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Long Term Goals, Short Term Objectives

Hopefully, less than 12 hours from now the most difficult decision I will have to make is whether myself and my father-in-law should polish off the 40-year-old tawny port I got him for Christmas that is inevitably going to be cracked open on Christmas Eve. A present that can be shared is always the best kind. In the background I will hear a Disney princess shouting about snowmen, and that someone or something somewhere must be let go. The children will be sparkling clean, the big man in the red suit on his way, no laptop, no phone, just family.

2022 is going to be an interesting year for ICAD, an exciting year. The work that has been completed by its boards and staff over the last number of years has seen membership more than double, with awards entries doing likewise. Programmes have been evolved and developed to have greater effect, the work of our members promoted publicly across the city. A pandemic has brought unbelievable challenges, but along the way they have been met, and this institute, despite the circumstances, has grown. It’s bigger, better, stronger. At the ICAD, AGM members took important decisions in order to maintain progress and meet the challenges ahead; we have conservatively raised membership fees by a mere 50 euro, whilst voting to keep our awards entry fees permanently low to ensure parity for all creatives and members who wish to contribute. Next year will see a book, an exhibition, ICAD members judging D&AD and ADCE, the restoration of the EDA awards, greater engagement with colleges through a lecture series, Skills-based ICADemies, even a festival. All through a determination to provide our members with a platform to engage and be heard on the global stage, the aspiration to be, well, great.

But that’s the long-term goal; let’s go back to our more important short-term objective. The port, the fire, the salmon, the jumper, the feet up on the sofa, shoes off. Covid keeps throwing curve balls, that’s what it does. The new normal is starting to feel like the old familiar, and whilst we have learned to pivot and adapt, with great success, to the challenges the pandemic poses, this Christmas, for some of us, a forced separation continues. Just when you thought you had it back, it’s off to the attic again to protect the ones you love. Being in the presence of the ones we love most at this time is all we really want – right now it is everything. But for some of us it may not be possible, and that’s going to hurt, trust me I know. But be that as it may, it might be worth remembering what Stephen Stills tried to teach us in the summer of 1970 when he penned the lyrics,

‘if you can’t be with the ones you love, well honey…’

You know how it goes. It’s Christmas, be well, all of you.


A letter written to the ICAD membership by Rossi McAuley, ICAD president.

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