Arts and Culture
155. Hong Kong is an international city with a unique blend of the East and the West, displaying richness and diversity in arts and culture.
156. The Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon Cultural District will be completed this year; while other major facilities will also come on stream in the next few years. In order to continuously upgrade our cultural hardware, I will set aside $20 billion for the improvement and development of cultural facilities. Projects to be rolled out in the coming 10 years include the construction of the New Territories East Cultural Centre and the Heritage Conservation and Resource Centre; the expansion of the Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History and Hong Kong City Hall; and the renovation of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. I will also allocate $500 million to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) for the acquisition of museum collections and holding exhibitions.
157. On support for arts groups and artists, starting from 2018‑19, an additional recurrent provision of $55 million will be provided to support the nine major performing arts groups as well as small and medium arts groups funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. More resources will be allocated to the small and medium arts groups under the Venue Partnership Scheme implemented by the LCSD.
158. I will inject an additional $500 million into the Art Development Matching Grants Pilot Scheme and consider relaxing its matching parameters to encourage donations from the business and private sectors in support of the development of arts groups.
159. To showcase Hong Kong's art and culture, I will, from 2018-19 onwards, progressively increase the recurrent provision to $50 million to support Hong Kong's arts groups and artists to perform and stage exhibitions outside Hong Kong. Moreover, in the coming five years, I will provide $40 million additional funding to the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society for commissioning creative works and performances by local arts groups and artists during the Arts Festival; $20 million to expand the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme, and another $140 million to support local arts groups and artists for cultural exchanges in the Bay Area.
160. The Government announced the first Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Hong Kong last year. I will allocate $300 million to strengthen the protection, promotion and transmission of the ICH. Furthermore, I will inject $70 million into the Cantonese Opera Development Fund to support the production and performances of local Cantonese opera troupes, with a view to promoting the development of Cantonese opera as a world intangible cultural heritage item.
161. Cultivating a reading habit among the public is conducive to promoting culture and enhancing humanistic qualities. In the coming five years, I will allocate an additional $200 million to the Hong Kong Public Libraries to promote reading among children and families. Besides, the LCSD will work with the Education Bureau, community partners, local authors and publishers to promote the culture of reading for all.