Culture & Tourism Month To Tell The VI Story

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(PLTM) - The Government of the Virgin Islands will continue its focus on the preservation and advancement of the Territory’s culture in activities to observe Culture and Tourism month.

Director of Culture Dr. Katherine Smith said the month of activities will begin on November 1 and will be observed under the theme, “Our Virgin Islands, Our Story: Tell Your Story”. Activities planned for the month will also highlight the historical significance of key heritage sites in the Virgin Islands, and the value in their preservation and promotion.

Dr. Smith said, “This year’s Culture and Tourism Month will see the return of staples such as the BVI Lit Fest, Cultural Food Fair Extravaganza, Fungi Festival, and the Anegada Lobster Festival. Emphasis will also be placed on cultural education which is a topic that is always relevant.”

Dr. Smith said in honour of the recently designated national heroes, there will also be an evening of performance titled, ‘Remember My Name’.

“There is also an emphasis on key and significant heritage sites within the Virgin Islands,” the Director said, adding, “There will also be the film screening and awards ceremony for the 284 Excellence Film Competition. As we can see, there are many creative ways through our cultural and creative arts and through our cultural heritage to tell our authentic story.”

Junior Minister for Culture and Tourism Honourable Luce Hodge-Smith is encouraging the entire Territory to participate in as many of the scheduled events and activities as possible.

Honourable Hodge-Smith said, “The focus of the month is to highlight the importance of telling our story or stories. Telling our story as Virgin Islanders is very important as our story helps to preserve our culture and our heritage. Telling our story also allows us to share with the guests to our shores, the uniqueness of our islands and our people.”

The Junior Minister also mentioned that there will be exciting and engaging activities organised throughout the Territory to ensure that the cultural exchanges will be accessible to all residents. She said, “This year, a conscientious effort was made to ensure activities are staged on our sister islands of Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. It is super important that opportunities are afforded for everyone throughout the Territory to participate, learn something new, and further establish an appreciation of what is Virgin Islands culture and heritage.”

The month activities include the opening ceremony scheduled to take place on November 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Phillip’s Anglican Church ruins and heritage site in the historic village of Kingstown.

The month-long activities will also provide educational opportunities for the public to gain further insight on the cultural landscape in the Virgin Islands through the organisation of virtual panel discussions titled, “Cultural Education through the Lens of the Literary Arts/Literature in the Virgin Islands” and “Cultural Education through the Lens of the Culinary, Performing, and Visual Arts”. These panel discussions will be streamed live on the Government’s official Facebook page @BVIGovernment.

The Department of Culture has put together a list of cultural books and will be donating these books throughout the schools/education sector, as yet another cultural education initiative.

Other activities include an evening of performance in honour of the recently designated national heroes titled, “Remember My Name,” and film screenings and awards ceremony by the 284 Excellence Film Competition. There will also be a Cultural Food Fair Extravaganza that is expected to be a true cultural experience and the return of the dynamic Fungi Fest on Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and Tortola.

The month will culminate with the Anegada Lobster Festival and a closing ceremony at the Stickit in Long Look.

For more information about Culture and Tourism month, contact the Department of Culture at 469-4374.

The Government of the Virgin Islands’ vision is a Virgin Islands where all Virgin Islanders feel a sense of belonging and pride, and actively participate in cultural activities that reflect their heritage and ultimately enrich their lives.

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