Legacy of Giving Charity Gala Raises Funds for 3 Community Causes

The Legacy of Giving Charity Gala, held on 25th May 2024 at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, was a heartfelt tribute to the enduring spirit of generosity championed by Ms. Jennie Chua. Celebrating both Ms. Jennie Chua’s unwavering, lifelong commitment to philanthropy and her 80th birthday, the gala successfully raised funds for programs aimed at uplifting the lives of many needful individuals, vulnerable families, and underserved children and youths in our community.

Gilbert Madhavan, General Manager of One Farrer Hotel, served as the Chairman of the organising committee. “It was the first time we came together as volunteers to celebrate the spirit of giving, which Ms. Jennie Chua has been championing all her life. We felt it would speak volumes to organise a dinner for the causes she cares the most about: the community, the elderly, and the children,” said Madhavan. The three beneficiaries of the Legacy of Giving Charity Gala are Community Chest (CC), Woodlands Health Fund Limited (WHFL), and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF).

The evening began with a captivating performance by the Primary Dance Team from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS), comprising talented students from Primary 3. Dancing to ‘A Million Dreams,’ the performance was a poignant tribute by Ms. Jennie Chua’s alma mater, reflecting her contributions to the school as student and as chairman.

The evening’s culinary marvel was specially curated by Lynn Yeow De-Vito, thanks to the collaboration of chefs from several Michelin-starred restaurants who generously lent their expertise to support the cause. Culinary icons included Singapore’s food ambassador Violet Oon; Julien Royer of Odette; Cheung Siu Kong of Summer Pavilion; Kirk Westaway of JAAN; Matteo Ponti of Braci; and the Singapore Pastry Alliance. Their exquisite creations delighted the guests with a combination of delectable flavours designed to elevate one another.

The entertainment lineup featured performances from celebrated artists who came together to support this cause. Singaporean artist Kit Chan delivered a soulful rendition of her hit song “Home,” while Indonesian singer and America’s Got Talent finalist Putri Ariani and 15-year-old Singaporean whistling sensation Lim Jing Rui captivated the audience with their solo acts. The evening also featured a mesmerising performance by Wu Zhengdan and Wei Baohua of the Guangdong Acrobatic Arts Theatre. The creative and musical direction by Jeremiah Choy and Lim Sek, respectively, ensured a lasting programme for the ages.

Adding to the star-studded affair, homegrown talent Dick Lee, who attended as a guest, took to the stage upon popular request. His renditions of “Fried Rice Paradise” and “Jennie,” a personalised version of “Tammy” by Debbie Reynolds, added a touch of nostalgia and humor. Lee’s performance not only completed the evening’s dinner but also highlighted Ms. Chua’s achievements in all facets of her life with his trademark wit.

The Legacy of Giving Charity Gala was a resounding success, exemplifying the power of community and the impact of philanthropy. The collective efforts of all involved, from performers to chefs, underscored the shared commitment to uplifting those in need and celebrated the extraordinary legacy of Ms. Jennie Chua.

Madhavan expressed his gratitude, saying, “We would like to thank everyone for generously coming forward to truly epitomise the spirit of giving, starting with the legend herself, Ms. Jennie Chua.”

The Legacy of Giving also held both live and silent auctions for fundraising during the dinner, thanks to the generous donations and sponsorships of individuals and organisations. The Legacy of Giving Charity Gala raised $3,518,000 on the night of the dinner.

The Business Times Budding Artists Fund Turns 19

TRCL celebrated the 19th anniversary of the Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) on 10th May with a never-before-seen production entitled T’MAD Museum. T’MAD Museum saw students from the Dance, Music, Art, and Theatre genres battling it out for the coveted ‘Genre of the Year’ title.

T’MAD Museum was an immersive experience, engaging audiences in the creative energy of budding talents. Emotive dance performances from the dance students; soulful renditions by the music students; enrapturing theatrical acts from the theatre students; props and sets built by the visual arts students; audiences were spoilt for choice as they interacted with the students in 10 Square premises in Orchard Central. 

Instead of being merely passive spectators, audiences were invited to immerse themselves in the creativity and innovation of our young performers, experiencing first-hand the magic of their talent and dedication. Ms Santhiya d/o Subramaniam, Deputy Head of Arts & Community Development at TRCL, oversees the arts training of the students. “From the early stages of preparation to the finishing touches before execution, the students dedicated all their efforts to make sure T’MAD Museum is a success. It is gratifying to see the culmination of their growth and efforts recognised by the guests,” remarked Santhiya. 

