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Strong public interest in Singapore’s arts and culture in 2019

Our arts and cultural events and museums attracted record attendance and visitorship in 2019, according to the 2020 Singapore Cultural Statistics released today.

  1. Our arts and cultural events and museums attracted record attendance and visitorship in 2019, according to the 2020 Singapore Cultural Statistics released today. Attendance at arts and cultural events reached an all-time high of 15.6 million in 2019, surpassing 2018’s record of 13.6 million. Visitorship to national and private museums and heritage institutions reached an all-time high of close to 9.6 million in 2019. These attendance and visitorship figures include those for arts and cultural events as well as exhibitions organised in commemoration of the Singapore Bicentennial.
  2. Commenting on the findings, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law, Edwin Tong said, “Singaporeans showed a strong interest in our arts and culture in 2019. This reflects the hard work and quality offerings presented by our arts and culture practitioners. While COVID-19 has deeply affected the sector in 2020, the Government is committed to working closely with our partners to sustain livelihoods, provide work opportunities, and develop new and related capabilities to position our arts and culture for the post-COVID-19 recovery. I ask all Singaporeans to continue supporting our arts and culture, as a source of enjoyment, learning and pride.”

    Attendance at arts and cultural events

  3. Attendance at non-ticketed arts and cultural events has been on the rise since 2013. In 2019, attendance figures surpassed the previous record in 2018 by about 15 per cent. There was a record attendance of 13.6 million at non-ticketed events, resulting from rise in attendance at large-scale annual events such as the Singapore Heritage Festival and Singapore Night Festival which also incorporated themes related to the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration. There was also increased attendance at traveling exhibitions to schools and heartlands, organised by national museums and heritage institutions.
  4. Ticketed attendance for performing arts events was close to 2 million, the second highest since 2013. This reflects sustained demand for ticketed arts performances.

    Visitorship to museums and heritage galleries

  5. In 2019, visitorship to institutions in the Museum Roundtable – which comprises over 50 public and private museums and heritage galleries – reached an all-time high of almost 9.6 million, a 16% increase compared to 2018. In addition, visitorship to our national museums and heritage institutions was a new record high of almost 5.8 million, the highest since 2013.
  6. This was largely driven by special exhibitions and programmes held in 2019, including those held in commemoration of the Singapore Bicentennial. For example, as part of the Bicentennial Experience programme, school students who watched the Bicentennial showcase at Fort Canning Park also visited the permanent galleries at the National Museum of Singapore.
  7. The Singapore Cultural Statistics 2020 can be found here.
  8. There will likely be a sharp decline in 2020’s key statistics (to be reported in Singapore Cultural Statistics 2021), as arts and cultural activities and events have been cancelled, significantly scaled down, or converted to digital versions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has been working closely with our arts groups, for example, through the $55 million Arts and Culture Resilience Package, to support the sector. MCCY recognises the continued impact of COVID-19, and will develop more sector-specific support measures in FY21, so as to revive the vibrancy of our arts and culture sector to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as possible.

Issued by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

For media queries, please contact:

Ms Stellina Seng
Corporate Communications Division
Email: stellina_seng@mccy.gov.sg  

Last updated on 27 January 2021