The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 74th meeting today.
WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Duncan Pescod was pleased to report that the Xiqu Centre is on schedule to achieve practical completion in September this year with fitting out works of the Grand Theatre nearing completion. The theatre audio and lighting system together with the rigging system are being tested, so that all the systems will be ready for the first performances.
For the Art Park, the soft landscaping is growing well. In the Freespace, the installation of theatre equipment is well underway. It is anticipated that the opening of Freespace be in the second quarter of 2019.
Regarding construction of the M+ building, members noted that Mr Pescod remains concerned over ongoing issues. WKCDA is monitoring the situation very closely and keeps close contact with the main contractor. Concerns over progress of the construction pace have been conveyed to them.
For the Lyric Theatre Complex and relevant part of the integrated basement project, construction of the basement remains ahead of schedule. Construction works of the Hong Kong Palace Museum project also remain on schedule.
On artistic and engagement front, M+ Summer Camp, with the theme of ‘far out’ this year, aimed to inspire young people to think freely and explore their own sense of self and rethink the nature of creativity. The four-day camp was successfully held from 12 to 15 August 2018 and 101 secondary school students participated. The programme involved nine artists, designers, architects, and documentary directors as instructors; a graphic designer/composer, and a theatre group as well as a local independent music band and 21 university student volunteers.
Members also noted that the return of the new season of Freespace Happening which will take place every second weekend of the month from September 2018 to March 2019. This series of free events feature music, dance, literature-themed activities, a handicraft market and a rich variety of creative workshops for everyone to enjoy. This season will be setting down in its permanent home within the Art Park and marks the beginning of the countdown to the opening of the Freespace next year.
WKCDA is proud and excited that its first major performing arts venue, the Xiqu Centre, will feature on one of three new HK$100 banknotes. Cantonese opera has been selected as the thematic design by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for the HK$100 denominations of the 2018 new series banknotes, reflecting the important role of the art form in the city’s art and cultural legacy. This exciting news reflects how the Xiqu Centre has the potential to become an internationally known architectural icon.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.