The Virgin Gorda Easter Festival might have just concluded, but plans are already being made for next year’s Festival which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the popular event.
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn told the House of Assembly that he will be approaching Sixth District Representative, Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines to ask her to assist with the planning of the grand 2017 event.
Hon. Walwyn praised the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Committee and said that the members and Chairperson Sasha Flax “did a great job.” Nonetheless, he stated that more will be done to ensure that 2017 Easter Festival is better.
“Next year they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary, and we have to plan together and put a very good committee together…I plan to coerce the member of the Sixth to work with us because she has some good cultural ideas and put on a really good festival for the people of Virgin Gorda for their 50th anniversary.”
During the 2016 Easter Village opening, Hon. Walwyn announced that the planning for next year’s event will commence as soon as the curtain for this year’s event falls.
Easter Festival Committee Chairperson, Ms. Flax also announced that the 2017 event will be a bigger and better one.
During a 26 February press conference to launch the event, Ms. Flax stated that the pageants that were cancelled this year will be held in 2017.
In his House of Assembly budget debate contribution Hon. Walwyn stated that all of the Festivals in the Territory face the same issues and that the Festival and Fair Committee that shoulders the organization for all three event takes unnecessary criticism.
“The Festival and Fairs Committee works hard, but they get a lot of flack, but it is a lot of work; and it’s a labour of love — they don’t get paid.”
In noting some of the criticisms, Hon. Walwyn stated that he knows that there are complaints about festival, the bands that play etc., but the Minister noted that many critics do not understand the complexity of running a festival
“We have three festivals to operate from the money that you have there, and we have to take some time to discuss it; and really allocate the right amount of money in the budget for (each) festival,” Hon. Walwyn announced.
“There are certain things that we need to do, yes we need to make it more cultural, the Hon. Member for the Sixth and I have been discussing it together to work along with the Festival and Fairs Committee to put a little more culture in the festival.”
“We have to look at the issue of bands as well, don’t knock the outside bands just have a mixture of things, because we have really been able to cut down on the international acts but we have to go a little further.”
The Minister of Culture also stated that some of the very persons who are insisting that local bands be given a chance do not go to the Village and give the bands support when they play: “We have to support our own too because of the same people I hear them on the radio sometimes talking about putting local acts – if you go to the Village you don’t see them one night. It is good to talk the talk but you got to walk the walk as well…International acts are important as well because on any given night when you have an international act the gate receipts alone pay for the night.”