Celebrating All Things Local

In an era of globalisation, there’s a growing appreciation for all things local. From traditional craftsmanship to unique culinary delights, communities are embracing their roots with newfound pride. This listicle takes you on a journey to celebrate the essence of local culture and talent. We’ll explore how brands’ innovative approach to supporting local brands or heritage tours are fostering a sense of community and amplifying the spirit of locality.

Hotel Telegraph exclusive heritage tours and cultural experiences

(Left to right) Hotel Telegraph facade and room

Working with a local historian, the hotel aims to initiate heritage tours that pay homage to our country’s beginnings. As part of this initiative, Hotel Telegraph invites guests to embark on an intriguing walking tour to surrounding places steeped in nostalgia. The route for travellers begins at the hotel’s 1927 building, which survived bombings from World War II, before continuing to the Civilian War Memorial, passing through Lau Pa Sat, Cavenagh Bridge and Esplanade Park.

Those keen to explore further can embark on alternative routes towards the nearby Chinatown, which include historical landmarks such as the 1903 Jinrikisha Station and Yueh Hai Ching Temple — one of Singapore’s oldest Taoist temples, built 128 years ago.

Visit Local Microbrewery in a historic building

While Tiger Beer has long been known to visitors as the Singapore beer, Hotel Telegraph is eager to show both locals and tourists the teeming food and beverage scene in the city by showcasing an up-and-coming craft beer brand. Working with Lion Brewery Co, the hotel will take the heritage tour group on an educational microbrewery tour at the brewlab, which is also located in a heritage building. Built in 1928, the art deco style building used to house printing and book binding businesses on the ground level with residences above.

At the end of the tour, guests will also have the chance to savour six refreshing craft beers, brewed perfectly for the Southeast Asian climate.

Upcoming cocktail classes

The 1927 rooftop bar

In the future, Hotel Telegraph will also be hosting a Singapore Sling masterclass, where guests will be given the opportunity to learn how to mix and shake their very own cocktail using local ingredients.

The hotel’s 1927 Rooftop bar offers guests a further opportunity to experience Singapore as they soak in the one-of-a-kind view surrounded by central Singapore’s towering skyscrapers, a stark but impressive contrast from each of the sites visited during the tour.

“We want our guests to regain an appreciation for our Island state. We often take for granted how far Singapore has come. Hotel Telegraph wants to remind Singaporeans of the abundance of history that exists within our Island City. With many heritage buildings being used as hotels or bars, we would like to highlight the immense growth that Singapore has made from its once humble beginnings.” Garry Chan, General Manager of Hotel Telegraph.

The heritage tours and activities are available as an add-on option during your stay. To learn more about Hotel Telegraph and book your heritage tour and stay, visit: Hotel Telegraph.

Virgin Active’s Better Sundays

Virgin Active, the world’s leading health and wellness club operator, launched Better Sundays, a vibrant marketplace that champions and supports local businesses. Open to both members of the public and Virgin Active members alike, Better Sundays serves as a dedicated space bringing together the best of local brands – featuring a diverse range of activewear, innovative products and healthy food. Better Sundays runs for four consecutive Sundays from 11am to 5pm at Virgin Active Raffles Place, having started on 13 August 2023.

From trendy activewear and innovative beauty products empowering fitness enthusiasts to sustainable food options promoting conscious consumption, each brand embodies Singaporean creativity and supports local businesses. Discover a diverse lineup of brands such as Cheak, Cocoonese, FitMonkie, GlowCo., and Sigi Skin at Better Sundays.

Admission to Better Sundays is free to both Virgin Active members and members of the public. Visitors who are looking to find out more or join the group exercise classes may make a visit to: www.virginactive.com.sg/promotions/better-sundays

Retrospective look at Singapore pioneer art master

Untitled (my three children) 1974, Mixed media on board. Private collection.

Journey through Cheong Soo Pieng’s impressive oeuvre of works spanning his 40 years as one of Singapore’s pioneering artists in Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective. Featuring over 80 works, the retrospective exhibition will offer a comprehensive look into the diverse styles and themes that have characterised the prolific artist’s career, and marks Cheong’s first retrospective showcase in thirteen years.

Unveil Cheong’s artistic journey and stylistic growth with us through the Nanyang art movement of the 1950s and his European journey in the 1960s, to his forays into mixed media works and the Nanyang Decorative style. Many valuable works – hidden from the eyes of the public for decades, will be presented in the exhibition.

