Arts Council Malta spearheads fresh round of investments in the cultural and creative sectors

Public Investment aimed to strengthen Malta’s cultural heritage and those art forms that make Malta’s cultural landscape unique, as part of the implementation of Strategy 2025.

Band clubs, fireworks factories, feast associations as well as cultural and voluntary organisations needing support for the conservation of immovable and movable artefacts are among those that are benefiting from the recent round of investments announced by the Ministry for the National Heritage, the Arts and the Local Government under the administration of Arts Council Malta (ACM).

“Throughout the past years we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in government investment in the creative sectors. This investment is driven by the principles of sustainability and inclusivity, which form the backbone of the arts. Our artistic heritage is also part of this backbone, an intrinsic part of our cultural identity that must be given the opportunity and resources to flourish,” Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and the Local Government Owen Bonnici said about the recent investments.

Unprecedented €820,000 awarded under the Artistic Heritage Scheme 2024

The full list of awarded applicants for the Artistic Heritage Scheme 2024 saw a record-breaking total of 107 applications, resulting in 84 successful projects being awarded a total of €820,000 in new investment in Malta’s cultural heritage landscape.

The funding is directed towards the health and safety standards in fireworks factories fund, the artistic financing for feast associations, and to strengthen cultural work done by Band Clubs. The protection and promotion of access to cultural heritage and resources is one of the main priorities enshrined in Strategy 2025, the country’s national cultural strategy, in a bid to secure a sustainable future to the local cultural fabric of Malta.

“In line with Strategy 2025, ACM aims to facilitate and empower artists and creative practitioners whose goal is to strengthen our cultural heritage and those art forms that make Malta’s cultural landscape unique,” Arts Council Malta Director Funding & Strategy Mary Ann Cauchi explained. “The traditions that are being supported by the Artistic Heritage Scheme form an important part of this cultural tapestry, ensuring that band clubs, firework factories and feast associations enjoy the necessary support that enables them to continue evolving and contributing to the unique identity of our communities. Such initiatives strengthen our efforts to safeguarding and promoting the diversity of Malta’s artistic and cultural expression, leading to heritage-led regeneration, creativity and innovation.”


A total of about €19 million is being spent on saving band clubs from eviction

Meanwhile, in the latest drive to save some of the islands’ most iconic band clubs from eviction, the Sant`Andrija band club of Ħal Lija has joined nine other buildings which are occupied by musical societies to have been purchased by the Government. The investment of €3.6 million was concluded in May, with a total investment of €19 million being planned to assist similar band clubs in Malta and Gozo.

Other properties that have already been purchased include Marsa’s Marija Regina, Attard’s Stella Levantina, Kalkara’s San Giuseppe Filarmonika Sagra Familja, Birkirkara’s Duke of Connaught’s Own, Paola’s Antoine de Paule, Sliema’s Stella Maris, Birżebbuġa’s San Pietru fil-Ktajjen, Qormi’s Anici and Mosta’s Soċjetà Filarmonika Santa Marija. The announcement of two other band clubs is in the pipeline.

Speaking about these investments, Minister Bonnici said that band clubs play a crucial role in fostering cultural development and that it is often the people in these clubs who promote art and education in their communities.

“These organisations depend on the spaces they occupy to carry out their work effectively in the heart of the communities and therefore an eviction would not only seriously endanger their operation but also threaten their existence,” he said, “thus it is essential that the government takes measures to protect and safeguard the clubs.”

€90,000 awarded towards Restoration Funding Scheme

ACM, in collaboration with the Restoration and Preservation Department, has also announced the list of awarded projects for the Restoration Funding Scheme – 2024. Seven projects will be receiving a total investment of €90,000 as financial support for the repair, restoration, and conservation of internal and external cultural property immovable artefacts.

The seven awarded projects include the restoration of altars, side altars, wooden apertures and decorations as well as a Michelangelo Sapiano clock. The fund was open to cultural organisations and voluntary organisations needing support for the conservation of immovable artefacts falling under the definition of cultural heritage that has existed for 50 years or more as per the Cultural Heritage Act of Malta.

A new funding scheme in collaboration with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (SCH) has also been announced to support the restoration of movable cultural property.

ACM Head of Funding, Rita Falzon stated: “These two funds address one of the guiding principles of Strategy 2025, which is our right to benefit from the maintenance and development of our cultural heritage. These types of initiatives enable the continued protection and access to this legacy by empowering our communities to safeguard local cultural identities within an evolving multicultural environment.”

For more information about Arts Council Malta investment and funding schemes visit the Arts Council Malta website at artscouncil.mt.

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