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Singapore International Festival of Arts Goes Virtual with SIFA v2.020

Singapore, 20 May 2020 — Following the announcement that the National Arts Council (NAC) and Arts House Ltd (AHL) have invited Gaurav Kripalani to stay on for one more year as Festival Director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2021, Kripalani and the SIFA team are ready to unveil SIFA v2.020. Accessible through the new SIFA All-Access online platform, SIFA v2.020 features a series of curated virtual events including talks, workshops, performances and more from 25 May 2020 till the end of the year.

Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani shares, “This is probably the most challenging time the arts have ever faced. When this pandemic is over and it is finally safe to go out, I believe audiences will crave the cathartic and communal bond of sharing in a live performance together. The world will be a different place, as will the way we engage with art. SIFA v2.020 aims to bridge that interval whilst asking how we do that in the new normal”.

The programming for SIFA v2.020 was designed with three aims:

  • Creating a space for artists to share their views: Audiences can look forward to live-streamed “In Conversation” sessions and panel discussions where artists from Singapore and abroad share their views on creating art and how it might change going forward in the new normal.
  • Professional development: Arts practitioners seeking mentoring, guidance, or inspiration to empower themselves creatively in this surreal new environment can also look forward to SIFA artists sharing their insights through talks and workshops.
  • A platform to showcase online work: SIFA v2.020 will showcase work by artists created for the digital sphere to engage audiences from here and abroad.

Four arts groups who were commissioned to premiere new work at SIFA 2020 will work with the SIFA team to create online content from late May to December this year. Audiences can anticipate online talks, workshops and vodcasts centered around their productions: OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya by The Finger Players, Three Sisters by Nine Years Theatre, A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Existence by Toy Factory and The Year of No Return by The Necessary Stage. Their engagement with SIFA will culminate in the world premieres of their works which will be presented in SIFA 2021.

Beginning with three programmes on 25 May, SIFA v2.020 will kick off with a panel session between Gaurav Kripalani, and directors and producers for SIFA 2020 local commissions, discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the arts, and will focus on the exciting and innovative ways they will create and conceptualise art in the new normal.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Kripalani and the SIFA team will continue to reach out to artists in Singapore as well as internationally to explore ways in which they can be part of SIFA v2.020. Audiences are encouraged to subscribe to the SIFA e-newsletter or to follow SIFA’s various social media channels to receive updates on the artists who will be joining the line-up throughout the year.

AHL CEO Sarah Martin adds, “Art has the ability to inspire and uplift spirits; through good or bad times. In the last few months, I’ve witnessed an even stronger belief in creativity and coming together to collaborate. SIFA v2.020 embodies the fruit of collaboration between AHL, Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani and our panel of local performing artists and groups. This innovative platform will allow everyone in Singapore the chance to continue celebrating artistic excellence digitally. We will deliver the SIFA experience to everyone’s doorstep and keep audiences inspired to join us for SIFA 2021.”

Low Eng Teong, Deputy Chief Executive (Sector Development), National Arts Council, says, “Though SIFA cannot be presented as planned, it is important for SIFA to re-imagine innovative modes of presentation and connect festival lovers digitally through the power of the performing arts. The creative possibilities offered by SIFA v2.020 will allow our arts groups and practitioners to strengthen their digital capabilities and engage new and existing audiences, both at home and abroad. We hope that SIFA v2.020 will have Singaporeans and the world enjoy and experience our nation’s distinctive performing arts, anytime and anywhere.” SIFA v2.020 is presented by Arts House Limited as part of the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign.

Subscribe to the SIFA newsletter and visit for weekly news and updates on SIFA v2.020.




For more information, please contact:

Samantha Jong
Huntington Communications
T: +65 6339 2883
M: +65 8163 4662
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Glenn Huang
Head, Communications
Arts House Limited
T: +65 6435 0240
M: +65 9274 7553
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Johann Khairi
Communications Manager
Arts House Limited
T: +65 6435 0176
M: +65 9180 7776
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to the Editor:

For high-res images, please contact Samantha Jong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(Credits: Arts House Limited)

Follow #SIFA2020 on:

For more information, please refer to the following annex:
ANNEX A – Programme Details for May to June 2020




About the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)

As Singapore’s annual pinnacle performing arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) presents captivating and diverse works across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the festival has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of arts lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly anticipated festival is a high point on Singapore’s arts and cultural calendar. Under the helm of Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani, SIFA continues its festival mission to champion the creation and presentation of Singaporean and international works.

About Arts House Limited

Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts. AHL manages two key landmarks located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District – The Arts House, a multi-disciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming, and the Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, a heritage building that is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. It also runs the Goodman Arts Centre and Aliwal Arts Centre, two creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses, and performing arts space Drama Centre. AHL presents the Singapore International Festival of Arts, the annual pinnacle celebration of performance and interdisciplinary arts in Singapore commissioned by the National Arts Council. 

AHL was set up in 11 Dec 2002 as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) under the National Arts Council and was formerly known as The Old Parliament House Limited. It was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 Mar 2014.

About National Arts Council

The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, our diverse and distinctive arts inspire our people, connect communities and profile Singapore internationally. We preserve our rich cultural traditions as we cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies for the future. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the arts, so that together we can make the arts an integral part of everyone’s lives. For more information on the Council’s mission and plans, please visit

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