I wonder how many people know of the Paralympic Games that's held just after it.
The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games and the Albertville 1992 Winter Paralympic Games they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympics. On 19 June 2001, an agreement was signed between IOC and IPC securing this practice for the future. From the 2012 bid process onwards, the host city chosen to host the Olympic Games will be obliged to also host the Paralympics.Link
I learned of the Paralympics not because of the Olympics, but because of the efforts of a Singaporean group called Musical Theatre Limited, or MTL (www.musicaltheatrelimited.org).
A musical theatre group.
It's a long story. I'll summarise in point form:
- A fellow songcrafter forwarded the bunch of us an email. It was a call for contributions to a Singapore Paralympic Team CD Album.
- The organisers of this initiative, Musical Theatre Limited, were asking songwriters to submit songs, including instrumentals. The email led me to this YouTube video. I was moved by what I saw.
- The deadline was three days time. So I emailed the organisers (specifically, Desmond) with this song. Would be cool if they liked it or if it was appropriate. At least I tried to do my bit for Team Singapore, heh.
- To my surprised, Desmond emailed back to say he liked what he heard. The song would be included (in the accompanying DVD, not the CD -- which was fine with me). Even asked if I had more songs!
The point is about the efforts by MTL, for Paralympics Team Singapore.
I was intrigued as to the Hows and Whys. Here's what I learned from Desmond over email:
Who started this initiative to compile a CD? - how did this collaboration with SDSC and MTL come about?
Kelly FAN (from the Singapore Disability Sports Council) came to one of our Songwriter Showcases and was impressed with the range of talent. She asked if MTL could write a Theme Song for their Paralympic Team Beijing 2008. I agreed and came up with "Best That We Can Be".
She then asked if SDSC could merchandise and get funds for their charity. I suggested that a full "inspirational CD Album" may be salable, rather than a "single".
Where can Singaporeans buy this CD?
We do not intend to put in "all" CD Stores (no ISBN number, and the margins wouldn't be big enough for them). SDSC has events and we shall have volunteer singers perform and sell the CDs [note: MTL also plans to make the CD available online at the MTL website].
People can call up and buy the CD at the MTL HQ @ Cavan Road, Block 21; or make Cheques payable to "Musical Theatre Limited"; mail to "MTL, Kitchener Road Post Office, PO Box 012, Singapore 912001"; Call Ms. Audrey LEE at +65-9833-9331.
Who are the contributors to this CD?
The contributors to the Audio CD are Sean WONG, Steve ANDRE, Roland ANG, William SOH, Stella KON, Desmond MOEY. The contributors to the Data DVD are listed in a page within the Data DVD (they will have the info up on the MTL website soon).
What were some challenges and issues in making the CD?
The key challenge is funding. MTL has a few projects running and the funds are not available for this CD Project. SDSC could not "drain" their regular sponsors too and thus is inactive in this area.
The funds are trickling in and it is a difficult process. There are many volunteers singing in this CD Album and we are grateful. We have to pay certain professionals to get things done and thus the challenge.
The actual artistic areas are not so difficult, we have good talent.
The Data DVD idea is novel and rather good. It cost more to put in this second disc but it was a great way to allow sponsors to share their messages. Very new and (we) needed time to organize the folders and files.
Where can we obtain more information about MTL, and its Arts Charity status?
Info is here.
Desmond has been emailing the contributors of the status of the project. Last update was that a SDCS representative will be hand carrying a few hundred copies to Beijing this coming Saturday.
The reminder of the 3,000 copies of the CD Album would be manufactured for SDSC for fund-raising and/ or the promotion of their mission with the disabled.
Desmond adds that the CD is retailing at S$15 (I think it also comes with the DVD containing sponsors' materials, with the donated MP3 songs, MTL video productions, and MTL songwriter works).
All proceeds from the CD Sales goes to SDSC.
MTL also invites potential re-sellers to sell the CDs in bulk (margins negotiable).
If you're interested to learn more, give MTL a call. Desmond can be reached at DesmondMOEY [at] gmail [dot]com.
All that said and done, this is really for Paralympics Team Singapore.
Good luck folks.
[Btw, SDSC has a Flickr page. As of this post, it's showing Team Singapore's photos from the Beijing Paralympics].