Island Of Silba Wants To Become A Home, Not A Getaway

Total Croatia News

Oct 11, 2018 — The small island of Silba hopes to become a year-round home for many, instead of a seasonal destination for a few.

Is the plan cunning? Or crazy?

Small islands can dream big.

Silba, just south of Lošinj, hopes to spark a demographic revival with a program of year-round cultural events and volunteer work designed to build a sense of community and shared goals.

“We want to become an island where people live 365 days a year and we want to prove to the whole world it can be done,” Kristijan Lopac, director of the island’s Tourism Office, told Novi List.

Silba’s small population, about 150, balloons every weekend with the arrival of vikendaši, a famed group of part-time residents common to nearly every Dalmatian island. The demographic renewal efforts are bearing fruit, as the weekenders have started coming more often, according to Lopac.

The full-time residents aren’t all pensioners either. Among them are a sizable number between the ages of 20 and 45, as well as nine students in the school. Most importantly, four babies have been added to the fore — a rarity in Dalmatia’s archipelago.

The folks are drawn mainly by a mix of year-round events, such as the “Silba Summer Festival”, which this year held over 100 gatherings ranging from sports to the arts — including HRT’s symphony orchestra.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the end of the summer season. Out-of-season activities continue with SOS (Silba Off Season), specifically an art-based battery of programs targeting locals called Silba Environment Art. It’s already taking off, with participation from local and national organizations such as Split’s Art Academy.

There are also volunteer events, such as “Mocira Kapar”, already in its third year. The project helps educate the traditional methods of building and renewing “mocire”, Dalmatia’s signature stone walls.

Finally, “Christmas Magic on Silba” has quickly become a mainstay event bordering on tradition. As the event has blossomed, it has turned into a veritable behemoth. this year it will last from Dec. 23 to New Years Day.

“People are already now asking us what’s the plan,” said Lopac, “What will we organize. And not only locals but guests.”

Queries have come in from as near as Slovenia and as far as Norway.

“There are people who were already at our Advent and want to come again to Silba to welcome the New Year,” Lopac said. “We can’t disappoint them.”


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