New programme “SHF Takes Over!” offers insights into lesser known stories of our history and heritage

A vibrant waterway that holds many fond memories for Singaporeans; culturally-rich precincts with a charming mix of the old and the new; and a starstudded hill named after a Colonial Secretary of the Straits Settlements: Singaporeans do not have to look very far to learn about our island home’s bountiful history and heritage. In the 14th edition of the Singapore Heritage Festival (SHF), everyone is invited to explore Singapore’s lesser known stories through a specially curated line-up of programmes and activities.

Spanning three weekends from 28 April to 14 May 2017, this year’s edition of Singapore’s signature heritage festival organised by the National Heritage Board features more than 110 programmes. Created in partnership with close to 80 community partners, SHF offers Singaporeans multiple touch-points to rediscover, experience and enjoy diverse stories of our tangible and intangible heritage.

Inaugural “SHF Takes Over!” Ventures into Unexplored Spaces

This year, the festival introduces a brand new programme, “SHF Takes Over!”, which brings Singaporeans into inaccessible or less-explored spaces to uncover their hidden stories and memories. The inaugural edition of this programme takes visitors on an adventure into the heart of Singapore’s broadcast history – the Caldecott Broadcast Centre¹. This iconic location that many Singaporeans are familiar with, but which has been largely out of bounds to most, will welcome festival-goers during the first two weekends of SHF. Visitors will get to explore the oldest
part of Caldecott Broadcast Centre, where Singapore’s first radio station, Radio-Television Singapore, was set up.

A myriad of events and programmes have also been specially curated to transform the space. These include theatre performances such as Studio 6 by Singapore group Sweet Tooth by Cake Theatrical Productions, which will revisit scenes from popular television programmes such as Under One Roof and The Little Nyonya; guided tours by the staff and celebrities of Mediacorp; art installations including one made up of cathode ray TV sets; and even a disco party.

SHF at Caldecott Hill - Sweet Tooth by Cake
Photo credit: Sweet Tooth by Cake

Part of the grounds will also be turned into a retro and vintage-themed Festival Village, with food and drinks, flea markets, and throwback concerts of classic songs we know and love.

Festival Director Angelita Teo says, “SHF has, over the years, built a strong rapport with Singaporeans. Many have grown together with us, and some have even gone from being festival goers to contributors. This year, our new programme ‘SHF Takes Over!’ brings Singaporeans to Caldecott Broadcast Centre, a place that many of us are familiar with but few would have had the chance to visit. We hope that this experience will encourage our audiences to discover more about Singapore’s rich history and heritage, and to be inspired to contribute in their own way.”

singapore heritage fair caldecott hill

This year, Singapore Heritage Festival (SHF) is excited to offer a rare opportunity to enter Caldecott Broadcast Centre (CBC)*, which will be specially opened to the public. Take the opportunity to explore the space where local productions were conceived and produced, and discover the lesser-known aspects of the fascinating world of broadcast with a host of programmes and activities over two weekends. Come and experience the unique theatre show Studio 6 – a lively and modern re-visiting of iconic stories and characters involving scripts from best-loved comedies, dramas, variety and children shows; unleash your creativity and contribute to our community wall mural; learn about the history of television broadcasting at our TV50 Exhibition; and follow guided tours by industry staff and celebrities to uncover what goes on behind-the-scenes in the various aspects of broadcast production. Join us and be inspired by the immense collective effort which goes into creating productions and the magic
of broadcast!

*Entrance to SHF 2017 @ Caldecott Broadcast Centre is via Olive Road

Studio 6
Caldecott Broadcasting Centre Film Studio
Date & Time:

  • 28 April, 5 May: 7pm – 7.30pm | 8.30pm – 9pm
  • 29, 30 April: 5pm – 5.30pm | 7pm – 7.30pm | 9pm – 9.30pm
  • 6 May: 7pm – 7.30pm | 9pm – 9.30pm
  • 1, 7 May: 11am – 11.30am | 12.30pm – 1pm

Free admission

Join contemporary theatre company Sweet Tooth by Cake, as they present Studio 6, a performance piece that portrays the dynamism of interactions that occur on set.

A lively and modern re-visiting of iconic stories and characters, Studio 6 will involve scripts of best loved comedies, comedy-dramas, variety and children shows. It will also feature exciting sound effects, singing, and lots of banter and fun on a mock film studio set.

Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap
Caldecott Broadcast Centre
Date & Time:

  • 28, 29 & 30 April: 7.30pm – 8pm | 9pm – 9.30pm

Free admission

Since 2008, Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap has been entertaining audiences with its quirky observations and wacky take on current affairs. This edition of Fat Kids will feature 20 plays in 30 minutes, and the audience gets to decide the order of the plays.

This is a show that isn’t afraid to tackle hard issues and for this instalment, it will also draw inspiration from the wonderful world of broadcast.

Produced by local group How Drama, the show was performed at the prestigious Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in 2015, and also at the Singapore embassy in Washington, DC, as part of the SG50 celebrations. How Drama has also performed for sold-out audiences at Esplanade’s Flipside Festival and the Singapore Night Festival.

Always eager to nurture new audiences, How Drama has taken the show to community clubs and schools all over Singapore.

Island Stories – Untold Stories of Sisters Islands and Kusu Island
Caldecott Broadcast Centre
Date & Time:

  • 28 April, 5 May, 6 May: 6.15pm – 6.45pm
  • 29, 30 April: 4.15pm – 4.45pm | 5.15pm – 5.45pm
  • 1, 7 May: 11.15am – 11.45am

Free admission

Three storytellers share two tales of how two Southern islands of Singapore came about. The first is a tale of two sisters determined to stay together, and the second is a story of friendship, trust, respect and common goals between two boys of different races and a turtle.

Presented as a live radio play, discover the untold tales of Sisters Islands and Kusu Islands, and find out how sound effects are made live on stage.

Conceptualised and directed by Jeffrey Tan of Theatre Today. Written by Tina Teo.

Performed by Kimberly Teo, Mohammad Hilmi Bin Adul Shukur, and Ranice Tay.

Walking Caldecott
Caldecott Broadcast Centre
Date & Time:

  • 28 April, 5 May, 6 May: 6.30pm – 7.30pm
  • 29, 30 April: 4.30pm – 5.30pm | 6.30pm – 7.30pm
  • 1, 7 May: 10.30am – 11.30am

Free admission (Limited capacity 25 pax/ tour at a first come first serve basis)
Registration onsite.

Want to know where a certain pair of drama lovebirds met? Or hear about a ghostly encounter on the hill? Or explore where the celebrities take a breather? Join Mediacorp artistes and industry staff as they bring you along the sites that form their fondest memories of Caldecott Broadcast Centre. Tread through areas at Caldecott Broadcast Centre as stories unfold about iconic studios, sets and offices that supported the local entertainment and news industry.

Video DJ: Pop Rules
Caldecott Broadcast Centre
Date & Time:

  • 28 April, 5 May: 6pm – 10pm
  • 29, 30 April, 6 May: 4pm – 10pm
  • 1, 7 May: 10am – 3pm

Free admission

Make a song dedication to a secret crush or a loved one at the Video DJ: Pop Rule.

Spanning the different eras of pop culture, accompany our DJs and dance to well-loved tunes from the 60s and beyond, including a disco party specially for the young ones!

Get ready to dance the night away!

From Aksi Mat Yoyo to The Awakening and back again
Caldecott Broadcasting Centre Props Store
Date & Time:

  • 28 April, 5 May, 6 May: 6pm – 10pm
  • 29, 30 April: 4pm – 10pm
  • 1, 7 May: 10am – 2pm

Free admission

Drop by Aksi Mat Yoyo to The Awakening and back again, a video installation made up of cathode ray TV sets, and catch snatches of scenes from productions of yesteryear.

Screening snippets from well-loved dramas, sitcoms and news programmes spanning 30 years, the work forms an evocative timepiece to the TV50 exhibition.

Created by Brian Gothong Tan.

TV50 Exhibition
Caldecott Broadcast Centre Props Store
Date & Time: 28 April – 1 May, 5 – 7 May | Throughout Festival Hours
Free admission

Trace the progress of Singapore’s broadcasting history and culture since the 1960s, from the emergence of television in Singaporean homes, to the diversity of productions unique to Singapore’s cultural and national identity. Relive iconic moments created on television, and view main actors’ costumes from past Mediacorp drama productions. As the world globalises and viewers’ expectations evolve, the exhibition closes with a reflection on the future of local television.

