It’s baaaaaaaack!!!

The annual George Town Festival (GTF) returns for its 9th consecutive round with an international and local slew of events from 4 Aug till until 2 Sept this year.

“George Town will be a hub of entertainment and excitement with both free and ticketed shows available to audiences,” a press statement issued today said.

As in previous editions of the annual fest, the Penang Government has appointed Joe Sidek Productions Sdn. Bhd. to oversee the curation and management of GTF.

The appointed contractor today also expressed its thanks to the state authorities, Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang, the Penang Development Corporation, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang, Penang Global Tourism, and George Town World Heritage Incorporated for their continued support.

A ‘Call for Proposals’ for the fest which was initiated last October, has seen some 200 proposals both from Malaysia and abroad come in.

“We expect more will be forthcoming during this last week,” said festival director, Joe Sidek.

“In addition to online submissions, we have also been conducting ‘Proposal Clinics’ to encourage local creative individuals or groups to meet with us to help fine-tune their artistic ideas and to help them submit a proposal for the festival,” he added.

Shop for a (fashionable) cause

Retail therapy has taken yet another twist in Penang where you can shop for a cause and stay in fashion.

Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) recently unveiled a new and meaningful project in the form of a thrift shop.

WCC is a not-for-profit organisation that supports abused women and children.

The noble intention behind the opening of this shop is for its profits to be ploughed back to further WCC’s work.

The WCC Value Value Shop is located on the mezzanine floor of Island Plaza, where bargains abound.

Quality new and used items have been tastefully grouped and displayed, with prices starting from RM1.

This little Aladdin’s Cave tucked away at the shopping mall, has interesting finds ranging from books, branded apparel, shoes and bags and quirky fashion accessories, to name a few.

The warm and friendly atmosphere found in the shop is so infectious, where strangers end up chatting and laughing with each other.

The WCC Value Shop, says the centre’s president Mariam Lim, is an initiative aimed at not only providing a steady flow of funds for the organisation, but also advocates sustainable living and provides customers with good quality goods at affordable prices.

The store is run by a cheerful band of volunteers who are out to encourage “Every people that change is possible,” notes Lim.

Bargain surprises and cute finds pop up daily, we are told and it is also heart-warming to see donors walking in with quality items to give away.

The candy-striped brand new blouse I walked away with (RM5) was yet another reminder that one should support private and socially meaningful enterprises such these. And the three funky tops picked up by Debbie at equally attractive prices are reason for us to return there, soon.

Thank you Mariam & Susan for a lovely welcome and congratulations on such an innovative enterprise!

More details on operating hours and the latest offers and good buys are found on the WCC Value Shop Facebook page.

(Images courtesy of Mariam Lim)

Celebrating Catholic culture and heritage

The Church of the Assumption in George Town which reopened its doors recently after a restoration exercise, has now a museum on its grounds.

The northern region’s first Roman Catholic Diocese Museum stands tall as yet another historic attraction to those visiting the island’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A walk through the museum, is a stroll tinged with nostalgia, pride and all things Catholic. It celebrates many stories of how the church was built together by the religious and the laity, the historical artefacts which have been a part of the Eucharistic celebration through the ages, and more.

And please don’t think you have walked into the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Pulau Tikus by mistake when you step into the museum.

I sure was proud to see my parish “immortalised” on its walls today!