The esteemed guest-of-honour for the evening was Mr. Tan Puay Kern, BBM, PBM, PPA(P), AMBCI, Vice Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council and member of the TRCL Board of Directors. “As we celebrate the 19th anniversary of BTBAF, we reaffirm our commitment to developing young minds through the fostering of artistic excellence in Singapore. The ‘Genre of the Year’ competition symbolises the spirit of friendly competition and collaboration, driving the students to think out of the box of their craft and inspire one another to discover new horizons,” said Tan. 

Adopted by The Business Times in 2005 and managed by TRCL, BT BAF has reached out to over 23,000 children and youth from underserved backgrounds, empowering them to fulfil their potential and pursue their dreams in the arts and culture sectors. The fund provides structured arts training programmes at two arts training centres managed by TRCL, The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square Youth.

13th Edition of Annual Fundraiser ChariTrees Raises Over $650,000 for Charity

  • President Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be officiating the Light-Up Ceremony of ChariTrees 2023 for the first time. 
  • Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade to be lit up by 80 Christmas Trees for five weeks through Tuesday 26 Dec 2023
  • ChariTrees 2023 welcomes new beneficiary – Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) – alongside existing beneficiaries: TRCL, SPD and Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)
  • Public can donate to the respective beneficiaries via the national giving platform https://www.giving.sg/home

SINGAPORE, 20 November 2023 – True to its theme of Luminosity, ChariTrees 2023 will transform the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade into a luminous wonderland from Monday 20 November till Tuesday 26 December 2023.

ChariTrees is an annual fundraiser, organised by 4 charities – TRCL, Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), SPD and Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), that sees specially designed Christmas trees light up the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade. ChariTrees brings the festive spirit to the public during the year-end holiday season as well as raise much-needed funds for beneficiaries.

Mr. Tan Puay Kern, Chairman of the ChariTrees 2023Organising Committee says: “We have made ChariTrees into a shared platform for charity fund raising, bringing together different social service organisations to raise the much-needed funds for their respective beneficiaries. This year, we are raising funds for the TRCL’s Business Times Budding Artists Fund, the Samaritans of Singapore, SPD, and the Singapore Cancer Society. The success of this collaborative effort reaffirms our decision to go down this path. We strongly believe that this shared platform and many helping hands approach will make ChariTrees an even more meaningful and effective charity event.”

To date, ChariTrees 2023 has raised $705,000. The funds raised will be used to raise awareness about Arts opportunities underserved children and youth; Fight for Cancer Free Community; Empowering persons with disabilities; Suicide prevention.

This year, ChariTrees will feature a record of 80 trees around the Marina Promenade.

Mr Tan is heartened by the response to the programme over the years. He says: “ChariTrees is a wonderful example of how planting a seed can result in a forest of opportunities. When we planted the seed for ChariTrees in 2011, we only had 25 Christmas trees. Today, ChariTrees has certainly flourished and grown into much more than a garden.”

President Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be officiating the Light-Up Ceremony of ChariTrees 2023 for the first time, at the Event Square of Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade, on Monday, 20 November, at 7:00 pm. The media is invited to cover this event from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. 

ChariTrees 2023 continues to increase its outreach in our community and rally support towards causes that have become more apparent in recent years. These are namely the availability and accessibility of physical and mental health services and resources for children and youth confronted with the increasing pressures of society.

Mr Colin Goh, CEO TRCL says, “Although we have left the hardest days of the pandemic behind us, there are still many that have fallen through the cracks. ChariTrees 2023 seeks to help the underserved in our society, and act as a shining beacon of hope in this festive season, hence the theme of Luminosity.This hopefully serves as a spark and a reminder to all of us that we can become the beacons for others amongst us, like the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The funds raised through ChariTrees will help the charities reach out and assist their beneficiaries to overcome their challenges and achieve a better quality of life. Every amount, no matter how small or large, will definitely help the beneficiaries.” TRCL manages the Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which supports underserved children and youth aged six to 19 years old in their pursuit of the arts.

