Awards for contributions to Chinese culture

The hunt is on to find out who has made the most significant contributions to the promoting and developing of Singapore's unique brand of Chinese culture.

The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) is inviting nominations for its inaugural Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award from today.

Two awards, one for an individual and one for an organisation, will be given out annually from this year.

Each comes with $10,000 in cash and another $10,000 in project grants.

Only Singaporeans and permanent residents are eligible for the individual award and only non-commercial organisations will be considered for the group honours. There is no age restriction.

SCCC's chief executive Choo Thiam Siew said at the award's launch yesterday that since its centre began operations 21/2 years ago, its main objectives have been to preserve traditions, promote innovation in ideas, enrich the multi-faceted nature of Chinese culture and entrench Singapore's uniqueness in an all-inclusive, open and active culture system.

"The awards, the first in Singapore, aim to recognise individuals and organisations which have contributed towards our objective," he said.

Besides the fine arts and high culture, other areas for consideration include architecture and design, food and clothing and religious practices as well as traditional rituals for festivals and other occasions.

A panel of seven judges, chaired by prominent Singapore architect Liu Thai Ker, has been formed.

The other members are director of UniSim Centre for Chinese Studies Eddie Kuo; former editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' group of Chinese publications Lim Jim Koon; former editor of The Straits Times Leslie Fong; Associate Provost (Student Life) at Nanyang Technological University Kwok Kian Woon; senior lawyer Hee Theng Fong; and Lianhe Zaobao Fukan editor Woo Mun Ngan.

Mr Liu, the panel's chairman, said the Singapore Chinese Cul- tural Contribution Award was also launched to encourage more people to promote and develop Singapore's Chinese cultural heritage.

"This will be instrumental in ensuring that our Chinese culture continues to thrive and develop into our unique Singapore Chinese culture," he added.

The two award winners will be announced in May 2017.

Nominations are open until Feb 28, 2017.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Awards for contributions to Chinese culture'. Print Edition | Subscribe