The National Celebrations Foundation (FĊN), in collaboration with Festivals Malta and the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, is organising several activities commemorating the 75th anniversary from the end of World War II.
‘Victory in Europe Day’, also known as V.E. day, celebrates the unconditional surrender of Germany on the 8th of May 1945, leading to the end of the Second World War. This day marks a historically important event for Malta as it served a strategic role for Allied Forces during the war, specifically between 1940 and 1942.
Given the impact of Covid-19 and the directive issued on organised events, activities and ceremonies associated with this historical day had to be cancelled. However, FĊN and Festivals Malta will still produce several televised productions and other initiatives so that this day can be celebrated.
Amongst these televised productions that one can look forward to in association to V.E. day, are a documentary, a music-literary production and a musical concert. The first production, named ‘75 Sena Minn Tmiem il-Gwerra’, includes a series on seven Maltese documentaries penned by Mario Xuereb, featuring themes that address key historical points, as well as Malta’s role during the war.
These documentaries will air at 20:50 every day on TVM, with the last instalment being on Sunday, 10th May. There are also plans for these documentaries to be accessible online.
The second production will take a music-literary form with humoristic elements. ‘Minestra u Għaġin, Fażola u Sardin’, is a performance in collaboration with Folla Nies that reimagines the Second World War as it is paralleled with present day Malta.
This production will air on TVM on Saturday 9th May at 20:55, with a repeat on Sunday 10th May at 14:45 on TVM2, featuring Ray Calleja, Daniel Cauchi and the Big Band Brothers. Following this is the third production, titled ‘WW2 Impressions’, a Jazz Suite by Dominic Galea. Based on the musical ‘Il-Gwerra’ by Spiru Cefai, this concert includes music from Maestro Dominic Galea and lyrics by Raymond Mahoney.
Apart from these televised productions, FĊN and Festivals Malta have collaborated with the Archdiocese of Malta to unite all the church bells across Malta and Gozo next Friday 8th May midday. On the same day, 26 fireworks factories across Malta will participate in a fireworks session lasting between 11:30 and midday.
Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera stated that, originally, it was intended to commemorate this anniversary with a vast program of cultural activities aimed at reaching the public through various mass events, however because of the current circumstances Festivals Malta had to change and adapt its program to effectively respect the directives issued.
“While during these unprecedented times it is difficult to organize mass activities, Festivals Malta still managed to organise a varied and interesting program of initiatives to the general public,” said Minister Herrera, reiterating that it is important that, being an integral part of our history, the 75thAnniversary must be commemorated by providing the general public with professional material and content.
Festivals Malta director Annabelle Stivala commented that, during these times, such initiatives offer a ray of hope to the community. “Through this programme, we will not only be entertaining the people of Malta and Gozo, but we will also be wholly celebrating and commemorating the tribulations that our forefathers faced during the war.”