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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New bridge to Sentosa

It's gotten even easier to get into Sentosa Island now.

Open today at 7:18 am is a new bridge linking Sentosa to mainland Singapore, which makes driving into the island such a breeze.

We were sooooo excited as we sat in the company shuttle bus to work!

The 710 m bridge, built at a cost of more than S$80 million, links not only to the main island, but also runs direct to our underground car park, which would, of course be open next year once the resort is up and running, in anticipation of the 13 million visitors to the integrated resort.

Hence, from now till July 22, all inbound and outbound traffic will go on this bridge, while the older bridge will be closed to facilitate the final phase of works.

Work on the bridge begun in March 2008, and we were all excited everytime we traveled to and fro on the old bridge, as we could see the whole construction as it progressed. (Brings warmth to the our hearts knowing that we are literally in the thick of the action, watching as history unfolds and change is made to the Singapore landscape.)

Up next, a 620-metre long timbre boardwalk connecting VivoCity to Sentosa will be built by the Sentosa Leisure Group. The Mount Faber Leisure Group will be likewise increasing and improving its cable car system to cater to the projected increase in visitorship.

Also, a series of road works is now underway along Telok Blangah Rd and Kampong Bahru Rd, where road widening will take place and be completed before we open.

Cool stuff!


Our official press release:

Sentosa & Resorts World lay the ground for smoother rides
*New vehicular bridge to complement existing Sentosa Gateway

*Steady improvements to road network in and around Sentosa

Singapore, 8 July 2009 – Construction of Sentosa’s new vehicular bridge is complete and it
welcomed its first stream of traffic this morning at 7.18am.

From today till 22 July, all inbound and outbound traffic on Sentosa will be diverted onto this
new bridge which runs parallel to the existing bridge. Concurrently, the existing bridge will be
closed to facilitate the final phase of works.

The bridge, which costs more than S$80 million to build, was commissioned by Resorts
World at Sentosa (RWS) in view of the anticipated 13 million visitors to the integrated family
destination when it opens in early 2010. McConnell Dowell, an Australian-based engineering
and construction company, started constructing the bridge in March 2008.

When fully ready, the enhanced Sentosa Gateway will feature the new vehicular bridge,
which will connect inbound traffic from the mainland to Sentosa, and the existing link, which
will operate as the outbound carriageway bringing guests from Sentosa to the mainland.
Sentosa Gateway will then be widened from a dual-lane bridge to a three-lane carriageway
for each direction of traffic.

“Sentosa Gateway is poised to take on the increase in traffic volume when Resorts World at
Sentosa opens its doors, and as more residents move in to their homes at Sentosa Cove”,
said Mike Barclay, CEO of Sentosa Leisure Group, which built the original causeway-bridge
in 1991 and has maintained it ever since. “We have also been working closely with the
authorities on a host of traffic management measures that will complement this new and
enhanced link to help ease the flow on the roads, re-channel traffic and prevent bottlenecks”,
he added.

RWS’s Executive Vice President of Projects, Mr Michael Chin, said: “We built the new
causeway bridge as we are committed to providing our visitors a world-class destination, and
their memorable holiday experience must include hassle-free access to and from our Resort
and Sentosa.”

In 2008, the Land Transport Authority announced a package of road improvement measures
aimed at enhancing the travel experience for visitors to the Sentosa-Harbour Front area,
including the construction of a new Gateway Tunnel to meet the long term increase in traffic
demand and the tunnel is slated for completion in 2015.

A series of road works is currently underway along Telok Blangah Road and Kampong Bahru
Road, which includes the road widening works along Telok Blangah Road and Kampong
Bahru Road slated for completion when Resorts World at Sentosa opens.

To complement the widening of Sentosa Gateway and the road improvement plans, Sentosa
Leisure Group will be boosting the capacity of its island transportation by increasing the
Sentosa Express fleet. A new 620-metre long timber boardwalk connecting from VivoCity to
Sentosa will be constructed to provide another link into the island.

The tender for the project has been awarded and details will be announced next month. Mount Faber Leisure Group will also be upgrading and expanding its cable car system to cater to the expected increase in guest traffic in the Southern Precinct and will rebrand the cable cars as a premium gateway to Sentosa.

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