The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020
Virtually Connects Guests and Giving

Hong Kong Ballet’s annual festive fundraiser goes online

[Hong Kong—26 December 2020] For the first time ever due to pandemic safety considerations, The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020 went virtual on Saturday, 26 December 2020 at Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Despite the unprecedented challenges, The Hong Kong Ballet Guild continued to honour its annual fundraising tradition for the 12th year with its family-friendly holiday event to raise funds for Hong Kong Ballet (HKB), which endeavours to keep the art of ballet accessible for the local community during this difficult time. Over 360 distinguished guests participated in the live streaming event in the comfort of their homes.

Among the gracious hosts who welcomed guests online were The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020 Co-Chairs: Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung and Mrs Emily Lam Ho. The distinguished guests who joined via live streaming included Ms Daisy Ho, Chairman of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet; Ms Maya Lin and Mrs Liana Yung Yeung, Members of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet; the Benefit Organising Committee members: Ms Wendy Chiu, Mrs Alicia Tan Ku, Professor Ava Kwong, Ms Wendy Law, Mrs Sandee Lam Sun, Mrs Connie Wei Yang and many more.

Hosted by The Hong Kong Ballet Guild’s Benefit Organising Committee, this charity event offered guests an opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with their loved ones in an intimate way. Festive canapé sets inspired by HKB’s The Nutcracker were prepared by Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel and delivered directly to guests’ homes. The outer red box, featuring the Benefit font, cheerful holiday greetings and whimsical Christmas symbols, lifted up to playfully reveal an evergreen Christmas tree with Nutcracker silhouette cutouts. In reference to the Nutcracker and Ballerina’s reunion at the top of the tree, the design also features a golden Nutcracker in place of the usual star on the treetop with a Nutcracker/Ballerina pas de deux silhouette in his heart. The Nutcracker special edition WonderHats, a new collaboration between HKB and Yum Me Play, were also delivered directly to guests’ homes before the afternoon event began. With these WonderHats of the Nutcracker Prince, the guests could get into character easily and enjoy some fun with the little ones through imaginative play activities that are both educational and entertaining.

Getting creative to reduce social contacts, the popular children’s performance of The Nutcracker was replaced by a 30-minute Special Nutcracker Video. 48 of the Organising Committee members’ children, ages 1.5-12, performed in custom-made Nutcracker ballet costumes, bringing big smiles to both their parents and the audience in front of their screens. In the video, they gracefully danced alongside seven HKB dancers to Tchaikovsky’s world famous music. The guests heartily applauded the performance and shared their appreciation with the young dancers online.

The Benefit’s engaging live and silent auctions and ‘Make a Pledge’ campaign raised money for HKB’s Accessibility Fund, Dancers’ Sponsorship Fund and Student Ticket Fund, as well as new online and community outreach projects planned in 2021. ‘Make a Pledge’ raised much-needed funds for ‘Silver Ballet’, which will provide ballet tutorial videos to senior citizens. Guests eagerly participated to help HKB continue its artistic development and share the joy of ballet in the community.

Organising Committee Co-Chair Mrs Emily Lam Ho welcomed the guests who were celebrating the holidays virtually and said, ‘Due to the pandemic, we have faced a lot of challenges when planning this event, like filming a pre-recorded Children’s Performance instead of a live performance. But we count our blessings that the children were still able to practise and film in person successfully. And due to the COVID surge and restrictions in early December, we had to quickly pivot to a virtual format for the entire event. Everything had to change quickly, but thanks to our thoughtful and accommodating partners and everyone here today, we are still able to celebrate with you at this Virtual Wonderland.

Co-Chair Mrs Lillian Lee Fong sincerely acknowledged the Benefit’s generous sponsors, ‘We are more than grateful to our dedicated Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsors, Premium Table Patrons as well as donors. The pandemic may physically keep us apart, but it never stops us from caring for each other. At this particular moment in time, we remain committed to supporting those in need. It’s a true blessing to be able to give back to the community and show that we are in this together.’

Additionally, Co-Chair Mrs Colleen Yu Fung acknowledged Hotel Partner Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, Media Partners Sing Tao Daily and Tatler, and Prestique Limited for Event PR. She then addressed the impressive efforts undertaken by the creative team to make the Special Nutcracker Video possible, ‘Special thanks to Deirdre Fu Tcheng, the video’s Creative Director, who is also a Board of Governors member and one of The Hong Kong Ballet Guild’s founding members; and to Linda Fung, a Board of Governors member and one of today’s talented choreographers.’

