Also present at the press conference held at Pjazza Teatru Rjal were Arts Council Malta Executive Chair Mr Albert Marshall, along with other representatives from Għaqda Każini tal-Banda and l-Għaqda Piroteknika Maltija.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Herrera commended the importance of such projects. “Through this initiative, we will continue to support our feasts which shape our Maltese identity, especially in these unprecedented times,” he stated. He said that his Ministry recognises the importance of preserving Maltese folklore, which in turn gives us character and finally helps us attract tourism and foreign investment.
Band clubs and feast organisations often play an important community role, creating a sense of belonging and serving as a point of entry and engagement with the arts. Their activities are ongoing and, while they focus on teaching music to children and young people, they also organise cultural and traditional activities, which reach a peak during their main activity - village feasts. The buildings in which they are housed often contain objects of historical value as well, and are of historical significance themselves.
The fund concerning voluntary firework factories, which offers financial support to Maltese fireworks factories working on a voluntary basis, will allocate grants to fireworks factories in Malta to improve their infrastructure so that the volunteers can work in a safer environment. The aim is to improve safety both during the manufacturing process, as well as during the letting off of the fireworks. The grant is also intended for volunteers to invest in resources to improve the safety of the Maltese pyrotechnic product.
The funds build on the successes registered during the previous years and aim to strengthen this work by supporting various initiatives proposed by the band clubs and feast organisations themselves.
“The launch of these three funds taking place today is a testament to the belief that Arts Council Malta and the Ministry truly understand the importance of the popular expression and creativity of fireworks displays, traditional feasts, along with their decoration and fittings which are so loved in our country,” said Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall. Community exchange is one of the five strategic focuses running through Arts Council Malta’s Strategy2020, the Council’s five-year plan for the cultural and creative sectors.
Guidelines on how to apply for the financial assistance scheme to band societies may be downloaded here. The application form can be found on the VoFunding portal https://vofunding.org.mt in the coming days.
Guidelines on how to apply for the fund offering financial support to Maltese firework factories working on a voluntary basis may be downloaded here. Application forms may also be downloaded from here.
The closing date whereby Arts Council Malta shall stop receiving proposals for all the funding schemes will be 31st July 2020.
All applications for - Fondi Kmamar tan-Nar and Fondi tal-Għarmar are to be sent to our new address in Mrieħel - TG Complex Level 1 Brewery Street Mriehel.
All the eligible applications will be evaluated by a board of evaluators according to established and published guidelines.