Published on Friday 27 April 2018

A fund focusing on strengthening the work done by band clubs which often serve as vital cultural centres of activity and also play an important role in the lives of their local communities has just been launched for the second year running

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici commended the importance of such a project. “Band clubs often serve as buzzing hubs of cultural activity and form an integral part of the country’s cultural and social fabric. Not only do they offer music lessons at no cost, but they also organise cultural activities all year round which help to safeguard our cultural traditions. Our strategy is to ensure an inclusive and accessible culture and through this fund we’re aiding the community to safeguard traditions and objects of historical value and the professionalisation within the sector as well.”

Band clubs 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 to teach 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, too, often contain objects of historical value and are of historical significance themselves.

The fund builds on the successes registered last year and aims to strengthen this work by supporting various initiatives proposed by the band clubs themselves. These can range from the restoration of historical objects housed in the band clubs’ premises to supporting the training of musical conductors and teachers at tertiary level. The fund also aims to support collaborations between band clubs and the implementation of innovative projects to expand the band clubs’ activities both in Malta and abroad.

Managed by Għaqda Każini tal-Banda and by Arts Council Malta within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, a minimum sum of EUR150,000 will be allocated for this fund for 2018. Each band club can apply for a project costing EUR5,000 or EUR10,000; grants will cover 85 per cent or 75 per cent of the project expenses respectively. Profit-making projects are not eligible.

“Local band clubs work tirelessly to strengthen the country’s music culture as well as safeguarding our cultural traditions. All of this work is done on a voluntary basis - we felt that it should be supported,” 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.

The fund is open to all band clubs in Malta and Gozo which are registered as voluntary organisations and are compliant with the Voluntary Organisations Act by the closing date for applications; eligible band clubs also need to be active members of the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda according to its statute.

All the eligible applications will be evaluated by a board of evaluators according to established and published guidelines.

Download the guidelines and application forms. An information session will be held in May 2018. Completed applications must be submitted by 15 June 2018 at noon.

Press release by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government