While noting the benefits of hosting an internationally-recognized event in the territory, Executive Producer of Summer Sizzle BVI, Terry Donovan believes the time is ripe for government to help fund the fashion show.
Summer Sizzle BVI will mark its tenth anniversary this year and is slated for July 25 to 30.
The four-day fashion and lifestyle event usually lures celebrities, internationally-known fashion designers, and models to the destination.
Speaking to BVI News yesterday, Donovan said it has been difficult over the years to host the event on a ‘shoe-string budget’.
“It has been a financial struggle in building this event and by now – being that this event is [celebrating] its tenth year – it should be a part of the BVI government’s budget being that it is a tourism product,” Donovan reasoned.
The executive director said the government offered funding for previous stagings of the fashion event but not consistently. He also made it clear that his request does not mean the government has to fully fund the event this year.
“I cannot say to the government how much money to give but they should look at the event and decide,” he noted.
Donovan said putting on the event costs roughly $200,000.
While noting that local turnout has been poor in previous years, Donovan also called for support from the local community.
Territory has benefitted
In the meantime, Donovan said the territory has reaped benefits since the event started 10 years ago.
He said there has been a considerable increase in photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and fashion designers in the BVI because of Summer Sizzle.
He further reasoned that when guests come to the territory for the four days, they pay taxes, hire taxis, eat at local restaurants, and shop.
“Those are moments that make me feel great about doing the event,” the fashion enthusiast said.
Event was almost shelved
Given the hurricanes, Donovan said he was in limbo in deciding whether to host the event this year.
But, after giving some deep thought, he concluded that the benefits would be enormous for the territory as it recovers.
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