BVI News

Budget for all 2019 festivals climbs to $1.3M

Dr Wheatley

The overall budget allocated to all festivals for 2019 has now increased by an estimated $600,000 from the original figure reported back in April.

Culture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley told BVI News the budget now stands at $1.3 million.

“We expect additional funding in the form of sponsorship along with other ways of raising money which will see that overall figure increasing,” the minister told our news centre Thursday morning.

In explaining the increase, Dr Wheatley said: “The Minister of Finance was kind enough to respond to my appeal for more resources.”

Minister Wheatley also explained that a portion of the increased funding will go towards clearing some of the debt owed to vendors over the years.

“We are considering that by the end of the festivities we will be able to pay a portion of the debt. The vendors we’ve been in touch with have been understanding of the situation and there are working with us, so we thank them for their patience and we are going to work hard to ensure that we get them paid,” the minister said.

He also said one of his mandates is to have an economically viable festival this year, stating: “I really do not want any kind of overruns. I don’t want any kind of overruns that we have seen in the past and I have to be very honest with you, that’s right next to the importance of celebrating our history and culture for me.”

Meanwhile, Festival & Fairs Committee Chairman Carnel Clyne said the payment of the debts owed is essential for the smooth progression of all future festivals.

“Our focus is mending those relationships so that we can move forward in a more stress-free arena.  Respected relationships will play an important overall roll in the success of these festivities,” Cline said.

The Chairman also said all committee bills will be paid through one account. 

“This is in an effort to control budget and manage funds more efficiently,” he noted.

Back in April, Dr Wheatley had said the budget for all festivals this year was $710,000.

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  1. Hmm says:

    I think 1.3M could have been best invested in our schools that are still destroyed.

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  2. Nob says:

    Get the staff of treasury to collect all moneys after each show.

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  3. JOB WELL DONE!! says:

    job well done mr wheatley!!!! every year alot of money leaves this country around this time because our festival isn”t on Par with st maarten or st kitts. although the artist was advertise a bit late and persons had already purchase tickets to go st. kitts at least we would contain some of the annual travellers around this time of year. THANK YOU MINISTER. we now need to focus on getting two more big hotels on tortola

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  4. Pay Me Pls says:

    Y’all owing people too long now man. You said the credit line and CIBC was supposed to fix this. I’m still waiting for 2017 and 2018 for services already rendered, and now out of pocket.

    Like 11
  5. Hmmmm says:

    All of a sudden we find money. 5 months ago we had none. Now we can spend over a million on entertainment, $100,000 on yep and other things. The VIP I voted for talked about the spending the NDP did, only to get elected to waste more of the Saïd money. Many people especially the Civil servants of Government got wet last night and will probably go home to a house to meet wet stuff as it rain while they are on the job. The 1.3M should NOT go into entertainment. Put it into our much needed community. We’re not SKB, T&T or JA. We are the BVI but we rather be like other places rather then being ourselves.

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    • @Hmmmm says:

      It appears evident and truthful, that the former governing party left the territory in excellent and sound financial standings/footings.

      If it was not so, the world would’ve known and kept knowing about it.

      Therefore, it is hoped that good stewardship principles and correct prioritizations will be the guiding governing mechanisms going forward.

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    • youthman says:

      100k to yep after 14 years bothers you, huh. NDP never supported yep but wanted credit for it. Go see what they do and then come back and question why that 100k is well invested.

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  6. Concern says:

    The Government is hoping to get a return on investments similar to that of Buju concert in the form of fees. To entice more people to our festival they have to up the entertainment factor. Don’t be surprise they may increase fees to go into the village as well this year to make up some of the difference.

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  7. Priorities? says:

    Priorities, Priorities, Priorities.

    Should be centered around the people, their needs, development and upliftment of their economic struggles, educational and personal upliftment kind.

    Quite bit for a celebration that no longer portrays, teaches or exemplify the authentic history and values about, or celebrate its original intent.

    On another temperature gauge, many, it appears, are already voicing much dissatisfaction as their perceived post election hopes appear just that, hopes.

    Perhaps one major job producing industry is in negotiations? Who knows.

    There is definitely a sense of political capital wastage occuring.

    Political advice, we have an elected body of young, brilliant minds, many we have grown with and we wish well. Even though they are politically green, they will mature into the job.

    Hence, their foundation for building a legacy should cognizantly stem from the roots, the people, not the branches, and build up.

    This is our country’s governing body of people now. So it is hoped that they will at least try to do better for the people and country.

    Never mind the outward disguises, there are tremenndous pain and suffering that are silently being masked.

    Therefore, less on entertainnment at this time and more on people dvelopment would suggest the birthing of a sound fiscal and people legacy.

