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Call for Artistic Director - Valletta Pageant of the Seas 2022 (MALTA)





The Valletta Cultural Agency is inviting proposals from those wishing to take on the role of Artistic Director of the Valletta Pageant of the Seas 2022. The call is open to both local and international applicants.

The Grand Harbour

The Grand Harbour, or ‘Il-Port il-Kbir’ in Valletta is a natural harbour on the Southwestern side of the island, bordered on one side by the peninsula on which the city of Valletta is built and on the other by several inlets and headlands occupied by smaller towns collectively known as the Cottonera. Along with its strategic location, the Grand Harbour is considered to be one of Malta’s foremost geographic assets. Archaeological remains show that the harbour and its hinterland was in use from the earliest periods of human habitation on the island but it gained further prominence in the 12th/13th centuries and then again in the 16th century when it became the base for the Knights of St John. The Knights, followed by the British forces who occupied the island in the 1800s, shaped the Grand Harbour into what we see today; creating a landscape dominated by the honey-coloured fortification walls of Valletta, Fort St Elmo and Fort St Angelo at its entrance and the commercial hub and dockyards in the distance.

The Valletta Pageant of the Seas

Conceived as one of the flagship projects of Valletta 2018, European Capital of Culture, the event took place in 2016 and 2018 as part of the cultural programme of Valletta as European Capital of Culture in 2018, attracting tens of thousands of people to the shores of the harbour each time. As part of the legacy of the ECoC, the event was taken up by the Valletta Cultural Agency which produced a televised edition in 2020 due to the restrictions brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic watched by more than 30,000 people. The video of the live broadcast may be seen here.

The focal point of the event is a grand performance on the water which has revolved around themes related to elements of Malta’s history and, more recently, the makers within the Valletta community. Preceding the performance, are two activities which have become mainstays of the event:

Tellieqa Telliqun: a wacky race of home-crafted vessels made by participants selected from an open call. The call for 2020 is available here and a short video of the race is available here.

Regatta: an iteration of a traditional rowing race which takes place biannually in the harbour, usually involving all the Regatta clubs active around the Grand Harbour. Unlike the previous two, the 2020 edition was specially dedicated to the women’s traditional regatta race.

Although other areas of the harbour may be used as an approach, the event must be concentrated in the area indicated in Appendix 1.

Duties of the Artistic Director

The Artistic Director (AD) will be playing a leading role in directing the event planned for the 25th June 2022. The Agency is looking for an AD who can present a contemporary theme, based on an understanding of the history, culture and local properties of Valletta. The production of the event will be carried out by the Agency’s Programming & Production team which has carried out the production of the 2020 edition.

The AD will be responsible for:
• Setting the event theme and developing the main performance
• Budgeting for the event
• Selecting artists and securing their participation
• Working with the Programming & Production team on budgeting the festival and coordinating development and implementation
• Developing and implementing relevant outreach events
• Working with the Communications & Marketing team on communicating the event
• Any other responsibilities specified in the contract

If not resident in Malta, the Artistic Director will be required to carry out several short visits to Valletta, to hold regular meetings with the Agency and the rest of the team via videoconferencing for the duration of the contract and to stay in Valletta for a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the performance to facilitate the smooth operation of the event.

The Agency is looking for an Artistic Director who:
• Is forward looking but with a deep appreciation and understanding of the history, culture and character of Valletta and Malta;
• Has expertise in directing large scale performances and festivals in the Mediterranean region;
• Preferably has experience and knowledge of working on water;

The Timeline

• Deadline for submission of the application: 30th April 2021, 14:00 CET
• Announcement of shortlisting for interview: 12th May 2021
• Online Interviews with Selection Committee: 17th – 28th May 2021
• Final selection: 2nd June 2021

The Artistic Director will be required to have a valid VAT number or its equivalent in the applicant’s country of residence in order to enter into a Contract for Service with the Agency.


Along with a filled-in application form, please submit:
• Proposed project concept, description, aims and outcomes;
• Proposed list of participating artists (or types of participating artists);
• Proposed budet estimate;
• Portfolio;
• Any Supporting documents.

What the Agency will provide:

All the production management, marketing and communication will be handled in-house by the Agency.

The event is set to be created with an indicative budget of Eur 600,000 inclusive of all costs and taxes. Based on previous editions, the costs may be divided as follows:
• 4% for costs related to Tellieqa Telliqun and Regatta;
• 21% for Crowd control, Health and Safety, Insurance and Port Logistics;
• 75% for Artistic Performance.
The final budget will be confirmed in November 2021.

The 75% allocation for the Artistic Performance must include:
• Artistic Director Fee;
• Artist fees;
• Production costs including installation and dismantling;
• Technical equipment including sound, light and generators;
• Rental of any necessary venues including rehearsal spaces;
• Costs related to outreach activities;
• Accomodation and travel for the Artistic Director and any international artists.

Submit your propsal and all requested documents via email with the subject title “Open Call for Artistic Director VPOTS 2022” to opencalls@vca.gov.mt by the 30th April 2021, 14:00 (CET). Late applications will not be considered.
For any relevant queries, please send us an email on opencalls@vca.gov.mt by not later than the 23rd April 2021 , 14:00 CET.

Terms and Conditions

• All submissions must fulfil all obligations of the application to be considered eligible. Any omissions or missing information will render the proposed artistic idea and related submitted documents ineligible.
• Submissions will be evaluated by an ad hoc Selection Committee set up by the Agency.
• All queries submitted to the Agency in relation to this Call for Artistic Project Ideas will be published onto a FAQ document, which will in turn be made available for all the applicants and general public on www.vca.gov.mt. The answers to these queries form part of this application process and are thus considered part of the terms and conditions for the same.
• Once selected, the Artistic Director will be meeting with the Programming and Production Department of the Agency, to further develop the idea and finalise the content, budgets and production of the project in collaboration with the Agency.
• Subsequently, the Artistic Director will enter into a Contract for Service with the Agency. The selected Artistic Director will receive the agreed fee for their respective services, with a final percentage being paid upon satisfactory completion of the project.
• All marketing and communications material and campaign will be created, managed and funded separately and directly by the Valletta Cultural Agency.
• Any ticketing initiatives will be managed by the Valletta Cultural Agency according to the nature of the proposed project idea. Income resulting from ticketing or any other initiatives will remain with the Agency.
• Any sponsorship or collaboration initiatives will be managed by the Valletta Cultural Agency, according to the nature of the proposal.
• The Agency reserves the right not to select any project ideas should none of the submissions satisfy the set criteria.
• Applicants’ personal details will be retained by the Agency for up to one year after the closure of this Call for Proposals, for the purposes of this call and other similar initiatives.

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