SINGAPORE: Blockbuster musicals brought in by the Integrated Resorts (IRs) have apparently played a significant role in increasing attendance for performing arts events in Singapore.
In a written reply to a question in Parliament, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said total ticketed attendance went up from 1.38 million in 2010 to 2.14 million last year.
And ticketed attendance for musical theatre alone more than doubled from 180,000 in 2010 to 570,000 last year.
Mr Wong was responding to a query from Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh on the impact of imported shows on the revenue of locally-produced performing arts events.
Due to confidentiality purposes, Mr Wong said his ministry is unable to conclude that shows brought in by the IRs have reduced the ticket sales of locally produced performing arts events, as ticketing agencies do not provide ticket sales of individual performing arts events.
But he said it is understandable that local arts groups have concerns about the impact of shows presented at the IRs, as they now face stiffer competition both for the audience's and sponsors' dollar and time.
He said the National Arts Council (NAC) will continue to provide direct support to local artistes and arts groups in the form of grants for organisation development, project assistance, capability development and rental assistance.
Such direct support from NAC doubled from S$18.3 million in 2009 to S$36.5 million in 2012.