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This interview originally appeared in the Malta Today on Sunday 10th July 2022.
The APS Summer Festival 2022, happening between 20-31 July at University of Malta Quadrangle, is once again supported by Atlas Insurance PCC. Matthew von Brockdorff, Managing Director & CEO at Atlas Insurance PCC shares his thoughts about the Festival and supporting the Arts & Culture.
This is the second consecutive year Atlas Insurance PCC has accepted to support the APS Summer Festival. Why did you decide to extend your support for another year?
Atlas Insurance is pleased to play its part in promoting and supporting local arts and culture. We believe that the APS Summer Festival is a perfect platform that gives a great opportunity to artists and performers across a variety of genres to showcase their talents and productions. We admire APS for taking the plunge of organising such a festival, and launching it during the challenging period of the peak of the pandemic. As we are adapting to the new normal, we are thrilled to have renewed our commitment for the APS Summer Festival for the second consecutive year. Obviously, this year’s circumstances will be different to last year’s. However, the objective remains the same – that of celebrating culture and promoting artistic talent.
The content of the APS Summer Festival is designed for a very wide audience. What are your thoughts on the programme?
I think that APS Bank, under the able artistic direction of Annalisa Schembri, has managed once again to offer something for everyone’s tastes, including the younger generations. In fact, the festival programme will include an evening dedicated to children, with sensory-friendly shows developed specifically for three different groups of young audiences under the age of 11 years.
I personally like the fact that the festival brings together a diverse and comprehensive line-up of acts and performances. The theme of celebrating diversity and the magic of entertainment is always relevant, and even more so during the times we are living. The theme of diversity and inclusion is something which is very close to my heart and that of the organization I lead.
Why do you think it is important for the private sector to support such projects?
It is not only important, but purposeful. Companies like ours should be measured in terms not only of profitability but also in terms of their impact on the society and the communities they serve. While we have our own ESG, CSR and wellbeing programmes, we believe we should partner with other companies like APS Bank to support such events. Another similar collaboration is with The Malta Chamber, with whom we have partnered and have taken the lead in the formation of the policy committee for Health and Wellness. This is another example of excellent collaboration with other entities and organization for the common good.
Are there any other projects you are currently supporting in the Arts & Culture?
We are proud to be helping artists get back on their feet after the pandemic which was particularly challenging for them. As I said earlier, we remain committed to our values of supporting the arts and culture and we are very active in this field, making sure to involve our employees, #TeamAtlas, through volunteering during these activities. Recently we sponsored Etnika’s “Arrow of Time” Festival, a two-week-long concept festival of music, dance, immersive installations, and collaboration with esteemed international art entities. In 2021, we supported the young artist Anna Calleja by sponsoring her exhibition titled “Homebound” and her works featured in this year’s Atlas calendar. As an ongoing initiative, through our annual calendars we feature both established and upcoming artists from different backgrounds, using different artistic media and styles.
Can you please share your final thoughts on why should the general public attend this year’s edition of the APS Summer Festival?
The importance of the public attending and participating in such events is crucial for the success of the local artistic and cultural scene. The APS Summer Festival embodies a range of art forms which people can appreciate and participate in. With the arts and our culture taking centre stage, we are elevating the important role that the people in the sector play in our society. Therefore, I encourage our clients, employees and the public to attend this event, spread over 12 evenings, and appreciate the different art forms – whilst enjoying themselves.
If you would like to learn more about the APS Summer Festival 2022, please visit apsbank.com.mt/aps-summer-festival-2022
The APS Summer Festival is supported by the University of Malta, Atlas Insurance PCC Ltd and Kinnie.