Danielle Ryan Acceptance Speech
The Visionary Award
Thank you to TheWIFTS Foundation for this very special Visionary Award.
This recognition is greatly appreciated because unusual concepts are not always
understood or encouraged.
For those of you who are not familiar with ROADS, it brings together, under one
brand, the industries of film, niche perfume and high-end publishing.
This is certainly an unusual mix, but that is part of the very premise on which
ROADS is based: that is, the creation of a lifestyle brand that is not limited by any definition or ideal, even by itself. From the outset, I wanted ROADS to be able
to expand into any area, to grow in a very organic way.
As a result, ROADS, as a cultural platform, a story teller, a curator
and a producer can communicate in many different ways.
ROADS was set up only two years ago and is based in the Republic of Ireland.
Each of the three businesses are operated through independent companies, with
their own teams of industry experts.
Our perfumes are sold in high-end department stores around the world, including
Barneys in the U.S. We have published over 50 books in a two year period and
regularly release new visual books on fascinating subjects from the worlds of art, fashion, travel and architecture.
We have partnered with some of the most important names in the film industry and recently premiered our first documentary at the Toronto Film Festival to very positive reviews. We will release our first feature films in 2016.
My thanks again to Elspeth Tavares and TheWIFTS Foundation for this award.
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DEC 5th 2015 WEST HOLLYWOOD
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Danielle Ryan -
Sri Lanka / Ireland
The Visionary Award
Danielle Ryan Artist - Entrepreneur - Producer - Philantropist
Danielle Ryan is the recipient of TheWIFTS Foundation Visionary Award 2015 for her creation of ROADS - a metaphor for the many choices and decisions we face each day, a brand built around the cornerstones of present-day culture; freethinking, storytelling, original design and intelligence, ROADS celebrates the individual in every sense.
Born in Ireland to a Sri Lankan-German mother and an Irish father, Danielle spent her formative years living in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Dublin and London. Danielle represents a true mix of business and the arts. Danielle was exposed to the arts from a young age and this became her greatest passion. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and, recognising that there was no equivalent training academy in her native country, she went on to establish The Lir – the National Academy of Dramatic Art in partnership with Trinity College Dublin and RADA.
It was also during this time that Danielle began working closely with UNICEF Ireland, creating an entity through which the Ryan family donated $14 million towards rebuilding the north of Sri Lanka following the devastation of the bitter war which ended in May 2009. In February 2011 at the UN General Assembly in New York, Danielle announced the Cathal Ryan Trust which was set up in memory of her late father.
Danielle is the founder and CEO of the ROADS Group, a contemporary, creative lifestyle brand based in Dublin, Ireland. The group consists of three categories – Fragrances, Publishing and Entertainment. The brand is built around the cornerstones of present-day culture, freethinking, storytelling, original design and intelligence. ROADS acts as a curator, researching and filtering interesting contemporary subject matters or themes. These themes then create the platform for each of the projects, be it book, film or fragrance. ROADS – as a name – is a metaphor for the many choices and decisions we are faced with each day. These decisions shape us and make the paths for how we live. Every choice we make – what we wear, what we read, where we travel, how we communicate – informs our character. Therefore ROADS celebrates the individual in every sense.
ROADS fragrances bring together beautiful artisan scents with innovative themes and engaging creative elements. Curated by Danielle Ryan who works alongside a team of highly renowned noses and some of the world's finest perfumers, ROADS fragrances explore new paths of research, leaving the door open to new forms of olfactory poetry.
The new Africa Collection is an exciting collaboration of culture: where inspirational African ingredients are combined with the evocative influences of literature, art and dance to create four fragrances that will provoke feelings of sensual sophistication, radiance and warmth.
ROADS Entertainment specialises in delivering high-calibre commercial art-house features and documentaries. Recently completed productions include the feature documentary After The Dance, directed by Daisy Asquith, BEING AP and Meet Miss Moriarty, directed by Claire Dix.
ROADS Publishing is a high-end publisher of books that are practical works of art. Launched in 2013 with designer classics, the ROADS list has rapidly developed, and now encompasses fine art, photography, illustration, culture, fashion and exclusive special editions.
Danielle Ryan says: "There are many reasons why I wanted to create ROADS but, above all else, I wanted to create an artistic brand that would not be limited by its own definition, or confined to only one idea."
The Cathal Ryan Trust set up in memory of her late father in 2011 made one of the biggest personal donations the UN Body has ever received.