Bands from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will be granted permission to enter the US Virgin Islands (USVI) to perform at the 2017 USVI Carnival Village.
But the service of the BVI bands much be requested by the neighbouring territory.
The USVI government has announced that the ‘cultural exchange’ waiver was agreed on this month during a meeting involving representatives of the USVI Carnival Committee, the US Customs and Border Protection, and the BVI music industry.
While expressing gratitude for the waiver, Minister of Culture here in the BVI Myron Walwyn stated that local bands should capitalize on the opportunity and follow the protocols.
“I thank very much the Government of the USVI – particularly Lieutenant Governor Potter – for working along with us to make this happen. This is a major step in the promotion of our local music industry, and I encourage our local entertainers to take advantage of this opportunity while respecting the established protocols for the waiver programme,” Walwyn said.
He further stated that the protocols that BVI bands must take into consideration ARE THAT:
1. Cultural exchange invitations would come from the USVI Carnival Committee or USVI Government to Ministry of Education and Culture in the BVI.
2. USVI would indicate which bands they want
3. Ministry of Culture in the BVI would contact the bands, collect all documents of persons traveling with the bands and forward them to the USVI Carnival Committee or Government
4. Approval of bands will be sent back to the Ministry of Culture in the BVI
5. Payment for bands can be sent directly to the Ministry of Culture in the BVI from USVI Carnival Committee or Government
In the meantime, Lieutenant Governor of the USVI Osbert Potter stated that the ultimate aim is to have long-term measures in place to facilitate cultural exchange between the two neighbouring territories.
“We are excited about this agreement and look forward to inclusion of the BVI bands at our Carnival Village. We want to ensure that long-term measures are put in place so that we will continue to welcome the BVI bands at our Carnival Village as part of our cultural exchange agreement,” added Lieutenant Governor Potter.
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