GCS was formed in July 2014. We are contracted by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar to organise its main cultural events and are also responsible for the management of Gibraltar’s cultural facilities.
The mission of the organisation is to promote, encourage and foster the arts and cultural activities in Gibraltar and to export our culture abroad.
We work closely with individuals and groups to sustain and encourage the best possible standards of artistic practice. GCS also helps artists and organisations to achieve organisational viability and aids in extending audiences, investments and participation in the arts.
GCS works on a cultural development programme that will allow the organisation to build partnerships and create links with the business sector and international cultural organisations. This will allow GCS to widen the scope of artistic and cultural activities in Gibraltar as well as to become a centre of excellence in the arts field.
Meet the Directors
Chief Operations Director
Angela started her administration career in 1978 with various roles in general administration and customer care services. After taking a break to start a family with 3 children, Angela started her own driving school business in 1989. She qualified as a driving instructor and later enrolled at the Bournemouth & Poole International College where she took a Certificate in Management course.
In 1997 the family left for the UK where Angela started a career in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. During her time in the UK Angela completed several courses in Tourism, specialised Tourism related software and Sales & Marketing, in Blackpool. She later became a course speaker for Tourism and Customer Care courses held throughout Kent.
Angela began her work in the UK as Group Sales Manager for a prestigious Travel company, European Travel Partners Ltd., and later moved to the Kent Tourist Office where she managed three Tourist Offices – Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh, all part of the Shepway District Council.
Whilst working for European Travel Partners Ltd., Angela travelled extensively to Western Europe contracting hotels and promoting the company she worked for. She was also the contract negotiator for the Dover/Calais ferries, the Eurotunnel Folkestone/Calais and the Eurostar Ashford/Brussels.
Part of her role whilst working for the Kent Tourist Office, was to organise local events such as the Folkestone Harbour Festival, the Re-enactment event with International participation from France, Belgium and Germany and the Folkestone Literary Festival where she setup and managed the Ticket Sales office, to name but a few. Angela also took part in Travel exhibitions all around the UK and Western Europe promoting the South East Kent area as a Tourist destination.
After four years working for the Tourist office, Angela moved to Britannia Hotels, one of the largest independent chain of hotels in the UK, as Sales & Marketing manager.
Angela’s role was to head the sales team, the group’s department and the reservations team, targeting the groups market in particular and selling the hotel as a venue for weddings, private functions, conferences, seminars & training.
During the time Angela spent in the UK she became a member of the Town Centre Management, and the Discover Shepway Tourism Initiative steering groups, representing all Hotels and Guesthouses in the Shepway district area.
Angela and her family moved back to Gibraltar in September 2007. In January 2008 she was employed by Kings Bastion Leisure Centre Ltd. as Service-users and Development Manager and was later seconded in May 2010 to the Ministry of Culture as Facilities Manager. The Culture & Heritage Agency was later created giving Angela the role of Head of Facilities. Gibraltar Cultural Services was created in July 2014 and Angela became the Facilities Director.
In March 2019 a new department was created at Gibraltar Cultural Services giving Angela the post of Chief Operations Director. Currently Angela handles all mayor refurbishment projects.
Having a large family and with a busy work schedule, Angela does not have a lot of spare time for herself, but she enjoys the company of her family especially her grandchildren with whom she tries to spend as much time as she possibly can.
Seamus John Byrne
Chief Executive Officer
Seamus joined the Gibraltar Youth Service as a volunteer in 1992 and since then has organised many social and community events from beauty pageants to fundraising initiatives for charity up to 2001.
He joined the Civil Service in 1999 as an Administrative Assistant and was posted to the Social Services Department. In 2000, after being promoted to Administrative Officer, he was appointed by the Minister for Social Services to organise the Gibraltar Fair, National Week and National Day Festivities, events he has now organised for over 20 years.
In 2004, Seamus was posted to the Ministry for Culture, as an Administrative Officer with event organising duties. Since then Seamus has been involved with coordinating, producing and organising many of Her Majesty’s Government social, cultural and leisure events, including the Tercentenary Celebrations, Bi-Centenary Celebrations, Royal Visit’s, Diamond Jubilee, Miss World Home Coming, Al Gore Conference, UEFA Celebrations, amongst others.
In 2009, Seamus was promoted to Executive Officer, which included the coordination of cultural events. Between September 2010 and July 2013, Seamus was also appointed PA to His Worship the Mayor that included the organising many of the Mayoral events, receptions and ceremonial functions including the Freedom of the City for Kaiane Aldorino, Freedom of the City for Lord Greville Janner, the Freedom of the City for the Marquis of Lothian, the Medallion of Distinction for Jared Mackintosh, and various Mayor’s Awards ceremonies, to mention a few.
In 2011, he was promoted to Head of Events (HEO) at the Gibraltar Culture & Heritage Agency where he was responsible for organising and coordinating Government cultural events in Gibraltar.
In July 2014 he became one of the founder Directors of Gibraltar Cultural Services, with responsibility for all the events that GCS looks after. In May 2016 he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer Designate at GCS, and as from the 1st February 2018, became CEO.
Seamus obtained a Certificate in Humanities in 2011, a Diploma in Humanities in 2014 and a BA (Hons) in Humanities from the Open University in 2015.
