In view of the reopening of performing venues on 19 February, the Hong Kong Arts Festival announces changes to in-venue programmes. Please visit this page for details.

Speech by Mr Charles Lee (Chairman of Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd) at the 39th HKAF Kick-off Press Conference on 5 October 2010

October 05th, 2010

Friends from the media, participating artists, members of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Committees, and friends from the arts and business communities, thank you for taking the time to join us here today.

I am very proud to introduce the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival 2011.

This is an even bigger festival than in previous years, with a significant increase in the total number of tickets available to Festival audiences and the number of performances to be presented. There is also an increase in the duration of the Festival. The result is a richly packed 39 days, on occasion with as many as 18 performances on the same day, bringing the vibrancy and cultural richness of life in Hong Kong to yet a higher level.

With the enhanced scale, we have maintained our established brand values of diversity and excellence, with top artists from around the world and from Hong Kong, presenting masterpieces drawn from great artistic traditions as well as brand new creations. We also continue to support experimentation and emerging talent in our local, regional and international platforms for theatre, dance and music respectively.

From its inception, the Festival’s mission has been to serve Hong Kong by presenting the best possible festival for the enjoyment and stimulation of audiences in this city, and to act as a catalyst for the development of local talent. This remains true in the Festival’s 39th year.

The Festival acknowledges and thanks our main subventing organisations – the Hong Kong SAR Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. In addition, we deeply appreciate the generous support of our corporate sponsors, foundations and donors; as well as the contributions of many organisations and individuals. The Festival would not be possible without this support.

I would also like to express appreciation to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Government Information Services (GIS) for their help.

Our budget for the 2011 Festival is about $97 million, up from $77 million in 2010. We have received a subvention of $33.18 million, from the Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, compared to $19.35 million in the previous year. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust will continue to underwrite the deficit from three pillar programmes, projected to be about $8.3 million. The Festival hopes to raise approximately $18.5 million through sponsorships and donations, and another $37 million through ticket sales.

Recognising the importance of nurturing young audiences, we will continue to offer half price tickets through our Student Ticket Scheme, and make performances and events available to students in our Young Friends Scheme.

As you will see in a moment, the 39th HKAF offers a host of very attractive and exciting programmes. We hope that you will find many of them of interest personally and that you communicate this to a wider public. Thank you once again for your support. We look forward to seeing you at the HKAF in 2011.

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