BVI News

Budget for emancipation festivities not yet decided, expect scaledowns

Culture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley.

Organisers of this year’s emancipation festivities have not yet decided on a budget for the event but said festival-goers can expect a scaledown of the festivities.

Culture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said in a BVI News interview that an exact figure has not been determined because the festival, which will run from July 25 to August 10, is still being planned.

“They (the Festival & Fairs Committee) are at the stage of planning the festival and that will determine the budget … They will have to present me with something pretty soon,” the Culture Minister said.

As for the segments that will be cut from this year’s staging of the event, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festivals & Fairs Committee Carnel Clyne said “cutbacks will come from the East End side and Carrot Bay side”.

“It wouldn’t be as grand as it used to be,” he explained. “East End, for example, used to have a parade, that wouldn’t happen. East End, for example, used to have a Queen’s Show, that wouldn’t happen. Carrot Bay’s home is still damaged. There is no place to close in and fence in to be able to charge [an admission fee]. So, the line-up [of artistes] wouldn’t be as grand as Road Town’s line-up would be.”

This year, the festival which is in its 65th year will be named in honour of a band and will be under the theme ‘BVI Festival 2019, Honouring All Generations – Let’s Commemorate the 65th Emancipation Celebration’.

The festivities will also be carrying the slogan ‘A Colourful Cultural Vibe As BVI Festival Turns 65”.

Each staging of a festival is typically named after a single individual. But Chairman Clyne explained that organisers decided to name it after a band they believed have contributed significantly to the festival in the past.

“That band is Prime Time Band,” Clyne said.

“We chose a theme and a slogan based on folks pouring in their themes and slogans and we are going to reward the theme person and the slogan person shortly.”

A Calendar of events for the festivities is expected to be released soon.

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  1. Just my two cents says:

    If the organizers are serious about scaling down this year my suggestion is to only have entertainment from the US and British Virgin Islands. People wont be happy I know but we really need to get our finance in order. Maybe next year they can be extravogant.

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  2. Hmmm says:

    Dr. Wheatley that makes no sense. How could the budget not be decided yet when the government buget was just approved?

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  3. What's Was not Expected? says:

    The early bird fills his belly early in the morning. After the next shower, the other may eat.

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  4. bvi says:

    If they were serious why not only hold the festival in town only and save all the money from renting other stages for carrot bay and east end. hold all the shows in town!! then the vendors will have a better opportunity to make back their money

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    • Look says:

      Leave well alone… push come to shove both east and west will do what needs to be done. Leave well alone

  5. Real life says:

    In terms of selecting a theme for the festival I think it should be chosen as the result of an annual competition among the schools in the territory. The same type of exercise should also happen for virgin gorda.

    Also, why does east end need to have a separate celebration? Perhaps a separate aspect of our evolution could be celebrated at a different time of the year up there.

  6. learn says:

    where the salves were freed from east or town?

    East End have more cultural and historical sites than town

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  7. Ausar says:

    I think it’s a bad idea. After having suffered two hurricanes, back-to-back, I think that these festivals help to relieve year-long stressors on our people.

    Do what you can, Honorable Wheatley, to see these festivals live up to their fullest potential.

    Cultural celebrations should be the one area in where we expand, not cut back!!

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