‘What About Kuching’ is back

Ting (centre) with (from left) Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture principal assistant secretary Nasir Lariwoo, Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Sharzede Salleh Askor, Donald and WAK co-director Marina Tan pressing the button to launch the WAK 2020 Festival. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: What About Kuching (WAK), the festival that celebrates arts, culture and lifestyle, is back for its fourth edition this year, running from Oct 1 to 31.

The launching ceremony for WAK 2020’s Call for Proposal was attended by Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting, who represented his minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the Old Court House here, yesterday.

Abdul Karim, in his text of speech read by Ting, said that by launching the Call for Proposal this month, they hope to have the full programme out by late June or early July to ensure visitors have adequate time to plan their visit.

“The success of WAK does not only lie in the hands of the creative community, but also with the city as a whole.

“The movement (WAK) really took root and gained traction since starting in 2017, with the ministry providing reflective funding as the main sponsor,” he said.

Abdul Karim added he was certain that WAK would see many more world-class acts being staged under its wings.

“This opportunity for our locals to perform side by side with established international acts will greatly elevate our own standards in the coming years,” he said.

The annual festival, which aims to support tourism, culture, heritage and the arts in a bold and innovative way, will gather talented communities from Sarawak and showcase their best efforts in the many genres of arts, culture and lifestyle.

Besides that, WAK co-director, Donald Tan revealed that WAK 2020 debuts a new theme ‘Play’, on which this year’s festival design will be based, taking elements inspired by patterns on Penan baskets and breaking it down into simple shapes.

“By moving elements around and resizing them, the patterns are updated and modernised, creating a playful and fresh new look,” he said.

The month-long WAK would provide the opportunity and platform for the various creative communities to connect with the public, and also for the public to appreciate the outstanding level of creativity in Kuching.

The launching calls for all those who are involved in the arts, culture and lifestyle genres to submit their proposals to stage their exciting events that may be featured at WAK 2020 in October.

Tan also said he would be looking forward to receiving more proposals for this year’s event, and it is open for the public nationally and internationally.

“Those interested to participate in WAK have two months from now, until May, to submit their proposals because we want to get the WAK calendar (of events) ready on our website by late June or early July, so that we can start driving people to our festival in October,” he said.

As an open access platform, WAK would accept all proposals, and the organisers would do its utmost best to work with the submitting communities to make their event a reality.

Collaborators who are interested to join WAK Festival 2020 can submit their proposals via WAK’s official website.

Submission of proposals and for any enquiries, visit www.aboutkuching.com.