Singapore, 7 February, 2019— Honourable President Halimah Yacob,
Ministers of States,
Members of Parliament,
Heads of Diplomatic Missions and government officials,
Board members of Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre,
Council members of Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!
On behalf of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, I would like to extend our warmest welcome to Mdm President and all our distinguished guests.
New Year is a joyous time to be spent together with our families and friends, and I am delighted to celebrate this festive occasion with all of you today.
Please allow me to continue in Mandarin.
Happy Lunar New Year to all!
On the third day of each Lunar New Year, I always look forward to the opportunity of greeting everyone at our Spring Reception!
Firstly, on behalf of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC), I wish to express my appreciation to our guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, and all distinguished guests, for joining us to usher in the new year.
2018 was a very fruitful year. Since SCCC officially opened almost two years ago in May 2017, we harnessed all resources in planning a series of activities based on three key directions:
1. Striving for innovation
The SCCC strives to create even more fresh and original themes for the local cultural and arts community, to enrich content developed locally. Our annual flagship project, Cultural Extravaganza, introduces a new programme every year and receives rave reviews from industry practitioners and general audiences alike. One of the five films which form part of the omnibus “667” screened in 2017, “Ke”, stood out from 48 nominated entries and was awarded the Best Asian Short Film at the 13th Sapporo International Short Film Festival in 2018. “Masters of Comedy” staged in 2018 integrated crosstalk, comedic dialogue, song and dance, giving Singapore’s famous comedians a strikingly new approach to showcase the evolution of our local culture.
In 2018, SCCC and the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations also jointly organised “Heartstrings of Singapore” Photography Competition. This year, both organisations will partner Lianhe Zaobao once again to co-organise the 3rd Micro Film Competition themed “My Singapore Style”. Through innovative and creative modes of presentation, we aspire to renew public interest and appreciation of local culture.
Currently, SCCC is drawing up plans for a permanent exhibition to explore the changing roles of Chinese culture in Southeast Asia, including ways in which Chinese culture has found synergies with other ethnic cultures to transform into today’s unique Singapore Chinese culture. The exhibition is scheduled for the second half of this year, and we welcome everyone, especially the younger generation, to visit the exhibition when it opens.
2. Gathering of talents
Since 2017, we established the Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award to honour individuals and organisations for their outstanding contributions in promoting and perpetuating local arts and culture. SCCC also values the importance of nurturing young talents in arts and culture. The creative space we provide enables young people to pursue their enduring passion in arts and culture. Last year, we joined hands for the first time with Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) and Ocean Butterflies Music to organise the Nationwide Mandarin-Pop Song Writing Festival as a platform to uncover more local music talents. This year we too encourage your enthusiastic participation in this song writing competition.
3. Supporting industry practitioners
Our 11-storey building is nestled in the heart of the Central Business District, with state-of-the-art performing venues which are ideal for local cultural and arts organisations to showcase their programmes. Apart from being a locale for events, this is also an “arts space” for members of the public to appreciate artworks by local artists at their convenience.
Moreover, the success of cultural and arts organisations relies on the support of the entire eco-system. Organisations need space for rehearsals and administrative matters. SCCC understands these challenges. From this year onwards, under the “Arts Support Framework”, we will provide administrative space at a subsidised rate for these arts groups. These groups will be a part of SCCC to collaborate with us on diverse cultural activities for the benefit of the wider community. Next month, we shall announce the list of selected arts groups to join the SCCC under this framework.
As we stride into the new year, SCCC will uphold these three key directions to roll out a series of new activities, underscoring our efforts to promote local Chinese culture. On this note, let me take the opportunity to thank everyone for your tremendous support. I look forward to engaging you in events initiated by SCCC.
Finally, allow me to thank President Halimah Yacob and all distinguished guests for your presence today. We wish peace and prosperity for Singapore, and may the New Year bring great success and happiness to one and all!
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