By MARTIN YEE
KUCHING, Sept 10 – The song ‘Come September’ should be “Come October” for Kuching City which is going for a month-long splash when it celebrated its WhatAboutKuching (WAK) Festival next month.
Returning with a big bang after the two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, WAK 2022 has set its sight to be a global event of the future as it had lined up its homegrown talents from the state to put on an extravaganza festivities.
Unlike other events held in the state the month-long festival consist of a myriad of unique events ranging from a music festival, performing arts, theatre to photo exhibitions as well as a food fair along the iconic streets of Kuching.
There are 450 daily events which will be held in sites like the Java Pier where the music festival is held, Ting and Tink Supermarket area where he theatre is staged, arts and art gardening at Spring Mall as well as gaestronomy delights to be held in the streets.
Already it had received a record 137 participants with a total of 181 unique events being staged at various strategic points in the City.
Minister of Arts, Tourism, Youth and Sports, Entrepreneur Development, Dato Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah made the remark the festival which reflect the creative spirit of so many young talents from Sarawak and WAK provided them the platform to showcase their talents.
“I can see so many young talents from the various fields who are so passionate to showcase their talents,” said Karim who is very supportive of the WAK Festival event.
For he believes it lend an edge to Kuching City as a unique place to observe the many rich cultures and entertainment on display.
Judging from the response from the community and sponsors he also urge for more support from NGOs and private sectors to come aboard as his Ministry is pleased to provide the seed funding to activate a most worthwhile community initiative which requires their participation.
The Minister who is appropriately in charge of Tourism said he can for-see the WAK festival which is included in the Calendar of Events in Sarawak has the potential to grow into a global event.
He was also encouraged by the overwhelming response and support for the event which he described as monumental as they include marketing partners like SAINS, InfoCast Kenyalang, Media Parnters like ASTRO Radio, Cats Radio and venue partners such as Kuching Waterfront by DBKU, Food Journal and OCH, Plaza Merdeka and Waterfront Hotel, Sarawak Museum Department and the Borneo Cultures Museum, The Spring Mall, Grand Magherita and Riverside Hotel by Hemisphere, Dewan Suarah under Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development, The Hills, Sunnydale 1928 by Chemsain, Riverside Shopping Comple3x by Sara Urusharta Sdn Bhd, iCube Innovation, Think and Tink, Junk and Chabo and many more.
In 2019 when it was last held there were 250,000 audience recorded while for 2022 the target is set for 300,000.
The founder of WAK Kuching is Donald Tan and wife Marina Tan while the event is community driven as it is organized by a committee.