Rediscover, reimagine and rejoice in the heartlands with a mix of physical and virtual activities from 28 November 2021 to 18 February 2022
Heartlands Festival 2021, the first island-wide celebration of the heartlands, was officially launched today by Guest-of-Honour Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, together with Ms. Sim Ann (Senior Minister of State for National Development and Foreign Affairs) and Ms. Low Yen Ling (Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Culture, Community & Youth) at Heartbeat@Bedok. Organised by the Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore (HECS) and supported by the Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore (FMAS), and Enterprise Singapore, the inaugural festival, which will be held till 18 February 2022, seeks to commemorate our heartland merchants and hawkers, and inspire all to look to the heartlands as a go-to destination to eat, shop, play and celebrate.
Lai Cheng Yi, HECS Centre Director shared, “The inaugural Heartlands Festival is a three-month campaign that calls on all Singaporeans to ‘Eat, Shop, Play & Celebrate’ in our heartlands. Bringing together the efforts of various organisations including local merchants’ and hawkers’ associations, we believe the festival truly has something for everyone. We encourage fellow Singaporeans, especially the younger ones, to join in the activities that have been organised in celebration of our heartlands.”
360-Degree Immersive Activities to Eat, Shop, Play and Celebrate
The three-month festival will be filled with programmes based on the following themes – Eat, Shop, Play and Celebrate, represented by the festival’s family of otters – Eddy, Sasha, Paddy and Carly respectively. Inspired by Singaporeans’ cherished leisure activity of spotting otters, the festival captures the essence of life in the heartlands, with the otter family taking residents through a series of programmes and activities under the festival’s themes.
Eat features Eddy’s Ultimate Food Challenge, where participants can sign up via Instagram to compete against Zermatt Neo, one of Singapore’s most famous competitive eaters, in a timed eating contest. Qualifying rounds will take place across five neighbourhoods in Singapore from January 2022, while the final showdown with Zermatt will be held at the Closing Ceremony. The first to finish a whopping hawker food platter will earn the title of ‘Singapore’s Ultimate Foodie’ and walk away with a $500 NETS FlashPay Card.
A social media campaign, Top 100 Eats with Eddy – Hawkers Edition, will also run in collaboration with food bloggers such as @fatspoting, @thisisjeffrey and @thehalalfoodblog. Participants can suggest and vote for their favourite hawker picks by commenting on Instagram posts to help curate a list of 100 prominent hawker ‘Top Eats’ by the people, for the people.
Shop comprises a compilation of sweet deals and gifts that one can find in the heartlands in Sasha’s Xmas Gift Guide, and a timed race, Shop Your Hearts Out with Sasha that will take place in January 2022. Participants can stand to win prizes worth up to $400, as they compete to shop across five heartland shops while keeping within a budget of $50. Participants will be selected through a series of online contests hosted by @heyheartlands on Instagram.
Play includes immersive experiences such as the Heartland Tours, which brings participants to iconic landmarks and nostalgic neighbourhood attractions to learn about the culture and diversity of our heartlands. The first tour will kick off in the month of December at Bukit Gombak, while the rest of the tours will commence from January 2022 across locations such as Ang Mo Kio/Kebun Baru, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Boon Lay, Bedok, Bras Basah/People’s Park Complex and Clementi.
Another activity to look out for is the Heartlights Xperience Trails series, where five spectacular light and photo installations featuring Singaporean’s favourite local pastimes and landmarks will be displayed across different heartlands, alongside lighting decorations put up by the local merchants’ and hawkers’ associations. There will also be a uniquely Singaporean Instagram campaign, Heartland Gems: Hunt with Paddy, where participants will be invited to share fond memories of local hidden gems where they Shop and Play.
“There are about a total of 40,000 heartland merchants, hawkers and wet market stall operators. While COVID-19 has affected them badly, they are adapting and staying resilient through digitalisation and innovation. Heartlands Festival 2021 will be a good opportunity for them to engage and understand consumers, especially the young and tech-savvy ones, and embark on their transformation journey,” said Yeo Hiang Meng, President of FMAS.
The festival will also invite audiences to share their thoughts and aspirations for our heartlands through an Instagram campaign The Future of Our Heartlands, and an exclusive three-part Heart Me Out video series that spotlights heartland businesses that span across generations and showcases the aspirations of young heartland business owners.
To encourage consumer spending at the neighbourhood centres, the festival is also organising Weekly Lucky Draws with Carly, where participants can stand to win $388 worth of prizes in the Weekly Draws, and up to $3,388 in cash and prizes in the final Grand Draw. To participate, shoppers simply need to spend a minimum of $10 per transaction at any shop or food stall in the heartlands and submit their receipts here. Every $10 spent confers one lucky draw chance, and shoppers will receive an additional chance when they complete their purchase using e-payment.
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