20th anniversary of 1997 Hong Kong handover celebration preview - we talked to the one responsible for it all

20th anniversary of 1997 Hong Kong handover celebration preview - we talked to the one responsible for it all

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A multi-million dollar programme of events will mark 20 years since the handover.
Photo: AFP

After the long wait and extensive promotion, it is here: the 20th anniversary of the 1997 handover and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. To prepare for the celebration which will reach its peak tomorrow, Young Post interviewed Gordon Leung, Director of the Celebrations Coordination Office to get behind the scenes insights on the weekend.

Why is this year’s slogan “Together, Progress, Opportunity”?

The most important theme of the handover is togetherness. Since we are celebrating the return of Hong Kong from the UK to China 20 years ago, the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems", and the birth of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the sense of unity is paramount. We want to promote closer links with China, and a deeper understanding of our country. We also want to encourage togetherness in the community since it is a celebration for everybody. Lastly, we want to promote closer links with the international community who contributes to life here, and to strengthen overseas connections.


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And then progress is basically about all the achievements we have made over the past 20 years. We have not only transformed the face of the city (and continue to do so) but we have also overcome many challenges together as a community. When we work together, we can achieve anything; we are indeed very proud of our "can do" spirit.  Lastly, opportunity is about the future and the kind of city and community we want. Not only in areas like finance, business services and logistics, but in areas such as innovation and technology, creative industries, arts, culture and sports. All of these are important to help us develop the economy and help ensure everyone, but our young people in particular, can earn a decent living, realise their dreams, contribute to society, and help building a better future.  

What is the story behind the “splash” logo?

We thought it would be a good idea to have new graphics that are more colourful and festive than the usual official logos In fact, this year is the first time we have a set of festive logos. Besides adding some colour around the city, it's also to inject a sense of joy and jubilation to boost the festive atmosphere. Our design team also thought it would be fun to create a new series for the 20th anniversary, so they came up with a set of six creative visuals to represent various aspects of Hong Kong.

Why the diversity of singers behind the theme song, "Hong Kong‧Our Home"?

Singers of Hong Kong‧Our Home at the press conference to announce details of the celebration.

We were looking for a mix of established and more contemporary artists to appeal to different audiences, but also highlight the breadth of talent we have in Hong Kong. The lyrics are very much about our home, and the singers all share a love for this great city!

What are some highlights YP readers should know about?

One of our main goals of the celebration programme is to encourage participation by all sectors and all ages of the community, including the youth, elderly, ethnic minorities, the less privileged, as well as overseas communities. We have more than 950 events on the calendar that can appeal to young and old alike. Especially over this weekend, there are more than 50 events being held. These will be in Central, Admiralty (where there will be a pop concert) and Causeway Bay.

So there will be plenty of opportunities for families and friends to get out to celebrate together. Hopefully the weather will be good for the big fireworks on the night of July 1! Fireworks are always popular in any city, but Hong Kong’s are especially remarkable! The fireworks this year will also include some new elements like LED lights and lasers.

Do you have an event you're personally looking forward to most?

Not really. There are too many good events! My personal highlight will be to see everything run smoothly on June 30 and July 1. These are all quite complicated to organise and take up a lot of time. Once they are finished, we can feel relieved and relax for a while.

Edited by Heidi Yeung

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