Sliema Arts Festival cancelled as government delays funds

Much awaited Sliema Arts Festival cancelled after department for local government delays support from Cultural Fund

The Sliema local council has announced that it shall not be holding this year’s edition of the Sliema Arts Festival.

The council said that due to conditions out of its control, the festival could not be planned for 2017r since the Cultural Fund for Local Government events and activities was issued very late in the day.

"Having been chasing the Department for Local Government since last November 2016, the scheme for funding is to be issued this month, making it impossible to plan such a festival which usually needs a minimum of six months of preparations, including coordination with local and foreign artists," organisers for the festival said.

"This is very unfortunate, given that the Sliema Arts Festival has established itself as a prominent and visible stage for local artists to exhibit their works and music. It is also very inappropriate on the part of the responsible funding board to assume that such large scale events can be planned within a few weeks’ time."

The Cultural Fund for Local Government usually covered 30% of total expenses of the festival. Without such security of funding at the earliest stage, large-scale professional events are impossible to organize.

The council said it remained committed to reorganize this event in the year 2018, should the funding conditions by the Department of Local Government be sent towards the end of the year, as was always the case over the past four years.