Wide-ranging WAK Festival 2023 programme includes Scottish traditional dance workshops


Abdul Karim (seated centre) poses with collaborators of WAK 2023.

KUCHING (Sept 15): This year’s What About Kuching (WAK) Festival will have a diverse programme including Scottish traditional dance workshops.

Ell Sinclair from Scotland will enlighten participants on three of Scotland’s traditional dance genres at Track and Dance Studio, Emporium Kuching on Oct 17-18.

Her sister Grace will provide a space for participants to learn hand-sewn mending techniques, textile repair skills, and about the environmental sustainability movement in the textile industry.

These sessions will take place at tHe Spring Shopping Mall (next to Switch) on Oct 18-19.

Another highlight will be What About Music: All That Jazz, a musical session at Dewan Sri Bunga Rampai on Oct 27 featuring an all-star line-up of Kuching’s finest: Eugene Suboh’s Jazz Trio, Gena Sim, the 3 Dindas, and a special guest performance by legendary guitarist Az Samad.

What About Music: Y2K – Soundtrack of Our Lives on Oct 28 and What About Music: Forever Young on Oct 29 will also take place at Dewan Sri Bunga Rampai.

Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah unveiled the calendar of events for the festival today.

He recalled October was the month hotels here usually faced low occupancy since there were not many events.

He explained WAK came about from the desire to turn October into a vibrant month for the city.

“It was difficult to get collaborators to come in initially but it got better and they had to stop for two years due to Covid-19. And it grows to be a major event.

“I’m proud to see that the WAK team makes sure the festival stays on and this is the fifth year, which is still very young as compared to other events such as the Rainforest World Music Festival and Kuching Marathon,” he said.

Abdul Karim said October will now be a busy month for Kuching not just with WAK Festival but also other major events such as the Governor’s birthday celebration, Kuching Marathon, and International Dragon Boat Festival.

“The International Dragon Boat Festival received so much response that we had to stop at 19 countries but so many still want to come in,” he said.

He was glad that 28 collaborators are supporting this year’s WAK Festival, which will showcase the unity and diversity of the community in Kuching as well as being an iconic international celebration of arts and culture.

“I want this event to be supported by my ministry because it involves the youth and the community. But government’s support alone won’t be sufficient, so I hope more corporate bodies can come in to support,” he added.

WAK is a community-driven, month-long celebration of the arts, culture, and lifestyle happening every October in Kuching city and greater Kuching.

Inaugurated in 2017, the festival aspires to turn the city into a vibrant hub of activity, with creative individuals showcasing their talents as well as a myriad of events ranging from art shows, music gigs, theatre, comedy, dance, talks, workshops, and more.