In his personal capacity, as part of his voluntary work, he was part of the Gibraltar National Dance Organisation committee between 1995 and 2017 where he carried out the duties as President between 2011 and 2017. He is currently the International Dance Organisation’s (IDO) Vice-President with responsibilities for Public Relations and the Media, an International Judge for the world governing body and the IDO Ambassador for the Iberian Peninsula. He is also the founder of M.O. Productions that is a voluntary group which organises educational cultural events for young people. He has organised many events from European Dance Championships, National Championships and the annual Gibraltar International Dance Festival to name a few. He was also involved in the production and organisation of many local productions including the Miss Gibraltar Pageant 2001, musicals & variety shows.
Yolanda joined the Ministry of Defence in 1972 as a Clerical Assistant and was shortly promoted to Clerical Officer. She worked until 1978 when she resigned to look after her young family. She returned to the MOD in 1981 and worked the latter part of her career there as a Shipping Clerk , assisting the UK based personnel with the shipping of their private effects. Here she learned how to put her people skills in action as it was a very stressful time for the families concerned.
In 1994 she left the Ministry of Defence and joined Knightsfield Holdings Ltd as Company Administrator. Shortly after she took over the Accounts Department and managed Accounts and Administration for the Company for the next 17 years. The Company was subcontracted by Government to manage the Gibraltar Museum and the John Mackintosh Hall and to assist in all Heritage matters. During that time she was involved in the organization of the annual Calpe Conference.
In 2011 the Gibraltar Culture and Heritage Agency was formed and Yolanda was given the role of Head of Finance and Administration. The Agency was responsible for Cultural Events and all Cultural facilities. In the first year she was actively involved in the finances for the first Music Festival, Jazz Festival and the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
In 2014 Gibraltar Cultural Services Ltd took over the Culture side of the Gibraltar Culture and Heritage Agency and Yolanda became its Finance and Administration Director until her retirement in June 2020. During this time she was involved in the reintroduction of the Drama Festival, the Little Constellation Project in collaboration with San Marino and numerous other Cultural events. She remains as a non-executive Director of GCS Ltd.
In a personal capacity, she is involved in charity work and is currently Treasurer of the Clinic Nepal Gibraltar Charity , which subsidises a clinic in the remote village of Meghauli, in the Chitwan Area of Nepal. She has travelled to Nepal on three occasions to gain firsthand knowledge of the clinic’s needs. The village and its people hold a very special place in her heart.
One of the highlights in her life was representing Gibraltar at the VE Celebrations in London in 1995 , where she met the Royal Family and many Heads of State . She had the privilege of travelling from Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park with Prince Charles, Lady Diana, William and Harry , in which time Diana chatted about her experience in Gibraltar.
In her spare time, Yolanda loves to travel and see as much of the world as possible. She also enjoys the theatre and cinema. After a busy day she likes to read and do crosswords to unwind.
Yvette Zarb Bensusan
Yvette joined the Civil Service in 1977 as a Clerical Officer and was posted to the Income Tax Office. At the age of 21 she was promoted to Executive Officer and moved to the Tourist Office. There she spent the better part of 27 years (with only a break of one year when she was tasked with heading the unit that sold the flats at Sir William Jackson Grove & later as Housing Manager). Whilst still at the Tourist Board she was further promoted to Higher Executive Officer and then to Senior Executive Officer.
During her time at the Tourist Board she worked in all its departments; Marketing (attending Trade Fairs, overseeing the yearly Marketing and Advertising plans, liaising with visiting film crews) Product (running the Tourist Sites including the production of shows at St.Michael’s Cave) and Finance (Managing a budget of several million pounds). During some of this time she was also the PA to the Mayor as well as being in charge of organising the corporate entertainment for the Chief Minister’s official guests.
She gained extensive experience in the organisation of events, such as conferences (Medcruise, Commonwealth Association), concerts (Jose Carreras, Elton John), TV & film productions (James Bond-The Living Daylights, Granada TV’s Christmas Rocks 1983) and official Government Ceremonies (Freedom of the City, Medallions of Honour, Royal Visits, Official Dinners for UK Members of Parliament).
In August 2010, Yvette was seconded to the Ministry of Culture in an acting capacity at the post of Principal Secretary. Subsequently she was promoted to Head of Department and was given the role of Chief Culture Officer in the Gibraltar Culture & Heritage Agency.
In 2014 Gibraltar Cultural Services Ltd took over the Culture side of the GCHA and Yvette became its Chief Executive, until her retirement in January 2018. During her time as Chief Executive she is proud to have set up the Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery as well as the GEMA, Gibraltar Exhibitions of Modern Art. She was also instrumental in bringing back the Gibraltar Drama Festival and in the digitisation of the John Mackintosh Hall Library. She now remains as a non-executive director of GCS.
Yvette is a Certified Accounting Technician and a Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians. She is also qualified to Certificate stage with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
In a personal capacity, she was a founder member of the Gibraltar Philharmonic Society, where she organised a huge number of their concerts and stage managed two opera productions. Yvette has also been involved with local production companies, helping to organise Miss Gibraltar Pageants, musicals & variety shows.
Yvette was a member of HMS Calpe, the local Royal Naval Reserve unit, from 1979 to 1993. She values the experience and insight into the forces and its history and traditions that this position offered.
In her spare time, having always had a passion for the arts, Yvette paints, draws, plays three musical instruments and is an avid reader. In her youth she also trained in ballet and modern stage dance. She enjoys going to the theatre, ballet, and the opera when she has a chance, as well as visiting art museums and exhibitions.