Overview

SPARK is a space for creativity, collaboration and visionary thinking. A British Council festival comprising face-to-face and online elements, it celebrates connections and inclusion in our communities and offers a platform for cultural exchange between Hong Kong and the UK across arts, education, science and the English language. It will take place on 18-20 October 2024 in Hong Kong.

SPARK I explored the science and art of creativity.
SPARK II created connections across cultures with a key focus on inclusion.
• SPARK III will explore the meaning and manifestations of Health and Well-being.

Introduction

For more information on SPARK, its purpose, its theme, and target audiences, please see: 

• SPARK 2019 webpage
• SPARK 2021 webpage
• An Introduction to SPARK
• Healthy Futures and SPARK
• SPARK Talks 

Format

SPARK 2024 will be a hybrid festival. Private spaces for workshops and public space for small-scale exhibitions or site-specific performances will be provided for face-to-face and/or hybrid events. Online talks, panel and workshop events will be realised through Microsoft TEAMS. Other online platforms provided will include the British Council Hong Kong website and social media platforms. Proposals using other online platforms are welcomed. 

Regardless of the space or platform used, participating partners will be fully responsible for running and facilitating their own project(s), including the provision of personnel to manage the project in the venue and/or virtual spaces. 

Call for proposal

In response to SPARK, we are inviting applications for creative proposals from individuals, arts organisations and education institutions in the UK and Hong Kong that explore the meaning and manifestations of health and well-being, are accessible and reach diverse audiences. As the world recovers from Covid-19 there is a heightened awareness of the importance of both physical and mental health. A year on from the WHO officially declaring an end to the pandemic, SPARK: Healthy Futures will explore what good health and well-being means and how it can be achieved and maintained through the British Council’s three key areas of activity: Arts & Culture, Education and English. It will investigate the role played by arts, education and science, and different cultural approaches to achieving a healthy society.

SPARK offers the option for face-to-face, hybrid, or online participation. Digital and hybrid proposals should be able to be showcased or accessed digitally during and after SPARK. Each proposal should be a partnership between UK and Hong Kong organisations or individuals. They should stimulate truly global conversations around health and well-being and achieving a healthy society. They should be as low-carbon and environmentally friendly as possible. Please read through the full guidelines in the "downloads" below. 

Venue

The provisional venue for SPARK will be AIRSIDE, a new commercial development in the Kai Tak area of Kowloon.

Please refer to the attached pack which contains floor plans and technical specifications of the different spaces at AIRSIDE which will host SPARK events, as well as further details including transport links.

If your proposal is intended to be realised as an in-person event at AIRSIDE (rather than online), please consider in detail how it will fit into the space and be both logistically and financially viable. Please reflect these considerations in your budget workings.

Eligibility

Projects should have either identified or established UK-Hong Kong partners. If creative partners have not yet been found, applicants should give a clear indication of what criteria they are looking for in a partner. The British Council will attempt to match suitable partners where possible, but accepts no responsibility whatsoever should this not be possible.

• Projects must align to the SPARK theme (Healthy Futures) 
• All or part of the project must be presented in SPARK between 18-20 October 2024 
• Project can include: a festival focus; symposia; panel discussion; SPARK TALK, workshops; interactive installations; performances; exhibitions; innovative use of digital technologies, information communication technologies, augmented reality or virtual reality technologies or applications 
• Project must be financially viable with sufficient resources in place 
• Applicants may submit multiple proposals but only one proposal from each organisation will be selected
• Institution/organisation applicants should be registered in the UK or Hong Kong
• Individual applicants should be Hong Kong citizens living in Hong Kong or UK individuals based/living inside of the United Kingdom unless temporarily living but retaining a home address in the United Kingdom and defined by His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs as ‘resident the in the UK’ for tax

Assessment Crieria

• Alignment to the SPARK theme (Healthy Futures)
• Clear evidence of partnership between Hong Kong and the UK
• Financial viability
• Suitability of the proposal for the chosen venue

The British Council is also committed to select SPARK events that, where possible, will be representative of the four nations of the United Kingdom.