Mr Abhimanyau Pal, Chief Executive Officer of SPD, adds: “The ChariTrees project has provided an invaluable opportunity for charities to collaborate. The synergy generated has certainly resulted in greater support and awareness in our communities. We are very grateful to our donors for their generosity and enabling us to bring hope and smiles to persons with disabilities during this season of giving.” SPD seeks to develop the potential of people with disabilities of all ages to become independent and self-reliant.

Says Mr Gasper Tan, Chief Executive Officer of SOS: “We are grateful for the immense support from our donors, whose significant contributions will enable us to continue providing free and accessible programmes and services to those who may need crisis care. A platform like ChariTrees helps to create a sense of community and encourage open conversations, as we continue to be an available lifeline to anyone in crisis.” Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) carries out suicide prevention, intervention and postvention services.

Newly added beneficiary SCS aims to be Singapore’s leading charity in the fight for a cancer-free society, and to minimise cancer and maximise lives through effective programmes.

Albert Ching, CEO of Singapore Cancer Society, says: “We are delighted and grateful that TRCL has invited Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) to participate as one of the beneficiaries for ChariTrees 2023. During this time of giving and in light of the Christmas spirit, we look forward to the continuous support of the community. Your generous contributions will significantly aid in sustaining SCS’s programmes and services, ranging from cancer control and prevention to patient support services and palliative care, which will enable and empower cancer patients and survivors to live a meaningful life beyond cancer. I am also elated to share that the Singapore Cancer Society will be celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2024! We have been steadfast in our mission to support anyone in their cancer journey at all stages. As an independent organisation, community support is crucial in our work. Thank you once again for including us for the biggest ChariTrees light-up to date. We look forward to a continued partnership which will enable SCS to be better placed to serve and support the Singapore cancer community for many years to come.”

In line with tradition, ChariTrees 2023also serves as a platform to recognise the contribution of individuals who have uplifted the lives of the underserved in our society. five ChariTrees will feature the stories of the award winners of Singapore Silent Heroes. (See Annex A for the list of Community Heroes)

ChariTrees 2023 has raised $705,000 to date with the support of corporate and individual donors.

Platinum Donors include Asian Tour Limited, Century Evergreen, DBS Bank, Dialine Diagnostic Systems Pte. Ltd., Dr and Mrs Daniel Fung, Green Link Digital Bank Pte Ltd, L-QuBE Pte Ltd, Mind the Gap 200 Fund, Mobilus, Newline Asia Services Pte Ltd, NTUC FairPrice Foundation, Pavilion Capital, PropNex Realty, STEELMECH Engineering Services Pte Ltd, Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, TS Group, Wang Learning Centre Pte Ltd.

Gold Donors include 64 Club Street, Arrowcrest Technologies Pte Ltd, Certis, CMA Mental Arithmetic Centre Pte Ltd, Genesis Advisors, GL Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd, Holywell Foundation Limited, Kai, Yi, Megan, Natalie & Lauren, Lih Ming Construction Pte Ltd, MBS, Mr & Mrs Low Junwei, Nunchi Marine Pte. Ltd., Olayan Capital Pte. Ltd., OUE, Presto Expat Motoring Services Pte Ltd, Sunningdale Tech Ltd, The UpperRoom, Takeda Pharmaceuticals (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd.

Silver Donors include Ascent Advisory, AsiaCloud Solutions Pte Ltd, Brilliance Capital Pte. Ltd., Buss Global, C&W Electronics Pte Ltd, Chee Yin Chia, Healthy Lifestyle Group, Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, National Healthcare Group Diagnostics, Rainmaker Shows Pte Ltd, SCSK Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Sir Stamford Raffles Lodge Number 7444, TE Welgrow Engineering Pte Ltd, TTJ Design & Engineering Pte Ltd, Yong Fong Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd, Youjoy Pte Ltd.

ChariTrees 2023 is managed and curated by Global Cultural Alliance, a wholly owned subsidiary of charity arts organisation TRCL. ChariTrees 2023 partners include production partner Rich-Art Enterprises Pte Ltd, and venue partner Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The public may support ChariTrees via the national fundraising site giving.sg till 26 December as follows:

Children for Children 2023: I Can and I Will

Singapore, 6 October 2023 – Children for Children (CFC) 2023 illuminated the eve of Children’s Day as over 700 underserved children revelled in a day of adventure and joy. CFC 2023 took place at the Sapphire Pavilion, Siloso Point, Sentosa on October 5, 2023, and was graced by Mrs. Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information.

