Good evening and a warm welcome to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC). I am happy to join you here today for the opening of Cultural Extravaganza 2023. Today, we will honour the recipients of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award (SCCCA) and witness the signing of the MOU (memorandum of understanding) between SCCC and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO).
SCCC plays an instrumental role in shaping our multicultural landscape and promoting our distinctive Singapore Chinese culture. The Centre has, in many ways, enhanced the rich diversity of our Singapore heritage. For example, through festivals such as the Cultural Extravaganza and awards like the SCCCA, as well as strategic partnerships with institutions such as the SCO, the SCCC celebrates and showcases the unique Singapore Chinese culture that continues to evolve and develop vibrantly.
SCCC’s signature festival, the Cultural Extravaganza, has earned, in a short span of six years, a loyal following as a much-anticipated mainstay in our local arts and culture calendar. This year, the extravaganza offers an exciting range of cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary and cross-generational programmes that span performances, concerts, talks, an exhibition and a TV festival. The festival theme “(Re)presenting Culture Across Generations”, highlights the importance of preserving and passing on our rich culture and heritage to different generations of Singaporeans. Tonight’s opening show, entitled Present Past, is a wonderful example of how traditional Chinese instruments, Indian dance and Cantonese opera can come together harmoniously in a showcase of our shared culture and experiences. I think this is what makes Singapore’s Chinese culture special. This is one of the many ways the SCCC is, through the arts, building empathy, understanding and greater appreciation among Singaporeans, of the rich and diverse cultures we enjoy here.
This year, we continue to celebrate the distinct Singapore Chinese culture and heritage with the 6th edition of the SCCCA. Established in 2017, the award recognises individuals and organisations that have made exceptional contributions towards the promotion, transmission, enrichment, and development of the Singapore Chinese culture. On behalf of the Singapore government and MCCY family, allow us to extend our heartiest congratulations to this year’s award recipients – Mr Goh Boon Teck, a talented Director, playwright and designer, as well as established Teochew opera company, Nam Hwa Opera. Their invaluable contributions to the arts and culture scene have enhanced our heritage and cultural landscape greatly.
I would also like to express my appreciation to the SCCCA judging panel led by Mr Lim Jim Koon for your contributions in maintaining the high standards of the award.
Last year, the award nomination criteria for SCCCA was expanded to include for-profit as well as non-profit organisations. With this tweak, we hope more Singaporeans will continue to step forward and contribute to the growth of the Singapore Chinese culture.
Music is one of the key platforms to foster a greater appreciation of our culture and heritage. The SCO is instrumental in preserving and promoting the enjoyment of Chinese music as well as the Singapore Chinese culture. It also explores new and innovative approaches in its performances. Today’s collaboration between SCCC and SCO is a positive one which will see the two cultural institutions working closely together in areas like programming, business continuity and shared services. We hope their partnership will lead to more dynamic and engaging cultural experiences coming our way.
In closing, I would like to express my appreciation to SCCC for making this festival possible. To SCCC, SCO and all the award recipients present today, we want to say a big thank you for your invaluable contributions to Singapore’s Chinese Culture.
I wish everyone an enjoyable night ahead.