If you haven’t heard the fuss already (where HAVE you been?), Singapore turns a grand age of 50 this year! And while it’s still a lot younger than many countries, this marks a wicked milestone for an island state that’s defied the odds of its small size and made astounding progress ever since it gained independence 1965. To celebrate, the whole country is coming alive all year with exciting events and festivities that make the best of its culture, history, heritage and unique quirks. Eager to join the happy hullabaloo? We’ve rounded up the best uniquely Singaporean exhibits, concerts, carnivals and more…
Singapore: Inside Out
All of your senses will be engaged in this creative showcase designed by Singapore’s own creative masterminds. An array of contributions in categories like architectural constructions, design, music, film, fashion and food will teach you – or remind you of –what it means to live in Singapore. Kicking off in Beijing, the exhibition will travel through London and New York before arriving home to our shores at the end of the year.
When: 27 November – 6 December
Where: Tan Quee Lan Street
Singapore Through the Glass
This mix of live music and video screenings produced by local film-makers in the interpretation of “Singapore Seasons” will bring you closer to what you know in a way that you don’t. Sit back, enjoy this unique performance and take in the different seasons of life in this city like you have not experienced it before.
When: 26 April 2015
Where: The Esplanade Concert Hall
SG50 Concert Series in the Park
Local artists and community groups take turns performing in front of Singapore’s public in locations including state-of-the-art parks such as the Botanical Gardens and Gardens at the Bay over the course of the country’s jubilee year. The first concert in March featured well-known artists like Olivia Ong and Souhaimi Yousof alongside up-and-coming performers like the duo Jack and Rai, and set the bar high for concerts to come. The next show will be held at the Activity Plaza in Admiralty Park on the 9 of May, followed by another four in the following months.
When: March – December 2015
Where: Various parks and gardens around the island
Singapore Heritage Fest 2015
Learn about the stories and events behind well-known places in celebration and to see Singapore through new eyes. Check out the numerous festival hubs positioned all around the city, visit a range of seminars and performances, and participate in exclusive workshops that bring you closer to the diverse cultures that share this little speck of land. This year’s highlights include a delicious food trail through Balestier and a historical tour of the National Museum of Singapore.
When: 17 April – 18 May 2015
Where: Various locations, including Fort Canning, Chinatown and Bras Basah
Go 50 – A Nation in Motion
This 2500km run is split into 50km over 50 days – each tied in to one of the major milestone years in Singapore’s history. Open to anyone who wants to test their spirit and perseverance, the marathon invites you to run as many of the days you like in any of the six special routes. Run for independence, belongingness, racial harmony, or any other theme that connects you to the Little Red Dot in this early birthday celebration.
When: April to June 2015
Where: Various starting points, including MacRitchie Reservoir Park and Hortpark
Price: Free (with prior registration)
In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew
The National Museum opens the doors to its glass atrium to the public in memory of the man who moulded the country into the burgeoning metropolis that it has become. This exhibition looks back on the life and political career of Singapore’s first Prime Minister. Gain some insight into the ideals that shaped his decisions and follow the development of his life alongside that of the small yet influential nation that he had such an impact on.
When: 25 March – 26 April 2015
Where: The National Museum
Opening of National Gallery Singapore
Singapore’s National Gallery, housed in the refurbished old Supreme Court, is set to open towards the end of the year – a must-see event for visual arts enthusiasts, culture lovers, and those seeking something a little different. The gallery will exhibit a range of regional and local art from the 19 century to the present, as well as host a variety of international exhibitions.
When: November 2015
Where: National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road
This initiative unites Singapore’s city-dwellers – both local and foreign – through delicious, home-cooked food. After all, what better way to bring different groups of people together than with a favourite childhood dish, or an exotic snack? Attend one of several food carnivals, or even join the movement as an #SgHomeChef by hosting a private dinner party or potluck in your own crib. The next food carnival, happening in June, centres around the theme “The Good Old Days”.
When: 14 June 2015
Join a yearlong, nation-wide treasure hunt for a new hidden surprise every month. Clues are released on Facebook and Instagram as riddles, puzzles, and pictures, and treasures in the form of “Treasure SG” coins are hidden in historically or culturally significant locations. Find the treasure, snap a photo, and claim your prize!
When: January – December 2015
Where: Various mystery locations
This year, Singapore has the honour of hosting the 28 Southeast Asian Games at Singapore Sports Hub. In addition to watching professional athletes from all over the region compete in a huge spectrum of sports events, the organisers have planned lots of fringe activities in conjunction with SG50. Bearing the theme “Celebrating the Extraordinary”, the SEA Games allow you to volunteer at the competitions and also participate in some of the 50 community projects and number formations that count down to the opening ceremony. Either way, show your support to Team Singapore and celebrate the momentous year by “painting the town red”!
When: 5 – 16 June 2015
Where: Various locations, including Singapore National Stadium and OCBC Arena
Price: S$12 – S$60 (Opening Ceremony), S$12 – S$40 (Closing Ceremony), Free – S$20 (Events)