Co-organised by TRCL, The Business Times (BT), and CHIJ (Kellock) Primary School, CFC 2023 marked its 15th edition with a celebration of giving back to the community and nurturing young aspirations.

Mount Faber Leisure Group (MFLG), the venue sponsor of CFC 2023’s Pokémon cable car rides from Mount Faber to Sentosa, expressed satisfaction in being a part of this enriching experience. Sentosa also sponsored the venue, Sapphire Pavilion, where the performance by CHIJ (Kellock) Primary School and the following carnival was held. The heart of CFC 2023 beats in alignment with the theme of the performance “I Can and I Will,” reminding everyone that obstacles can be surmounted and dreams can be achieved.

Mrs. Shanthi Suraj Nair, Principal of CHIJ (Kellock) Primary School, highlighted the event’s impact on the children. “Children should be allowed to be children, to play and have fun. For us, it was a gratifying experience to let these children ride on the Pokémon cable car from Mount Faber to Sentosa, and letting them be themselves with the performance and the carnival. Letting them enjoy a day in the sun and experiencing the Van Gogh exhibit brought great joy to us as well,” expressed Mrs. Nair.

The day unfolded with the Pokémon cable car ride followed by the performance “I Can and I Will” by CHIJ (Kellock) Primary School pupils at Sapphire Pavilion. Besides engaging activities and games at the carnival, the children had the opportunity to explore the Van Gogh exhibit at Sentosa, immersing themselves in the world of art and creativity.

The fundraising aspect of CFC 2023, benefitting The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), stands as a beacon of hope for underserved children aspiring to excel in the arts. By supporting their artistic growth, BT BAF envisions a future brimming with creativity, self-confidence, and a rich cultural landscape.

BT Deputy Editor, Helmi Yusoff, reflected on the significance of the event in fostering a compassionate and inclusive society. “CFC 2023 showcased the collective power of community, collaboration, and compassion. The engagement and dedication from various sectors underscore the importance of nurturing the potential within each child, regardless of circumstances,” he noted.

As the curtains fall on CFC 2023, the organisers extend their gratitude to the public for their unwavering support. The event’s success, fostered by venue partners MFLG, Sentosa Development Corporation, and Van Gogh exhibition, has paved the way for brighter futures, one child at a time. To date, CFC has raised around $201,500. Donors include Hustle & Bustle, Hong Leong Group Singapore (comprising Hong Leong Foundation, Hong Leong Finance Limited, Hong Leong Asia Limited, City Development Limited, Millennium & Copthorne International Limited), Certis Group, Mr CT Quek, CWT Limited, NTUC Fairprice Foundation, UBS, Mr Arthur Lim, Oilfield Services & Supplies Pte Ltd, Slap Dance Studio.

I AM_____________.


The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), managed by TRCL, has witnessed over 22,000 artists passing through its doors for training in Theatre, Dance, Music, and Visual Arts. However, what has become of these artists over time? The answer lies in Souljourn 2.0. Formerly young budding artists, they have now grown up and established a new arts collective known as The r10t Crew (@ther10tcrew).

To mark the inception of The r10t Crew, they will perform a verbatim theatre production titled “I AM _____.” This production engages in discussions about growing up in underserved homes and encourages contemplation of broader societal dynamics and the definition of success in a world often constrained by predefined standards. The production, led and performed by an all-alumni cast and crew, is scheduled to take place at the Goodman Arts Centre Theatre Blackbox from September 29th to October 1st, 2023.

In a true verbatim theatre style, former BT BAF alumnus Vishnucharan Naidu, the director and script writer for “I AM___.”, spent several hours interviewing the eight alumni cast members and several community members and leaders to put the script together.  He says, “I’ve long held a fascination for the enduring impact of growing up in challenging environments, whether they be shaped by financial constraints or intricate social dynamics. In recent months, I’ve dedicated my time to conducting interviews within our community and among the cast to create this production. Among the many stories I’ve encountered, what stands out is the remarkable courage displayed by individuals who’ve embraced their unique journeys, defying conventional notions of success. It has been a privilege to co-create this work with a community that is dear to me, and it is not often that we see work directly from the root itself”. 