Strengthening Our Partnerships with the Community

Apart from “SHF Takes Over!” at Caldecott Broadcast Centre (28 Apr – 1 May & 5 – 7 May), the festival, co-created with community partners such as artists, practitioners, schools, and cultural associations, will also go to other well-loved Singapore spaces over the subsequent weekends:

Weekend 2: SHF 2017 @ Little India (6 – 7 & 13 – 14 May)

singapore heritage fair singapore little india

To celebrate the Indian Heritage Centre’s second anniversary, Campbell Lane will be turned into a canvas for art installations including a saree-inspired one, and multi-cultural performances presented in partnership with various arts groups in Little India. Festival-goers will get to witness a grand street procession along Campbell Lane, leading up to a never-seen-before fusion performance of the great Hindu epic, The Ramayana. Visitors can also go on a culinary adventure with celebrity chefs, Chef Devagi Sanmugam and Chef Sultanul Ariffin, as they swap out their chef’s hats for a day to play tour guides to bring visitors to historic eateries in Little India.

SHF 2017 @ Bukit Pasoh (6 May & 10 May)

singapore heritage fair bukit pasoh

Home to clans and associations since the late 19th century, SHF will once again take to the streets of Ann Siang and Bukit Pasoh on 6 and 10 May respectively, in celebration of the rich history of the area, and our intangible cultural heritage. With the streets closed to traffic, festival-goers are invited to uncover the people and stories behind these clans and associations through open houses, guided tours and workshops. These are championed by the clans and associations themselves, and is true community ownership at work. Be sure to look out for special performances by traditional puppeteers, and storytelling sessions by a disciple of the famous storyteller, Lee Dai Sor.

Closing Weekend: SHF 2017 @ Singapore River (12 – 13 May)

singapore heritage fair singapore river

SHF will conclude its last weekend with programmes along the Singapore River that revolve around our food heritage and culture, another integral part of our intangible cultural heritage that continues to bond generations of Singaporeans. Paying homage to the rich hawker scene that once thrived along the river – from the famous Satay Club to the Empress Place Food Centre – the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) will present food-related exhibitions, installations, outdoor movie screenings, and performances. Hawkers will also reunite outside ACM to tantalise the taste buds of festival goers as they relive shared memories of dining by the Singapore River.

These weekend highlights will be accompanied by the festival’s staple array of programmes, including crowd favourites such as heritage tours, exhibitions, films, talks and programmes at the National Monuments, museums, heritage sites and shopping malls around the island. New partners such as the Singapore Zoo and DP Architects have also joined in the festivities, while returning partners such as the Eurasian Association and The Fullerton Heritage will be presenting a special heritage bus tour, and dramatised tours and a concert by the river.

Some highlight programmes are:

Singapore Zoo Programmes – Embark on the Old is Gold Family Trail and learn about the lives of Singapore Zoo veterans such as Inuka the polar bear, Komali the Asian elephant, Omar the white tiger and Astove the giant tortoise. Take your interaction with Inuka further with programmes such as An Afternoon with Inuka and Polar Bear Keeper Interaction.

DP Specialist Tours – Join DP Architects on architectural guided tours of the St Andrew’s Cathedral and Zhongshan Park Integrated Development. Hear first-hand from the architects about the considerations that went into designing these structures, and learn some fun facts along the way!

Eurasian Heritage Bus Tour – The Eurasian Heritage Bus Tour will take visitors to three locations around Singapore that tell the story of the contributions of Singapore Eurasians to nation-building. These include the Eurasian Heritage Centre, St Joseph’s Church, and the Singapore Art Museum.

The Fullerton Heritage Programmes – Uncover the secrets and untold tales behind one of Singapore’s most iconic National Monuments with dramatised tours, A Fullerton Love Story, which will end off with the hotel’s signature chocolate buffet. Or enjoy a concert by the Singapore River with the TENG Ensemble in Where The River Always Flows.

Most programmes under SHF are free and open to the public. Online registration of ticketed programmes will commence on 20 April 2017, at 10am. For the full listing of events on SHF 2017, please visit

¹ Entrance to SHF 2017 @ Caldecott Broadcast Centre is via Olive Road.
Shuttle buses to Caldecott Broadcast Centre will be available from Bishan MRT station, Caldecott MRT station and MacRitchie Reservoir carpark.

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