The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA or the Authority) today announced the appointment of Mr Paul Tam to the position of Executive Director, Performing Arts (EDPA). Mr Tam will be responsible for steering the strategic planning and sustainable development of the performing arts venues and facilities in the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon or the District) and overseeing the business direction and operation models of these venues. His appointment is effective in early 2020.
Mr Tam has a strong background in performing arts management. He began his career in the arts and culture sector when he joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996. During his more than a decade’s service with the Orchestra, Mr Tam held various positions and successfully rebranded and grew both the box office and attendance for the institution as Director of Marketing. Prior to joining WKCDA, Mr Tam was Executive Director of Hong Kong Ballet, leading the dance group’s strategic artistic development, business growth, sponsorship and donation, and a rebranding campaign. Through world-wide artistic collaborations and a variety of initiatives, Mr Tam developed Hong Kong Ballet to a dynamic, award-winning, internationally regarded and locally endeared arts and culture brand.
In his new role as EDPA of WKCDA, Mr Tam will lead the Performing Arts Division to deliver West Kowloon facilities and programmes that provide a welcoming, professional and awe-inspiring experience for visitors and audiences alike. With more performing arts venues to be opened in West Kowloon, Mr Tam will be responsible for all aspects of planning for these facilities, from commencement to implementation and operation. In addition, he will help drive fundraising and sponsorship opportunities for the performing arts in West Kowloon.
Mr Henry Tang Ying-yen, Chairman of the WKCDA Board, said, ‘WKCDA is dedicated to championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. Mr Tam has over 20 years’ professional experience in performing arts management and promotion, and demonstrated excellent leadership in Hong Kong’s leading arts institutions that he served. Mr Tam’s calibre will be of tremendous benefit to the Authority. The appointment underscores WKCDA’s commitment of delivering its vision to become one of the world’s leading integrated arts and cultural hubs.’
Mr Paul Tam said, ‘I am greatly honoured to be appointed the Executive Director, Performing Arts of the Authority. I look forward to working with all members of WKCDA and building the District into both a world-class platform where the best local and international performing arts talents are showcased and the civic pride of the people of Hong Kong.’
Mr Duncan Pescod, Chief Executive Officer of the WKCDA, said, ‘I welcome Mr Tam as he joins West Kowloon to lead our dynamic Performing Arts Division to advance. Building on the successful opening of the Xiqu Centre and Freespace, and with construction of the next one-of-a-kind performing arts venue, the Lyric Theatre Complex, underway, he will further develop West Kowloon’s reputation for quality and creativity both in Hong Kong and beyond.’
The West Kowloon Cultural District is a place to create, produce, learn, perform and celebrate all forms of performing arts. The Performing Arts Division, covering professional teams from dance, theatre, xiqu, music and outdoor and, learning and participation, is committed to presenting outstanding and imaginative performances and festivals across all art forms from Hong Kong and around the world, making West Kowloon an arts and cultural hub where people of all ages are welcomed, entertained and educated.
The biography of Mr Paul Tam
Mr Paul Tam has served the performing arts sector for over 20 years as a professional arts executive. He has dedicated most of his time in promoting performing arts development in Hong Kong and advocating arts and culture participation in the community.
Mr Tam started his career in arts and culture sector by joining the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996 as Audience Development Manager and rose to Assistant General Manager (Concerts Marketing and Public Relations) and Director of Marketing. During his tenure at the orchestra, Mr Tam grew both the box office and attendance, and initiated a number of ground-breaking initiatives such as Blossom with Music, the large-scale music education program for local students. In 2013, Mr Tam was the General Manager of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, which celebrates English creative writing and emphasises writing with an Asian connection through its exciting array of events and activities.
Prior to joining the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Mr Tam has been Executive Director of Hong Kong Ballet, one of Asia's premier ballet companies, since January 2014. He is responsible for overseeing the institution’s strategic development, corporate growth, education and community engagement, sponsorship and donation. Mr Tam has achieved several key milestones including record box office and attendance growths, the launch of multiple major projects such as the community outreach programme Ballet in the City and the strategic rebranding campaign ‘Never Standing Still’ in 2015. He also forged strategic partnerships with local arts institutions, and led major tours to the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, Serbia, Mainland China, Macau and Taiwan. During his tenure, Mr Tam has grown the dance company to a dynamic, award-winning, internationally regarded and locally endeared arts and culture brand in Hong Kong.
Mr Tam is committed to promoting and advocating for the betterment of the arts sector. He is currently Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association, Treasurer of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance, and Committee Member of Art Form Panels (Festivals), Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Mr Tam is an awardee of the Secretary for Home Affairs' Commendation Scheme 2015 for his contributions to the development of arts and culture in Hong Kong.
Mr Tam was an international Vilar Fellow at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. (2003-2004) in the Unites States. He was awarded the scholarships for both the Harvard Business School Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program in 2015 and the Advanced Cultural Leadership Program by the University of Hong Kong in 2012. Mr Tam holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano Performance and Composition as well as an MBA in Arts Administration from York University, Canada.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.