Vishnucharan Naidu is one of many artists that has walked through the doors of the BT BAF program. He is now an emerging artist working intersections of Theatre, Applied Theatre, and Bharatanatyam. As a former beneficiary of BT BAF, he now dedicates his career to nurturing young artists’ talents, mirroring the support he previously received from BT BAF. His journey underscores the profound impact of initiatives like BT BAF in shaping the potential of artists and future leaders. Echoing the journey that artists like Vishnu have taken, Lynne Kok, Director of Operations for TRCL, mentions, “No amount of words can accurately describe the feeling of seeing the children of yesterday grow into artists they are today. From the day they stepped into TRCL and its schools, The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square Youth, we have seen them navigate adolescence and develop into their adulthood. While not all of the beneficiaries go on to pursue art as a career, we have seen their lives change due to their exposure to art and many of them still pursue art as a passion. To have the alumni of The r10t Crew come together to create a full show to give back to BT BAF is a delightful completion of the circle, and truly a sight to behold.”

While not many pursue careers directly in the performing arts – some have taken careers that support artists instead. One such individual is Guru Simmar. Guru found his calling in Arts Management whilst being a student of theatre in the BT BAF program.  He states, “My journey with TRCL has come full circle, as I was once a beneficiary and now serve as a full-time programme executive. I also wear the hats of executive producer and cast member for this production. It is heartening to collaborate with my friends, with whom I was once classmates with in the BT BAF programme many years ago. Despite all of us holding full-time jobs, we decided to reunite and address a topic close to our hearts: the experience of growing up. It is not often that we find a space to discuss the challenges we faced in our upbringing. Now, as we are much older, we can reflect on our journeys”. 

As these young artists reflect on their journeys, “I AM ____.” serves as an exploration of their challenging upbringings, delving into the complexities of their experiences. Through verbatim theatre, it sheds light on their struggles and the resilience that guided them through adversity, crafting a narrative that echoes their personal stories.

2023 Edition of 13-19 Art Prize Open for Registrations

Singapore, July 27, 2023 – The 2023 edition of 13-19 Art Prize is open for registrations, as it continues its mission to recognize and celebrate the creative talents of young artists in Singapore. This annual art competition aims to inspire and empower the next generation of artists, foster a sense of community, and support peers from underserved backgrounds through the arts.

Open to young talents residing in Singapore aged 13 to 19 years old, the 13-19 Art Prize invites artists to unleash their creative potential and express themselves through diverse artistic mediums. By encouraging artistic exploration and promoting individual expression, the competition provides a platform for young talents to push their boundaries and take their artistic journeys to new heights.

Mr. Chong Huai Seng, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the 13-19 Art Prize, said, “The 13-19 Art Prize is a testament to the incredible talent and creativity of young artists in Singapore. Through this competition, we aim to provide a platform for these aspiring artists to showcase their skills and express their unique artistic voices. We believe in the power of art to inspire, empower, and unite communities, and the 13-19 Art Prize is a wonderful opportunity for young talents to contribute to a meaningful cause and make their mark in the art world. This year’s 13-19 Art Prize will also expand to cover more categories of art, such as ceramic works and sculptures.”

As a fundraiser, all winning artworks from the 13-19 Art Prize will be exhibited and auctioned, with proceeds going towards The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF). Adopted by The Business Times in 2005, BT BAF has touched the lives of over 22,000 underserved children and youth, enabling them to pursue their dreams and unlock their full potential in the arts. The fund supports structured arts training programmes at two arts training centres managed by TRCL, namely The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square Youth.

The 2023 edition of the 13-19 Art Prize promises to be an exciting opportunity for young artists to showcase their talents and contribute to a meaningful cause. The competition welcomes submissions in the Canvas Artwork category, Digital Artwork category, and expands to cover four more sub-categories: Digital Photography, Photography Prints, 3D Works (Sculpture and Ceramics), and Moving Images. Participants are encouraged to explore their creativity and submit their best works for a chance to win cash prizes and recognition, and have their artworks exhibited and auctioned.

Albert Lam, CEO of Beauté Hub, expressed his support, stating, “At Beauté Hub, we are committed to nurturing creativity and supporting the arts. We are proud to be the Supporting Donor of the 13-19 Art Prize, as it aligns perfectly with our underlying concept of well-being. We believe that art has the power to transform lives, and through this competition, we can make a positive impact on the lives of young artists, especially those from underserved backgrounds. We invite everyone to join us in supporting these talented individuals and their artistic journeys.”

