The Malta Independent 14 November 2019, Thursday

Reaching out through Culture

Owen Bonnici Friday, 11 October 2019, 09:18 Last update: about 2 months ago

All is set for this evening's MCO Pink October Concert, 'curtain up' at 20hrs at Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Together with the Chairperson of the Marigold Foundation, Michele Muscat, I announced this concert a couple of days back, a concert with the sole intention to raise awareness and support such initiatives through arts and culture.

I entirely concur with Mrs Muscat's statement about the importance of this educational campaign focused on raising awareness on breast cancer but also on male cancers that are very common but that can be cured if one is diagnosed at an early stage. Bridging culture and health is a remarkable way of living life with a positive attitude enabling people to motivate themselves to always live up to their potential. 

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Our intention is to raise awareness and support such initiatives through arts and culture. Whereas during previous years the Ministry together with Arts Council Malta used to organise events focusing on its employees, this year we felt it was opportune to broaden this initiative, increase our reach and organise a concert for the public.

My wish is to see more events of this nature, which bring together culture and our society for a just cause. The concert, organised by the Ministry's Arts Council Malta, in collaboration with Pjazza Teatru Rjal and the Malta Concert Orchestra, will see Maestro Joe Brown directing the MCO with the participation of Ozzy Lino, Ritienne, Neville Refalo, Laura Bruno, and Jasmine Abela.

Tickets of €10 and €5 (concessions) for the concert can be purchased on www.kultura.mt. All proceeds of the concert will go to the Marigold Foundation, as part of the Pink October Campaign.

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"Realising that our ordinary is actually extraordinary" is the new tagline for the yearly event - or better still - series of events, all part of The Three Palaces Festival, another of the Ministry's Festivals Malta top events during the year.

This 7th edition was launched at Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar a superb backdrop to one of the events which will be held in this year's festival which will see the participation of artists of exceptional talent from Malta and around the world.  Between the 1st and 10th of November one an experience an extraordinary cultural festival, with highlights that include The Orfeo Experience, being organised in collaboration with The Valletta Cultural Agency at the splendid Casino Maltese - a participatory and immersive opera experience featuring countertenor William Purefoy as Orfeo, La Conversione di un Cavallo. Tableaux Vivants da Caravaggio by the talented troupe at Ludovica Rambelli Teatro - an exceptional event that will literally bring Caravaggio paintings to life, and a piano recital by the sensational Angela Hewitt, a classical pianist renowned for her Bach interpretations who will perform a superb programme featuring works from Beethoven and Bach in the magnificent Gran Salon at the Museum of Archaeology.

These festivals are important as they do not only serve as a platform for local artists to showcase their talent, but they offer a unique way to experience music and the arts in magnificent buildings which carry so much history. This amalgamation is a great way to bring different aspects of our culture together, and also noted the fact that the festival keeps on aiding in making culture and the arts more accessible due to its different locations.

The Three Palaces Festival is a very prestigious celebration of music and cultural heritage where the musical excellence is only matched by the uniqueness of the settings in which it is performed.

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Just a couple of days for the announcement of the national budget, during a press conference I announced achievements brought by the 2019 Budget. I concentrated on one of the many measures implemented by the Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government: the Heritage Malta Passport for students and seniors.

Adding to the other measures implemented by this Ministry, this, out of many, continues to show how our community is truly living to its utmost, whilst improving its way of life even through culture.

 I highlighted this government's ongoing work to increase accessibility and inclusivity within the culture sector through various initiatives. The Heritage Passport scheme, available both for senior citizens and students, through which seniors together with young adults, and students accompanied by parents or guardians, can visit free of charge Heritage Malta's sites. 107,000 free visits have already been registered since the scheme's launch less than a year ago. 

The successes garnered from the Heritage Malta Passport scheme is a clear example that people are becoming more appreciative and more aware of their heritage, whilst also encouraging our young ones to visit and learn about our history and culture. Our strategy has been focused on nurturing the right ecology for arts and culture to grow and become more accessible for our citizens and foreigners who visit our country. The aim of initiatives like this, is not only that of encouraging locals to visit sites, but also as a way of bolstering knowledge and appreciation of our identity. It is by knowing our past that we can appreciate our present, and build towards a better future.

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Introducing professionalism and diversity in culture, is giving very good results. It is estimated that more than 70,000 people visited Valletta last Saturday, participating in Notte Bianca, in a celebration of our country's history, art and culture.

Elements which make up our country's cultural ecology are being more valorised through initiatives of this nature, whilst bringing more and more families closer to culture.

More than 250 artists participated in 54 different events, which were well received by the audiences. Looking forward to next year's edition on the 3rd of October 2020!

 


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