Cancellation of February and March Performances and Events of the
48th Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2020
(Hong Kong, 21 February 2020)
In light of the cancellation of all February and March performances of the 48th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) and its related outreach events, as well as the Hong Kong Education Bureau’s continuing school suspension arrangement to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, Young Friends (YFS) of the HKAF has decided to extend all 2019/2020 student memberships to August 2021 without additional fees.
The extension offer will affect over 6,000 registered 2019/2020 members from 122 secondary schools and 31 tertiary institutions. Current members will continue to have access to upcoming YFS summer activities, as well as access to programmes of the 49th HKAF and other YFS activities in the 2020/2021 school year. Non-members can register to become 2020/2021 Young Friends Early Bird member to enjoy the above offerings. Registration is now open on Young Friends website (www.yfs.artsfestival.org).
YFS membership benefits include access to two Festival programmes or rehearsals each year. Other planned YFS outreach activities in February to March 2020 included approximately 100 in-school pre-performance workshops, the distribution of five tailor-made appreciation guides, two original educational productions and reporter training classes.
Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the HKAF, says: “Every year I am delighted to witness our YFS members finding joy in high-quality works at the Festival. The HKAF is a great platform for students to adventure freely into the arts world and experience the wonders hidden within. We understand our members’ disappointment over the cancellation of these eagerly anticipated events. They should be given a second chance to do so next year.”
“We wholeheartedly thank the sponsors, donors and participating schools, teachers and students for their understanding and tremendous support. We hope the current outbreak will be brought under control soon, and that all our partners in the performing arts and education sectors will soon get back on track.”
“We hope more corporations keen on supporting arts education will consider sponsoring Young Friends and join hands with us to create a better cultural environment for the next generation.”
Young Friends currently receives support from its founding sponsor, Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund.
Feedback from teachers and students:
1.Elva Lee from City University of Hong Kong
“This is my first year joining Young Friends, and I looked forward to watching the HKAF programmes and participating in other outreach activities. I was disappointed with the cancellation, but I understand it. It’s good news for students to have their membership extended. They can still participate in this year’s activities; on the other hand, they’ve gotten the compensation to enjoy next year’s festival programmes.”
2. Enoch Lui from Scientia Secondary School
“As a Young Friends member, I’ve looked forward to the Festival for months. I was disappointed at the cancellation, but the arrangement is understandable. I cannot wait to learn what programmes the next Festival will have in store for us.”
3. Daniel Bird from Pui Kiu Middle School
“I understand that the Festival needed to be cancelled. The Young Friends' scheme is a really brilliant way to increase students' appreciation of many kinds of performances. HKAF performances and workshops have been an extremely valuable experience for our students. I'm grateful that membership can be extended; it saves on admin time and the budget too!”
About the Young Friends (YFS)
HKAF invests heavily in arts education for young people. Over the past 28 years, our “Young Friends” scheme has reached over 770,000 local secondary and tertiary school students. Young Friends offers a broad spectrum of educational activities for its members throughout the year under the educational principle: “Learn, Explore, Create”. Offerings from 2018/2019 included: over 30 in-school interactive theatre performances and lecture-demonstrations; over 110 in-school pre-performance workshop sessions; more than 100 Festival programmes, rehearsals and self-produced programmes; YFS programme assistant and internship schemes; the YFS Pioneer Alliance programme; the YFS reporters class and arts administration workshop; a cultural exchange tour to Shanghai; and the arts education seminar and workshops for teachers. For details: www.yfs.artsfestival.org
About the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF)
Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the cultural life of the city. In February and March every year, the Festival presents leading local and international artists in all genres of the performing arts, placing equal importance on great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, music, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, many of which have had successful subsequent runs in Hong Kong and overseas. The Festival also presents over 300 “PLUS” and educational activities that offer diverse arts experiences to the community as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school students. In addition, through the “No Limits” project co-presented with the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Festival strives to create an inclusive space for people with different abilities to share the joy of the arts together. For details: www.hk.artsfestival.org
About Young Friends
General Hotline: (852) 2824 2203, Email: email@example.com
Ms Alexia Chow, Marketing Manager
Direct Line: (852) 2828 4933, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org