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The Other Festival

Over the past three weeks, Ipoh Old Town was filled with the arts, culture, food and history all thanks to ‘The Other Festival’ held by KakiSeni from October 22 to November 8. More than a thousand Ipohites, domestic and international tourists flooded the city to enjoy the sumptuous spread of festivities from historical trails to literary affairs, performance trails to Halloween; screening and storytelling, busking to music showcase, poetry readings to workshops. Supported by the Perak Government and Tourism Perak the festival put Ipoh as the festival destination map alongside with Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

The first week of the festival witnessed the amazing performance by the award-winning Company Man by Cheeky*Park, coming all the way from Japan. Despite the rain, more than a hundred people sitting and standing in the drizzling rain were awed by the performance which showcased acrobatic circus acts as well as dance and comedy. Local music collective, Projek Rabak played one of the big role in the festival as they were in charge of curating the music scene where people were entertained everyday by local Perak talents alongside great Malaysian music acts at Kong Heng square and Big John’s Music Shack. The festival also launched two books by Buku Fixi entitled ‘Hard Core’ and ‘Hungry In Ipoh’.

Trails curated by Bernice Chauly and Patrick Teoh received amazing responses from the audience who were given the privilege to hear Bernice reading on her own turf, the memorial she wrote in tribute to her family and life in Ipoh, after years of reading it around the world. Exclusively for the festival, Perak-born actor and model, Bella Rahim, brought out the spooks during the Halloween weekend with her ghostly storytelling in the banquet hall of the former Majestic Station Hotel.

Kaki Seni also collaborated with Kuala Lumpur-based, theatrethreesixty and Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA) for Ascent: These Memories Are Made for Walking, a performance trail that received rave reviews from its participants and also featured a site specific sound installation by the award-winning playwright, Benjamin Yeoh’s Yellow Gentleman. Workshops and discussion held through the festival gave experts such as Saidah Rastam and Casey Ng, the platform to talk about Malaysia’s history and state of being. Not forgetting the beautiful museum Han Chin Pet Soo, which introduced so many audience members to Ipoh’s decadent tin mining history.

KLK’s Day Out with the Children

In conjunction with The Other Festival held recently in Ipoh Old Town, festival partner, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK), sponsored a Tote Bag Art Competition in selected primary schools across Kinta District. It then hosted a day out in town for 63 underprivileged children, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme.

Themed “My Ipoh In The Future”, 700 tote bags, produced by Persatuan Daybreak, were distributed to six primary schools. Divided into two categories, based on ages, the children were given two weeks to submit their original artwork illustrating what they envisage Ipoh to be like in the future. The objective was to encourage them to discover the Ipoh of today and find inspiration to share their dreams for an Ipoh of tomorrow.

Over 600 entries were returned and a total of 30 finalists, 15 from each category were selected. Their entries were put on display in Kong Heng Square for a little over a week so everyone who visited could see how Ipoh in the future looked like in the eyes of a child.

Old Town was being overrun with children on Saturday, October 31. Sixty three underprivileged children from Diamond Home Ayer Tawar, Pusat Jagaan Anak Anak Yatim dan Miskin Nurul Iman Manjoi and Rumah Anak Yatim dan Miskin Anning were treated to a day out in town.

Volunteers from KLK’s head office in Wisma Taiko took the kids on a heritage trail walk around Old Town before making a pit stop at Sarang Paloh Event Hall for a special round of Tote Art Competition. With help from the volunteers, Nasha and Layla of NashPotatoes and crew from KakiSeni, the kids came up with some amazing artworks in two hours. After a difficult round of judging, Pusat Jagaan Anak Anak Yatim dan Miskin Nurul Iman Manjoi won first prize while Rumah Anak Yatim dan Miskin Anning and Diamond Home Ayer Tawar won second and third prizes, respectively.

The prize-giving ceremony was held in the evening for the 30 finalists from the Tote Bag Art Competition held in schools at Kong Heng Square. Teachers, parents and the finalists were invited for the event.

In Category A, the top prize went to Wan Nur Ainin Sofiya binti Wan Azuan, second to Aisya Sofea binti Khairizal and third prize to Muhammad Adif Putra, all from SK Sri Kinta. In Category B, first spot was won by Azreena Azwa binti Azha from SK Perempuan Methodist, second by Clarina Nicolas Ilamaran also from SK Perempuan Methodist and third placing went to Brandon Loh Kar Wei from SK St. Michael.

Prizes were presented by Lim Poh Poh, Head of KLK CSR and Low Ngai Yuen, President of KakiSeni.

Closing Ceremony

Held at iconic Ipoh landmark, the Birch Memorial Clock Tower, audiences were fed with the magic of music by Hands Percussion alongside with other entertainers, such as KL’s beatbox-acapella group, Colour of Voices and Hands Percussion. The ceremony was closed by Kinta State Cultural Association Chairman, Mohd Yusop bin Othman who couldn’t believe the turnout of The Other Festival

“I am pleased and proud to see how people are awed by our heritage, the performances and are able to experience the city at a more personal level,” said Othman.

Ili Aqilah & Ed

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