In the previous edition, the 13-19 Art Prize received an overwhelming response with 97 submissions in the Canvas artwork category and 152 in the Digital artwork category, including entries from talented artists across the region. The competition showcased the exceptional skills and artistic visions of the young participants, highlighting the immense creative potential within the younger generation.

The 20 prize-winning artworks from all categories will be exhibited at a later date, allowing art enthusiasts and the general public to experience the depth and talent displayed by these young artists. The artworks will also be available for online auction in Jan 2024, providing art lovers with an opportunity to own a piece of exceptional artistic expression while supporting the cause of the BT BAF. Artwork purchases, after deducting the delivery cost of the canvas artworks and related fees for digital artworks, will be eligible for a 250% tax deduction.

The 2023 edition of the 13-19 Art Prize is open to registrations now, and will welcome submissions from 17th Nov to 1st Dec for digital artwork, and 27th Nov to 3rd Dec for physical artwork at 10 Square. Young artists are encouraged to stay tuned for the announcement and seize this chance to let their creativity shine. The winners of the competition will be announced in early 2024, celebrating their artistic achievements and contributions.

For more information about the 13-19 Art Prize, registration details, and updates on the competition, please visit https://trcl.sg/13-19-art-prize/ or follow us on @trclsg on Instagram.

Celebrate the Launch of Once Upon a Times House: A Captivating Journey Through The Times House Experience

Singapore, 16 Jun 2023 – The RICE Company Ltd (TRCL) is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated launch of Once Upon a Times House, a remarkable book that offers readers a captivating journey through the experiences of Times House veteran editors and journalists over the past few decades. Times House was the home of Singapore’s newspapers, including and not limited to The Straits Times, Business Times, Berita Harian, and the now-defunct New Nation.

Once Upon a Times House is a eulogy for our old home,” quipped Victor Ng, who mooted the idea of compiling stories from Times House. “I was fortunate to have such stalwart compatriots to readily agree to the crafting of this book, and I hope that our younger generation of journalists take heart from these stories and blaze a trail of their own in the pursuit of journalism. After all dreams are tax free and passion has no expiry date.” 

The launch event will take place on Friday, 23 June 2023, at 10 Square in Orchard Central. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the esteemed editors and contributors behind Once Upon a Times House and gain a deeper understanding of the rich and vibrant past of journalism in Singapore in the 1960s to 1990s. 

Clement Mesenas, editor of Once Upon A Times House, remarks, “We wanted to show the younger generation that journalism needed guts and grit to get the good and real stories, not just telling manicured stories decided in advance. True journalism is unembellished; pure cold, hard facts, presented with all the beauty and elegance of simple, clear prose.”

Ivan Lim candidly wrote, “The Singapore Bus Service (SBS) fare story had led to a public spat when then Communications Minister Ong Teng Cheong called out The Straits Times for its scoop, citing the SBS management’s denial of any planned fare increase. Then ST Editor-in-Chief Peter Lim stood by the reporter’s account, a stance seen in official circles as challenging the Minister, thus heightening government-press tensions.”

Guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to acquire an autographed copy of Once Upon a Times House on the launch day. This painstakingly crafted book promises to be a cherished addition to any collection, offering a compelling narrative and a visual feast of archival photographs that showcase Singapore’s history. Each autographed copy will go for $100. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

“We are very happy that Hong Leong Foundation is contributing $50,000 to the Business Times Budding Artists Fund so that the books can be distributed free to all secondary schools and institutes of higher learning,” said Colin Goh, CEO of TRCL. The launch of Once Upon a Times House promises to be a significant event for literary enthusiasts, journalists, historians, and the wider community. It is an opportunity to celebrate the profound influence of Times House and pay tribute to the dedicated individuals who have contributed to its success.

Souljourn 2.0: Empowering Young Artists through Theatrical Expression

Singapore, May 27, 2023 – The RICE Company Ltd (TRCL) is pleased to announce the launch of Souljourn 2.0, a transformative fundraising project taking place in September. With a remarkable legacy of impacting over 22,000 under-served children and youth in the arts and culture sectors, the Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) continues to pave the way for young artists to pursue their dreams.

Souljourn 2.0 serves as a fundraising project for the alumni to generate funds as a form of paying it forward with their artistic abilities and offering them a platform to showcase their talents. TRCL is a second home for these individuals who have been part of the BT BAF programmes since their formative years. It is an opportunity for them to come together, learn, express their experiences through art, and give back to the fund.

