Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) announced that the year 2019 will mark 200 years of history for Singapore and events have been prepared to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial milestone.
The office under the Prime Minister Office, shared that a new experiential showcase held at the Fort Canning Centre which traces the stories of Singapore’s early settlers and communities, historical trails featuring projection installations at historical spots such as Telok Ayer Street, and augmented reality trails of the Singapore River and Fort Canning Park have been prepared to provide Singaporeans the chance to reflect on the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore in 1819, which was one of the “key turning points” that changed Singapore’s trajectory.
It added that the showcase will also dwell on Singapore’s formative years, some 500 years before 1819, travelling back to the 14th century.
Some said that the event is the prequel to Singapore’s Golden Jubilee (SG50) in 2015, which were the events that paved the way for SG50. It is said that the festivities will kick off from 28 Jan next year with its official launch ceremony.
The events will be organised by the Asian Civilisations Museum, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery of Singapore, and National Library Board.
The Asian Civilisations Museum will put up an exhibition of South-east Asian objects that will reflect Sir Stamford Raffles’ role as an avid collector and explorer in the region.
There will be the 2019 edition of the i Light Marina Bay festival that will be themed, “i Light Singapore: Bridges of Time”, and will expand beyond Marina Bay to cover other integral parts of Singapore’s history like the Civic District and Singapore River area.
And there will also be the Singapore Heritage Festival from 9 to 23 March, Singapore Night Festival in August, and an Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) conference on the Singapore Bicentennial in September.
An event called Find Your Place in History Trails will be held between April to May, which features various projection installations at various historical spots, to allow Singaporeans to experience their homeland through the years and find out about the less well-known points in its history. One of the examples is a history trail will take place at Telok Ayer Street, one of Singapore’s oldest roads.
The new showcase at Fort Canning Centre will be set up from June to September to feature iconic moments in Singapore’s history through five galleries. There will also be three installations at the Fort Gate for visitors to explore.
Co-chair of the Ministerial Steering Committee for the Singapore Bicentennial Desmond Lee said that the aim in planning the line up is for all Singaporeans to participate actively, adding, "We factored in the diversity in the nature of events, (be it) exhibitions, roadshows, conferences, national events, festivals and trails, to maximise the reflective experience for Singaporeans throughout 2019."