At the FynArts AGM held in the municipal auditorium last week, Festival Director Mary Faure described how the Covid-19 lockdown had derailed the events planned for FynArts 2020 – 163 in total, the highest number ever. “But cancelling the entire 12-day festival that would have taken place from 5 – 16 June, was unthinkable,” she said.

Instead, Mary decided to rather change the format of the festival. “By embracing change and learning to adapt, we were able to harness technology to increase our exposure and grow our audience, even to develop an international following.”

The reinvented festival, FynArts Select 2020, offered 34 online events, ranging from talks and performances to food demos. People from all over the world signed up and although there was no charge, many made donations. Between June and September, 44 FynArts Select newsletters were sent out and over 1 000 new subscribers joined.

Mary was also pleased to announce that Gerrie Heyneke, creative maverick of Hermanuspietersfontein, had come on board to revamp the FynArts brand, including a brand-new logo. Gerrie introduced himself as someone with a passion for branding and for Hermanus, quoting Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” And the why of FynArts, the very reason it exists, is simply for the love of art, he said.

“The spine of the FynArts brand identity is ‘Art for art’s sake’. Art needs no justification and needs no political, didactic or other justification. That is why we do what we do. And how we do it, is by attracting the best among South African artists to Hermanus to showcase their work. The common denominator is a love of Hermanus, where we bring audiences and artists together to stimulate the senses, educate people about art and create opportunities to ‘meet the artist’.”

The new FynArts logo represents the continuous development and improvement of the brand, said Mary. “Going forward, the festival will be planned responsibly, depending on the status of the pandemic. The dates we are looking at are 11 to 16 June 2021, but we will most probably also be hosting events during the course of the year, especially over the long weekends.”

Music lovers have a special FynArts event to look forward to this December, when Richard Cock and Friends will return for a special celebration in honour of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. For more information, FynArts administrative coordinator Chantel Louskitt can be contacted on 060 957 5371.

The FynArts AGM ended with chairperson Martin Ranger stepping down after five years. Mary thanked him for his many years of hard work and dedication, and pronounced him a lifelong honourary patron of FynArts. The other members of the MANCO are all standing for another year – Frieda Lloyd, Lou-Anne Lubbe, Pieter Stofberg and Juan Pieterse – while Lincoln Wildschüt, principal of Mount Pleasant Primary, and Ntombizanele Booysen, principal of Zwelihle Primary, were nominated by Mary.

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