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Chair Retires At The End Of Period of Growth

7 February 2006

Chair Retires At The End Of A Remarkable
Period Of Growth

Arts Foundation Founding Chairman, Richard Cathie, announced his retirement as Chair of the Foundation at the end of 2005. Ros Burdon will replace Richard, who will remain a Trustee of the Foundation for the remainder of his term.

About ten years ago, Richard led a working party to look at fostering private patronage for the arts. That exercise lead to the formation of the Foundation, with Richard as the inaugural Chair. His retirement marks a remarkable period of establishment and growth of the Arts Foundation. In the six years since the Foundation’s emergence, an endowment of over $5.5 million has been established (with more promised as legacies), over $1 million has been distributed to artists through the Laureate Awards, and sixteen artists have been honoured as Icons. The Arts Foundation is now established with a large family of supporters, both individuals and corporates.

When asked what his highlights have been, Richard said, “It has given me such joy to be involved in the process of selecting artists for awards or honours without them knowing they are under consideration, and then seeing the response when they are given the good news. Not only am I thrilled for the artists, but I can see our Awards are having a real impact on their careers and are helping to strengthen the arts community.”

When announcing his retirement, Richard announced Ros Burdon’s appointment. “I am very pleased that the Board has chosen Ros Burdon as its new Chair, “ said Richard, “Ros will be a strong champion for the Foundation and will work well with the team”.

Ros Burdon has worked extensively as a volunteer as well as having a very active and broad interest in the arts as both a consumer and directly through promoting and supporting creative and original individuals and groups. In June 2002 Ros was honoured with a CNZM for her services to the arts and community. “I am very honoured to be appointed as Chair of the Foundation”, said Ros Burdon, “the arts are an integral part of New Zealand society from which we all benefit. New Zealanders have the collective responsibility to provide dynamic support for the arts to make a real difference to the health of the sector, now, and for generations to come.”

Ros joins the Foundation at an interesting time. While maintaining and developing the Laureate and Icon Programmes, the Foundation is also launching the Award for Patronage with other projects to support the arts under development. In its next phase of establishment, the Trustees’ primary commitment is to promote the Foundation’s Endowment as New Zealand’s collective means for providing substantial private support to the arts.

John Todd has retired as a Trustee. A member of the original working group, John has provided many years of excellent service to the Foundation. His knowledge and experience as head of a large corporate enterprise were of great value to the Foundation. John’s skills have added to the Foundation’s financial strength and quality management.

The Foundation also welcomes three new Trustees – they are Leigh Davis (Businessman & Auckland poet, critic, artist and publisher), Karyn Fenton-Ellis (Group Sponsorship Manager/Advisor, Tower Ltd) and Michael Hill (Jewellery Store owner and founder of the Michael Hill Violin Competition). The new Trustees widen the interest areas and skills of the Foundation’s Board.


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