03.06.2004 Regional News

Completion of Volta Regional Theatre advocated

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Ho, June 3, GNA - The successful completion of the Volta Regional Theatre of the Centre for National Culture (CNC) would be central to solving the financial squeeze facing the Centre and inhibitions to popularising Performing Arts and Culture in the region.

Mr William Addo, Regional Director of the CNC said this when he briefed the maiden meeting of the Regional Advisory Committee of the Centre on the programmes, projects and the general performance of the Centre at Ho on Thursday.

He said the theatre project, which was several years old, had suffered several hiccups due to the lack of funds.

Mr Addo said the complex, had been estimated to cost about 100 million cedis at its inception but would require three billion cedis to complete if tackled this year.

He said 150 million cedis had been made available this year to put a part of the complex into shape to be used as offices.

Mr Addo said until the project was completed the Centre, authorities would be compelled to organise major entertainment programmes including those involving school children on hotel premises.

He said: "We do not have to be exposing our young ones to the hotel environment at this time" and said the Centre has identified five main programmes for development in the region.

These are to identify and popularise traditional sports, put Asafo songs on Compact Disc (CD) and Video Compact Disc (VCD), develop a calendar of traditional festivals for marketing with the assistance of the Ghana Tourist Board, a Student's Drama Festival (Studrafest) and a skills training programme for freed female inmates of shrines (trokosis).

Mr Addo said so far it was only the Studrafest that has been organised with themes on HIV/AIDS and Discipline with the collaboration of the Ghana Education Service (GES).

He said 13 million cedis have been earmarked for the training of the trokosis victims but the lack of finance remained the greatest obstacle to the implementation of other programmes. Mr Addo said he was optimistic that if the theatre is completed, entertainment programmes that it would host, would generate revenue, more than enough to pay for the cost of organising programmes. 03 June 04

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