Fourth edition of Maritime Senglea Festival

20 Aug 2012
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A Diversity of Cultural Expressions

L-Isla Local Council is hosting the fourth edition of the annual Maritime Senglea Festival on the weekend of 14-16 September. Subtitled A diversity of cultural expressions, this exclusive event is a major attraction within the Three Cities, providing a unique experience to a wide audience.

The major theme this year is a focus on the celebration of authentic, traditional culture, bringing people together to honour the diversity of cultural expression and traditions, with artists from Zarasai, Lithuania and Fara San Martino, Italy joining their locally based counterparts to present artistic expression innovative to Senglea.

Throughout the three days of the festival an exhibition of works by Francesco Zahra, curated by the Senglea Historical Society, in collaboration with L-Isla Local Council, is being held at the Oratory of St Philip’s church.

A highlight is the sacred Baroque concert, including an audiovisual experience, from 8 to 9 p.m. on 14 September, 2012, at the basilica of Our Lady of Victories. The performers are Gilmour Peplow (cello), Lydia Buttigieg (harp), Alfred Fenech (oboe), Rosabelle Bianchi (soprano) and John Aquilina (organ). Sergio Muscat is responsible for the visuals and Fleur Ebejer carried out the research.

The External Festivities Commission is curating an exhibition of Titular Statue Models, also on the three days of the festival in the church stores from 9 a.m. to noon and from 5 to 10 p.m.

Another major activity, being held on 15 September, is the Grand Arts Fair with the participation of the Għaqda Dilettanti Sajjieda Barklori, Mellieha Local Council, St Margaret College, the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, several traditional craftsmen and artisans from Senglea, other local artists, artists from Fara San Martino, Italy and Zarasai, Lithuania.

Artists will be working on site along the Waterfront, with a variety of genres, including watercolour, acrylic and oil paintings, pencil drawings, ceramic and stone sculptures, hand-made soaps and body products, handmade Fabergé eggs, photography, sock and felt toys, acrylic flowers, costume jewellery, textile products, lace, crochet, hansa, ganutell, filigree, parchment and plastic canvas crafts, egg art, photo art, hand-made cards, stone and wood models, maritime crafts and exhibits, soap and pasta-making, traditional crafts and folklore.

An exhibition, Senglea Regatta, is open at the Senglea Regatta Boathouse (near il-Ponta) from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and at the same time the Senglea Regatta Workshop (near the Maċina) is hosting Regatta Boat in the Making.

On Saturday evening from 7 to 11 p.m. there will be three performance areas – titled Harbour, Waterfront and Maritime – with a variety of folk, pop and contemporary music to liven the atmosphere. The Senglea Dance Group, the Future Voices Choir, Zarasai Folklore from Lithuania and the Gaetano Live Show will be performing at all three locations.

The Mad Hatters and Chris and Moira will be performing exclusively at the Harbour Area; the Greenfields and Mike Spiteri will be performing at the Waterfront; and l-Għannejja and the Spirit of Voices at the Maritime Area.

On Sunday the focus moves to the waterfront and the sea that surrounds this peninsula. From 7 a.m. to noon the Blue Sea Sport Angling Club in collaboration with the National Federation of Sport Anglers are holding a national fishing competition.

Between 11 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. the Birżebbuġa Sailing Club is holding a sailing display. A Ġostra (greased pole) competition is being held by the Msida Ġostra with participants from Senglea from 6 to 8 p.m. opposite the Azopardo Monument at the waterfront. At the same time the Senglea Regatta is holding a regatta boat demonstration.

A Diversity of Cultural Expressions will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. along the Waterfront with artists from Fara San Martino, the Zarasai troupe and Tal-Fuklar group from Gozo giving traditional craft displays, artisanal exhibits, folk music and dance.

Three cultural tours are being held from 6.30 to 8 p.m., two in Maltese – Churches and the Sacred Arts in l-Isla; and Maritime l-Isla – and the third in English: L-Isla and its Whereabouts. The meeting point is near the Azopardo Monument.

Traditional Maltese food is being offered throughout the Festival by all local eateries along the Waterfront including Alice Springs Kiosk, D’Breeze, Enchante, Il-Ħnejja Marina and Tal-Barklor.

Entrance for all events is free. For more information call 21662424/27013004, e-mail or visit

Among the sponsors and supporters of the Maritime Senglea Festival are: the Ministry for Home Affairs; the Malta Tourism Authority; the Ministry of Education and Employment; the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories; Salesiani Don Bosco; the Europe for Citizens’ Programme; Heritage Malta; Coca-Cola; John Ripard & Son; Artsphere International; Villa del Porto; Grand Harbour Marina; B. Grima & Sons Ltd; the Malta Maritime Pilots; Bank of Valletta; and Emmanuel Delicata Winemakers.