Vishnucharan Naidu S/O Vijayan, 28, Creative Director of Souljourn 2.0, emphasises the significance of this production, “Souljourn 2.0 is a tapestry of stories, weaving together the diverse journeys of individuals, both triumphant and arduous. Through the power of art, we aspire to unite hearts and souls, igniting a collective spark of inspiration that transcends barriers and fosters a deep sense of connection. It is a celebration of the human experience, where every story finds its place, reminding us of the transformative and unifying force of the arts.”

The production of Souljourn 2.0, a captivating showcase of authentic experiences, will bring to life the inspiring journeys of individuals who have benefited from BT BAF. This exceptional production aims to share stories of triumph, resilience, and personal growth, igniting thought-provoking conversations. Viewers will be able to empathize with the lives and experiences of these individuals, fostering a sense of connection and solidarity. By delving into the challenges and triumphs faced by these individuals, the production aims to deepen the audience’s understanding of their journeys, while providing an avenue for self-reflection and collective growth.

Guru Simmar S/O Gunasekaran, 28, Producer of Souljourn 2.0, adds, “Being part of this programme has been immensely beneficial to me. It ignited my interest in arts management, leading me to pursue studies in this field at NAFA. BT BAF has been instrumental in shaping my career trajectory and has brought me full circle, back to the very places that originally sparked my passion for the arts. It heartens me to see that the alumni of this programme are returning to contribute to this project in various capacities, united by a shared interest in giving back to the place where we all gained our initial spark. It’s a testament to the profound impact this programme has had on our lives and the strong sense of community it has fostered.”

To celebrate the launch of Souljourn 2.0, a special launch party will be held on Friday, May 26. Alumni involved in the production will have the opportunity to meet and express their gratitude to the donors, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, and Chemical Industries (Far East) Limited, who have generously supported their artistic endeavours. The launch party will take place from 5 to 7pm, marking the beginning of this exceptional event that brings stories of hope, determination, and artistic talent to life on stage.

BT BAF celebrates 18th anniversary with “The Light Within” performance

The Rice Company Ltd (TRCL) proudly presents the BTBAF (Business Times Budding Artists Fund) 18th-anniversary performance, “The Light Within,” which took place on May 6th, 2023, at the Auditorium, 10 Square @ Orchard Central. The production was a collaboration between students from the children and youth division, featuring about 85 students across all art forms, including theatre, dance, music, visual arts, and tech. The show promised to be a memorable experience that inspired and captivated audiences of all ages.

“The Light Within” tells a story of hope and inspiration, centred around Nava, a celestial fish whose flight showed us how to keep the spark of hope alive within our hearts. The name “Nava” was derived from the Sanskrit word for “new” or “fresh,” symbolizing a new beginning or a fresh start towards discovering one’s inner light.

The performance began with an introduction by a fortune-teller’s assistant, welcoming the audience and introducing the magic band and singers. The fortune-teller then took the stage and invited a member of the audience to have their fortune read, warning them of potential dangers on their journey and advising them to stay true to themselves.

“This year’s performance is truly unique. We’ve incorporated puppetry into live performance and our artists have risen to the challenge brilliantly. We always strive to push the boundaries and try new things providing a platform for creativity and experimentation. Our performance is not just a showcase of talent; it is a celebration of creativity and collaboration,” stated production advisor Nor Azizah Abdullah.

The show also featured a dance performance depicting various scenes from COVID isolation as a subtle undertone, highlighting the challenges we faced as a community during the pandemic.

Director for “The Light Within” Vishnucharan Naidu remarked, “As the world came to a standstill, we found ourselves grappling with a myriad of feelings, with loneliness emerging as a common thread connecting people from all walks of life. As we navigated these uncertain times, our inner lights seemed to dim, subdued by the shadows of our emotions. Yet, our human spirit persisted and shone during the darkest moments of the pandemic keeping our inner lights aglow, despite the challenges we faced.”

Chen Hui Fen, Editor for Business Times, said, “Our children and youths are our hopes for the future. This performance they undertook reminded us to keep our hopes kindled in our hearts, just as the story plot tells us that we can eventually find light by relying on one another in times of darkness. What a timely theme, with the performance coming a day after the World Health Organization declared the end of the Covid-19 as a global health emergency!”

