The AGM comprised speeches from Chair Crispin Hunt and CEO Graham Davies, as well as the order of official business. 2018 AGM minutes were approved by members present, as were the draft 2018 accounts, and members reappointed Prager Metis, Chartered Accountants as the Academy’s auditors.
Crispin’s presentation gave an overview of the changes to our organisation in the six months since our last AGM in December, which has seen us launch a new identity, new website, and campaign successfully for the Copyright Directive, on top of our usual activity. Reflecting on the campaigning work on the Directive, Crispin noted that “This debate was never about Silicon Valley against Hollywood, it was about thousands of self-employed SME’s having sufficient royalties to sustain their careers, pay their bills and make their way in the world”.
In his CEO report, Graham updated members on our progress against key aims stated at the last AGM, including progress on membership growth, partnerships, financial stability and an organisational review. Membership growth – both in numbers and diversity – remains a key focus, and recent action from the Academy to achieve this includes: signing up to the Keychange initiative (the first creators’ association to do so); forming a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group within the Academy; and developing our partnership with PRS to discount first year membership of The Ivors Academy for their new members, which we look forward to finalising and launching later in the year.
Our focus on diversity continued through to our panel discussion, entitled ‘Understanding Barriers to Equality in Music Creation’, which featured panellists from across the industry to discuss the status quo, current initiatives and ideas for change. Our panellists were Vanessa Reid, CEO of PRS Foundation; artist and composer Cassie Kinoshi; recording & mix engineer Olga Fitzroy; record producer Robin Millar; and our own Fran Matthews, Director of Awards and Membership. Wesley John, our Head of Diversity and Inclusion, moderated the discussion.
Following the panel, guests enjoyed performances from the three finalists for The Ivors Academy Songwriting Scholarship 2019: Kyle Chatham, Estelle Cobbson and Rachel Morgan. Each captured the audience, and after deliberating the judges came back to announce Rachel Morgan as the winner – she will receive a full scholarship worth £27,000 to cover her tuition fees for the duration of her study for a BA Hons at the Academy of Contemporary Music. Enormous congratulations to all our finalists, but especially Rachel on her well-deserved win, and to the Morgan family for their continuing success – Rachel’s brother Nathan won the same scholarship in 2017!
From there, the celebrations continued – as well as this evening being our annual Summer Party, the event was even more significant as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Academy’s original creation, back in 1944. You can find out more about the history of our organisation here.
Members who attended the AGM received a printed copy of our 2019 Annual Review – all members are able to download a digital copy by logging into our members area.