So­phie He

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG -

per­for­mances and per­form­ers avail­able.

“When we get the big names who peo­ple know, it’s like a real fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tion event, and it’s equally won­der­ful if we can get the artists we be­lieve in and present them be­fore they turn very fa­mous.”

One ex­am­ple is that, last year, the fes­ti­val pre­sented a young South Korean pi­anist who won the gold medal in the Chopin Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion six months later.

And, the fes­ti­val is al­ways watch­ing what the artists are do­ing and where they have been per­form­ing, how the re­views are. If pos­si­ble, it’ll send some­one from its pro­gram­ming team to go and see their per­for­mances.

Apart from qual­ity, the fes­ti­val must bear in mind it should be rel­e­vant to and of in­ter­est to Hong Kong. So, it tai­lor-makes the per­for­mances for Hong Kong, for Hong Kong au­di­ences who in­clude lo­cal artists, says Ho.

Ac­cord­ing to Ho, the arts fes­ti­val au­di­ence has been get­ting big­ger in the past five years, although not sig­nifi partly be­cause it has not in­creased its at­trac­tions sig­nif­i­cantly.

“We’re sell­ing roughly 95 per­cent of all our tick­ets and, for arts, it’s a very high pro­por­tion. We also want to un­der­take some ad­ven­tur­ous work, so it’s not all very known and very easy work — we want to chal­lenge the au­di­ence and chal­lenge the artists a lit­tle bit,” says Ho, adding that it’s to strike a bal­ance be­tween the artis­tic lead­er­ship and the in­ter­ests of the au­di­ence.

Ho stresses that the fes­ti­val will not set a per­cent­age tar­get with re­gard to per­for­mances from cer­tain coun­tries or a pro­por­tion for cer­tain types of per­for­mances. It re­ally de­pends on the project.

“If we find any great project, I don’t ever want the fes­ti­val to say, oh dear we have to present this thing and we don’t re­ally be­lieve in it and it’s not very good. But, this is a cat­e­gory and we need to fill this cat­e­gory.”

Cur­rently, a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the Arts Fes­ti­val’s rev­enue comes from ticket sales — close to 40 per­cent, which is very high even by in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, ac­cord­ing to Ho.

Mean­while, the govern­ment has been, un­til this year, giv­ing the fes­ti­val about 30 per­cent of its rev­enue, but that fund­ing has been cut for the com­ing year, so it’s go­ing to rely very much on spon­sor­ships and do­na­tions more than be­fore.

Ho be­lieves Hong Kong is a very good place and a “ter­ri­ble” place in terms of nur­tur­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.