The BTBAF 18th Anniversary Performance was a celebration of the fund’s commitment to providing quality education in the arts and nurturing young talents in Singapore. The collaboration between the children and youth division was a testament to the fund’s conviction that any child with potential or strong interest in the arts should not be denied the chance to develop his or her talents due to financial inability.

Second 13-19 Art Prize Exhibition and Auction for Charity Features Works from Youths in Singapore and the Region

  • Art Prize receives support from award-winning home-grown spa and skin specialist, Beauté Hub
  • 25 Canvas and seven Digital artworks have been selected as prize-winners of the second edition of the 13-19 Art Prize, of which four Digital artworks hail from other parts of Southeast Asia
  • The 32 artworks will be exhibited at the Gallery @ 10 Square, located in Orchard Central, and auctioned from the TRCL website from Wednesday, 14 December 2022 to Tuesday, 14 February 2023
  • Net Proceeds from the auction will go toward supporting The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF)

SINGAPORE 13 December 2022 – A 17-year-old student from Cambodia and an 18-year-old student from Singapore both won the Silver Prize for the Digital Art Artwork Category while a 17-year-old student from Singapore was awarded Gold Prize in Canvas Artwork Category in the second edition of the 13-19 Art Prize, a Singapore based art competition for youths.

The three were among the 32 young talents who have been awarded prizes in the art competition that is opened exclusively to youths aged 13 to 19 years old from Singapore and Southeast Asia. No Gold Prize was awarded for the Digital Artwork Category. This was the first time that the category was open to the region.

Organised by not-for-profit arts organisation TRCL, presented by Beauté Hub, and supported by The Business Times, the competition was launched in June with submissions closing in September. In total, the competition attracted 97 Canvas artwork submissions and 150 Digital artwork submissions from Singapore and the region.

A total of one gold, two silver, two bronze, eight merit prizes were awarded in the Canvas Artwork Category. In addition, 12 Canvas artworks attained commendation from the judging panel.

The top prize winner in the Category was Yap Rui Xi from Raffles Institution.

Says Mr Chong Huai Seng, Chairman of the second edition of the 13-19 Art Prize and also a judge in the Canvas Artwork Category, “This year the competition has attracted a high level of entries from Singapore and the surrounding countries. The judges were generally impressed by the quality of the winning entries, especially in the painting category. We hope to encourage more of our young students to explore and develop their creative skills through our annual art competition.”

The top prize winners in the Digital Artwork Category were Helen Nguyen Abrams from International School of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Khanatip Chokoonkit from Catholic Junior College, Singapore.

Says Mr Jake Tan, one of the judges of the Digital Artwork Category, “The sheer range and diversity of themed works that were submitted to this competition is truly impressive. Not only did I witness a next generation of incredibly talented and digitally savvy artists, but I was also awed by their adaptability and mastery of digital techniques. It is clear that the ongoing pandemic has presented unique challenges to these young artists, but their artwork stands as a testament to their resilience and determination to continue creating and expressing themselves. I am honoured to be a part of this process, and I look forward to seeing the impact of their work in the future.”

The competition, which is a fundraiser for The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), was founded in 2021 on the belief of imparting to youths the values of giving-back to the community and of support their peers from disadvantaged backgrounds through art. The 13-19 Art Prize also sets out to challenge the creative potential of Singapore’s youth and promote a diversity of artistic expressions and inspire the next generation of artists in Singapore. BT BAF makes arts accessible for children and youths from financially disadvantaged backgrounds through providing arts training and performance opportunities.

The second edition of 13-19 Art Prize is also marked by support from local award-winning spa and skincare specialist, Beauté Hub as Presenting Donor. This support will be acknowledged during the prize giving ceremony on 14 December with a cheque presentation of $30,000 from Mr Albert Lam, CEO of Beauté Hub, to the 13-19 Art Prize.

Says Mr Phan Ming Yen, Chief Operating Officer of TRCL, “We are grateful that the competition has received support from a Singapore company such as a Beauté Hub for this and the forthcoming edition. This is sign of the competition and its cause gaining traction from within the industry. Such as support will enable us to further nurture young talent as well as create awareness of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.”

Says Mr Albert Lam of Beauté Hub, “An art competition that has the end goal of supporting the underserved is a programme that is very much in line with our values. As a spa and skincare specialist, what underlies our business is the concept of well-being. Our support for 13-19 Art Prize, which in turn, is in support of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, symbolises our belief in caring for and giving back to the community we live in.”