Silver Arts festival is back!

by | August 14, 2019

NAC’s annual festival has a line-up of more than 30 programmes.

An Evening of Nanyin Jazz.

This year’s eighth Silver Arts festival captures personal stories of seniors through music and dance performances, exhibitions, films and workshops as they connect meaningfully with their peers as well as other generations. The annual festival organised by the National Arts Council (NAC) takes place islandwide from September 5 to 29.

The festival that celebrates seniors and creative ageing in the arts will feature more than 30 programmes and close to 270 artists and art groups involved in the line-up of programmes in English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and Chinese dialects, exploring themes that relate to audiences across the different communities.

This edition also shines the spotlight on seniors, not just as performers and audiences, but as active collaborators and volunteers. Through a wide range of programmes designed to empower and engage the community, NAC hopes to strengthen their sense of identity and self-worth through the arts. For example, earlier in the year, artists Michael Lee, Jaxton Su, Stellah Lim and Flamenco Sin Fronteras organised four Community Arts Projects for seniors from all walks of life to come together and share their perspectives on life through the arts as well as to forge unique bonds with one another in the process. Their creative journey will culminate in the Silver Arts exhibition taking place throughout the festival period at the National Library Building (NLB) Plaza, and will showcase their individual expressions through works such as miniature models, hand casts and performances.

The three highlight programmes at Silver Arts 2019 are by Siong Leng Musical Association, Wadah Seni Entertainment and The Philharmonic Winds:

  • Siong Leng Musical Association’s “An Evening of Nanyin Jazz” (南爵士夜) merges Nanyin music with jazz and pop and will resonate with audiences both young and old through contemporary renditions of classic tunes such as “Unforgettable Love” (不了情) and “The Evening Primrose” (夜来香).
  • Fans of romantic duets from classic and modern Malay films can look forward to “Soulful Silver Screen Melodies” (Sukma Irama Layar Perak), a Malay music concert headlined by singers such as Dato’ Yusni Hamid (Malaysia), Rudy Djoharnaen and Eddy Ali. As a throwback to films from yesteryears, audiences will enjoy songs that transcend the times.
  • Robert Fernando.

    The Philharmonic Youth Winds will join hands with veteran local jazz singer Robert Fernando and two seniors picked from an audition, to present “Those Were The Days”, at an intergenerational concert that will appeal to families.

There will also be two special short film commissions, “Family Affairs” and “A Dream I Did Not Dream” will premiere this year, covering themes of family, relationships and reconciliation. “Family Affairs” is a Cantonese and Chinese film directed by acclaimed writer, producer and director Chai Yee-Wei in collaboration with a xinyao veteran and Chinese studies scholar Dr Liang Wern Foo. “A Dream I Did Not Dream” is a film about the rejuvenating power of time by award-winning director K Rajagopal in collaboration with Dr Uma Rajan. These two commissions are part of the Silver Films programme – a series of five short films and five feature films from Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Taiwan.

Besides the main programmes, other efforts also underscore NAC’s commitment to engage seniors meaningfully in every aspect of the Silver Arts festival. For the first time, a group of 11 seniors was involved in the curation process of the Silver Films programme alongside Objectifs – Centre for Photography & Film. They were invited to review and vote for the final line-up, ensuring that films which better resonate with seniors would make the cut.

Silver Arts Ambassadors.

Silver Arts Ambassadors also play a key role at Silver Arts with more than 60 seniors coming forward every year, and many of them as returnees. They take on roles such as front-of-house stewards, exhibition hosts and arts champions. The arts champions will also be trained to use the Befriender’s Arts Toolkits to relate to their peers through art-making, and this gives them a chance to give back through the arts as well.

Additionally, the Arts on the Move programmes will take place throughout the festival and are free for seniors and their loved ones to take part in. This includes a walking trail through the Civic District, the distinctive arts and culture precinct; an intergenerational photography workshop and performances at the NLB Plaza. To encourage intergenerational bonding, Silver Arts 2019 will also be introducing the new “Date Your Grandparents” campaign passport. Families and friends are encouraged to attend together, and participate in the various festival programmes to collect stamps which can be redeemed for unique collectibles.

For more information about ticketing and programmes, visit




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