BIFF Annual Membership Conference 2021

This year our conference will be entirely online and delivered over the weekend of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October 2021. The session on Saturday will run from 14:00-17:00 and the session on Sunday will run from 14:00-17:30.

Saturday 2nd October 2021 - 14:00-17:00

'Perform. Educate. Inspire' 


We invite a panel of three fantastic speakers to discuss the importance of performance across the three disciplines of music, dance and speech. This session will also include a panel discussion with opportunities for questions to be put to the panel.


Michael Rosen

Michael is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults.  As former Children's Laureate (2007-09) and current Professor of Children's Literature at  Goldsmiths, University of London, Michael is an extremely popular broadcaster.

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

Kadiatu is a former lecturer of English at the University of Birmingham is mother to seven classical musicians, including cellist and former Young Musician of the Year, Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Kadiatu regularly gives lectures and talks about diversity in classical music, music education, race and inclusion, literature and parenting.

Angela Pickard

Professor Angela Pickard has performed, created, taught, presented and researched dance in her roles as dancer, choreographer, teacher, advisor, consultant and academic. Angela is the first Professor of Dance Education in the UK and advocates for dance for education, health and wellbeing. 

16:00-16:20    Break
16:20-17:00    Reflections, comments and close of session

To read more about all our speakers, please click here.

Sunday 3rd October 2021  14:00-17:30

'The Festival Movement Post-COVID - securing the future of our Movement'

We are delighted to welcome Dr Sharon Watson MBE, DL  as our Guest Speaker for this session:

Sharon Watson MBE, DL

In May 2020, Sharon was appointed CEO and Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Prior to this, Sharon Watson was the 7th and longest-standing Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre. Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, she was one of the first female Principal Dancers invited to join the all-male award winning Phoenix Dance Company.

In November 2020, Sharon was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire. In 2021, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Sharon is a Trustee of Leeds Playhouse and Leeds 2023. She is committed to improving diversity within the arts by supporting the creative voices of women and Black, Asian and ethnic minority artists.

To read more about all our speakers, please click here.

The programme for the session will be:

14:00 -15:00    Dr Sharon Watson MBE, DL

15:00-15:15     Break

15.15-16:45     Members’ Forum – After a brief introduction to the session, the main group will split into 4 smaller facilitated groups to enable more in-depth discussions. The groups will be:   
•    Music
•    Dance
•    Speech & Drama 
•    Festival 

Please join the group most relevant to you.

The main discussion points from each group will be fed back to the main group at the end. The discussion areas for each group will be:

•    The return of live festivals – Post-COVID challenges to running and adjudicating at a live events: 
•    Are online festivals here to stay? Do online festivals create more inclusive performance opportunities, or do they challenge the survival of the live festivals? 
•    Reaching out – how do our festivals make sure that they are inclusive and representative of their local communities 

16.45-17.00    Break

17.00-17:30    The Federation at 100 and closing comments – Chair of the Board of Trustees, Steven Roberts outlines our plans for celebrating our history and looking to the next 100 years.

Terms & Conditions: The Conference Fee covers both sessions and is non-refundable. By continuing to register for conference, you are accepting these terms and conditions.

When registering for this event, your data will be processed in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Click the link to read our Privacy Policy.

2nd October, 2021 2:00 PM through 3rd October, 2021 5:30 PM
Event Fee(s)
1 x Attendee £ 20.00