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This is not an obituary

In 2014, the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD), in collaboration with Commercial Producers of Ireland (CPI), established the Young Directors Awards, which subsequently became the Emerging Directors Awards (EDA). The primary purpose of the EDA was to find, nurture and reward the best up-and-coming directors and producers in Ireland, and in turn to provide them with a platform to showcase their work to both a national and an international audience. Over its five-year existence, the EDA has grown to become one of our collective organisation’s most valuable programmes – a wonderful example of what can be created and sustained through meaningful collaboration.
Programmes such as the EDA can only ever exist as a result of dedicated individuals choosing to engage with them, and assuming a mantle of responsibility in order to see them flourish. However, engaging with any organisation, at any level, on a voluntary basis will always present a great personal challenge. Maintaining that engagement over a prolonged period of time to ensure that something both meaningful and lasting is created is greater still.
There are many wonderful individuals who give their valuable time voluntarily to our collective organisations – many who give more than they ever expected to give. After a certain period of time, the majority of us have to put our hands up, with a great deal of remorse and understandable sighs, and simply say ‘there was so much more to this than I expected’.
So we must ask ourselves, what happens to those individuals who stay the course? Those who commit to seeing a challenge through. Those individuals within our creative communities who, despite a myriad of obstacles, pitfalls and hair-pulling moments that can be associated with working with any voluntary organisation, persevere. What happens when they dig in, fasten their grip and strengthen their resolve? Well that’s when ideas – discussed at boardroom tables, down the back of pubs or in early-morning emails sent while commuting on wet buses on even wetter days – become reality.
A fundamental role of organisations such as ICAD and CPI must be to foster, support and enable those individuals who give so generously of their time to further our work, deliver on the great ideas and aspirations they have and in doing so protect and engage the unique and diverse communities of creatives we collectively represent. We must celebrate those who will become our future. We are duty bound to provide them with space to create with purpose; standards toward which they can aspire; the platforms they need to express themselves; a path to reach international audiences; and, most importantly, a community to which they can proudly say they belong.
As organisations, we simply cannot do this on our own; our organisations belong to the members they represent, and as members we must understand that there is a responsibility on all of us to engage, protect and guide it toward a bright future. But there is no way to hide from or deny the simple fact that you need driven individuals to steer you toward that future, to realise the great ideas, to illustrate through action what it is that we aspire to be, and in doing so create a unique, vibrant and proud community.
And so finally to the point at hand. Rebecca Bourke, none of the above can happen without people like you!
On behalf of the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design and our collaborators, the Commercial Producers of Ireland, I would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks. The bar has been set incredibly high, and our challenge now is to maintain that standard.