Harbour spectacle to open Games

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 February, 2009, 12:00am

A team of experts who helped produce the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies is to reprise its role - this time in Victoria Harbour for the 2009 East Asian Games.

The opening ceremony of the regional sports event will feature performances on a floating stage, with special effects and a fireworks show, it was revealed yesterday.

Announcing the appointment of Beijing BeiAo Grand Cultural and Sports Events Company as ceremony producer, the government said it had been selected from among several local and foreign firms because of its track record.

'It has not just worked for the Beijing Olympics, but has also organised opening ceremonies for other similar sports events,' Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai said.

Lu Jiankang, who last year was assistant supervisor of the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, will head the project.

Mr Lu said the ceremony would represent the city's culture, with a vast display of visual effects. Victoria Harbour would be the largest ever backdrop for a stage performance, he said.

'We believe hundreds of thousands of spectators will enjoy the charisma of Hong Kong through the ceremony,' he said.

Mr Lu said he expected technical challenges in placing the stage in the harbour, including weather and tidal currents, but alternatives would be planned. Half of Mr Lu's team will be from the mainland, with other members from western countries.

Hong Kong talent would also be sought, he said.

The ceremony will start at 8pm on December 5, the first day of the nine-day Games.

The opening and closing ceremonies will cost a total of HK$35 million, according to Leisure and Cultural Services director Thomas Chow Tat-ming. Another group of experts will be announced for the closing ceremony.

Let the Games begin

An artist?s impression of a stage floating in Victoria Harbour during the East Asian Games? opening ceremony

The Games in numbers

Number of sports: 23

Number of events: 1,700

Number of participating regions: 9

Number of athletes: 3,000+

Estimated number of spectators: 200,000+

Cost of events: HK$240m

Ticket prices Capped at: HK$100

Number of competition venues: 21