NAC'S “I Never Imagined” Advocacy Campaign Highlights How The Arts Help Draw People Closer


Singapore, 28th March 2012 – Since the “I Never Imagined” campaign (INI) was launched a year ago to create awareness about the value and importance of the arts, Noel Gifts, a homegrown SME and a household name in the gifts and flowers industry, has stepped up and participated in a series of co-branded advertisements to highlight the power of the arts in bringing people closer. In support of the arts, Noel Gifts made a $30,000 donation to LASALLE, one of the charities listed on NAC’s cultural philanthropy portal,, to fund the school’s bursaries for students requiring financial assistance (see Annex C for information about the Noel Gifts Bursary).


In addition, Noel Gifts and LASALLE collaborated to provide an industry-based design competition where students submitted designs for an original floral tote bag for a hand bouquet that is commercially viable. The winning design may be mass produced by Noel Gifts and be used/sold commercially as a product. In addition, the winning design could be submitted by Noel Gifts as an entry to the prestigious Singapore Packaging Star Awards and thereafter, if selected, to the regional Asia Star Awards for Excellence in Packaging (see Annex B for information about the competition).


“There is no denying the transformative power of the arts and its ability to change lives. Indeed, culture and the arts are an essential part of healthy and sustainable communities and we need to do our part to promote this. But we can’t do this alone, without the support of corporations. Through match-making and facilitation between corporate stakeholders and arts and cultural organisations, NAC seeks to engage corporations in nurturing a lively and sustainable cultural landscape where the arts thrive,” said Yvonne Tham, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NAC.


She added, “One such example is the partnership between Noel Gifts and LASALLE facilitated through NAC’s advocacy campaign. Noel Gifts is not only a donor, but also a creative partner with LASALLE in an industry-based design competition for its students. This affirms the strong potential and benefits of close collaboration between arts institutions and corporations. This project brought together the goals of talent development, creativity and business, and allowed both LASALLE students and Noel Gifts to connect meaningfully with a wider audience. We hope this will show the way for more of such collaborations.”  


“For Noel Gifts, this partnership offers a meaningful and creative way for us to give back to the community not only by providing a unique opportunity for  LASALLE students to apply their design skills in a business context but also by supporting the artistic aspirations of LASALLE’s students requiring financial assistance,” said Alfred Wong, Managing Director, Noel Gifts International, Ltd


“As the arts scene takes flight in Singapore, we feel it has been a great honour for Noel Gifts to be part of this journey with LASALLE. We believe collaboration is critical to developing innovative ideas in the creative field and view this partnership as an excellent way to invest and promote art/design education. Looking beyond academic grades, Noel Gifts is especially keen on supporting students who stay on track in finding their calling in the arts. We certainly encourage other corporate parties to support similar meaningful ventures,” added Alfred Wong.


“We in LASALLE believe in the transformation potential of the arts to society, hence we were founded on the belief that every Singaporean seeking an education in the arts should be given an opportunity. This initiative by NAC, supported by Noel, brings the public and private sector to partner LASALLE towards this very goal of making arts education accessible,” says Venka Purushothaman, Provost of LASALLE College of the Arts.


Featuring the thoughts and reflections of people in Singapore, the INI campaign illustrated the accessibility and pervasiveness of arts and culture in our daily lives.  Through the personal stories and testimonials of how the arts can heal, bond, enrich, define and transform lives, the INI campaign showcases ordinary Singaporeans whose lives have been touched in unimaginable and surprising ways. Now in its second phase, INI has evolved into  – ‘Arts For Life’ (AFL) – which reiterates that the arts is life-giving, permeating all aspects of our individual and communal lives, and can be enjoyed by everyone at every stage of our lives; from childhood to silver years. AFL also encourages support and donations from the public to arts and cultural charities listed on, NAC’s online cultural philanthropy portal.


Annex A - Factsheet for NAC's Advocacy Campaign - "I Never Imagined"

Annex B - Factsheet for Noel Design Competition

Annex C - Factsheet for NOEL Gifts Bursary

Annex D - Factsheet for Packaging Awards

Annex E - More Examples of Corporate Partnerships