An official announcement came from the Maltese national broadcaster PBS, that the Mediterranean state will host the next edition of the Eurovision Young Dancers contest in 2017. The announcement was made at a press conference led by Minister of Justice, Local Government and Culture, Owen Bonnici, who said that this event will raise Malta’s cultural profile to a new level. He also added that this contest will have a major impact on the arts in Malta, the same as the Junior Eurovision Song Contest had in 2014.
The Eurovision Young Dancers competition has been taking place biannually since 1985, with the aim to give non-professional dancers the opportunity to become the best Eurovision Young Dancer in Europe.
PBS Chairman Tonio Portuguese said that the main reason which led to Malta being chosen as the next host was the Mediterranean Conference Centre as the venue for the event. He said that there has already been great interest expressed for hosting the contest, and even Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands indicated that they are planing on transmitting the show live.
PBS Chief Executive Anton Attard said that in the beginning of 2016, EBU officials will visit Malta to discuss the technical arrangements required for the event. He also added that in the next few months a public call for participants will be issued, for the purpose of preparing for the national competition planned for the first quarter of 2017.
The Maltese dancer Anthea Zammit, who took part in the last edition of the Eurovision Young Dancers on 19th of June, said that her experience at the contest, which was held in the Czech Republic, was a great lesson for the future and that many opportunities have arisen because of her participation in the festival – including an invitation to be a guest dancer in Slovenia next January.