Kirsty Cotton 1978 – 2024Blank mobile Kirsty Cotton 1978 – 2024Blank
Kirsty Cotton 1978 – 2024

Kirsty Cotton

1978 – 2024 


We have lost our dear friend and colleague, Kirsty Cotton, who died on Mon 22 April.  

Following a short battle with cancer, Kirsty received incredible care from St Julia’s hospice. She died with family by her side, and following a continuous stream of visits from friends and family in recent days. 

It’s almost impossible to summarise Kirsty’s impact on the creative community of our region – indeed, perhaps we’d not even be a functioning community today without the compassion, character and wicked sense of fun Kirsty brought to our world. Without fail, she was a force for good, a fierce feminist and a true friend, protector and connector for artists and creatives across Cornwall. 

Having joined Hall for Cornwall in 2014 as Talent Development Programme Manager, Kirsty worked across the next decade, toiling tirelessly on behalf of hundreds of artists while helping to build HfC’s Get Creative programme, which now supports more than 400 artists and 10,000 young people every year. Deploying her previous experience as a drama teacher, Kirsty also cemented ties with schools and teachers across Cornwall, ensuring creativity remained high on the agenda.  

More recently, Kirsty became HfC Artist Development Producer which extended her role to work as a producer for HfC’s Cornwall Playhouse Productions. In a testament to her great stamina and flexibility, Kirsty wore these dual hats with great success, managing to nurture and cultivate emerging artists, providing an experienced shoulder for established Cornish creatives, whilst also producing a largescale production each year, culminating in 2023’s barnstorming hit Peter Pan, which received rave reviews nationally, breaking all records for festive productions and pantomimes in Cornwall. 

More than any single project or professional achievement (of which there are too many to list here), Kirsty had an unbreakable moral compass. Promoter of the underdog, protector of equity and justice and a vocal advocate of the values we hold dear at HfC. Put simply, if you were trying to make good things happen, Kirsty was always on your side, coaxing us all along passionately, challenging us where we fell short, helping to ceaselessly ask the question “Is that the right thing to do”. 

Chief Executive and Creative Director at HfC Julien Boast said “We’re heartbroken at this news. Kirsty helped us achieve so much and was so admired by all of us – she was a strategic powerhouse and dedicated to understanding others and taking them as they were. I will certainly miss her naughty sense of humour, too. That’s such a hard act to pull off – wit, integrity and equity. What an inspirational and indelible mark Kirsty has left on us.” 

Deputy Creative Director Helen Tiplady, who worked most-closely with Kirsty throughout her HfC career said “Kirsty always kept us honest. She perfected the Paddington ‘hard stare’ that could freeze you in your tracks. But with that steel came tenderness: she was the best listener, and had a gift for generous nurturing and teasing out the essence of what we needed to achieve. We’re utterly devastated, Kirsty will be sorely missed”  

Today, as we take time to reflect, we say Meur Ras/Thanks to you, Kirsty. We celebrate your fierce and indomitable spirit which continues to drive us forwards, and we send our love and wishes to your family and those who you’ve left behind. 

We’ll continue to gather our collective memories of Kirsty. If you’d like to share thoughts and reflections, which we can pass to the family, please send an email to [email protected]