PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR GOZO: 11th Edition of Qala International Folk Festival

For the eleventh year running Qala is presenting its International Folk Festival. At the opening session this morning Minister for Gozo Anton Refalo said he is more than satisfied with the success of this International Festival which has become an integral part of the creative cultural calendar of Gozo.

The Festival is organized by the Local Council of Qala and the Men?ir Qala Folk Group under the patronage of the Ministry for Gozo. Mayor Clint Camilleri said that the events of this eleventh edition will be spread over three days from the 16th till the 18th September and will be showcasing a number of activities including dancing, singing and music. All these events will be against a folkloristic and traditional setting, including the costumes.

Mayor Camilleri stated also that this occasion takes us back to our traditional roots and cultural heritage. It reminds us of the vivid traditions that our ancestors treasured and developed in order to maintain their way of life. It was their sacrifice, courage but above all their hard work that brought us to today’s lifestyle.

The Festival hosts folklore groups not only from other villages and towns in Gozo but also foreign ones. This year the Bulgarian Folk Dance Ensemble Balkan will be the main guests at this international festival.

“This is a significant way of mingling the cultures of different people and bringing them closer together. This is the true meaning of the European Union motto, ‘United in Diversity’. We may be different but there is unity in real values that we as human beings cherish,” stated Dr Refalo

There is a different programme for each of the three days of the festival. The Men?ir and Balkan folklore groups will open up the festival on Friday, followed by Daphne and Joe with their acoustic rendition and Silvio with his percussion performance. An International Folklore Conference will be held on Saturday at the Community Hall of the local council. The folklore groups will again entertain in the evening followed by the singer Freddie Portelli. The closing ceremony on Sunday will include the exchange of mementos and good wishes. During the three days of the festival one can also appreciate and admire a stamps collection which will be exhibited in the Qala Folk Museum.

The Minister thanked all those who had worked towards this year’s event and augured that through such activities, the traditional and valued heritage of Gozo continues to be demonstrated. This festival is also a means of attracting different tourist niches. Such events help keep Gozo alive and a tourist attraction all year long.

Source: Government of Malta