Co-Chair Mrs Emily Lam Ho concluded, ‘We are indebted to our Artistic Director Septime Webre, Executive Director Heidi Lee and the Hong Kong Ballet dancers and administrative team, as well as to today’s emcee Esther Ma and auctioneer Elaine Kwok. Lastly, we’d like to thank all the hard-working Organising Committee members for putting so much time and effort in making this such a wonderful event.’

At the virtual Benefit, guests enjoyed a memorable, meaningful afternoon with their families and friends while also giving back to the community in various ways. After the live streamed main event concluded, guests were welcome to continue watching pre-recorded ballet workshops and arts and crafts tutorials to enjoy more festive fun at home.

The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020

Co-Chairs:
Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung and Mrs Emily Lam Ho

Organising Committee:
Mrs Natalie Chiu, Ms Wendy Chiu, Ms Winnie Chiu JP, Ms Gigi Choi, Ms Vada C Chung, Mrs Michelle Miller Erb, Mrs Catherine Freeman, Mrs Ariel Shtarkman Ghitis, Mrs Alina Huo Knothe, Mrs Alicia Tan Ku, Ms Elaine C Kwok, Professor Ava Kwong, Mrs Alison Chan Lam, Ms May Lau, Ms Wendy Law, Ms Peggy Pei Chee Yeoh, Ms Jolene Lin, Ms Maya Lin, Ms Esther Ma, Mrs Inna Rodchenko-Highfield, Mrs Sandee Lam Sun, Mrs Deirdre Fu Tcheng, Mrs Emelda Wong Trainor, Mrs Elaine Lui Wong, Mrs Alice Tong Wong, Mrs Connie Wei Yang, Mrs Liana Yung Yeung, Ms LeighAnne Zhu

Platinum Sponsor
AMOREPACIFIC

Gold Sponsors
Perrier-Jouët Champagne
Square Solution Limited

Silver Sponsors
Lifelong Labs
Roger Lee Production Ltd.

Bronze Sponsors
FOTOMAX (F.E.) LTD.
Fresh Hong Kong Limited
GOUTAL Paris
Life In Motion
Louis Vuitton
Maggie & Rose Hong Kong
Megan’s Kitchen
Mulberry House International Kindergarten
PAKT Limited 
Rosewood Hong Kong
Mr & Mrs James and Marie Suckling
Yum Me Play

Benefit Partners
ActiveKids Limited
AMMO
André Fu Living
Animation International Limited
Anonymous 
BallroomBees 
Barre 2 Barre
Baumhaus Hong Kong
Ms Elaine C Kwok and Mr Adrian Cheong
CURAPROX
Dorsett Hospitality International
DOUBLESHOT by Cupping Room
Eaton HK
Farrington Interiors Ltd.
Heavenly Dance Limited
HK Headshots
Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel
Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel
JIA Group
K11 ARTUS
kikki.K Retail (HK) Limited
Dr Florian Knothe and Mrs Alina Huo Knothe
Mrs Tyhoa Kobler 
La Broderie
La Rambla by Catalunya
Lai Sun Dining Limited
Little Miss Luk by Vivian Luk Atelier
Little Stories—the Moment by Amy
LPM Restaurant & Bar
Nomad Caviar
Petit Bateau
Rosa & Daniel Photography
Shangri-La Group
Spring Learning
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Foundation Limited
Tata Harper Skincare
Toasst
Topfit Asia Limited
XYZ

Special Thanks
Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel (Hotel Partner)
Ms Elaine C Kwok (Auctioneer)
Ms Esther Ma (MC)
Prestique Limited (Event PR)
Sing Tao Daily (Chinese Media Partner)
Tatler (English Media Partner)

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Photo 1: Ms Daisy Ho, Chairman of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet

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Photo 2: Co-Chairs of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020: (from left) Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung

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Photo 3: Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Co-Chair of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020

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Photo 4: Mrs Emily Lam Ho

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Photo 5: Mrs Colleen Yu Fung, Co-Chair of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020

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Photo 6: Mrs Colleen Yu Fung

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Photo 7: Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Co-Chair of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020

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Photo 8: Mrs Lillian Lee Fong

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Photo 9: (from left) Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung

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Photo 10: (from left) Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung

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Photo 11: Mrs Emily Lam Ho

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Photo 12: Mrs Colleen Yu Fung

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Photo 13: Mrs Lillian Lee Fong

