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Chairman’s Introduction


First we must note the sad passing of our Treasurer, Jane Firth, who died at the end of September.  She had been ill for some time but bore it bravely and succumbed only after a long, hard struggle.  Jane had long been a keen supporter of the Festival and had been our Treasurer for over 10 years, though she also took a full part in other aspects of running the festival.  She was always ready to take on any task that needed doing and was kind and thoughtful. We will miss her greatly, both personally and professionally.

For the time being I am taking over her role as Treasurer (fortunately I am a qualified Chartered Accountant), whilst we seek a replacement. If anyone is interested in volunteering for this role do please contact me (chairmanatdpafdotorgdotuk).

Many of you will be aware that our 2018 Festival had to be cancelled and our 2019 Festival was therefore our first after a two year break.  As we suspected might be the case, this meant that entry levels were lower than previously which resulted in the Festival suffering a significant financial loss. This was compounded by loss of income due to changes we had to make for legal reasons following the cancellation of the 2018 Festival.

The Festival Committee has worked hard to find ways of covering this loss and we are very grateful to those who have contributed financial support to date. It is as a result of these generous donations that we are able to go ahead with the 2020 Festival. We continue to look for sponsors and if you or your company would be interested in supporting us in this way please contact us.  We are also looking at ways in which we can increase our numbers of entries so if you are a teacher, parent or performer please spread the word and encourage as many entries as you can on our behalf!

As usual the Festival will take place at South Street Baptist Church in Exeter and we are hugely grateful to the church for all its support.

As we all know, arts education continues to experience significant funding pressures. In this scenario I believe that the Festival plays an important role in giving our young people (and some older ones!) a goal to work towards and the opportunity to come together, learn from each other and benefit from the valuable feedback given by our highly experienced adjudicators. Whether you are a performer; a teacher, relative, friend or simply an interested party we very much appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you at one of our many events.

Welcome to DPAF 2020!

Peter Macklin, Chair