Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Announcing... RWS' FIRST event!

Guess what folks? We are having our first-ever major event ahead of our opening!

ChildAid, which is a charity concert organized by the Straits Times and the Business Times, will be held at Resorts World at Sentosa’s Festive Grand, with a seating capacity of 1,600 people.

This is just sooooo exciting! Here’s the press release for your reading pleasure. (Apologies for wall of text!)

(Photo: ChildAid 2008)

For immediate release

ChildAid to be FIRST event held at Resorts World at Sentosa

Singapore, 14 July 2009 – Mark your diaries for 19 to 21 December 2009! That is when ChildAid will be the first event to be staged at Resorts World at Sentosa.

ChildAid is a charity concert organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times. The concert, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, showcases the best of Singapore's young musical talents in support of two charities – The ST School Pocket Money Fund and The BT Budding Artists Fund.

Said ChildAid organising chairman, Mr Peter Khoo: "The economic recession has led to a rise in the number of children who need help to pay for a meal in school or to continue their artistic pursuits.

"Thus, we are extremely grateful to Resorts World at Sentosa for giving us this honour, which we believe will boost fund-raising efforts. Their decision also benefits Singapore's young musical talents for they will be creating history by being the first to perform at the Resort.''

Mr Han Fook Kwang, Editor of The Straits Times, said that the number of student beneficiaries on The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund has risen by about 40 per cent since last year.

The ST School Pocket Money Fund helps 11,000 needy children pay for a meal during recess or transport to school. It would require $5.7 million this year – the highest it has had to raise since its inception in 2000.

Mr Han said: “Our tie-up with Resorts World at Sentosa will bolster ChildAid's ambition to raise money for needy children and showcase the many talented youths here.

''We are determined to do our utmost to help the many children affected by the economic downturn,” Mr Han added.

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said that ChildAid talents also serve as good role models.

Mr Tay said: "Singapore has many outstanding young musicians who want to help. They motivate the many children we support at the BT Budding Artists Fund.''

The BT Budding Artists Fund, initiated by The Old Parliament House Limited and adopted by The Business Times in 2005, aims to give underprivileged children a chance to nurture their artistic talents, be it in art or music.

ChildAid 2009 will be staged at Festive Grand, Resorts World at Sentosa’s very own theatre which can seat up to 1,600 people.

Festive Grand, which will host Resorts World at Sentosa's resident musical extravaganza Voyage de la Vie, is just one of the many attractions found within Singapore’s only island integrated resort.

Owned by Genting Singapore, S$6.59-billion venture will include South-east Asia’s first and only Universal Studios theme park, the world’s largest oceanarium, six hotels, a casino, and a host of other entertainment options.

Ms Andrea Teo, Vice President of Entertainment for Resorts World at Sentosa said: "Besides being the first event at Resorts World at Sentosa, we will be dedicating our expertise and experience in the field of stage production, choreography amongst many other things.”

“The talents on display for previous ChildAid concerts were tremendous. We want to build on that success and ChildAid 2009 held at Festive Grand is going to present these talents on a grander and even larger scale,” Ms Teo said.

Ms Teo, a former Executive Producer and Director of television sitcoms such as Under One Roof, Phua Chu Kang and Happy Belly, will also be part of the ChildAid producing team, together with Mary Loh and Jason Ramsburg from the Resorts World entertainment team, Arts House general manager Colin Goh and reknowned musican Iskandar Ismail.

Ms Teo adds: "Resorts World at Sentosa is not scheduled to open until early next year, but when SPH approached us with the opportunity to contribute to the cause, our different teams , ranging from Projects to Entertainment and Traffic, sat down and decided that we will pull all stops to make this happen. ChildAid will be the inaugural show in Resorts World, and the first performance that we will raise our curtains for at our Festive Grand theatre.’’

Resorts World at Sentosa is on-track for its early 2010 soft opening, which will include Universal Studios Singapore, four hotels, part of FestiveWalk and the casino.

As in previous years, The Straits Times and The Business Times will be conducting a nationwide
search for talents. Those who wish to audition must be Singapore residents and not older than 19 years of age.

Said ChildAid artistic director Mr Iskandar Ismail, who is last year's Cultural Medallion recipient: "Many ChildAid performers of the past have gone on to bigger things. Our search for the best fresh talent in Singapore begins today. So do write to us for an audition.''

He cited the opening ceremony of the Asian Youth Games as an example. "Three of the vocalists who performed at the Asian Youth Games opening ceremony came from ChildAid,'' said Mr Ismail.

Teenagers Amni Musfirah, Lian Kim Selby and Nathan Hartono performed in ChildAid before being picked up by Asian Youth Games organisers.

It was the same for soprano Janani Sridhar, who performed at the first ChildAid concert in 2005. The 19-year-old sang the national anthem at last year's Singapore Formula One race.
At the press conference, the organizers revealed the first three performers for ChildAid 2009.

They are: 15-year-old singer Amni from School of the Arts as well as drummers Zidann Zalizann, 8, from Greenridge Primary School, and Aaron Lee, 13, from Queensway Secondary School.

Said Mr Ismail: “As this is the fifth anniversary of ChildAid, we wanted to bring back the best of the talent we have put on show before.

“Amni, Zidann and Aaron were outstanding in last year’s sell-out show,” Mr Ismail added.
ChildAid 2009 is seeking sponsors to help its charities.

There are four sponsorship tiers – Diamond ($200,000 and above) Platinum ($100,000 $199,999) Gold ($50,000-$99,999) Silver ($30,000-$49,999) and Bronze ($10,000-$29,999).

Interested sponsors may contact Ms Wee Ngiap Hiang at weenh@sph.com.sg or at 6319 5054.

Details on ticket sales will be announced in October, two months before ChildAid 2009 opens at Resorts World at Sentosa.
The concert organizers are looking for English-medium acts for the event. Interested talents in the fields of music, dance or emceeing must be Singapore residents below the age of 19.
They must send in their audition materials to be considered for selection. The preferred format for audition material is DVD, VCD or CD. Applicants should include a photograph and a one-page write-up of themselves, their musical achievements, and why they want to be a part of ChildAid.
Other essential details include their name, age and school, as well as their parents’ name, contact number and e-mail address.
Audition materials can be sent to childaid@sph.com.sg or to the following address:
ChildAid 2009
Singapore Press Holdings
1000 Toa Payoh North, News Centre
Singapore 318994
The closing date for submissions is Mon, 17 August 2009.
Shortlisted youths will be invited to the auditions on Sun, 30 August 2009.
A panel of judges led by ChildAid artistic director Iskandar Ismail will assess all applications and successful applications will be invited to audition.

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