The exhibition will take place from 16 September to 1 October 2023 at Artspace @ Helutrans and will be open from 12 – 7pm daily. Admission is free. Art collectors and enthusiasts can also get hold of artcommune’s second edition of “The Story of Cheong Soo Pieng”, a bilingual (English and Chinese) hardcover publication about the artist’s practice over the four decades.

More information on the exhibition can be found here.

Farm-to-Table push for sustainable change

The demand for locally sourced, sustainable food has reached a tipping point in Singapore. As the nation strives to enhance food security and reduce its carbon footprint, a new recognition program is making waves. According to recent data, the Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) Farm-to-Table Recognition Program has witnessed a surge in participation from hotels and food businesses eager to embrace homegrown vegetables, fish, and eggs. This movement towards sustainable sourcing highlights a growing trend in conscious consumerism and the desire for traceable, ethically produced ingredients.

Singapore’s commitment to becoming a global hub of sustainability and innovation is exemplified by the significance of the numbers. The SFA reports that over 80% of hotels and restaurants in Singapore express a strong interest in incorporating locally grown produce into their menus. This trend is fueled by a desire to support local farmers, reduce the ecological impact of imported ingredients, and meet the rising demand for farm-to-table experiences. According to the Straits Times, locally grown greens contributed to just 4.3% of vegetables consumed in Singapore in 2021, representing much room for growth with more consistent demand and retailer support.

Local agritech company Archisen is well-placed to support this shift in demand for local produce, with their unique focus on sustainable and technology-driven solutions for urban farming. Archisen specialises in creating smart urban farming systems that leverage cutting-edge technology to optimise crop growth and resource management. They use advanced sensors, automation, and data analytics to monitor and control crucial parameters like temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels, ensuring optimal plant growth and maximum yield. Overall, Archisen stands out for its integration of technology, sustainability, and expertise in vertical farming and Controlled Environment Agriculture. Their unique selling points position them as a leading provider of smart urban farming solutions, contributing to a more resilient and sustainable future of food production.

They offer 3 main solutions:
Archisen is the first and only company to provide a comprehensive farm management solution for their partners through their turn-key system, cropdom. Through utilising IoT (Internet of Things) technology, Archisen provides comprehensive solutions that helps their partners manage their farms with ease. Through automation, Archisen’s cropdom system can help their partners maximise their crop yields while minimising the need for manual intervention.

This not only reduces labour costs but also ensures that the plants receive the optimal growing conditions, resulting in healthier plants and higher-quality produce. This enables them to create a highly efficient and effective farm management solution that maximises crop yields and minimises resource usage, helping them to meet their goal of building a more sustainable and food-resilient future.

Just Harvest 

Not limited by industrial spaces, Archisen’s Just Harvest program allows retail storefronts to have access to the freshest, house-grown plants. Vertical towers are installed on the premises of restaurants, cafes, and hotels, enabling them to harvest vegetables fresh and serve them to their customers within the day. This program exemplifies Archisen’s use of technological innovation to provide convenience and higher yield for urban farming businesses.

Additionally, they provide quality products to leading retailers in Singapore, through their flagship brand, JustProduce. In addition to its eco-friendly farming practices, JustProduce also emphasises the importance of locally grown food. By growing and distributing their produce within the city, JustProduce reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food from farms to consumers, promoting a more sustainable food system. This demonstrates their overall commitment to sustainability and innovation in agriculture, providing fresh and quality produce to the Singaporean market while minimising the environmental impact of their operations.

Art trail in the civic district

Pause and take a seat at dynamic art benches inspired by punctuation marks along Singapore’s vibrant arts and culture precinct in the heart of town.

See the Civic District afresh with Benchmarks, a new public art trail commissioned by the Civic District Alliance (CDA) featuring the works of six Singapore-based artists. Part of the Arts in the Civic District placemaking initiative to enliven the arts and cultural precinct, the new trail is curated by local multi-disciplinary artist Justin Loke and accessible by the public from 2 August 2023 until 31 July 2026. Benchmarks is anchored on the concept of punctuation marks, and presents a poetic series of unconventional artwork benches situated in and drawing inspiration from historical landmarks within the Civic District.

Images: Archisen, Artcommune Gallery, Arts in the Civic District, Envato (header), Hotel Telegraph and Virgin Active

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