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.”
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