I am delighted to welcome you to the Patron of Heritage Awards 2016.
This year, we are honoured to pay tribute to 74 Patrons, who donated over $8.13million to heritage causes. Their invaluable gifts, whether to outreach programmes, exhibitions, artefact acquisitions, donations and loans, or research and scholarships, contribute to the strong foundation on which we are able to build a dynamic and enduring heritage and cultural sector. These donations have a tremendous impact on what we can achieve, and leave a legacy for future generations.
2016 was an exciting year for Singapore’s heritage sector. It was a year that Singaporeans and visitors were treated to many outstanding and inspiring exhibitions and installations at our museums and institutions. The National Museum re-launched the Glass Rotunda and presented the much-anticipated Story of the Forest, an immersive digital installation digital exhibition that integrates technology and heritage to bring to life drawings from the Museum’s prized William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings. The Asian Civilisations Museum presented several well-received exhibitions, including the fascinating Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour and Port Cities: Multicultural Emporiums of Asia, 1500 – 1900. It was also a milestone year for the Indian Heritage Centre, National Heritage Board’s youngest heritage institution, as it presented its inaugural special exhibition, Once Upon a Time in Little India. These exhibitions were made possible with the strong support from donors and patrons.
We are grateful to the donors who generously supported artifact acquisitions across the heritage and cultural sector with cash donations. We are also honoured that many donors have kindly donated their precious heirlooms to Singapore’s museums and institutions. Their gifts enhance the breadth and depth of our collections, and benefit the public tremendously.
Further, I would like to take the opportunity to express our appreciation to many supporters of heritage who chose to remain anonymous about their gifts. While they have chosen to keep their identities private, their gifts nevertheless leave a lasting impact on society.
The strong and unwavering support from donors towards heritage sends a strong message that cultural philanthropy is growing from strength to strength. We are heartened by the $150 million top-up to the Cultural Matching Fund, which provides one-to-one matching of private cash donations to eligible arts and heritage groups. We hope that the fund, with its new injection, will encourage more donors to come forward to support the heritage sector.
Once again, I thank our Patrons for their support, and look forward to working with all of you again in the coming years.
Mr Ong Yew Huat
National Heritage Board