The Victoria International Arts Festival kicked off in extraordinary form last Friday, 10th June, with a rousing concert by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra at the Teatru Astra.
This year, VIAF is celebrating a milestone since it was first formalised as a Festival, twenty-five years ago, celebrating the memory of Mro Joseph Vella. What started as a week of musical events, over the years has developed into five weeks of incredible programmes, from orchestral concerts to choirs, to chamber music, to solo performances, to big bands, exhibitions, dance performances, talks, and master classes.
Over 170 performers from 18 different countries will be taking part in a diversity of art forms, ranging from music to art to literature and theatre.
Victoria International Arts Festival is not a money spinner. The organizing committee works hard through the eleven months that separate one edition from its follow up trying to induce a limited number of sponsors to cough up the money needed for the Festival to stay alive. There is no lack of popular support – from Gozitans to Maltese day-trippers and expatriate residents, fill up its seating.
The arts festival is a run-up to the feast of St George which takes place during the second week of July leading to the third Sunday of the month.
VIAF 2022 is sponsored by the Gozo Cultural Support Programme within Arts Council Malta, The Ministry for Gozo, the Valletta Cultural Agency, the Embassy of Ireland in Malta, the Storm Petrel Foundation, Bank of Valletta, APS Bank, and others.