State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the awards were jointly organised by the ministry and Malaysia Arts and Cultural Practitioners Association Kuching to recognise outstanding former and current artistes, including those from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
“Sarawak’s music industry started in the 1950s and has produced many artistes until today, such as Datuk Sabanun Merikan, Pauline Linang, Senorita Linang, Safar Ghafar, Rahim Saring and many others.
“The awards are an initiative to recognise those who have long been involved in the industry,” he said.
The awards ceremony will be held here on Nov 4, with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as the guest-of- honour.
Karim said the awards would help to preserve music and arts, which were part of the state’s intangible cultural heritage.
In addition, he said it was a platform to spur the growth of the music industry and encourage more artistes to strive for excellence.
Altogether 47 recipients will be given awards in seven categories for singers, composers, lyricists and music practitioners, with prize money totalling over RM100,000.
The categories are Anugerah Tokoh Kenyalang Emas, Anugerah Tokoh Permata Kenyalang, Anugerah Tokoh Cahaya Kenyalang, Anugerah Tokoh Mutiara Kenyalang, Anugerah Bintang Harapan, Anugerah Bintang Lagenda and Anugerah Bintang Sepanjang Zaman.
“This is just the start. We will try to hold the awards ceremony every year or in alternate years, not only for the music industry but also other performing arts such as theatre and dance,” Karim said.
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