Speech by CE at Launching Ceremony of Hong Kong Arts Festival Foundation and Hong Kong Arts Festival 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the Launching Ceremony of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Foundation and Hong Kong Arts Festival 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner today (October 25):

Mr Victor Cha (Chairman of Hong Kong Arts Festival Society), Mrs Betty Cheng (Chairperson of the Development Committee of Hong Kong Arts Festival Society), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening to each one of you. It gives me great pleasure to join you all to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. This evening, we will also witness the launch of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Foundation. The good attendance here clearly shows the enthusiastic support from all walks of life to arts development in Hong Kong.

     Launched in 1973, the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival has been enriching our cultural life for half a century. This signature programme brings together local and international artists in all genres of performing arts. It has presented countless programmes that fascinated a vast and diversified audience. Art lovers can choose their favourite form of arts – from music, opera, theatre to dance, and enjoy it in different modes of delivery – from online programmes to in-venue performances.

     I would like to express my warmest congratulations on the launch of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Foundation at the golden jubilee of the Festival. With your good work, the Festival will scale new heights in the years ahead. Ladies and gentlemen, please first join me in giving a round of applause to all those who have contributed to the 50 years of success of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the launch of the Foundation.

     Hong Kong strives to develop into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, a positioning supported by the National 14th Five-Year Plan. In my Policy Address, I announced new measures to expedite Hong Kong's progression into an arts and cultural hub connecting Hong Kong with all parts of the world. We will launch a new 10-year development blueprint on arts and cultural infrastructural facilities, and set up a new fund to support the hosting of arts and cultural mega events in Hong Kong. We will also expand the support to budding arts troupes and young artists.

     To give full play to our unique role as the bridge between our country and the world, we will step up our efforts in the promotion of Chinese culture. We will tell the captivating stories of Hong Kong in the global arena. We endeavour to establish Hong Kong as our country's premier venue of showcasing the successful amalgam of traditional Chinese culture, and international and contemporary presentations.

     Here and now would be a good start to all of our endeavours. Now, as our renowned Hong Kong Arts Festival turns a new page to the next 50 years of success, and here, at the Hong Kong Palace Museum, the latest world-class addition to our burgeoning West Kowloon Cultural District, complete with a spectacular display of priceless Chinese treasures and remarkable international masterpieces.

     Before closing, I would like to express my appreciation again to the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society and everyone involved in staging this Festival for all your sterling contributions. I wish the Festival continued success, and everyone an enjoyable evening. Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:59