20 - 22 Sep

Highlights of the AAPPAC Guangzhou Conference 2017



20 – 22 Sep 

Xinghai Concert Hall was excited to host the Annual Conference of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres (AAPPAC) in September. The last conference in China was held in Shanghai in 2009, thus we were honoured to welcome over 80 performing arts leaders from around the region to China once again.

The Conference started off with a welcome speech by AAPPAC Chairman, Mr Douglas Gautier and Deputy Chair Ms Liu Ying, who is also the CEO of our host centre this year. She brought many fresh ideas and theatre operating techniques into South China’s cultural realm. Under her leadership, Xinghai Concert Hall had doubled the number of events in recent years. Ms Liu also initiated a Theatre Alliance of performing venues from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xi’an.

Mr Douglas Gautier, AAPPAC Chairman

Key speaker for the first session, Mr Zhu Kening – Chairman, China Association of Performing Arts, led the discussion on “Performing Arts in China”.

In the much-anticipated session on “Venue Management – Opportunities and Challenges”, the panel consisted Mr Benson Puah, CEO of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Ms Claire Spencer, CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne. The session was moderated by Ms Liu Ying. The Panel shared their perspectives on the topic and allowed us to gain insights on how the centres are driven by their mission in response to the communities they serve and the various challenges faced.

The first day ended with a venue tour and on-site dialogue session at Guangzhou Opera House, designed by renowned architect, the late Zaha Hadid.

(left) Mr Benson Puah, CEO of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Ms Claire Spencer, CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne

Day 2 of the conference started off with a session on “Audience Relations in the age of Social Media”. Delegates heard from Mr Li Haibo, Vice President of Himalaya FM and Mr Li Kai, Business Director of Tencent Music Entertainment Group. Both shared insights on the music industry in China and trends in consumer relations and behaviour.

We were treated to a mini showcase by Guangdong National Orchestra of China and in the evening, we enjoyed a Violin Recital by Ryu Goto.

The last day of the conference started with a presentation on “Touring in China” by Mr Geng Jun, Chairman of Juooo, Mr He Ying, Vice President of Guangzhou Opera House and Mr Fang Yongnian, Artistic Director of Shanghai City Theatre. The session was moderated by Mr Jeffrey Yang, Director of Strategy Department at Xinghai Concert Hall.

In a lead-up to more in-depth discussions at next year’s Auckland Conference, Mr Douglas Gautier led a Forum on “In House Festivals”. Ms Claire Spencer, Mr Kenjiro Hayashi from Aichi Arts Center, Mr Joseph Tan from Esplanade, Ms Helaina Keeley from Auckland Live, Ms Lee Huey-mei from National Theater & Concert Hall as well as Ms Ella Wang from Xinghai Concert Hall provided delegates with an overview of the diversity of the programming strategies and content in arts centres within the AAPPAC network. With this, Mr Gautier hopes to lay the ground work for future collaborations on programmes amongst member centres.

Members Group Photo

All of us at Xinghai Concert Hall would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all delegates, associates and guests for visiting our conference, and to all our sponsors and supporters who helped us to make this event possible.

Special thanks to Ms Helaina Keeley who gave us a glimpse into the Māori culture and gave us all much to look forward to at next year’s conference hosted by Auckland Live. We hope to see everyone there in September!