Cm George Town Festival Funds Slashed But Not The Fun




A budget of RM3 million has been allocated for this year's George Town Festival (GTF) 2019 – RM1.5 million less than last year, when the event was under a different contractor
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said at a press conference in Komtar today that the organiser of this year's festival was selected after going through nine proposals
"The programme will be shorter than in previous years. Instead of a month-long programme, it is only now 16 days," he said
"But there is no lack of excitement as the compact programme is spread out over three weekends."Asked why a new company was chosen to organise the programme – instead of Joe Sidek Productions, which ran the GTF for the past nine years – Chow said that Penang wanted "something new.""We considered all the feedback we received over the years, and decided to select an organiser based on a request for proposal, which stated that we want to see 70 percent of the show free for people to attend, and we wanted more local content, too."'A festival for everyone'TLM Event Sdn Bhd is currently on a two-year contract to organise the GTF – an extensive art, culture and music festival to commemorate George Town being awarded World Heritage Site status in 2008
GTF 2019 will be held from July 13 to 28, and will feature a total of 150 visual art, theatre, music, dance, comedy, film and photography programmes
"Over 500 talented performers from 20 countries are slates to take part in the festival," said TLM managing director Jack Wong."Themed 'A festival for everyone', about 70 percent of programmes are free to attend, while 60 percent are earmarked for local artists to showcase their talents
"Alongside a host of homegrown talents, the festival will feature performers from Netherlands, France, Thailand and Taiwan."Meanwhile, Chow highlighted three programmes over three weekends expected to mesmerise both locals and tourists at GTF 2019
They are 'When Night Falls' (July 13 and 14, Esplanade), a performance with ballerinas on stilts and projection mapping, the artistic frenzy happenings in 'Art in the City' (July 20 and 21, George Town World Heritage Site), and the enormous art bash in 'The Extravaganza' (July 28, Beach Street)
There will also be community engagement programmes such as 'Macam Macam Macallum' and 'Macam Macam Berapit' on the mainland
"This is where the festival will be taken out from traditional art venues into community spaces, where those who might otherwise not be able to engage with the events would have a chance to do it this time," Chow said
"This is particularly pertinent in a community which may perceive the arts to be elitist. In other words, we are delivering the festival straight to the doorsteps for the people in Macallum Street Ghaut and Berapit
"This is something I genuinely look forward to and encourage. Hopefully, we see more of community engagement programmes like this in future."Also present at today's press conference were Penang exco on arts, culture and tourism Yeoh Soon Hin and George Town World Heritage Inc department of communications and collaborations manager Josephine Jalleh. - Mkini

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