On the basis of the Hong Kong branch of the Guangdong Professional Union for Cantonese Opera Performers, the CAAHK was re-registered as a professional organization for Cantonese Opera performers Hong Kong in 1953.
Establishment of the CAAHK
While developing the art of traditional Cantonese Opera and protecting the rights and welfare of fellow performers, CAAHK also aims at providing care to the old and weak, assisting the widowed and orphaned, performing ceremonies to pay tributes to the Chinese saints and ancestors, and nurturing new talents. Over the past 50 years, CAAHK has not only looking after the welfare of its members, but also actively participating in charity events for the community. Whenever there were huge disasters that struck Hong Kong, China of Asia, the CAAHK would immediately organize charity performances to raise funds and support those who were affected, events such as Love for Victims by CAAHK (八和愛心獻災民), Sending Warmth to Taiwan by CAAHK (八和送暖到台灣), Love for South Asia by CAAHK (八和愛心獻南亞), and Together CAAHK Warms Up Sichuan (八和同心暖四川) were held. On 17 December 2008, the CAAHK was registered as a charity organization. Committed to establishing and protecting the survival mechanism of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong, CAAHK aims to strengthen the inheritance system and enhance the communication with various stakeholders in the society, thereby passing down the tradition of Cantonese Opera in a dynamic fashion.
Cantonese Opera is a kind of performing arts that combines singing, acting, reciting, acrobatics, music played by musicians, stage costumes, and abstract focus. With the joint declaration made by the Governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau in collaboration with the Central Government in September 2009, Cantonese Opera was included in the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and was also the first world Intangible Cultural Heritage in Hong Kong.
To enhance the inheritance of Cantonese Opera, the CAAHK was registered as a charity organization in 2009, followed by the promulgation of the Association’s "Cantonese Opera Inheritance Scheme". In summary, the goal of CAAHK Cantonese Opera Inheritance Scheme is to establish a mechanism for the thriving of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong, strengthen the inheritance system, and enhance the communication with various stakeholders in the society, thereby passing down the tradition of Cantonese Opera in a dynamic fashion.
The establishment of Cantonese Opera Inheritance Scheme includes 4 main goals: rescuing traditional performance skills, providing professional training, expanding the market/audience, and developing Cantonese Opera in the traditional manner.
Strategy 1: Rescuing and Protecting the Traditional Performance Skills of Cantonese Opera
- Encourage and strengthen the collection of information on Cantonese Opera and cultural relics of Cantonese Opera - Gather oral history from Cantonese Opera artists and practitioners - Propose the establishment and opening of an archive of Cantonese Opera materials - Support traditional Cantonese Opera performances on bamboo theatres - Repair and restore the ceremonies, rundowns, and arrangements that are unique to Cantonese Opera
Strategy 2: Providing Professional Training
- Cantonese Opera Young Talent Showcase under Yau Ma Tei Theatre Venue Partnership Scheme - The Cantonese Opera Academy (COA) of Hong Kong
Strategy 3: Conserving and Developing of Cantonese Opera
- Create classes for Cantonese Opera script-writing skills - Organize screenwriting competition for Cantonese Opera
Strategy 4: Expanding the Market and Audience
- Organizing Art Courses for Cantonese Opera in primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions - Organizing territory-wide, large-scale promotional events - Hosting performance shows in different districts for idea exchange purpose