II Cultural and Artistic Cooperation Meeting of the Pearl River Delta Region


    II Cultural and Artistic Cooperation Meeting of the Pearl River Delta Region was held in the Convention & Entertainment Centre in Macao Tower, on 17th February, and was attended by representatives of the cultural services of the governments of Canton, Hong Kong and Macao, and persons in charge of the cultural departments of 6 other cities of the Pearl River Delta Region.

    At the end of the meeting a press conference was held.
    Heidi Ho, President of the Cultural Institute of the Government of the SAR of Macao, underlined the importance of the international promotion of the Pearl River Delta Region and the fact that through cooperation it will be possible to obtain a whole range of advantages, like the sharing of resources, an increase in efficiency, reduction of costs, the training of human resources, the exchange of information and the promotion of culture and art.

    The head of the department for culture of the province of Canton, Cao Chun Liang, said that the meeting held three months ago in Hong Kong was a move forward in terms of cooperation between the three territories, however, it is necessary to strengthen communication in order to get to know better the cooperation projects, since the 3 regions have different problems and wishes, thus, it is necessary to find a viable path that encompasses all. He also highlighted that the cultural market of the region has great potential and that the goal of Canton to turn itself into a great cultural province will provide ample cooperation opportunities for the three territories, who should have a view that surpasses the limits of the provincial borders.

    The Secretary for Domestic Affairs of Hong Kong, Patrick Ho, stated that the spirit of cooperation is the soul of the cultural development of the Pearl River Delta Region, and the 3 territories must deepen the mutual understanding that exists by means of meetings and other non-official contacts.

    It was decided to publish a guidebook on the exhibition and performance places in the three territories, the connection of the cultural information of the three territories by web, the reservation of a column on the website of each territory to promote the cultural activities of the other two territories and the creation, within 6 months, of a “Web of Cultural Information for Canton, Hong Kong and Macao” which will provide information on cultural activities and cultural premises.

    Consensus was obtained in relation to the mutual support of cultural activities organised by each territory: Hong Kong will reserve places for students from Canton province and Macao in the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp to be held this summer; the cultural departments of the Pearl River Delta Region will support Hong Kong in its candidature to host the ISPA 2006 Congress; the 3 territories will promote the presentation of the commissioned works, as well as the tour of artists and groups in the Pearl River Delta Region.

    The isolated candidature to UNESCO of Cantonese Opera as Oral and Intangible World Heritage was confirmed. The presentation of the proposal is forecast for August 2003, so that its inclusion may occur on the 2005 list. In order to conserve and promote Cantonese Opera, the 3 territories plan to hold a “Cantonese Opera Day”, when activities related to this style of opera will be run, namely exhibitions, lectures, conferences, educational and cinematic activities, as well as many others.

    A cooperation mechanism for artistic creativity and the promotion of works jointly created by artists of the three territories will also be set up, and collective exhibitions of the cultural heritage of the 3 territories will be organised, in order to provide information regarding the history and culture of the region.

    The 3 territories are also planning a project that will have the characteristics of the culture of Southern China as its basis, and which will be exhibited in the “China in France” Festival in 2004, which will be useful in raising the exposure level of the Pearl River Delta Region;

    Regarding the development of a network of museums and for the commercial development, protection and dissemination of cultural heritage, the exchange of information and human resources will be promoted in order to increase the level of professionalisation of the human resources; simultaneously, a mechanism facilitating contact and platform for the organisation of temporary and roving exhibitions of the important pieces of the 3 territories will be set up.

    Regarding the connection of the libraries as part of their digitalisation, there will be a strengthening of the exchange of publications and information, cooperation in the organisation of exhibitions and seminars, as well as in the carrying out of exchanges between the respective human resources; all documents, including those with special characteristics, in the libraries will be gradually digitalised and put on the internet.

    The III Cultural and Artistic Cooperation Meeting of the Pearl River Delta Region will be held next quarter in Canton.

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