Selection of successful applicants

The entries will be assessed and scored by a panel of British Council staff. Successful applicants will be chosen based on the quality of responses to the application questions and with regards to the specified criteria listed above.

All decisions of the panel will be final and binding. 

The British Council accepts no responsibility for failure to notify successful applicants where such failure results from the provision of inaccurate contact details by the applicants or from the acts or omissions of any third party (including, without limitation, any internet or postal service provider) and shall have no liability to any applicant if it is prevented from or delayed in delivering any aspect of the opportunity by acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond its reasonable control.  

The British Council does not offer any insurance in connection with the opportunity. Each winning arts organisation/ individual is recommended to arrange their own insurance in respect of the opportunity.

Key dates

 Milestone Date & Time
Application opens 1 February 2024 (Thursday)
Briefing session (Cantonese)

21 February 2024 (Wednesday) 
16.00-17.00 (HKT)/ 8.00-9.00 (UKT)

Briefing session (English)

27 February 2024 (Tuesday)
17.30-18.30 (HKT)/ 09.30-10.30 (UKT)

 Application deadline  17 March 2024 (Sunday)
Contacting the selected proposer for further discussion  Before 30 April 2024
Agreements issuing  April - May 2024
 Project window 18 – 20 October 2024
 Evaluation November – December 2024

Briefing sessions

Potential applicants are welcome to join one of the briefing sessions where we will talk through the brief and answer any questions you may have. Two briefing sessions will be held on the following dates and times. Please register here by 20 February 2024 (Tuesday). A confirmation email with a TEAMS access link will be sent out to participants on the day of the event

• Chinese (Cantonese): 21 February 2024 (Wednesday), 16.00-17.00 (HKT)/ 8.00-9.00 (UKT)
• English: 27 February 2024 (Tuesday), 17.30-18.30 (HKT)/ 09.30-10.30 (UKT)  

Grant Support

The British Council is able to contribute funding of up to GBP6,000 per project led by an arts organisation (excluding SPARK Talks and higher education institutions). The grant will cover costs incurred in implementing its proposal, including but not limited to creative and production costs, manpower and project administrative costs. The British Council does not guarantee that the applied amount will be approved in full for successful applications.

The British Council will assess each proposal before contacting the proposer to discuss potential funding models. The British Council will provide start-up funds and final instalment upon submission of satisfactory interim and final reports confirming completion of deliverables as stated in the Proposal. The templates of interim and final reports will be provided at least one month prior to the submission deadline.

Proposers can bring in other funders subject to British Council approval, and the British Council can help to connect proposers with other funding partners where possible.

All projects should include access facilitation for audiences as part of their core project budget.

Date of call for proposal

The opening date of the opportunity is 9am GMT on Thursday 1 February 2024 and the closing date is 5pm GMT on Sunday 17 March 2024. The British Council reserves the right to extend the closing date.  

• Any entry received after the closing date will not be considered 
• The British Council accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any system, server, provider or otherwise that may result in any entry being lost, delayed or not properly registered 
• Successful applicants will be advised within six weeks of the closing date

POST-SPARK CONNECTIVITY

In line with the British Council’s vision to foster global connectivity and sustainability, the British Council is pleased to advise creative partners and broker connections with other partners to rerun/ extend your project in Hong Kong and/ or the UK. 

ACCESSIBILITY

We ask all applicants to embed audience accessibility into their projects, explain what your project will do to address this, include any accessibility costs in the budget proposal (if applicable), and give reasonable justification.

If the applicant has accessibility requirements for the delivery of your proposed project (eg. personal access costs for the individuals involved in the project planning, design and delivery), you will be able to request funds specifically for your accessibility requirements in the budget section of the application form. These costs are not guaranteed, although we will do everything we can to support your needs. For arts organisations applying for grant support for your proposal, your application will be assessed excluding these access costs, but you need to include them in your total budget sheet.

If you identify as disabled, you are welcome to contact us at SPARK@britishcouncil.org.hk for possible support we may offer to assist with making your application.

 

Enquiries: 2913 5114

Email: SPARK@britishcouncil.org.hk