The Festival and Fairs Committee announced that the ball has begun rolling on the organising of the 2017 Emancipation Festival that is held annually in late July early August.
While speaking at the launch of the Easter Festival last month, newly appointed Chair of the Committee, Trefor Grant announced that the BVIFFC is already hard at work: “Planning has already started for the Tortola Festival and we are going to do it early; we already got the blessing from the Minister so this is our intention.”
The Committee Chair stressed that the Committee does not want to wait until the last minute: “We don’t want to start behind the eight ball as sometimes unfortunately has happened.”
During the press conference it was expressed that various festival shortcomings are not always the Committee’s fault, and problems are not always an indication of poor planning. In fact, Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn explained that in some instances Government is responsible.
The Minister said: “To somebody looking outside it might appear as if they are not planning well, but there are other issues that you can’t appreciate; so I understand some of the difficulties that they face. Some of those difficulties come from the Government.”
In highlighting some of the issues, Hon. Walwyn stated: “I’ve mentioned it before that successive governments over the years never budget the full amount of money for festival. Until we get over that problem you are going to have those issues, but I cannot as Minister blame them for not planning properly. We have to get our house in order, and prioritise festival in the way that it should; so that the persons who are coming forward as volunteers can move forward and plan the activities.”