The 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival closes 19 Mar
Over 1400 top international and local artists in 119 performances
with over 93% of tickets sold
(Hong Kong, 19 March 2016) The 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) celebrates its Official Finale on 19 March with a performance of The Sleeping Beauty by the Mikhailovsky Ballet. At the ceremony held after the performance, Guest of Honour, Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration, toasts this major annual international event and highlight of Hong Kong’s cultural calendar.
Officiating Guests photographed at the 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival’s Finale Toasting Ceremony. (From left to right: Ms Michelle Li Mei-sheung, Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services; Mr Chen Aiping, Chairman and Executive Director of ICBC (Asia); Mr Victor Cha, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society; The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR; Dr Simon Ip, Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club; Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival)
This year’s HKAF presents over 1,400 acclaimed artists from at home and around the world in 119 performances. It features a total of 15 new works/world premieres and 12 Asian premieres. This year’s Festival PLUS also presents 7 new compositions in its Church Music Encounter. With an overarching theme of “What comes after”, choice and its consequences drive the plot in many narrative works in this year’s HKAF. “What comes after” also provides a context for the creative choices of participating artists, whose performances go to the heart of cherished works and to renewal of artistic heritage and its infinite possibilities.
Of the 105,000 available tickets for sale, close to 99,000 tickets have been sold, representing an average attendance above 93%. The total audience number is estimated at 109,000, including 10,893 Young Friends. Among the 119 performances, 95 were attended by over 90%, 79 were at full capacity.
In addition to the wide array of performances, the HKAF presents, in its 44th season, a total of 368 outreach events comprising: events for Young Friends, other education activities with schools and community groups, and PLUS for the general public.
The HKAF is a non-profit organization. The budget for the 2016 Festival is about HK$110 million. About 30 percent of its income comes from the HKSAR Government through LCSD funding, about 37 percent from box office revenues, and about 33 percent from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals and charitable foundations (including the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust). The Festival is grateful to have received support from the two main funding bodies, 25 major sponsors, Patron’s Club members, numerous corporate and individual donors, as well as in-kind and other supporters.
HKAF productions and commissionsIn addition to presenting renowned overseas artists, the HKAF continues to commission new works and showcase local creative talents. Three new HKAF productions presented this year include the Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series Danz Up, New Stage Series Chinese Lesson, and Tang Shu-Wing Theatre Studio’s Macbeth. Additionally, in its 5th season, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series features 11 new dance works created by young talented local choreographers.
Festival PLUSFestival PLUS continues to present a wide range of events including masterclasses, lecture demonstrations, talks, workshops and meet-the-artist sessions. To celebrate Shakespeare 400 Years after his death, the HKAF Distinguished Cultural Leader Talk Series presents Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of Royal Shakespeare Company. Cultural Walks and Journey to Yim Tin Tsai introduce participants to Hong Kong’s churches old and new, while Church Music Encounter brought participants a series of sacred music composed or arranged by 26 Chinese composers (among which include world premieres of 2 new compositions and 5 newly arranged compositions). To enrich audiences’ Festival experiences, the 2016 Festival PLUS introduces such activities as The Zen of Meditation, Clowning Around and Circus Wonderland.
Reaching out to young peopleHKAF’s Young Friends Scheme remains popular amongst students this year with 6,558 participants from secondary schools and tertiary institutions. They have attended a total of 67 performances, rehearsals and Young Friends Specials, while 18,878 attended 90 school tour showcases and in-school workshops. Discount student tickets are in demand with over 9,500 made available, fully supported by the Student Ticket donation scheme.
With support of corporate sponsors, the HKAF organises a wide range of outreach programmes via the Artists-in-Residence Project, school-based projects, as well as arts appreciation performances and workshops targeted at very young students. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust continues to sponsor student matinees, enabling over 2,500 students who seldom have the resources or opportunity to go to a formal performance to attend two performances of The Sleeping Beauty by the Mikhailovsky Ballet.