The Leisure and Cultural Services Department, set up on 1st January 2000 under the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), is responsible for the territory-wide provision of recreational, sports and cultural facilities and services.
The Department organises and promotes a wide range of leisure and cultural activities for people of all ages with a view to enhancing arts appreciation and enriching the quality of life. Major responsibilities of the Department include leisure services, horticulture and amenities, heritage and museums, performing arts and public libraries.
We manage and develop recreational and sports facilities, as well as promote wide range of leisure activities including swimming pools, parks, sports centres, sports grounds, etc. for enjoyment of the community. As at 31.12.2004, the number of such facilities was as follows :
The Department organised a total of 450 territory-wide projects and major events, comprising Healthy Exercises for All Campaigns, Corporate Games and Masters Games. In addition, 863 projects were organised/subvented through the Community Sports Club Project, 689 through the Sports Development Programmes and 7 667 through the Sports Subvention Programmes.
Horticulture and Amenities
We promote conservation of nature and greening of Hong Kong. We carry out an extensive planting programme in our parks and along major roads to promote greening. In 2004, we maintained a total of 1 521 hectares of amenities area and planted about 3.16 million trees, shrubs and annuals. We also organised a total of 2 954 projects to promote public awareness of the importance of preservation of trees and encourage public participation in greening the environment. These activities had recorded attendance of some 1 205 462 in 2004.
Heritage and Museums
We preserve heritage and provide museum services with a view to promoting appreciation of heritage, arts and culture. In 2004, we were responsible for the management of 13 museums including a film archive. The museums held 186 exhibitions and organised 23 684 education and extension activities which together attracted about 4.66 million of attendees.
We promote arts and culture through the provision of cultural facilities and services and the presentation of programmes. In 2004 we organised a total of 4 072 cultural presentations of music, dance, opera, drama and other performing arts. Total attendance at these presentations was 1 529 137. Besides, 661 district free entertainment programmes were held, attracting a total attendance of 749 211. In addition, 6 650 participants were enrolled at the instrumental music training classes and outreach interest classes.
We provide, manage and develop library services to meet the community needs on education, information, research and profitable use of leisure time. We also offer library extension activities to all ages and to help develop good reading habits. We managed 72 public libraries and the stock of books as at 31.12.2004 was 9.8 million and that for multimedia materials was 1.33 million. In 2004, a total of 62.2 million items of library materials were borrowed by the public.