Speech by Mr Charles Lee (Chairman of Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd) at the 2007 Festival Kick-off Press Conference

October 24th, 2006

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 joining us here today.

I am proud to introduce the 35th Hong Kong Arts Festival 2007, which will be a showcase for the best international and regional talent as well as members of our own artistic community. In 35 years of presenting great performances, the Hong Kong Arts Festival has established itself as an annual celebration of the arts, a major event and a highlight of the cultural calendar both in the Hong Kong and in the Asia Pacific region. It is an event that complements Hong Kong's position as an international centre and cosmopolitan city, enhancing the quality of life for residents and adding to the city's attractiveness for visitors.

The Hong Kong Arts Festival is made possible each year thanks to the support of many people and organisations. Firstly, I must express appreciation and gratitude to our main subventing organisations – the Hong Kong SAR Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. We are indeed indebted to both organisations 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 2007 Festival is over $63 million. We have received a subvention of $15.73 million from the Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and a $3.84 million contribution from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Festival hopes to raise approximately $15 million through sponsorship, donations and the Young Friends Scheme and close to $26.5 million through ticket sales.

We will continue to offer half-price tickets to local students and to extend our outreach activities through the Young Friends Scheme, thanks to the support of numerous corporate and individual donors. So in addition to presenting wonderful performances to our audiences of today, we also nurture the audiences of tomorrow.

For their continued assistance in promoting the Hong Kong Arts Festival, I would also like to express our appreciation to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Information Services Department (ISD).

Thank you once again for taking the time to be here. In a moment, you will see a sampling of the programmes presented in the 35th Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2007. We sincerely appreciate your support in bringing these programmes to our audiences, and look forward to seeing you at the Festival.


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