The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) is committed to providing high quality leisure and cultural facilities and services to meet the needs and aspirations of the Hong Kong community. I am delighted to present a few highlights in 2016-17.

The year 2016-17 represented an important milestone for our public museums. From August 1, 2016, the public has been able to enjoy free admission to the permanent exhibitions of five museums, namely the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, as well as the Hong Kong Museum of Art (temporarily closed for renovation). Full-time students also have free access to the permanent exhibitions of the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum. We believe this move will encourage more museum visits, attract new visitors, and more generally promote culture and the pursuit of knowledge.

We unveiled the permanent Jin Yong Gallery at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in February 2017, as one of the events in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The gallery pays tribute to Dr Louis Cha (pen name Jin Yong), the renowned literary master and martial arts novelist. Its more than 300 exhibits both explore the creative process behind Dr Cha’s work and illustrate the wide-ranging impact of his work on Hong Kong society and culture. It is certainly a ‘must visit’ for all lovers of Jin Yong’s novels.

The year 2016 also marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr Sun Yat-sen. To commemorate Dr Sun’s achievements, a number of special programmes were organised by our museums that included special exhibitions, talks and other extension activities.

Our public museums have also stepped up their collaborations with major museums on the Mainland and around the world. One highlight was the In Touch with the Palace Museum campaign, which gave Hong Kong audiences a taste of the riches of the Palace Museum. We also staged the impressive exhibition Ceremony and Celebration - The Grand Weddings of the Qing Emperors.

Building on our efforts to promote a wider appreciation of our Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre was established in June 2016 at the Sam Tung Uk Museum as an exhibition and education centre.

Our performing arts scene has continued to flourish. To commemorate the 400th anniversaries of the deaths of William Shakespeare and of Tang Xianzu, renowned playwrights of the West and the East respectively, we featured a variety of programmes from local and visiting arts groups in various art forms. Another big draw was the eighth edition of the New Vision Arts Festival, capped off by the latest work from the celebrated choreographer Akram Khan.

Sports and leisure enthusiasts enjoyed an eventful year in 2016-17. A major highlight was without doubt the Rio Olympics, held in the summer of 2016. In support of the Mainland and Hong Kong teams, the LCSD set up Olympic focal sites at five sports centres, broadcasting Olympic highlights within an exciting sporting atmosphere. Later in August, we welcomed a delegation of the Mainland Olympians to Hong Kong. Local sports fans flocked to the Olympians’ demonstrations of badminton, table tennis and diving, while many others watched the televised events. Local athletes and the general public also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the Olympians during their visit.

The Hong Kong Flower Show 2017, one of the events in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of HKSAR, attracted a record-breaking attendance of 670 000 over its 10 days. In addition to its astonishing array of flowers, the Flower Show featured nightly light shows for the first time, along with three special evening performances on the main stage. The event effectively showcased the energy, colour and vibrancy of our city and its people.

A Storm the Park campaign was launched during the year which encouraged the public to take part in a wide variety of fun-filled and family-friendly recreation and sports activities in parks across the territory, running from 2016 until the end of 2017.

In tandem with the launch of new and better leisure and cultural programmes and services, we continued to press ahead with the upgrading of our hardware during the year. A notable example was the further extension of our library network through the inauguration of the Fanling South Public Library and the Yuen Chau Kok Public Library, making visiting a library easier for everyone. On the leisure front, two major new sports facilities were commissioned, with an indoor bowling green opening at the Yuen Chau Kok Sports Centre in December 2016 and indoor heated pools at the Kennedy Town Swimming Pool complex in February 2017. The East Kowloon Cultural Centre project, a prospective flagship performing arts venue, also moved ahead at full steam, with a stone-laying ceremony being held in December 2016.

Working in concert, all my colleagues in the LCSD are determined to continue enhancing the quality of life of Hong Kong people by delivering high quality leisure and cultural services and facilities.


Michelle Li
Director of Leisure and Cultural Services