Wednesday, 7 June 2017

FEAT South Africa's official bye-bye announcement

About two weeks ago I received a lovely email from FEAT Canada director Sean Verret. He has done incredible things with FEAT Canada over the past six years. In his email Sean said that his FEAT Canada board had met and that they'd decided to end FEAT Canada. I understood completely as I've been struggling with the same dilemma for the past 18 months.

 As the founder of FEAT and creator of the concept, I didn't feel that I could just end FEAT - after all, I created it. Sean's email - and the decision by the board of FEAT Canada - gave me 'permission' to let go of FEAT too. FEAT Canada has just sent out their official announcement  (worth a read).

FEAT is not just a two-hour, one-night event. It takes months of planning and coordination and another whole chunk of months of writing adventure news stories, talking to people and keeping my ear to the ground. Like Sean and his team, organising FEAT meant that I wasn't getting out to do the things that I love. Last year, without having FEAT in October, I got to spend two weeks with my mom walking 320km of the Camino de Santiago route in Spain. I need more of this.

From October 2010 to October 2015 I had the pleasure of hosting 83 speakers on the FEAT stage from seven FEAT events and one FEAT Kids event. There are 75 videos of seven-minute FEAT South Africa talks on the FEAT YouTube channel for you to enjoy. Added to those from FEAT Canada, there are 198 videos of inspiring adventurers that share 75,000 views.

 On-the-day, FEAT came together because of a large team that included MCs, my sound guy (thank you Al - every FEAT event), audio-visual team, volunteers, ushers, photographers, videographers, video editor, sponsors and venue people. My singer-songwriter cousin, Roland Albertson, is the talent behind FEAT's theme tune which comes from his song 'White Wednesday'.

 FEAT - and all of you - have been such a big part of my life since mid-2010. FEAT had its time and now I need mine back. For adventures and to play more.

I am grateful for Sean's email which has given me 'permission' to also let go of FEAT and not to feel obligated to have to keep it going but, as Sean said later in his message to me, to celebrate what we and FEAT have achieved in these years.

 As I officially let go of FEAT, I feel a dash of pride in the event concept that I created and relief that I can say bye-bye now to it too.

 Thank you - speakers, supportive audience, sponsors and volunteers - for being part of this journey.

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