The Ministry for Gozo finances projects by Astra and Aurora Theatres
The two main theatres in Victoria are benefiting from nearly €100,000 in total from the Ministry for Gozo, under the eco-Gozo scheme for Non Governmental Organisations. "The improvements which will take place in the two theatres through the two respective projects will result in the enhancement of the two sites and also in an improved quality of the cultural activities being organised every year". This was stated by the Hon Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo when she visited the works being carried out in Astra and Aurora Theatre.
The project by the La Stella Philharmonic Society includes the restoration of the main facilities at the Astra Theatre where amongst other activities, the Festival Mediterranea is organised annually. Restoration and renovation works are currently underway on the stage where the Opera Norma will be staged in few weeks time as part of this festival. Through the project, the Ministry for Gozo will be helping the society in the promotion of this festival, also in foreign countries. Apart from the cultural value for Gozo, this festival is an attraction for many Maltese and foreigners that every year attend this event which also results as a value added in the economic and social aspects of Gozo.
The aid given to the Leone Philharmonic Society will be used in an extensive project where the roof of the Aurora Theatre will be changed. Theroof which was made of asbestos is being removed and will be replaced by a new roof resistant enough to support a new project which will improve its operational sustainability. Such project will result in the installation of photovoltaic panels on the newly installed roof which in turn will help in the reduction of electrical consumption in the theatre. Till now half of the roof has already been removed, with the remaining part being removed soon. Works will be ready in time before the staging of the opera Tosca.
The Hon. Giovanna Debono explained how these two initiatives dovetail with the culture and identity measures found in the eco-Gozo action plan. She added that in the context of sustainable development, these projects play a significant role in the development of the human potential and in the attraction of quality tourism. The Minister praised these initiatives undertaken by these two societies who work on a voluntary basis all year round. "Through this scheme, the Ministry for Gozo is helping these societies and other Non Governmental Organisations with the aim ofstrengthening the cultural sector of Gozo and offer a unique experience to all those visiting Gozo through a variety of quality attractions", said the Minister Giovanna Debono.
Through the two eco-Gozo schemes, one for NGOs and the other one for Local Councils, a total of 51 projects are currently underway, with a total financial contribution of around €1.9 million.
In October, the two theatres in Victoria will be organising two operas, which as in previous years, will attract Maltese and foreigners to Gozo. The opera Tosca will be staged at the Aurora Theatre on the 15th of October at 7.30pm while the opera Norma will be staged at the Astra Theatre on the 27th and 29th of October at 7.30pm. As in every year, the Ministry for Gozo is assisting these two societies to stage their respective operas, financially, logistically and also from a promotion aspect.