‘Sarawak International Festival of Music and Arts’ to debut next month

Abdul Karim (centre) fielding questions from the press.

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, May 22: The inaugural `Sarawak International Festival of Music and Arts’ (SIFMA), a gala concert showcasing local and foreign musical and dance performances, will take place on June 28-29 at the old DUN building.

The first of its kind to held in the state, the event is organised by the International Music House (IMH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports. It will feature the Mandeville Stars and The Vocal Consort from Singapore as well as the Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra and Kuala Lumpur’s Children Choir.

According to Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the state would be represented by the SIFMA Orchestra.

For the dance performances, musical and cultural arts enthusiasts can expect dancing troupes from Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and many more, he added.

“SIFMA aims to showcase to the world our unique culture grandeur and richness.

“We hope to create a good avenue for international artistes from all over the world to come to Sarawak so that together we can showcase cultural talents and, thereby give opportunities to our local residents a window to see and develop their own arts in Sarawak.

“We also hope to entice Sarawakians who have also made a big name for themselves overseas to come back to showcase their arts and share with us their success story, so as to inspire the local youths,” he told a press conference at Baitulmakmur Complex here today.

Abdul Karim believed the high standard of the participating international artistes would inspire young Sarawakians and that through these initiatives, many hidden talents would be nurtured as well as being developed.

The minister said through SIFMA, the state hoped to build an umbrella to support arts and culture performances by working together with others on key areas of common interest.

He added that SIFMA could be seen as the first step for Sarawak to provide a good avenue for locals and foreigners to showcase their talents to the world. This could also promote interest and confidence of the supporting industries to flourish the state as a centre of rich performing arts in Asia.

He mentioned the state’s plan to turn the old DUN building at Petra Jaya here into a centre of performing arts.

The ministry is also looking to establish a solid working relationship with IMH and the international participants, with the aim of making SIFMA an annual event.

The two-day event is open to the public with ticket prices at RM50 for normal seats and RM100 for premium seats.

Tickets to the event are available at IMH. Any enquiry can be directed to 082-424658 or 016-8794658. — DayakDaily