Arts Festival Seeks $4 Million More From Solomons Government

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Extra costs associated with additional satellite venues

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 6, 2012) - The Festival of Pacific Arts Committee (FOPA) is seeking further SB$30 million [US$4 million] to meet additional expenses arise in the lead up to the event next month.

This came after FOPA is running out of money from its SB$99.9 million [US$13.6 million] budget to meet these additional expenses.

Reliable sources said there was only SB$5 million [US$681,000] left in the FOPA’s account after it has spent the rest of money on preparation.

Festival director Robert Au said FOPA is waiting for approval from Cabinet to release the money.

He said the extra budget is to meet the additional expenses mainly on satellite venues.

Malaita, Central, Guadalcanal and Western province are earmarked for the satellite venues.

"Previously the board agreed for the Malaita to be the satellite venue," he said.

"However, the new board agreed to include Tulagi and Doma which needs extra money to meet its expenses.

He said other government’s line ministries are expected to step in and assist FOPA in the other expenses for the festival.

Au said the additional expenses are something FOPA cannot see but in reality they come up.

The festival is expected to start from July 1-14.

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