Sarawak International Festival of Music and Arts goes hybrid on Nov 20 and 21

Abdul Karim (third left) with other dignitaries holding up SIFMA 2 posters at the press conference on Nov 9, 2021.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Nov 9: The second edition of Sarawak International Festival of Music and Arts (SIFMA) is set to be held at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex on Nov 20 and 21.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the festival aims to revive and highlight the dynamic field of music and arts by bringing diverse communities together including renowned dancers, conductors, choirs, singers, and artists from different parts of the world.


Organised by International Music House Kuching (IMH) and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTAC), SIFMA 2 will feature a two-part live concert.

The first part will bring Sarawak to the world, covering a storyline of a musical journey to SIFMA showcasing all major ethnic communities of Sarawak.

“Among the performers from Sarawak is the Sarawak Chinese Ensemble, led by Kenwy Ho Khong Wee, Director of Kenwy Music and Arts Academy in Kuching. The ensemble performs the trapezoidal yangqin, a Chinese hammered dulcimer that produces a distinctive sound.

“The Karya Terindah Performing Arts in Kuching, an art and cultural dance troupe consisting of dancers from Sarawak will also perform. Also in the line-up will be the Russell and Randell Dance Company in Kuching, founded by Sarawak dance personalities with Russell Lim Jian Liang, Randell Lim Xiu Zhen and Cindy Chung Sin Yee forming the dance company’s core team of dance teachers.

“Also watch out for appearances by top violinists from IMH, SONS (Simfoni Orkestra Negeri Sarawak) and other music centres in Kuching,” he said at a press conference at Baitulmakmur 2 Building in Kuching today.

The second part of the live concert will bring the rest of the world to Sarawak and will feature top performers of music and dance including the renowned Bolshoi Ballet dancers from Russia, award winning conductor of the Suc Song Moi Ensemble, Quang Vinh Dong, singers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Visayan cultural troupe from the Philippines and more.

Abdul Karim said the festival is among steps to revive the State’s tourism, arts and culture sector as many programmes have been forced to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlights of SIFMA 2 will include an ongoing forum called “Let’s Talk”, featuring inspirational stories and advice from professionals and enthusiasts within the music and arts community.

Another highlight is “Be A Host”, which invites the audience to enjoy the festival’s live virtual showcase with friends and family via a watch party hosted virtually from anywhere in the world.

“If anyone wants to be a watch part host, all they need is a venue whether it is in their home or an event space like a café or mall. Watch party hosts also have the opportunity to create their own theme and stand a chance to win some great prizes,” Abdul Karim said.

The virtual event on Nov 21 will be livestreamed from different locations not just within Sarawak, but Malaysia and the rest of the world as well, via venue partners and vendors, thus helping to attract the masses and generate revenue for them.

The two-day hybrid event will be presented live at DUN and livestreamed via Facebook and YouTube (@sifmaofficial) at 7.30pm, with a virtual show on Nov 21 from 5pm to 7pm.

Presently, SIFMA has received 10,000 registrations for the event so far, with more registering their interest. Members of the public may sign up via – DayakDaily