Boh Cameronian Grants helping arts groups to perform in 2022

Boh Cameronian Grants helping arts groups to perform in 2022

Grant monies totalling RM200,000 will help defray costs; give 20 productions a head start

KUALA LUMPUR – Earlier this year Kakiseni announced a total of RM150,000 worth of Boh Cameronian Grants for New Productions to energise the arts sector.

It would be given to 15 performing arts companies as a way to defray some of the costs involved in putting up upcoming productions this year.

When over 70 applications came in, Boh immediately decided to increase its funding, so more would be able to get a piece of the pie. A total of RM200,000 has now been allotted to 20 performing arts ventures.

Handpicked by a panel of experts, the grant recipients range from drum performers to jazz masters who will perform their music at an island destination; a Bangsawan Theatre production, local musicals, orchestras and dance companies are all in the mix.

The decision to extend the grants has been a natural way for Boh to show its ongoing support for the arts. In particular, for the local performing arts scene, which was struggling following the two-year disruption caused by the pandemic and almost total shut-down of the arts sector.

The decision to forego the annual Boh Cameronian Arts Awards this year was a necessary one. However, in place of the awards, Boh has refocused its resources on boosting and building up the sector.

“Boh is pleased to once again have the opportunity to journey with the arts community as we navigate the endemic phase and the easing of restrictions. It’s certainly wonderful to now be able to look forward to the live shows after more than a two-year hiatus.

“We hope that the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards Grant which we are offering for the second year, will in some measure help recipients as they undertake the staging of new productions.

“As in the previous year, Boh believes that the funds earmarked for the staging of the annual Boh Cameronian Arts Awards will be better served by directly channelling it to assist performing arts practitioners in this challenging period,” said Jason Foo, CEO of Boh Plantations Sdn Bhd.

President of Persatuan Kakiseni, Low Ngai Yuen, added that though times have been challenging, it’s time to band together and take small steps forward.

“Putting a show together involves so many components, and can be quite overwhelming, especially after going through such turbulent times,” Low reflected. “We need to start with baby steps.”

“We hope that these grants will provide a little boost to the local performing arts companies and production houses, as well as give smaller players a chance to be more self-sustaining by covering some of the costs involved in putting up a new play or smaller production,” Low said.

She added that Kakiseni has been happy to start the judging process again for the next Arts Awards show, and all are invited to submit their shows for entry.

For the Boh Cameronian Grants for New Productions, Kakiseni was responsible for the logistics and administration of the programme. This was open for submissions between April 4 and May 17, 2022. The grants were offered to organisations, institutions, performing arts companies, coalitions and individuals.

Applicants were restricted to Malaysians only and projects that were considered included those from theatre, musical theatre, music, dance, as well as multidisciplinary performances. According to the conditions stipulated, the productions must be presented within 12 months of receiving the grant (by June 15, 2023).

The productions must be ticketed, with a minimum of 30 people per performance; a minimum of two performances must be held. This grant was not applicable for online/streamed productions.

The panel of judges comprising local arts exponents – Aida Redza, Fasyali Fadzly, Paul Augustin and Sharmini Ratnasingam – sieved through numerous pitches and picked out the 20 successful applicants to receive grants worth RM10,000 each.

The judges based their choices on potential artistic quality, audience outreach and collaboration, as well as positioning in the arts scene, representation, distinguishments and talent potential.

Aida, who is one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary dancers and choreographers, said that it was not an easy task to make the final selection. “All the shortlisted proposals were outstanding, inspiring and well deserving of support.”

Director/playwright/educator Fasyali added that he hopes Boh will continue with this initiative, with the help of Kakiseni, for the next couple of years. “Then we will be able to see how artists can sustain and benefit the community, keep producing more creative, innovative and engaging work.”

Music historian Augustin enjoyed listening to the ideas and was able to feel the applicants’ enthusiasm. “It was good to also note that the judges were from different areas of the industry, so … every one of us looked at the projects from a different angle and perspective,” he said.

Sharmini, who is senior manager (Culture and Engagement) for Malaysia Airlines and executive producer of gamelan ensemble Rhythm In Bronze said: “From someone who has experienced interviews in the corporate world, it was so refreshing and such a pleasure to be in interviews where the nominees’ strong beliefs and commitment to their craft were prevalent.”

For more information about the Boh Cameronian Grants for New Productions, visit

source – The Vibes

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