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Vale Frank Ford AM (1935 - 2018)

1 October 2018

We are very saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Adelaide cultural luminary Frank Ford AM, last Thursday 27 September.

Frank has been such a fixture on the Adelaide arts scene for so long that it’s a little hard to imagine an Opening Night without his enthusiastic presence. He absolutely lived and breathed the arts.

His contribution as lecturer, director, supporter, fundraiser, Chair, mentor, lobbyist and more has been extraordinary. His roles with Uni SA (then SA College of Advanced Education), Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre, Cabaret Festival, Independent Arts Foundation and latterly of course the Friends of Adelaide Festival have all added up to make a deep impression on the arts world in his adoptive city.

He was Founding Chair of Adelaide Fringe Festival in 1975, and its first Honorary Life Member. He initiated the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2001 and continued as the Chair of the Advocacy Committee. He served on many arts boards such as Country Arts SA, Adelaide Festival and as Chair of the Australian Dance Theatre and was currently serving as Chair of the Independent Arts Foundation and on the Board of the Adelaide Festival. He was former Head of the Department of Drama at Adelaide University and held various teaching, directing and arts administration positions here and overseas.

In 1999, he was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for service to the development of the performing arts in South Australia as a director, playwright, administrator and educator. In 2001 he received the Centenary Medal for services to the community, particularly through the performing arts. In 2006 he received the inaugural Premier’s “Life Time Achievement” Ruby Award for the Arts.

Above all, Frank was a man of enormous goodwill and kindness – quick with a smile, a laugh and a supportive comment; always prepared to see the best in things. He will be very much missed.

With great sadness, we offer our sincerest condolences to Frank’s partner Sam Harvey and his family and friends.