Singapore, 19 May 2017 —
Honourable Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean
Speaker of Parliament, Mdm Halimah Yacob
Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Members of Parliament,
Members of the diplomatic corps
Ladies and Gentlemen
First, on behalf of the Board of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, I would like to express my appreciation to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for taking time off his busy schedule to grace the opening ceremony today.
I also wish to thank DPM Teo, Speaker of Parliament, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Members of Parliament and members of the diplomatic corps for attending this opening ceremony.
Amongst us are also those who have donated generously to the Centre, representatives from clan associations, the arts and
cultural communities, schools and partnering organizations.
Thank you all for coming today!
The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre was conceived by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) and received tremendous support from the government and our Chinese community.
The government allocated a piece of prime land within the Marina Financial Hub for this Centre. The total construction cost to develop the building was about $110 million. The government-funded a major portion of this.
We also received donations from clan associations, foundations, companies and individuals, totalling more than $29 million. This was topped up by another $15 million from the government’s Cultural Matching Fund.
My sincere gratitude to the government and all donors for the strong support towards the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and to the development of our local Chinese culture.
This building was completed last December. The timely and smooth completion was a result of the collective effort and close cooperation of the consultants, the contractors, various government departments and statutory boards. In addition, credit must also go to the SCCC committee, management and secretariat for all their hard work. I would like to thank all for their contributions.
Since the establishment of the Centre in 2014, together with SFCCA, we had jointly organized several annual events which had attracted huge public participation. In January last year, the “Blooms of Vitality, Colours of Life – A Touch of Singapore Chinese Culture” was the first large-scale exhibition launched after the Centre was set up.
Other activities, either staged solely or jointly with other local cultural organizations, have allowed us to reach out to Singaporeans of all ages, and also enabled us to interact with other cultural communities.
This new building is equipped with many modern and state-of-the-art facilities. During the design phase of the Centre, we had consulted extensively to obtain the views of local arts practitioners. We had decided to have a venue that would complement existing large-scale performing arts venues, like Esplanade Theatres on the Bay and Victoria Concert Hall, to cater to the diverse needs of performing arts and cultural fraternity. This new Centre can therefore offer an ideal alternative venue for their activities.
Since January 2017, the Centre has already hosted more than 50 events, including concerts, dance performances, plays, lectures, exhibitions, with an estimated participation of nearly 30,000 people. The auditorium that we are in right now has already received advanced bookings till the end of this year. We have also received a good level of interest in renting our Multi-Purpose Hall and the Recital Studio.
After the Opening Ceremony tonight, we will launch the eight-day “Cultural Extravaganza 2017” as well as the presentation of the inaugural Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by individuals and organizations in the development and promotion of the Singapore Chinese culture.
“Cultural Extravaganza 2017” is about a brand new beginning. We will join hands with many local arts and cultural groups to integrate traditional and contemporary art forms. There will be a series of arts performances, exhibitions and film premieres for members of the public of all age groups to appreciate and understand Singapore’s unique Chinese culture.
We also look forward to working with schools, arts and cultural groups, organizations and individuals to come up with exciting, new initiatives to engage a wider group of audience to appreciate the “Singapore Chinese Culture”.
The Centre will also become a platform for new immigrants and other ethnic communities to appreciate our local Chinese culture. By encouraging interaction with other races, we hope it will inspire more creative works and contribute to the richness of Singapore’s multi-cultural society.
In conclusion, on behalf of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, I wholeheartedly welcome all Singaporeans, regardless of race, to participate and enjoy the various activities at this Centre. With our collective effort, I am confident that we can all look forward to a more vibrant and colourful Chinese arts and cultural scene in Singapore!
Once again, thank you all for being here!
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