The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will soon start preparations to host the 6th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture next year in Honiara.
Solomon Islands won the right to host the event during the 6th Festival hosted by Papua New Guinea in 2014.
The event involves showcasing the arts and cultures of five Melanesian countries including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands.
Director of Culture and Tourism Dennis Marita told SIBC News they are awaiting budget allocations to start the preparations.
He says there are no allocations as yet, but they are looking at the Ministry’s recurrent budget to cater for the preparations.
“There’s actually no allocation as yet though we submitted a budget exclusively for the festival preparations, but I think much of the preparations will be catered for under the Ministry’s Cultural division’s recurrent budget with support from the tourism division, so both departments will be contributing funds through our recurrent budget.”
Meanwhile, Mr Marita adds they are optimistic about hosting the event despite funding constraints.
“We are looking at around $20,000,000.00. That includes all the preparations and the hosting of the festival proper so for this compared to what was allocated for FOPA in 2012, is quite small but we are confident that even if we couldn’t get what is expected, probably with $15,000,000.00 we can be able to host the festival.”