Joe and Olga Maloney are indebted to Craig Walker and the Northfield School and Sports College for rescuing them again to provide a venue where the 300+ international visitors can stay and enjoy the hospitality of Billingham.
Now in its 51st year BIFF has secured dancers, musicians and performers from:
Argentina, Brazil, China, Columbia, Mexico, Philippines, Serbia, United, Kingdom, USA
The Chinese group flew from China to Germany to meet with Olga in her capacity at ‘Chief…..of …..’
to ask her to intercede in arranging for them to perform in Billingham, little realising that she of course, with Joe, is the event organiser. The troupe literally has just 3 hours in Germany – having arranged the trip to meet Olga at a conference – glad to say that they were told they will receive a warm welcome in Billingham.
The bronze statue to celebrate BIFF’s 50th year will be unveiled during this year’s festival with principle support from Stockton Borough Council. Billingham Town Council has already made a small donation in support to ensure this fabulous sculpture forms a Legacy for Billingham.
This year’s theme will be feathers flying all over the world, with birds collecting stories and tales from afar. All of our schools will be challenged to look at creating crafts symbolising ‘birds on the wing’ open to their own interpretation, which we hope will be displayed in the new library before the festival and again at the Carnival and Horticultural Show in September.
Olga said ‘It is always exciting preparing for the festival and this year is no different. I want to say a special thank you to Craig Walker and his team for helping us again, with provision of a venue so we can let all the nations know where they will be based when they arrive here.’
Joe said ‘As ever, we need a wealth of volunteers to help make the festival work, this year especially, we need the services of an announcer who has talents as a linguist – so if anyone out there is up to the job, please do contact us, either via our website or through our BISS Shop in the town centre.’
Let’s hope we can all support this year’s festival, get the dates in your diary now and let’s give our international visitors a show of support.