Swire Properties is honoured to receive the Award for Arts Sponsorship of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, in recognition of its continuing support of arts and culture in Hong Kong.
The Chief Adjudication Panel of the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2008 by Hong Kong Arts Development Council, consisting of arts and cultural veterans from both Hong Kong and the Mainland China, applauded Swire Properties’ continued promotion of arts and culture through the provision of regular and practical assistance which it regards as invaluable to the growth of the local art scene.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Company at a ceremony on 21 April, Stephan Spurr, Swire Properties’ Director and General Manager, said, “We are delighted to receive this award, which underscores our commitment to the promotion of Hong Kong’s creative economy. Passion, knowledge and an ability to take risks all form part of this. The arts develop cognitive ability, higher order thinking skills, and analytical reasoning but more importantly they add immeasurably to the enhancing of our quality of life; while offering an important way for us all to play an active and meaningful role within the community.”
Swire Properties’ efforts in encouraging a diversified range of arts and cultural activities, through varied channels, different locations and diversified formats, is one of the reasons why the Company has been recognised.
Over three decades, Swire Properties has been active in helping to showcase the arts and making them accessible on an everyday level. As a visual arts patron, the Company commissions and collects both public and private art pieces which has led to the creation of one of the territory’s most significant collections on permanent display. Complimentary “Artwalk” educational tours at Island East are offered for individuals and groups to heighten and deepen their appreciation of the unique public art pieces, for example.
Swire Properties is keen to bring a variety of outstanding art and cultural activities and exhibitions to the community. Whether from the productions of world-renowned Cirque du Soleil in “Alegria” in 1996 and “Saltimbanco” in 1999, to Brazilian and Argentinean Festivals in 2000 and 2001 respectively, the Cityplaza Chinese Dinosaur Fossils Exhibition in 2005, its open Jazz performances since 2000 or the free Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concerts in TaiKoo Place, the Company has presented a wide range of programmes to demonstrate that arts and culture are an integral and vital part of life.
To make use of the space it owns, the Company also provides platforms for artists to showcase their works and performances. In November 2008, it took this a step further by opening “ArtisTree” at Cornwall House, TaiKoo Place, with the Vivienne Westwood A Life in Fashion Exhibition from London. This multi-purpose venue is dedicated not only to helping the five major arts forms (dance, visual arts, theatre, western and Chinese opera and symphony) be more accessible but may in time provide an arts incubation venue for smaller arts groups, and the dedicated audiences which sustain them.
As a sponsor, Swire Properties actively partners with organisations such as Shakespeare4All and the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation to encourage young people to take an artistic leap forward and realise their own creative potential. If nothing else, learning from the arts can play a key role in learning the skills needed for a successful college or professional experience.