Patron of Heritage Awards 2021



Historically speaking, some of the finest cultural works ever produced in our part of the world were made on commission for the numerous sultans of the Malay Archipelago.

The rulers — arguably some of the earliest patrons of arts and heritage in the region — owned extraordinary collections of jewellery, ceramics, manuscripts, and many other objects of art.

Under their royal patronage, creativity and cultural expression flourished, craftsmanship and artistry were nurtured; and the interchange of ideas was bolstered.

Where was Singapore in all of this? By the 1900s, it had become a pulsing centre of commerce, culture and art. Within the Malay Heritage Centre, the venue of the 2021 edition of the Patron of Heritage Awards (PoHA), and the former seat of the Sultan of Singapore, lies evidence of this early form of patronage.

Some of the royal-related artefacts on display include: 19th century ceremonial belt buckles; gold threaded textiles; and even an ornate nekara kettledrum used for events such as the Sultan’s installation.

It was also within these grounds that formal garden parties were hosted.

These days, the promotion and preservation of our arts and heritage has evolved into a collaborative community endeavour. Among the heritage champions in our midst: partners, patrons and philanthropists of the National Heritage Board whose generous contributions help support important heritage work. PoHA, now in its 15th year, celebrates their remarkable spirit of giving and honours their contributions spanning the period January to December 2021.

Scope of the Awards

Various contributions can be considered for the Patron of Heritage Awards. They include donations in cash, in-kind, artworks, artefacts, and archival materials. The awards also cover the promotion and conservation of aspects of heritage relating to our architecture, community, society and culture.

Recipients of such donations could be private or non-profit institutions, which may include:

  • Museums, galleries and heritage centres
  • Educational institutions
  • Volunteer groups, societies, IPCs
  • Private museums and galleries
  • Companies and organisations involved in cultural activities


To be eligible for the Patron of Heritage Awards, organisations or individuals must have fulfilled either of the following during the qualifying period (typically the calendar year):

  • Contributed artefacts, artworks or archival materials to the collection of any museum or heritage institution in Singapore
  • Contributed to the building and development of museums and heritage institutions in Singapore
  • Played a pivotal role in creating memorable heritage events for the community at large
  • Contributed to publications and scholarships related to heritage

Qualifying Criteria

In the year 2013 NHB introduced a new 'Supporter' category, which gives recognition to gifts valued between S$10,000 and S$49,999. This allows more individuals and corporations to be acknowledged for their support.

The Awards Criteria are given based on the following categories.

Donations in cash, kind or material:

  • Distinguished Patron: S$2 million and above
  • Patron: From S$1 million to S$1,999,999
  • Partner : From S$150,000 to S$999,999
  • Friend: From S$50,000 to S$149,999
  • Supporter: From S$10,000 to S$49,999 

Award Categories

Recognises contributions between $150,000 - $999,999

Recognises contributions between $50,000 - $149,999

Recognises contributions between $10,000 - $49,999