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Hong Kong Week to wow Shanghai Expo visitors with a kaleidoscope of events and performances (with photos / video)

Hong Kong Week is set to wow Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) visitors with a kaleidoscope of activities and performances from October 18 to 22.

More than 20 events and programmes will be staged inside and outside the Shanghai Expo Park to bring Hong Kong's Shanghai Expo activities to a rousing conclusion.

The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, will officiate at the Opening Ceremony at the Shanghai Expo Park's Baosteel Stage on the morning of October 18 to kick-start the fun-filled programme.

Hong Kong Week is the highlight of Hong Kong's participation in Shanghai Expo, which will close on October 31 after a six-month run.

It will provide one last opportunity to share with Shanghai Expo visitors from around the world the talent and creativity of Hong Kong people, as well as the vibrancy and diversity of Hong Kong's cosmopolitan society.

A star-studded Opening Ceremony will include VIPs from Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as performances by Hong Kong music industry icons.

Speaking today (September 29) at a press conference outlining the Hong Kong Week programme, the Director of Information Services, Mr Michael Wong, said "Our participation in Shanghai Expo is the largest promotional event ever organised by Hong Kong outside of our city.

"During Hong Kong Week, close to 1,000 performers and staff members from 12 organisations will present more than 60 performances."

Mr Wong said the "Hong Kong Pop Up!" parade, to be staged daily inside the Shanghai Expo Park, was sure to delight crowds.

The centrepiece of the parade will be a giant pop-up book measuring 5.5m x 3.5m x 3.5m high that will showcase five aspects of Hong Kong lifestyle in an innovative and creative way - "Opportunity Unlimited", "Action Unlimited", "Green Unlimited", "Creativity Unlimited" and "Festivals Unlimited".

The book was designed and produced with the professional advice of Kit Lau, the creator of the original Hong Kong pop-up book, as well as the winners of the Hong Kong Pavilion concept design competition, Ida Sze and Billy Chan.

The 130-strong parade will be led by the Hong Kong Police Band with a funky jazz ensemble from the Hong Kong Fringe Club providing the musical finale.

The parade will include cuddly mascots from Ocean Park as well as a walking feast of Hong Kong food favourites such as traditional milk tea, egg tart, moon cake and fish ball stick.

Well known choreographer High King has been brought in to work with 50 dancers from six local schools and institutes to introduce the pop-up book's five themes with a colourful, energetic and fun performance.

The Deputy Director of Broadcasting, Mr Gordon Leung, said Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) was delighted to be producing the grand Opening Ceremony for Hong Kong Week.

"Not only will we feature the revitalised Brand Hong Kong with an imaginative stage set, we will also showcase the magnificent skyline on both sides of our famous Victoria Harbour," he said.

"We will also make creative uses of LED screens and lighting effects to bring out Hong Kong's dynamic character."

Renowned entertainment industry figures well known to Shanghai audiences will appear in the Opening Ceremony, including singers Frances Yip, Eason Chan, Eric Suen and Kay Tse; veteran composer Joseph Koo; renowned violinist Yao Jue; erhu master Wong On-yuen; musical director Dr Mui Kwong-chiu; and the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra conductor Ng Ka-ming.

Speaking about the wide range of cultural events organised for Shanghai Expo, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung, said "More than 1,200 Hong Kong performers and artists have taken part in the cultural programmes during the six-month Expo period.

"A total of 20 programmes involving 47 performances have been staged. There have also been two major art exhibitions."

She said the Closing Programme for Hong Kong Week would be the Hong Kong Sinfonietta's performance of Igor Stravinsky's A Soldier's Story.

"This will bring together the extraordinary gifts of (Sinfonietta) Music Director Yip Wing-sie, choreographer Yuri Ng, narrator Chu Pak-him, and renowned dancers Huang Lei, Shirai Tsuyoshi, Jay Jen Loo and Abby Chan," she said.

RTHK and the Shanghai Media Group (SMG) will jointly provide live broadcast signals in the Mainland and Hong Kong for the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Opening Ceremony will be live webcast on RTHK's website and broadcast on RTHK Putonghua Channel on October 18 from 11am. The Closing Ceremony performance at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center will be broadcast live on RTHK Radio 4 and Shanghai Radio FM947 on the night of October 22 from 7.30pm.

A 90-minute "Hong Kong Week Special" is scheduled to be broadcast at 7pm on October 23 on Asia Television Limited (ATV) Home Channel and will also be available on RTHK's website.

The Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), Mr Alan Siu, said Shanghai Expo had provided an excellent platform for Hong Kong's creative industries to showcase their talent, quality and innovation.

He said the theme of Hong Kong's Shanghai Expo events and activities in October was "Creative City".

To tie in with this theme, a Hong Kong Films Retrospective featuring 23 acclaimed Hong Kong movies to be shown uncut in Shanghai for the first time will be staged from Oct 18 to 22.

A major fashion exhibition will also be staged from October 6 to 28. The "Fashion Visionaries - Hong Kong" Fashion Show and Exhibition will be held at Xintiandi Style.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council will also stage a major consumer event - "Style Hong Kong" - at the high-traffic Century Square in Nanjing Road East from October 15 to 19.

Nearly 50 premium Hong Kong brands will present stylishly designed jewellery, fashion, accessories, leather goods, handbags, gifts and homeware. A range of cultural events are also planned during the period.

Other events include Hong Kong's Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) Exhibition Thematic Seminar and Exchange Programme "Hong Kong Smart City+" on October 21, and "Hong Kong-Shanghai Mobile Film Exchange Forum" on October 22.

Mr Siu also encouraged visitors not to miss the large-scale "Hong Kong: Creative Ecologies — Business, Living, Creativity" Exhibition being staged by the Hong Kong design Centre until the end of October at Jumen Road.

The Commissioner of the HKSAR Expo Affairs Office, Mr Patrick Chan, provided an overview of the visitor throughput at the Hong Kong Pavilion and Hong Kong's UBPA Exhibition over the past five months.

"The two pavilions have received more than 2.7 million visitors since Expo opened on May 1. These impressive figures demonstrate that we enjoy a good reputation among the Expo-goers," he said.

Publicity efforts to promote Hong Kong's participation in Shanghai Expo have been rolled out on a continuous basis since the beginning of last year.

To step up Hong Kong Week promotions, a dedicated mini-site was launched today on Hong Kong's official expo website www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk .

All the essential information for Hong Kong Week, including programme timetable and venues is just a click away.

With the exception of the UBPA seminar on October 21, all other Hong Kong Week programmes in the Shanghai Expo Park will be staged at the Baosteel Stage, Celebration Square and Bocheng Road on Pudong side.

While admission to the Opening Ceremony is by invitation only, Shanghai Expo visitors will be warmly welcomed to enjoy all the other performances and activities for free when they are inside the Shanghai Expo Park.