The Virgin Islands’ first-ever Culture and Tourism Month will be observed in November with a food fair which will incorporate a Schools’ Arts Festival.
The Department of Culture and the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board and Film Commission (BVITB&FC) are collaborating to introduce the month which will include the Territory’s first Virgin Islands Poet Laureate Ceremony as well as a special screening of the documentary “Story of a Colony: The Virgin Islands
” in honour of the Territory’s seventy years of Legislative Government.
In addition, a number of arts and heritage workshops will be held, as well as major activities planned by cultural groups around the Territory. Other events and promotions will be incorporated by the BVITB&FC and its industry partners.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), said he was excited and satisfied with what he called the beginning of a true collaboration between the Department of Culture and the BVI Tourist Board and Film Commission.
Honourable Wheatley said, “It is the vision of this administration that culture and tourism enjoy a stronger relationship. Sun, sea, and sand have served us well, but our residents and visitors along with our industry partners have expressed the need for more cultural activities, and this month can be the launching point for a truly enriching partnership that benefits locals and guests. Our culture is beautiful and our story is truly captivating and worthy of exhibition for the world to see.”
The month will be observed under the theme “BVILove is our Culture” and slogan “Virgin Islands Cultural Roots Run Deep: Unity and Togetherness are the Crops We Reap!”
Director of Culture, Dr Katherine Smith stated, “Through the collaboration between culture and tourism, we can firstly ensure that we are truly acquainted with our heritage and culture, whether it is through a museum, historical site, poetry, song, food, or even value system.”
Dr Smith said the collaboration with the BVI Tourist Board and Film Commission and Department of Culture will allow for the sharing of the Territory’s authentic and unique story with visitors.
The Director further added that the participation of the Territory’s cultural groups was also instrumental in the planning of the month and that she hopes to see residents fully supporting all events including observing all social distancing and safety protocols.
Meanwhile, Director of Tourism, Clive McCoy stated that the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board and Film Commission BVITB&FC are finalising plans for BVI Food Fete 2020.
“Our celebration of Food Fete this year is being reimagined as BVI Staycation Dine-around, which will kick off in mid-November,” he said, adding, “We view culture as an integral aspect of our tourism product and while we have always highlighted this in our food month, BVI Food Fete, we are excited to join with the department to bring even greater focus on this great tourism asset, as we demonstrate that BVILove is our culture.”
Mr McCoy stated that the BVI Staycation Dine-around, which begins on November 20, will invite patrons to dine at restaurants around the BVI, featuring prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner with at least one course presenting an exciting dish with local flair.
“On specific days, participating restaurants will be treated to a guest appearance by a member of the award-winning BVI National Culinary Team. The chef, under the sponsorship of the BVITB&FC will feature a dish served as a complimentary sampler for all diners,” he added.
The winners of the recently launched BVILove Poetry Competition and BVILove Music Competition are also expected to be announced on November 30, 2020.