Singapore Season



Held in key global cities, the Singapore Season is a cultural diplomacy effort to showcase Singapore’s multicultural heritage, vibrant arts scene and attractiveness as a global business hub. The aim is to give audiences in the world’s leading cities a different perspective of Singapore – a city not only efficient in economic achievements but also vibrant in innovation and creativity, and an attractive place to live, work and play in.1 Following the success of the inaugural event in London in 2005, Singapore Season 2007 was held in two key cities in China – Beijing and Shanghai. Meant as a biennial event, Singapore Season 2009 was scheduled to be held in New York but was postponed due to the global economic crisis.2

Inaugural Singapore Season 2005
The idea of an inaugural Singapore Season in London has its basis in the stable economic and political relations between Singapore and the United Kingdom. Tan Chin Nam, chairman of the Singapore Season Steering Committee, said that the Singapore Season would provide opportunities for cultural and business exchanges among companies in the two countries, and also create new collaborative opportunities for both countries in the global economy.3


The inaugural Singapore Season was launched in 2005 by its patron, then Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.4 It took place over six weeks from 25 February to 5 April 2005.5 Spearheaded by the National Arts Council, the event involved multiple government agencies such as the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore Tourism Board, Economic Development Board and International Enterprise Singapore, with sponsorship and support from the private sector.6

Singapore Season 2005 featured performances by some 250 artistes, held at various famous performance venues in London.7 Among the performance groups were T’ang Quartet, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Dance Theatre and TheatreWorks.8 Other programmes included the Singapore Conference, Singapore Evening, Singapore Season Film Week and Singapore Food Festival.9

The Singapore Conference was graced by Goh, who addressed more than 200 corporate chiefs in London. This was followed by a panel discussion during which participants had the opportunity to interact with prominent Singapore business leaders and government representatives.10 The Singapore Evening, which was held at the Old Truman Brewery, was designed as a seamless multi-sensory experience showcasing Singapore’s cuisine, design, fashion, architecture and the arts. I Not Stupid, written and directed by Jack Neo, was the opening film of the Singapore Season Film Week.11

Singapore Season 2005 attracted about 42,000 people.12 It was considered a success and cost S$1.83 million to stage.13

Singapore Season 2007

The second edition of Singapore Season took place from 12 October to 10 November 2007.14 Held in two major cities in China – Beijing and Shanghai – the objective was similar to the inaugural season in London: to showcase Singapore’s artistic and cultural achievements.15


The programmes presented by Singapore in the areas of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literary arts and film gave audiences in China an insight into the city-state’s arts and cultural scene. Among the performing groups and artistes were the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Dance Theatre, Drama Box, Mark Chan, JJ Lin and various community arts groups.16

Singapore Season 2007 also served as a platform for exchanges and collaborations between artistes in Singapore and China. Examples of collaborative efforts included Drift, a theatre production by Singapore’s Drama Box and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. The Singapore Chinese Orchestra also performed with Beijing’s Choir of China Song & Dance Theatre and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus in the two cities respectively.17

Exhibitions and outreach programmes that showcased Singapore’s diversity, lifestyle, design, food and fashion were also organised.18 For example, the Singapore Film Festival featured a line-up of six made-by-Singapore films by award-winning directors such as Royston Tan, Jack Neo, Djinn Ong and Kelvin Tong.19 In addition, the inaugural China-Singapore Media Business Forum and networking events were held to facilitate dialogue between business communities from both countries.20

Singapore Season 2007 was very well received in China and attracted a total of 165,000 visitors.21

Singapore Season 2009
Singapore Season 2009 was planned to take place in New York but was postponed due to the global economic downturn.22



