The Ivors Academy held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 3rd October 2023. Chaired by Tom Gray, Chair of The Ivors Academy, members heard about the Academy’s continued growth and ambition, and its commitment to supporting, protecting and celebrating music creators. Tom also highlighted the Academy’s work to create a more inclusive and equitable music industry.
In the last year, the Academy has launched an Advocacy Accelerator programme to improve diversity of representation in the music industry by giving people from under-represented groups the opportunity to gain experience of being on the Academy Board. Led by Orphy Robinson and Ayanna Witter-Johnson the Accelerator provides mentoring and training on the functions and structures of key organisations in the music industry.
The Academy has also made significant progress with gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting, and has published research on LGBTQI+ representation in senior decision-making in the music industry.
The Ivors Academy Trust has also made progress in opening up access to educational and creative opportunities for those who face barriers to start and develop their careers.
The Academy has also been working hard on policy and campaigning to promote and protect creators’ rights across remuneration, commissioning, education, cultural funding cuts, and ensuring that creators have control over if and how their music is used to train AI models. It is also undertaking research to explore options for setting minimum rates for music creators to support collective bargaining.
At his last official event, outgoing Chief Executive Graham Davies outlined the Academy’s achievements over the past five years, which include increased turnover and reserves, a wider range of partners who work with the Academy, an effective rebrand from BASCA to The Ivors Academy, a relaunched charitable Trust with an experienced and diverse group of Trustees, effective campaigning, investment in member benefits, and a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.
One of the highlights of 2023 was celebrating songwriters by reaching new audiences through The Ivors with Amazon Music. Now the biggest celebration of songwriting on the planet, this year’s awards saw its biggest PR campaign to date, billboards in the UK and US, the first live music performances at the ceremony for decades, and a backstage Twitch livestream that introduced Ivor Novello Awards and the craft of songwriting to new global audiences.
Interim CEO Charlie Phillips and the Senior Leadership Team outlined the Academy’s priorities for 2024, including providing more services for members to develop their skills, knowledge, and networks; and continuing to grow the profile of the Academy’s awards and the influence of its campaigning and public affairs.
The AGM concluded with a question-and-answer session, where members had the opportunity to ask questions about the Academy’s work and plans for the future, with a strong interest in how members’ rights and earnings can be protected through collective bargaining and setting minimum rates.