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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