BVI News

Festival budget cut down to $350K

The Ministry of Culture has settled for an even smaller budget than the $700,000 initially announced for this year’s emancipation festivities.

Making the announcement at a media conference on Monday, culture minister Myron Walwyn said cutting the budget was a joint decision between himself and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

“In light of all that was going on, the Minister of Finance (Dr Smith) and myself spoke on the matter and we decide that there were greater priorities and we decide to slash the budget in half so the total being spent for festival this year is $350,000 and not more,” Walwyn said.

A number of changes are associated with this massive budget festival budget cut. Such changes are to include the Prince and Princess event being changed from a pageant to a talent show.

Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festival & Fairs Committee Trefor Grant said the reigning Prince and Princess will retain their titles for another year since the 2017 disasters denied them the opportunity of a proper reign.

Reigning Calypso Monarch Eustace ‘Boss’ Freeman will also retain his title for another year. The usual Calypso competition will be in the form of a ‘calypso review’ this year.

The festival committee is also substituting the traditional Miss BVI Pageant for a coronation show this year.

Events such as the Carrot Bay Cultural Fiesta, the annual Gospel Fest, the Cultural Food Fair and the Road Town and East End rise & shine tramps are still being featured for this year’s festivities. However, a few additions to the festivities include an emancipation day documentary, which is an initiative to have a more culture-rich festival.

While stating this year’s emancipation festival will be different from any before, Minister Walywyn said: “It is important for us to remember the vital role that the continuation of cultural events play in our overall recovery as a territory.”

R City, multiple dancehall, soca artistes for festival

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  1. JK says:

    wow, that is like one temporarily filled pothole

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  2. Yes says:

    GOOD!!!! Let’s also use this as a lesson going forward that Festival does not have to cost $1Mil and more going forward. The budget should be $500K annually and that’s that.

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  3. Kenneth Dreger says:

    Or maybe the bigger question should be why does this cost so much $$$ when BVI residents need so much help in rebuilding the Island? Just seems like a excess spending of $$$ in hard times…..

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  4. HOLD UP.... says:

    So the line up is similar to previous years and the budget is cut by more than 3/4 what it usually is?!?! You’re telling me that the Prince and Princess show / aspects of the calypso competition / the Miss BVI pagent come up to near $700,000?!?!?! Something smells fishy…

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    • Nope says:

      Nothing fishy. Having full rooms and lighting production and extra days in both carrot bay and East adds to the cost. Also note town village is usually almost 2wks long. This year the entire thing is one week.

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      • @nope says:

        4 days less of sound / stage and security still doesn’t make up for the $1mil extra that is spent every other year….

  5. voter says:

    We need the wall money to help

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  6. Diana says:

    @Yes, I also agree with you. There is no need for our festival to cost that much. I would also like to add that it is time for the committee to start doing some fundraising events leading up to festival. As suggested before that can have activities in each of the major villages and out islands instead of just Road Town and only waiting till May or June to do so. They could start about November. Give the time to get the finance from the previous festival sorted out. Then government should contribute a match figure for this activity.

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  7. Yeh yeh says:

    I sure if you spend the entire 700K to rebuild schools and fix people’s homes, everyone will be happy just to hold hands and sing KUMBAYA for festival… wid your ness… Struupes

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  8. Goodwill says:

    The artist coming should be volunteering their services due to devastation.The festival should be a fundraiser towards the rebuilding of the BVI.

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  9. Smh says:

    Ayo so d**m stupid… Ago up and down worrying bout festival but have the west end ferry dock office in a damn container… Get ayo s-*t together & then worry about festival .. Other countries up & running… & ayo still here playing & can’t get ayo priorities straight … Smfh

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    • Oh says:

      Which other countries hit by Irma and/or Maria are up and running better than the BVI?

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    • Really? says:

      Well that is NOT under Myron Ministry…which other Ministry You see up and Running?? He is the only One that has his act together for now and bringing a sense of Normalcy to the place…the West End Dock is under Ministry of Communications and Works..leave Myron Alone plzz…

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  10. Kim says:

    Now here comes the flood …
    Wet them …

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  11. WTF says:


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    • Tigress says:

      Wowww other countries have had disasters too and their current queen reigned the following year. Prince n princess and calypso king doing another year but not the ms bvi2017??? Why or why not that does not sound fair Trefor grant, some comtee chairs do what they want n u allow, man up!!!! wat is good for prince princess calypso king is good for queen too. At Least put some consistency somewhere.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    We can’t live our life on sorry

  13. Lies says:

    Finance is who cut the festival money back due to NO MONEY!!!

  14. 007 says:

    That guy looks like the dude on the front of the train in Live and Let Die. Is it Baron Samedi?

  15. We need festival!! says:

    It has been tough since Irma for everyone. All these ppl here bawling about money spending, we need a break from the misery. We need to laugh listen to music break away from the stress. Festival is good for morale it will be nice to see ppl having fun.

    I’m for festival all $350k of it.

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  16. Phoenix says:

    Does that figure include the rebuilding of the racetrack?

  17. Brad Boynes says:

    Keep fish fry to raise funds and get in the festive mood. Jeez man.but then again Walwyn wasn’t around when theyou used to keep fish fry every Friday night. Just a reminder from sacking on govt nippers 4 everything.

  18. Fes says:

    The contribution from the treasury for festival should have never been so high. How much of that money. Stays in the country? We do not need pastors from places who do not know our history to tell us about slavery. After paying hotel bills for them at high cost how much of taxpayers money do we give them to go with? Think on what the bible teaches. The parade is no longer something pleasant to watch. That is the time when our culture must shine not vulgarity. We need a break down from government on how that money is spent. Because of the overspending bringing in foreign artistes even children have to pay to go to the village. We can no longer do anything for ourselves. We depend on others. Sad. There goes the money.

    • Good says:

      Why you sound so unhappy about everything with festival. My guess is that you don’t go out much. If you don’t want to go then don’t go. There are 1,000s us of that appreciate having a festival this year.

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  19. The Hooded Claw says:

    I think it’s a step in the right direction slashing the budget in half. We can still have a memorable festival if we all remember what we are celebrating.

  20. Hmm says:

    We shouldn’t even be having Festival period.

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  21. Rosita says:

    How about cut it down to zero!

  22. Bonaclubah says:

    You all stay there making issue with everything…I can’t wait to free-up for carnival. I survived IRMARIA!

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  23. Lan says:

    Cancel festival this year. You canceled school graduation one year. That was more important. When you empty the treasury You will leave with yours. Is this territory a cash cow? Time for the Premier to show leadership. Who decides on what money can be spent.? This country has been dragged down to the lowest level.

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