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Feast associations can receive up to €6,000 in financial aid to organise traditional festivities across Maltese and Gozitan villages, through a new scheme launched by the Malta Arts Council.

 The ‘Feasts Logistics Assistance Scheme’ was announced on Tuesday by Malta Arts Council director of Funding and Strategy Mary Ann Cauchi, who said throughout the past two years, the ACM has launched different schemes to invest and support the arts and cultural sector during the pandemic.

“One cannot imagine summer without the village feasts, who play a vital role in our country and culture,” she said. “Feast organisers and associations are facing a number of issues when it comes to resources, logistics spending, and volunteers, and we believe we play a role in supporting these groups.”

Who can apply for the scheme? The scheme is open to local band clubs and related voluntary organisations involved in organising Maltese and Gozitan feasts during 2022. It is a one-time scheme. Band clubs, voluntary firework factories, and Maltese feast decoration associations are eligible for a total of €2,000. Organisations with two or three different roles are entitled to €4,000 or €6,000 respectively.

The scheme is open throughout the whole year and is open to organisations who have participated or will participate in a feast this year. “That means, even feasts which took place earlier this year can apply for the scheme,” Cauchi said. She said to apply for the scheme, each association must be a registered voluntary organisation and comply with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations. “The scheme reflects the post-pandemic realities such organisations are facing, and to support them with the logistics expenditure they face, such as hiring lifters, or booking fire engines, insurance- all are important and necessary and we want to be there to support them.”

Local religious feasts, or festi, resumed this year following a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. €500,000 forked out to support feast voluntary organisations Speaking during the press conference, Arts Minister Owen Bonnici said €500,000 has been invested in the Malta Arts Council scheme to support such voluntary organisations. “A number of groups have spoken to us and shared the difficulties they are facing, two years on since the pandemic, and this year no doubt, such feasts will have a positive impact on our social and economic sector,” he said. “Such schemes further strengthen the capacity of the volunteers to continue working hard, despite the difficulties they have faced during the pandemic.”

Source: timesofmalta.com

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