A whole six years after being first announced, the time has come for the official inauguration of Valletta 2018. With Malta’s capital seeing many events during this week leading up to the big night this Saturday, Lovin Malta’s David Grech Urpani sat down with Valletta 2018’s executive director, Catherine Tabone, to find out more about the foundation on everyone’s lips.
Against the stunning backdrop of the National Library, Catherine went through everything from her own definition of the word ‘culture’, to an explanation of what will be going down this year. Valletta 2018’s Cultural Programme is as extensive as they get, and this Saturday’s Erba’ Pjazez sees Castille Square, St. George’s Square, St. John’s Square and Triton Square turn into a festive extravaganza.
Of course, Valletta 2018 has not been without its own challenges, and numerous artists have over the years come out to publicly express their critique or doubts on the foundation and its events. Catherine, however, sees these as positive things.
“Any initiative, no matter how good it is, can never be perfect or please everyone,” the Valletta 2018 Executive Director told Lovin Malta. “I consider the fact that such critique exists as a positive thing, something that I’m interested in. I thin, actually, that it shows that we’re doing is instigating interest, to the point where people talk about it.”
Acknowledging the fact that meetings were made with a large number of the above-mentioned artists, Catherine did also say that while Valletta 2018’s cultural programme is now definite, “there can always be a way of improving how to actually carry it out”, saying she’d be very interested in listening to such suggestions.
What instantly became very clear is the fact that, far beyond these next 12 months, Valletta 2018’s mission is one which the foundation wants to extend to the future. The word ‘legacy’ frequently made an appearance, with Catherine saying that, even beyond infrastructural projects like MUŻA, Is-Suq tal-Belt and the Valletta Deign Cluster, the government has also made a commitment to Malta’s capital.
The specially-set up Valletta Cultural Agency, Catherine said, “will take the work that the foundation has done and build on it, so that we won’t lose whatever we managed to gain.”
Beyond the festivities and the 400 events which make up Valletta 2018’s cultural programme, an important priority remains; making sure this isn’t just something that will fade away by the end of the year.
Check out Valletta 2018’s Cultural Programme below: