Hong Kong has long been a place where the cultures of East
and West meet, a crucible from which ideas and creative talents
flourish and develop into new and exciting industries. The
government's policy to encourage cultural and creative industries
will open up new employment opportunities for our young people
to show their skills. At the same time, the historic decision
in November 2003 for Hong Kong to host the 5th East
Asian Games in 2009 is providing a catalyst for the development
of a new sporting culture in Hong Kong and the promotion of
our competitive edge as an international sporting venue.
These twin developments are providing new impetus to the
work of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department as Hong
Kong strives to enhance its position as the cultural and sporting
events capital of the region.
Indeed, planning for the Games gathered momentum in June
2004 with the establishment of the 2009 EAG Planning Committee.
This high powered committee includes representatives from the
sports sector, government, business, banking, tourism and other
related organisations. The committee will plan and prepare
for the staging of the Games, enlist community support, develop
publicity and marketing strategies and advise on the venue
facilities required for this important sporting event.
During the year, new measures were taken to raise the standard
of sports in Hong Kong and the Mainland with the signing of
separate sports exchange and co-operation agreements and memorandum
with the State Sports General Administration of China, the
Shanghai Administration of Sports, and the General-office of
Culture, Radio, TV, Publication and Sports of Hainan Province.
A special liaison group has been set up to plan and implement
these joint programmes.
Hong Kong's Avenue of Stars, which was opened in April,
has become an instant 'star attraction' for locals as well
as tourists from around the world. By the end of the year,
more than eight million people had 'walked the avenue'. Activity
on the cultural, information and heritage scene was just as
exciting, as the government continued to expand its links with
the Mainland in a number of areas. This included the April
launch of the Pearl River Delta Cultural Information Website
to improve the exchange of cultural information between Hong
Kong, Guangdong and Macau; and the introduction of an Internet
Reference Enquiry Service by Hong Kong's Central Library in
collaboration with the Zhongshan, Shenzhen and Macau libraries.
The year also saw the opening of the Basic Law Library at the
City Hall Public Library for readers and researchers to gain
a better understanding of Hong Kong's mini constitution, the
A notable achievement during the year was the completion
of nine new facilities, including three major projects, for
the benefit and enjoyment of the community, particularly in
the New Territories. These included the Ma On Shan Sports Ground,
the Ma On Shan Sports Centre and Public Library, and the Tai
Po Complex. At the end of the year, a further 13 projects were
under construction, which will bring the total number of sports
facilities managed and developed by the department to nearly
1,800, and this does not include the 100 or so cultural facilities
also under our control.
While many of our historic buildings have given way to the
glistening glass and concrete skyscrapers of the late 20th and
early 21st centuries, the government is continually
looking at ways to conserve Hong Kong's built heritage. One
of the most notable developments in early 2004 was the acquisition
of the historic Kom Tong Hall on Hong Kong Island that will
be converted into a museum to introduce the life and revolutionary
activities of one of the most respected figures in Chinese
history, Dr Sun Yat-sen. The museum is due to open in November
2006. We hope the preservation of the 1914 building will encourage
the community and property owners to join the government in
conserving our cultural heritage. Also during the year, another
historic structure, the Morrison Building in Tuen Mun's Hoh
Fuk Tong Centre was officially declared a monument and will
be protected under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
These were just some of the initiatives and on-going services
our dedicated staff were involved in during 2004 — a
year in which we were able to consolidate and enhance our many
and varied activities that touch on the lives of most Hong
Kong people. And it sets the scene for what is shaping up to
be an equally stimulating and, no doubt, challenging year ahead
in 2005. Two major events planned for our museums in the coming
year include the exhibition of over 45 internationally acclaimed
masterpieces of the impressionist school from the National
Collection of France, which will be held at the Hong Kong Museum
of Art; and the display of more than 300 national treasures — mostly
grade one relics — showing the artistic and cultural
changes that occurred in China from 'Eastern Han to High Tang'
at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
On the sports front, the Sports Commission will be established
and the Hong Kong Sports Institute reconstituted to pursue
a new vision for sports development in Hong Kong. We are aiming
to bring in more major international sports events during the
year; and develop a strategy through which the sports community
can engage business partners in organising and promoting such
events. Preparations are also being made for the 2005 East
Asia Games in Macau and the 10th National Games
in Nanjing. These, together with the significant cultural and
performing arts events planned, will help us implement the
department's vision of providing quality leisure and cultural
services appropriate to Hong Kong's development as a world-class
city and events capital.
Director of Leisure and Cultural Services