Author
Lim Siew Kim



References
1. Cheah, U.-H. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season in London for six weeks from Feb 25. The Business Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2007, July 4). Singapore Season 2007 to open in Beijing and Shanghai [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2007/7/singapore-season-2007-to-open-in-beijing-and-shanghai?page=158
2. Tan, T. (2008, November 26). S’pore Season on hold. The Straits Times, p. 59. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season arrives in London [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2005/2/singapore-season-arrives-in-london?page=147
4. Info-communications Media Development Authority. (2007, September 21). Singapore Season in China 2007 – China & Singapore set to develop the media industry [Media release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Infocomm Media Development Authority website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/about/newsroom/archived/mda/media-releases/2007/singapore-season-in-china-2007--china--singapore-set-to-develop-the-media-industry
5. Cheah, U.-H. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season in London for six weeks from Feb 25. The Business Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season arrives in London [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2005/2/singapore-season-arrives-in-london?page=147
7. Cheah, U.-H. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season in London for six weeks from Feb 25. The Business Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Info-communications Media Development Authority. (2007, September 21). Singapore Season in China 2007 – China & Singapore set to develop the media industry [Media release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Infocomm Media Development Authority website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/about/newsroom/archived/mda/media-releases/2007/singapore-season-in-china-2007--china--singapore-set-to-develop-the-media-industry
8. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season arrives in London [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2005/2/singapore-season-arrives-in-london?page=147
9. Info-communications Media Development Authority. (2007, September 21). Singapore Season in China 2007 – China & Singapore set to develop the media industry [Media release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Infocomm Media Development Authority website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/about/newsroom/archived/mda/media-releases/2007/singapore-season-in-china-2007--china--singapore-set-to-develop-the-media-industry
10. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season arrives in London [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2005/2/singapore-season-arrives-in-london?page=147; Chow, C. (2005, April 23). A blooming Season. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2005, February 15). Singapore Season arrives in London [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2005/2/singapore-season-arrives-in-london?page=147
12. Martin, M. (2007, July 6). The lion goes dancing in. Today, p. 52. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Chew, D. (2005, April 22). Positive report card for Singapore Season. Today, p. 42. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Martin, M. (2007, November 22). A successful season. Today, p. 56. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2007, July 4). Singapore Season 2007 to open in Beijing and Shanghai [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2007/7/singapore-season-2007-to-open-in-beijing-and-shanghai?page=158
16. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2007, July 4). Singapore Season 2007 to open in Beijing and Shanghai [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2007/7/singapore-season-2007-to-open-in-beijing-and-shanghai?page=158; Martin, M. (2007, November 22). A successful Season. Today, p. 56. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2007, July 4). Singapore Season 2007 to open in Beijing and Shanghai [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2007/7/singapore-season-2007-to-open-in-beijing-and-shanghai?page=158
18. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2007, July 4). Singapore Season 2007 to open in Beijing and Shanghai [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Ministry of Communications and Information website: https://www.mci.gov.sg/pressroom/news-and-stories/pressroom/2007/7/singapore-season-2007-to-open-in-beijing-and-shanghai?page=158
19. Info-communications Media Development Authority. (2007, September 21). Singapore Season in China 2007 – China & Singapore set to develop the media industry [Media release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Infocomm Media Development Authority website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/about/newsroom/archived/mda/media-releases/2007/singapore-season-in-china-2007--china--singapore-set-to-develop-the-media-industry
20. Info-communications Media Development Authority. (2007, September 21). Singapore Season in China 2007 – China & Singapore set to develop the media industry [Media release]. Retrieved 2017, July 13 from Infocomm Media Development Authority website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/about/newsroom/archived/mda/media-releases/2007/singapore-season-in-china-2007--china--singapore-set-to-develop-the-media-industry
21. Martin, M. (2007, November 22). A successful season. Today, p. 56. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Tan, T. (2008, November 26). S’pore Season on hold. The Straits Times, p. 59. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2010 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Events>>National Campaigns
Law and government>>National development
Arts and diplomacy--Singapore
City promotion--Singapore
Sports, recreation and travel>>Travel>>Asia>>Southeast Asia
National campaigns