The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

Enriching our Culture

Owen Bonnici Friday, 20 September 2019, 09:05 Last update: about 27 days ago

It was a simple yet an exceptional moment on Wednesday when the heirs of the late music instrument builder Dr George Debono presented rare and valuable baroque instruments to the Teatru Manoel.

This ties in perfectly with our strategy to promote culture and the arts. In fact, the Teatru Manoel has put a lot of effort into putting baroque in the foreground of the island's cultural activity with the Valletta International Baroque Festival and performances throughout the year, not only in Valletta, but also around the island.

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Since its launch in 2013, the Valletta International Baroque Festival which is usually held in the first weeks of January, has treated audiences to a unique event featuring some of the best soloists and ensembles in the baroque music scene. Taking as its main venue one of the oldest working theatres in the world, Teatru Manoel, this prestigious two-week festival also plays out within many wonderful baroque and historical venues, such as St. John's Co-Cathedral and the Grandmaster's Palace.

The upkeep and storage of such instruments is yet another example of this strategy. Moreover, not only are we enriching our cultural calendar, but thanks to our extensive culture sector, we can further make it more accessible through such initiatives.

An 1888 Broadwood piano, is perhaps the star of these acquired instruments. The Broadwood Piano has undergone restoration which was funded by the Friends of the Manoel, two Viola da Gambas a baroque cello, along with two clavichords, now enhance the Teatru Manoel's collection of instruments.

The Broadwood piano will be the first of the acquired instruments to feature in a Teatru Manoel Concert on Wednesday 13th November supported by the Friends of the Manoel and held in memory of the beloved Dr George Debono.

A deserved thanks to the late Dr Debono and his heirs.

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Notte Bianca returns this October, bringing forth a new vision with a passion for arts at heart.

This year, the Ministry's Festivals Malta has rebranded the popular festival with a fresh new identity, introducing its new tagline 'Where arts bring the city to life'.

This event has become hugely popular during the years, with locals and tourists eagerly waiting for this arts festival. With over 50 different acts, Notte Bianca is the largest and the only festival of its kind in Malta, featuring the participation of over 200 local and international artists. A spectacular night that is only made possible by a dedicated team of over 100 people who work tirelessly to make this festival the success that it is. This will be the first time that the Courts of Justice will be open for the public in this unique way.

Our captivating Capital City, Valletta, will be totally transformed during Notte Bianca - transformed into a stage for performances and art forms of all kind, allowing hundreds of artists to showcase their work in innovative and creative ways.

Another innovation this year is that of a "new visitor strategy" to help our patrons plan their visit ahead, ensuring that those attending can make the most out of the biggest arts and culture event on the island in a festive setting. The programme in fact has been categorised into 7 routes, designed to facilitate the Notte Bianca experience. These are categorised as: Red (consisting of adult entertainment), Installations, Dance, Theatre, Kids, Classic and Music.

The programme is vast and can be accessed through the Festivals Malta site online.

Notte Bianca is another opportunity for the local artists to mingle with their foreign counterparts leading to new opportunities in this field. Also another opportunity for all those participating either as artists or as audience to appreciate our ongoing investment in the upkeep of our National Patrimony, with Notte Bianca happening under the gaze of our never ending project of restoring our Heritage.

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End of Summer Festival in aid of Dar Bjorn at Pretty Bay, Birżebbuġa will be held between today and Sunday. This three-day festival will be providing entertainment and fun for all the family.

I endorse the need for such cultural events organised for a good cause. Culture and the arts have become an essential part of our society, and through such platforms not only are we able to promote local talent, but we are also making this sector more accessible. This Government supports such causes, and it is thanks to initiatives of this kind that as a community we are able to give back to those in need.

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Our determination to have a cleaner Malta is ongoing. As part of the World Cleanup Day - an event which takes place in several countries around the world each year aiming to regenerate more knowledge and raise more awareness about public cleanliness - is currently taking place in several localities in our country. The aim of this initiative is for local councils to team up with the communities and take part in a cleaning event. The idea is that throughout the year, the participants of this event will act as environmental ambassadors of the community so that cleanliness is maintained. Local councils are also encouraged to promote this activity with the foreign residents of their respective locality.

All local councils were eligible to apply for this initiative. A total of 28 local councils are participating and the Local Government Division allocated a total fund of €21,858 for this initiative.

Through this great initiative, we are imparting more knowledge about keeping our localities clean, not only for our benefit, but also for future generations, by instilling more awareness amongst our communities on the benefits of having a cleaner environment. As a Government, we are committed to further improve the standard of living of our communities, by providing safer and cleaner spaces for the benefit of everyone.

I thank all those local councils participating in the World Cleanup Day initiative, and also appeal our Communities to do their part in keeping our environment clean and safe.


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