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Speech by CS at Musicus Fest 2018 Opening Ceremony and Concert (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at the Musicus Fest 2018 Opening Ceremony and Concert today (November 15):

Mrs Choi (Chairman of the Musicus Society, Mrs Janice Choi), Ms Lee (President and Development Chair of the Musicus Society, Ms Lee Chui-inn), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to join you all at the opening concert of the Musicus Fest 2018.

     Since its foundation in 2010, the Musicus Society has played a commendable role as a facilitator of musical collaboration between celebrated international artists and promising local musicians. Over the years, the Society has brought us many memorable performances. Returning for its sixth edition, the Musicus Fest has established itself not only as a highly anticipated event in our cultural calendar, but also a wonderful occasion for musicians of different backgrounds to engage in cultural and artistic exchange as well as showcase their musical artistry.

     I am delighted to have witnessed Musicus Society's realisation of its mission by providing invaluable opportunities for local musicians to perform alongside world-renowned maestros. Through its acclaimed Heritage Community Concert Series, the Society reaches out to the public by bringing music directly into the community. And by organising on-campus programmes for students to enjoy classical music, the Society also contributes actively to music education in Hong Kong.

     Sharing the same vision with the Musicus Society, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to nurturing gifted local artists and promoting cross-cultural collaboration. In this year's Budget, we have set aside $20 billion to develop and expand our cultural facilities. Besides, we have injected an additional $500 million into the Art Development Matching Grants Scheme and have relaxed its matching parameters to encourage donations from the business and private sectors in support of the development of arts groups. We will also progressively increase the recurrent provision to support local arts groups and artists to take part in arts and cultural activities outside Hong Kong.

     However, to enable the arts and culture sector to thrive, the Government's efforts alone are never enough. I am very pleased to learn that the Musicus Society has formed close partnerships with its sponsors and patrons, and it is most encouraging to see that Hong Kong's cultural life has been enriched by the support from our generous corporate citizens. Their contributions to this annual event as well as the wider arts community are indeed indispensable and greatly appreciated.

     On this note, may I wish the Musicus Fest 2018 a phenomenal success and all of you a most enjoyable evening. Thank you.
Ends/Thursday, November 15, 2018
Issued at HKT 20:18
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