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  8. Hmmm says:

    I am baffled by this increase, after all the talk about the spending of the last administration. Why is the BVI having a music fest instead of a bvi cultural festival? Are we going forward or backwards? BVI has so much to spend money on. The roads from the airport are in such terrible state. I know that they may be spiting the Leader of the Opposition, but Mr Wheatley you are on the team, could you try to get some attention for the roads from Road Town to the Airport. Everywhere else has had a face lift with the exception of the roads in East End (including Long Look.) Something must be wrong with that picture. Mr Wheatley instead of asking for more resources to keep a damn festival, see if you can get the roads fixed.

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    • Agreed says:

      What do we gain as a country when all these foreign entertainers going with the bulk of the entertainment budget?

      Festival coukd of been scaled down to fit the original budget instead of increasing the budget at taxpayers expense. Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to get the mentioned sponsorships to make up the difference instead of investing more money thst would of been better spent on our recovery and development?

      This looks like a very weak move on the part of the Government. ..bucking to pressure from people whose only concern is wanton revelry a d out of order behavior thst ultimately leads to corruption.

      Enough said.

  9. vip heckler says:

    The more things change the more it remains the same. THIS GOVERNMENT IS FAR WORST THAN THE NDP WHEN IT COMES TO WASTAGE AND PRIORITIES

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    • Spend Happy VIP says:

      VIP is a big disappointment. The money is going through the door with this administration. Through the door. They are worst than NDP.

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  10. Spendit says:

    Let the schools spend from their budget, but when it comes to our Emancipation, don’t touch it. Let our people enjoy their emancipation as they wish. No amount of money spending can justify the treatment of our enslaved ancestors. Let freedom reign and ring among the children of the diaspora. Let us celebrate and remember what our foreparents endured, and let our celebration always be a day to always remember to say “never again, never shall we allow a handful of people, aided by a few of our people, to commit the worst holocaust in the history of humanity on the African people.
    It is now we need to spend more, because we must enforce the message. We embrace our freedom and we are wiser now than ever. Up, ye mighty children of Israel, this year marks 400 years of the beginning our enslavement in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Most High has remembered the Covenant between us. Jump, skip, shout, never let out freedom message die out!!

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    • Doesn't justify the spending says:

      Freedom Yes. This spend Happy VIP, No. I think this post will have more substance about the emancipation celebration and the struggle to freedom than the entire festival celebration.

    • Ancestors says:

      Our ancestors would roll in their grave at what we have become. Poor spending, poor education, port infrastructure, poor parenting. Just read the news, we are becoming a third world country. Our festival is not respectful, it is a disgrace to women who come out not fully dressed and show themselves and dance for mans arrention. These same women raising our future children. Our taxi drives have no respect. We are killing ourselves with the fires in pockwood pond. We haven’t recovered from Irma but let’s spend 1m on a party to honor them? How about we spend 1m to clean up our act and our land to honor them. The amount of stink and trash and people who live in the “projects” is disgraceful to our ancestors.
      We can gather as one and have moment of silence and prayer and clean up our country with our bare hands for free instead of waiting for the white volunteer groups to keep coming to do it for us. Everyone know tola is lazy. Even our ancestors.

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  11. @Spendit says:

    I agree totally with your views, as they are identical to mine with one deviation/exception.

    It is believed that we must do all you have mentioned, but with a bit of financial conservatism at this juncture in our economic matters.

    Why, until the economy is functioning again at full capacity, it is the right and sound judgement to operate on a conservative framework.

    That was my economic and philosophic reasoning for the post, “Prorities.”.

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  12. @Spendit says:

    What a dumb freaking comment. We need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on regional entertainment to celebrate or freedom from slavery??? WTF…

  13. ok says:

    stupid people want to party whilst the younger generation suffers a lack of education. SMH focus on the young, the schools, their education.. the FUTURE!

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  14. JVD says:

    Can u just take a little please to fix the church on JVD?
    Use some of that money to fix Pockwood so people aren’t exposed to smoke and gases that WILL cause them to have cancer in 10 years. Because the lawsuits from that will soon make media and destroy tourism. A slow death is just as bad as an instant death in the DR.
    So many still hurting from Irma that you ignore but your party budget is that?
    Seems the politicians got the same education as our children who can’t pass exams.

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  15. Francine says:

    you got a point, but can the members of the church not do the repairs. Are there Government subsidized churches?

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  16. Livy says:

    Dr Wheatley please see if you can get the road east smoothen. I hate driving on those roads. The artists coming via the airport must drive on them and I wonder what they.will think when they are heading back out with fat pockets.

    Please, use some of that money to improve the BVI infrastructure.

  17. Old says:

    VIP never give away seven 7m dollars

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  18. CW says:


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