Information Officer II
Ministry of Education and Culture
Phone: 468-3107 Ext 3353
The annual celebration of Virgin Islands Culture and Heritage Week (formerly Culture Week) will begin on Sunday, November 13.
The week is being observed under the theme: ‘Celebrating Virgin Islands Culture and Heritage through the Arts, Literacy and Language’.
Director of the Department of Culture, Mrs. Luce Hodge-Smith said, “We are geared up for a full week of activities to celebrate Virgin Islands culture and heritage. Let’s take this time to remind each other about the true identity of the Virgin Islands, while teaching other residents and visitors about our unique offerings.”
In explaining the name change of the celebration, Mrs. Hodge-Smith said, “We felt it necessary to add ‘Virgin Islands’ to the theme so that we revisit the initial reason for hosting the week, which was to highlight Virgin Islands culture. Also, although heritage is subsumed by culture, we felt it necessary, under the guidance of the Minister, Honourable Myron Walwyn, to emphasise the aspect of heritage and give it more prominence.”
On Monday, the Official Ceremony and Opening of the Arts/ Crafts Exhibition takes place at the Central Administration Complex at 4:00 p.m. During the day, activities will be held at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) with a special presentation by local author and educator, Dr. Richard Georges; a Sankey Assembly at Leonora Delville Primary School (LDPS); Culture Day with tart making at Alexandrina Maduro Primary School (AMPS); and Cultural Trivia at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre (BFEC) – Secondary.
On Tuesday, the Agapé Total Life Centre is hosting its Harvest Day, while both LDPS and the BFEC – Secondary is hosting Peas Soup and Dumb Bread Competitions.
On Wednesday, the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies is hosting its Cultural Day, while Joyce Samuel Primary School is honouring its namesake Ms. Joyce Samuel, and LDPS is hosting cultural activities with Adina Braithwaite. Students of the Robinson O’Neal Primary School (ROMPS) are making Virgin Islands sweet treats and the Agapé Total Life Centre is visiting the Senior Citizens in Brewer’s Bay.
On Thursday, AMPS has cultural activities, ROMPS is hosting its Cultural Extravaganza with cultural demonstrations and music by Leon and the Hot Shots. Francis Lettsome Primary School, ESHS, Althea Scatliffe Primary School and BFEC – Primary is hosting culture days. Cultural breakfasts will be held at both Jost Van Dyke Primary School and LDPS, with old time games.
Persons are encouraged to wear their Territorial wear all week, but especially on Friday, November 18 and post photographs of themselves to social media using the hashtags #VICultureandHeritageWeek.
The highlight of the week takes place on Friday with the Cultural March and Food Fair, beginning 11:00 a.m. The march route begins at the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum and ends at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park, followed by the official start of the Food Fair.
School activities continue that day at LDPS with storytelling by Elmore Stoutt and at BFEC – Secondary, which is hosting a Cultural Block Party.
On Saturday, November 19, the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School is hosting a Cultural Parade, in addition to presentations by Ms. Janice Stoutt, BVI Skydancers and the Razor Blades. Activities begin at 7:00 p.m.
The Jost Van Dyke Primary School closes out the week with its Cultural Extravaganza on Sunday, November 20 at 3:00 p.m. For more information, persons should contact the Department of Culture at 468-4373.
Virgin Islands Culture and Heritage Week (formerly Culture Week), first observed in October 1994, is geared towards the preservation of the culture and history of the Territory and to encourage Virgin Islanders to pass on the relevant information to the younger generations.
All Photographs: Scenes from Culture Week 2015. (Photo credit: GIS/ Ronnielle Frazer)
Flyer and E-vite: Virgin Islands Culture and Heritage Week (Design Credit: GIS/ Sherese Vanterpool)