Last October it was revealed that Junior Eurovision 2018 will be hosted by Belarusian national broadcaster BTRC (Belarusian Television and Radio Company). It will be the 16th edition of the contest and, after 2010, the second to be held in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus.
To ensure the longevity of the Contest and allow more time to prepare the event, the Junior Eurovision Steering Group decided to remove a clause in the Rules that gave the winning broadcaster first refusal to host. EBU Members were given the opportunity to apply to host Junior Eurovision 2018 and the application from Belarus was judged to be the best.
Last week whilst in Tbilisi, JuniorEurovision.tv took the opportunity to speak to Olga Salamakha, the Head of Delegation of Belarus, who kindly shared some information with us about next year’s contest.
Olga has been working on Junior Eurovision since 2008, she is also the Head of Delegation for Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest. "In 2010 I was responsible for the PR, media promotion, logos, creative ideas. I was working so hard to make sure the event was a success in Minsk," said Olga. "Unfortunately I was not with the delegation when Belarus won in 2005 and 2007 but I'm waiting for our third victory now for sure!"
Belarus has participated in every single Junior Eurovision Song Contest since the event began in 2003. Olga explained how Junior Eurovision 2018 in Minsk became a reality. "The Junior Eurovision project is really popular in our country and it is a good opportunity for kids, to show their songs, and we are the company which organises the national selection. For us it is important because kids bring their songs, they work with local composers and they bring really good acts. We want to support Junior Eurovision, it has been around in addition to other kids TV formats like The Voice Kids. We want to organise it and create a great TV show in Minsk!"
What are the plans for Junior Eurovision 2018? "It is a little too early to say about specific plans, but what we want to do is to make this show around kids and about kids. As we know it is a family show, we want it to be interesting for a 7 year old, for a 9 year old and for teenagers, because they have different tastes, they listen to different music. We also want to make it cool and interesting for everybody. We will also draw on Portugal's experience in hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in May. For sure, Junior Eurovision 2018 will be a different show. It will take place in a different city, different venue with a different team. We will have a high-level production and showcase different technologies," explained Olga.
How much is Belarus willing to host the Eurovision Song Contest one day? "That’s our goal as well, to host the big show," said Olga smiling. "We are more successful in Junior than in the Eurovision Song Contest, but still we will be working hard. Soon we will have our national selection. We are working on the show and the format we’ll use for our selection."
Welcome to Belarus!
Olga added that everyone is welcome to Minsk next year. "You are all welcome to Belarus next year and it will be easier than ever as it won't be necessary to apply for a visa. We will have a wonderful venue for you. We can't promise that the weather will be as good as in Portugal in May but will keep you warm for sure!"
Thank you to Olga Salamakha for speaking to JuniorEurovision.tv!