I am honoured and delighted to welcome you to the 2017 Patron of Heritage Awards.
This year, we honour 67 patrons who have donated over $5.5 million to heritage causes
in 2017. Their generosity enables the heritage and museum sector to present world-class
exhibitions, organise well-loved festivals, introduce engaging public programmes, and
launch insightful publications, among others. Their invaluable contributions are vital to our
efforts in the preservation and development of cultural heritage, ensuring that what has
been left to us from the past will become a legacy for the future.
The passion and commitment of you, our patrons, is key as Singapore, equipped with
Our SG Heritage Plan – the first, comprehensive master plan for Singapore’s heritage and
museum sector – embarks on a new chapter in our heritage journey. Launched earlier this
year, the plan charts the future roadmap for Singapore’s heritage and museum scene,
and outlines the strategies and initiatives for the sector. The plan was co-developed
with Singaporeans, and is a testimony to the collective commitment by individuals,
communities and organisations towards safeguarding and promoting Singapore’s
heritage. We will continue to engage and rely on the support of you, our partners, and the
community as we execute its policies and initiatives.
2017 was a celebratory year as we marked significant milestones of our institutions and
events. The National Museum of Singapore, the nation’s oldest and most iconic cultural
institution, celebrated its momentous 130th birthday and welcomed over 900,000 visitors
in 2017. In addition, Singapore Night Festival, one of NHB’s signature events, celebrated
its 10th anniversary with dazzling light art installations and spectacular street theatre
performances, and drew a record crowd of over 700,000 visitors.
The Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 excited everyone with lesser known facts about
our broadcast history through the exploration of the former Caldecott Broadcast Centre.
While behind the scenes at the Heritage Conservation Centre, research and innovation
continue to drive the work they do. Most recently, harnessing the benefits of technology,
the centre partnered the Singapore General Hospital to use X-ray technology to scan
artefacts and facilitate conservation science work. These are some examples of how we
reach out to different groups of people and work with different partners, emphasising how
everyone has a part to play in shaping the heritage that binds us.
Singaporeans and visitors were also treated to many outstanding and inspiring exhibitions
at our museums and institutions. These included Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and
City Life at the Asian Civilisations Museum, Witness to War: Remembering 1942 at the
National Museum of Singapore, Symbols and Scripts: The Language of Craft at the Indian
Heritage Centre, Sirri na Pesse: Navigating Bugis Identities in Singapore at the Malay Heritage
Centre, and Stitches of Love – Hidden Blessings in Children’s Clothing and Accessories at
the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, just to name a few. We also saw the opening
of the new Peranakan Gallery in Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4, which showcases the
heritage and culture of the Singapore Peranakan community. Our museums, the National
Collection and exhibitions they house, and the stories these tell of Singapore and beyond,
enable us to discover more about ourselves and the world we live in.
We could not have achieved these milestones without the strong support of
our donors and patrons. My appreciation also extends to the many
supporters of heritage who have chosen to remain anonymous about
their gifts. Every contribution, whether through the donation of cash,
in-kind services or artefacts, make a tremendous impact on our
efforts to safeguard our heritage for the future.
As the different parts of Our SG Heritage Plan come together to
shape Singapore’s heritage landscape, we seek your continued
support to see it to fruition. Once again, I thank all our patrons
for their unwavering support, and look forward to continue
working with all of you again.
Mr Ong Yew Huat
National Heritage Board