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 2005 Festival Kick-off Press Conference

October 28th, 2004

Friends from the media, participating artists, members of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Committee, and friends from the arts and business communities:

I have great pleasure in announcing the 33rd Arts Festival, which will continue to be a major arts event in the Hong Kong cultural calendar and in the Asia Pacific region. It is a great showcase for the best international and regional artists, and also an important opportunity to display the creativity of our own artistic community in Hong Kong.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge and thank our main subventing organizations - the Hong Kong SAR Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust - without whose great support the Festival could not take place. We are indeed indebted to both organizations for their continued patronage.

In addition, the Festival deeply appreciates the generous support of numerous corporate sponsors, arts organisations and individuals.

Our budget for the 2005 Festival is approximately $60 million. We have received a subvention of $16.4 million from the Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and a $3.6 million donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Festival hopes to raise approximately $13 million through sponsorship and donations, and close to $27 million through ticket sales.

As has always been our tradition, the Festival is keen to make the arts accessible to students and young audiences through the offer of half-price tickets and through our Young Friends Scheme. These schemes have been supported by donations from numerous corporate and individual donors over many years. Students from participating schools and universities have shown an enthusiastic response. This is very encouraging as these young patrons will be our audiences of the future.

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

As you will see in a moment, the 2005 Festival programme is rich and diverse, encompassing different tastes and preferences, and hopefully offering something for everyone, young and old. We thank you once again for your support and look forward to seeing you at the 2005 Festival.

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