Press Release

Premier's Office
Department of Culture
Culture, Tourism
Release Date:
Thursday, 27 October 2022 - 5:40pm

The Virgin Islands will be observing the Third Annual Culture and Tourism Month next month under the theme “The Past is Present: Embracing Virgin Islands Traditions.

The month is a collaboration between the Department of Culture and several partners including the BVI Tourist Board & Film Commission, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, and the Virgin Islands Communal Association (VICA).

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley, and Minister for Culture and Tourism said the month of activities reflect the synergy that exists between the portfolios of culture and tourism.

The Premier stated, “I continue to champion the embracing of Virgin Islands culture and, particularly, the marketing of our vibrant arts and rich heritage locally and internationally. I am pleased that the collaboration between the portfolios of culture and tourism, which was established during my tenure as Minister for Culture, continues to develop.”

Junior Minister for Tourism, Mrs. Alvera Maduro-Caines said that she is excited about this year’s Culture and Tourism Month.

“We have plenty of activities in store for everyone,” Honourable Maduro-Caines said. She added, “Preserving and teaching our culture, especially to the younger generation and visitors alike, is dear to my heart. You would not know where you are going, if you do not know where you came from. We should all be proud of our culture and even more proud to show off our culture to others.”    

Director for the Department of Culture, Dr. Katherine Smith, stated, “Culture and Tourism Month contributes to strengthening the cultural identity of the Virgin Islands. It fosters a deepening of the knowledge and appreciation for the culture and traditions of the Virgin Islands while at the same time fulfilling the mandate to diversify the economy of the Virgin Islands.”

The month of activities is expected to commence with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, November 1 at 10:00 a.m., livestreamed via Facebook @BVIGovernment. This will be followed by a Visual Arts Expo which will be available for public participation and attendance in the Maria’s by the Sea hotel in the Tortola Conference Room throughout the day, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to a special “meet the artists” event in the same location between the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The following are the activities to be held during the month:

  • November 2-3: The Department of Culture will distribute, as a part of pre-Literary Festival activities, a pre-packaged selection of books for schools’ libraries throughout the Territory.
  • November 7: highlighting collectively the cultural dances of the Virgin Islands. These activities are the result of a collaboration between the Department of the Culture and the Heritage Dancers, the Moko Jumbie cultural groups as well as the Virgin Islands’ dance schools. Throughout the week, there will be a series of presentations and demonstrations on cultural dance for the senior school students. These sessions are titled “On Route to our Roots.”
  • November 11: “A BVI Cultural Affair: An Evening of Dance” at the H.L.C.C. Auditorium, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
  • November 11: The Virgin Islands Communal Association will collaborate with the Department of Culture to host its Bonfire Night and Cultural Extravaganza which will include, among other activities, a traditional food competition, traditional games tournament and its Bonfire Night activities.
  • The third week, beginning on the 14th of November will focus to the traditional arts of the Virgin Islands. The week will feature number of visual arts and the sessions are entitled “The Past is Present: Art is Life” These workshops include “The art of Straw Work” with Mrs. Adina Penn, “Making Pottery” with Mr. Karl Burnett, “In-Depth with Photography” with Mr. Robert “Storm” Wright, and “Basket/Bottle Weaving” with Mr. Cedric Turnbull. During this week, a number of artists will also be highlighted via radio programmes and print media.
  • The fourth week, beginning with the 22nd of November, showcases the schools’ traditional Culture Week activities. The week culminates with the longstanding Cultural Food Fair at the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park which will be combined and continue on into the evening with a Fungi Fest. This is a collaboration between the Department of Culture and the BVI Tourist Board & Film Commission. The Cultural Food Fair and Fungi Fest are followed by the highly anticipated Anegada Lobster Fest which will take place between November 25 - 27.

The Month culminates with the Department of Culture’s longstanding book launch programme in the form of a book launch of “I Want to be a Thatcher Man” by author, Mrs. Janice Nibbs.

The Territory’s second annual BVI Literary Festival follows on the heels of the opening ceremony for Culture and Tourism Month. The BVI Literary Festival, which is a collaboration between the Department of Culture and the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College is being held under the theme “Unspoken. Unwritten. Unknown.” The public is invited to view the details of the BVI Literary Festival at the following website link:

This year’s theme is, “The Past is Present: Embracing Virgin Islands Traditions.” For more information about the events taking place in the month of November, please contact the Department of Culture at 468-4374 or 468-9912 or visit their page on Facebook @Virgin Islands Department of Culture. For more information about the BVI Literary Festival, please visit the website at


Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)

354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110

Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750