SHAPED BY SINGAPOREANS

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Published on May 24, 2015 with No Comments

As Singapore marks its Golden Jubilee, it’s also an island-wide celebration!

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Credit: Darren Soh Esplanad

 

Words JEFFREY LIM

Singapore is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence this year. And the island nation is having a no-holds-barred celebration with year-long programmes that kicked off since last year.

Key highlights this year will include the SEA Games (5-16 June, 2015) and National Day Parade (9 August, 2015), while the opening of the National Gallery Singapore and the launch of the SG50 Jubilee Walk in November 2015 will close the year of festivities.

But what’s unique about the SG50 celebrations is that the variety of national and community programmes are planned and organised by Singaporeans, supported by the SG50 Celebrations Fund. The Fund provides support to Singaporeans who initiate projects to commemorate and celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday.

Ideas that inspire a sense of community or belonging to Singapore, and encourage Singaporeans to celebrate together qualify for this funding. Hence, visitors to Singapore during the Golden Jubilee celebration will witness many activities that celebrate and aspire to show guests Singapore’s caring society, its rich multi-cultural and multi-racial heritage, its achievements in arts and sports, and all the places around Singapore that hold a special place in the islanders’ hearts.

For instance, Singapore – Inside Out (now till November 2015) is an international showcase that presents cross-disciplinary works of local talents across a spectrum of the creative industries and disciplines. Some of the featured sectors include architecture, design, fashion, film, food & beverage, literary, and performing and visual arts. Set in a specially designed modular structure, the showcase debuted in Beijing (22-26 April, 2015), before heading to London (24-28 June, 2015) and New York (23-27 September, 2015). Each international presentation will last for five days, while the homecoming finale in Singapore (27 November-6 December, 2015) will be an extended 10-day presentation.

The Five Stars Project (9 July, 2015-11 January, 2016) at The Singapore Art Museum is a contemporary art project that will bring together five visual art luminaries of Singapore to re-visit Singapore’s founding values of democracy, peace, justice, progress and equality. Looking to the Singapore flag as a point of departure, the project will consist of two components – an exhibition of core values as represented by the five stars on the Singapore flag, and a complementary outreach programme as represented by the crescent moon.

On Singapore National Day Parade (9 August, 2015), visitors can expect to see Parades and spectacular fireworks displays. This momentous Golden Jubilee event will take place at the Padang, the site of many historically significant moments over the past 50 years, including the declaration of Singapore’s independence. There will also be mass engagement activities that will be held in the Marina Bay area, such as Families for Life picnics at the Marina Barrage, and aerial display performances by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Black Knights Team.

The Jubilee Weekend (7-10 August, 2015) will also see Gardens by the Bay coming to life with a floral depiction of Singapore’s Story and a SG50 edition of the Garden Rhapsody music and light show. The Singapore Botanic Gardens will host a series of activities from 7 to 9 August showcasing the rich cultural and botanical heritage of the Gardens and shared memories of the Gardens as a much-loved civic space.

The opening of National Gallery Singapore (October 2015) will appeal to art lovers. This brand new visual arts institution will showcase a large public collection of visual arts from South East Asia and Singapore from the 19th century to the present day. Through a comprehensive collection, the Gallery will present the development of Singapore and regional cultures, so as to tell the story of their social, economic and political histories. The National Gallery Singapore will also commemorate Singapore’s 50 years of independence with the Art Connector, a permanent aesthetic sheltered walkway that links City Hall MRT along North Bridge Road and Coleman Street to the entrance of the Gallery, which officially opens next year.

Finally, mark your calendar for Jubilee Walk (November 2015). The Jubilee Walk is a trail that connects the past, present and future elements of the Singapore Story together through a special trail and monument markers that will be a lasting physical legacy of Singapore’s Jubilee year. The Walk begins from the National Museum, situated at Fort Canning Hill where the 14th century kingdom of Temasek was seated, marking the republic’s early beginnings as a trading hub. It continues through the Civic District, including the former and present Parliament House and Empress Place along the Singapore River, and around the Esplanade Park and Padang in front of which are the former City Hall and former Supreme Court. Maps and mobile applications will be developed to guide the public along the trail, which is about 8 kilometres.

These are just some of the many events and activities planned for the celebrations. You can also find out more about the programmes at www.singapore50.sg.

 Celebrate SG50! Be one of the lucky 50th guests who will receive a S$50 gift certificate from Royal Plaza on Scotts when you make a reservation on http://www.royalplaza.com.sg from now to 31 December 2015.
 Royal Brunei Airlines flies Singapore 2x daily.

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