donations, looked after galleries, sold tickets to shows and a thousand other jobs, performed, created, produced and made it happen you are Midsumma!

Many of the improvements implemented in the previous year were capitalised on in 2010, including some core systems like ticketing, web and registration processes. Also we had a number of partnerships that were in their second year and as a result were able to leverage these partnerships more effectively. In particular, Evolution, JOY 94.9, The Market Hotel and The Greyhound. It was great to work together in 2010.

2010 was also the second year of the services agreement the board put in place with Adam Lowe Group. The contract and the professional approach of ALG has allowed Midsumma to improve its operating plan and improve the level of efficiency in delivering the festival. It also allows the board to fulfil it's obligations of governance and risk management. The board would like to thank the entire ALG team, and in particular thank Molly Whelan for the terrific contribution she made over the past five festivals. At the same time the appointment of Cara Dinley as associate producer is an exciting one for the coming festival.

It's very pleasing to have delivered a surplus again in 2010 and the strong fiscal controls and oversight is one of the objectives that the Board is committed to continuing in the future.

There's room for improvement and we have plans this year in place to do better in reaching out to patrons and members, to find ways to access the skills and talents of the community in the lead up to the festival, to improve our contract and payment process particularly with visual arts and to make sure we deliver on the highest quality guide for our festival. With Cara driving these activities, we're optimistic we can keep getting stronger in these areas.

I'd like to acknowledge the on going support of our long term partners, in particular our government partners City of Melbourne, Arts Victoria, Tourism Victoria, and the City of Yarra. We've also been able to receive some very generous donations from patrons that have funded key events that could not happen without their support.

The support and collaboration from IBM our volunteer sponsor has again been magnificent. It's developed into an integrated, organic relationship that provides real value and a friendship that betters the two organisations and the queer community. Other key partners include Virgin Blue who help us with travel options and Art Series Hotel for providing beautiful accommodation for some of our artists. We are grateful for your support.

Thanks to everyone who came along in 2010 and we look forward to another great Midsumma celebration of queer culture in 2011.

Lisa Watts