The Leisure and Cultural Services Department performs the following roles in relation to the promotion of performing arts activities including music, dance, theatre, Chinese opera, multi-arts and film :
Besides presenting a year-round programme of performances by visiting and local artists, the Department organises two international festivals each year, namely, the International Arts Carnival for children, young people and families in the summer and the New Vision Arts Festival and the World Cultures Festival held in alternate autumn. The Department also focuses on cultural exchanges with the Mainland and overseas countries, opening up performance opportunities outside Hong Kong while bringing high quality visiting programmes to Hong Kong. It also gives subvention to the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival.
In order to promote the performing arts to the general public, the Department organises audience building and educational programmes and schemes such as School Culture Day Scheme, School Performing Arts in Practice Scheme, Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme, Community Oral History Theatre Project, Venue Partnership Scheme, free performances at the foyer of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and other major performing arts venues, free educational programmes for students, and lectures, workshops, seminars and symposiums. The Music Office also provides music training for the public and students.
Currently, the Department manages 16 performance venues, as well as the territory-wide computerized ticketing system-URBTIX. Various concessionary ticketing schemes are provided to full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients to ensure that all can have a chance to see the high quality performances at affordable prices.