Prevue asked Jaoa H. Rodrigues, Macau Government Tourism Office, Media & Marketing Manager, his thoughts on culture and creativity trends for 2011. Q: What are some creative ways planners can use Macau to create special events? A: Many of Macau’s historic sites can be used for special events. One of my favorite events in Macau took place on top of Mount Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is surrounded by historic cannons since it used to be a vantage point to defend Macau from invaders. During the event, guests could watch the show sitting down or dance the night away. Q: What are some popular festivals that planners can tie in with group programs? A: There are many options when it comes to festivals in Macau. We celebrate both Chinese and Portuguese holidays, as well as some unique Macanese events. Plan a karaoke sing-along during the Macau International Music Festival. Create a team bonding experience and enter a group to compete in the Dragon Boat Festival. Or truly immerse yourself in the Macanese and Portuguese culture during the Lusophone Festival, where representatives from many Portuguese-speaking countries showcase their foods, music and culture in Macau.Q: What are some area cultural venues popular for groups? A: Groups looking for a cultural venue are in for a treat in Macau. Many of our museums are available for events, including the Wine Museum, which is connected to the Grand Prix, providing for a great combination, as well as the Taipa Houses Museum in Taipa Island. A new cultural venue in Macau is the I.M. Pei-designed Science Museum. This venue was recently recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as having the biggest 3D screen in the world. Groups may also want to check out Macau’s gardens, especially Camões Garden and Lou Lim Leoc Garden. Camões Garden represents a Portuguese-style garden, while Lou Lim Ieoc is a typical Chinese garden. Q: What are some signature musical venues popular for group events? A: Because of Macau’s rich musical history, we have many signature musical venues. Among some of the favorites during our International Musical Festival, which is celebrating 25 years this year, include: St. Dominic’s Church and Dom Pedro V Theater, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as modern settings like the Venetian Arena. Q: What are a few signature food items and/or restaurants relating to the culture of Macau? A: Food in Macau is a good reflection of the community’s long multicultural experience. Many consider Macau as the birthplace of fusion cuisine. The combination of Portuguese, Indian and even Malay and Chinese cuisines make up the unique Macanese cuisine, such as African and Goan’s chicken and piquant prawns, all baked or grilled with peppers and chilies. It is hard to find another city with such a concentration of restaurants offering so many different cuisines to suit so many tastes at all kinds of budget.