Published on Monday 19 February 2024

An investment increase of 45% through the funding scheme specifically aimed at Maltese feasts.

Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici launched the Artistic Heritage Scheme which provides €700,000 in financial assistance to three aspects of the Maltese feast: band clubs, fireworks factories, and feast decorations associations. This funding scheme will be administered by Arts Council Malta and the funding for this year will increase by 45% when compared to previous years.

Minister Bonnici explained that this initiative is inspired by the government’s desire to continue strengthening and investing in Maltese and Gozitan feasts, which are so sought after by the public and the tourists who visit us. He said that the way the scheme is structured this year will make it more possible that every feast in every locality in Malta and Gozo is given financial assistance and as such better spread the financial assistance that this sheme aims to deliver.

“Through this new and strengthened investment we are ensuring that all band clubs, fireworks factories which work on a voluntary basis, and all feast decorations associations receive assistance which gives them the courage to continue evolving and contributing to a unique Maltese identity in our communities”, stated Minister Bonnici.

He noted that the Maltese feast is now also intangible cultural heritage according to UNESCO, and this increases the burden on the authorities to ensure that this beautiful heritage continues to evolve.

Arts Council Malta’s Director of Funds and Strategy Mary Ann Cauchi noted that Strategy 2025, which leads this sector forward, places all artists and professionals, including those who work in a traditional or local environment, at the heart of its efforts.

“We want to strengthen our diverse social and cultural fabric and promote community participation, even as regards traditional roots and local identities”, said Cauchi, as she explained that the initiative which is being launched today plays an essential role in this work.

Arts Council Malta’s Head of Funding Rita Falzon stated that the three sectors targeted for funding support a diversity of artistic and cultural expression which comprise countless disciplines and traditions. At the same time, Falzon said that through such measures more professionalisation is being encouraged in the sector.

The projects which obtain funds may recover 100% of the eligible expenses, with band clubs entitled to a maximum of €8,000 for each project, while fireworks factories and feast decorations associations may apply for a maximum of €5,000 in funds.

Among eligible porjects for band clubs there are those which involve investing, among others, in musical training and education, restoration, investment in technological installations and collaborations with other band clubs. Feast decorations associations’ projects may include, among others, any objects related to the design and manufacture of feast decorations, such as statues, as well as educational intiatives and sociocultural events. Fireworks factories can obtain investment, among others, for security equipment and machinery, educational resources, infrastructure, restoration works, and collaborations with other local and European fireworks factories.

The three funding sectors will be open twice during 2024, with the first deadline being that of 2nd April 2024, and the second deadline being that of 8th October 2024.

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