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Photo 14: Members of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020 Organising Committee: (first row from top, from left) Ms Esther Ma, Mrs Alina Huo Knothe, Ms LeighAnne Zhu, Ms Vada C. Chung, Ms Jolene Lin, Mrs Emelda Wong Trainor; (second row from top, from left) Ms Gigi Choi, Mrs Alicia Tan Ku, Ms Daisy Ho (Chairman of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet), Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Inna Rodchenko-Highfield, Mrs Sandee Lam Sun; (third row from top, from left) Mrs Natalie Chiu, Mrs Michelle Miller Erb, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung, Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Ariel Shtarkman Ghitis, Mrs Liana Yung Yeung; (fourth row from top, from left) Mrs Connie Wei Yang, Ms Wendy Law, Ms Maya Lin, Ms May Lau, Ms Elaine C Kwok, Mrs Alice Tong Wong; (fifth row from top, from left) Mrs Catherine Freeman, Professor Ava Kwong, Mrs Alison Chan Lam, Mrs Elaine Lui Wong, Ms Wendy Chiu, Mrs Deirdre Fu Tcheng

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Photo 15: (from left) Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung

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Photo 16: (from left) Ms Esther Ma, Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020 Organising Committee; Mrs Lillian Lee Fong; Mrs Emily Lam Ho; Mrs Colleen Yu Fung; Ms Elaine C Kwok, Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020 Organising Committee

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Photo 17: (front row) Mrs Emily Lam Ho; (back row, from left) Mrs Colleen Yu Fung; Ms Esther Ma, Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Ms Elaine C Kwok

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Photo 18: Ms Elaine C Kwok

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Photo 19: Ms Esther Ma

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Photo 20: Ms Maya Lin, Member of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet, and her daughters

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Photo 21: Mrs Liana Yung Yeung, Member of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet, and Kaia Yeung

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Photo 22: Mrs Alicia Tan Ku, Committee Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020, and family

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Photo 23: Professor Ava Kwong, Committee Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020, and her daughter’s godmothers: Ms Ella Lau, Ms Ming Ho, Ms Yvette Ho

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Photo 24: Ms Wendy Law, Committee Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020, and Ms Belinda Wong Koo

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Photo 25: Mrs Sandee Lam Sun, Committee Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020, and Makayla Sun

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Photo 26: Mrs Connie Wei Yang, Committee Member of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020, and Caitlin Yang

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Photo 27: Mr Septime Webre, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet, and his young guest

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Photo 28: Ms Heidi Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Ballet

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Photo 29: Nutcracker-themed canape set of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020

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Photo 30: Hong Kong Ballet x Yum Me Play Nutcracker and Ballerina WonderHats

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Photo 31: Nutcracker WonderHat centrepiece of The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020

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Photo 32: The delivery team of Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel

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Photo 33: The delivery team of Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel

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Photo 34: The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2020 promotional image | Dancers (from left): Dong Ruixue, Shen Jie | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet

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About The Hong Kong Ballet Guild
The Hong Kong Ballet Guild was established in April 2008 by a group of Hong Kong’s most avid ballet enthusiasts. The objectives of the Guild are to promote Hong Kong Ballet, raise its public profile and preserve its heritage. By increasing awareness of and support for ballet among diverse sectors of society through extensive community engagement programmes, the Guild hopes to achieve its dual objects of developing a wider audience for Hong Kong Ballet, and fostering a society that appreciates this art form, thus enabling Hong Kong to flourish as a global cultural hub.

About Hong Kong Ballet
One of Asia’s premier ballet companies, Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognised as a vibrant arts institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Established in 1979 and led by Artistic Director Septime Webre, HKB has a dynamic repertoire performed by nearly 50 dancers from all over the globe and award-winning education and community programmes.

With almost 50 international tours, HKB has won recognition from critics and fans both at home and abroad. Its diverse repertoire includes classic and modern masterpieces, original full-length ballets created for HKB, an interactive ballet series for younger fans and groundbreaking dance by today’s most sought-after choreographers, including Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jiří Kylian, Nacho Duato and Trey McIntyre, among others.

HKB maintains an active schedule of community initiatives throughout Hong Kong to ensure that ballet is accessible to people from all walks of life.

For further information, please contact:

Prestique Limited
Irene Li
T: 2541 9393
M: 6978 1260
irene@prestique.com

Hong Kong Ballet
Nick Chan
Director of Marketing
T: (852) 2105 9716
M: (852) 9728 1777
nick_chan@hkballet.com

Hong Kong Ballet
Nichol Chau
Senior Marketing Officer
T: (852) 2105 9753
M: (852) 5632 1755
nichol_chau@hkballet.com

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