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CIAF is Back and On Sale

BY Pip Miller | 10-Jul-2021
Cairns indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is back, and this year it’s shaping up to be its brightest yet with a sparkling new hub, film festival after dark, music in the park, along with host of stellar events and exhibitions that focus the spotlight on Queensland’s distinct and diverse Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.
Venue: Cairns Convention Centre
Address: Cairns, QLD 4870
Date: 17-22 August 2021
Time: 9am til late
Buy / Ticket: www.ticketlink.com.au
CIAF is Back and On Sale
Acrylic on canvas work from Wujal Wujal Bana Yirriji Art and Cultural Centre. Image by Michael Marzik.
Cairns indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is back, and this year it’s shaping up to be its brightest yet with a sparkling new hub, film festival after dark, music in the park, along with host of stellar events and exhibitions that focus the spotlight on Queensland’s distinct and diverse Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.

For its highly anticipated 12th annual iteration, CIAF returns to staging its physical event, this time in the impressive, international award-winning surroundings of Cairns Convention Centre following an extensive refurbishment. The opening night party, Art Awards, Art Fair and Art Market and workshop activities will transition into the sophisticated new space situated across the road from CIAF’s former Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal headquarters.

Added to this, digital programming that was developed in 2020 to successfully overcome lockdown restrictions, is being delivered in tandem, which in effect, invites the whole world to celebrate.

Notably, last year’s evolution to digital programming resounded in high engagement with live streamed performances, presentations, webinars and workshops accessed by more than 2.5 million devices in 85 countries.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said CIAF 2021 will continue to share the unique First Nations cultures of Queensland within the local community as well as with millions of people across the world.

“Congratulations to CIAF for leveraging the successes of last year’s virtual festival to create an exciting 2021 fusion festival, combining live events with digital programming, spanning visual arts, theatre, music, fashion and providing an ethical platform for economic opportunity and experiences,” Minister Enoch said.

“Australia is home to the longest continuous living cultures in the world. Telling the stories of country and helping nurture a greater understanding of the First Nations peoples, place and culture are key imperatives for CIAF.

“In recognising the unique attributes of the festival, the Palaszczuk Government invests in CIAF with annual funding of $600,000 through the Backing Indigenous Arts initiative, along with project funding of $200,000 for new large-scale artwork, inspired by Indigenous stories and experiences, that will be a centrepiece of the 2022 festival.

“CIAF also successfully secured $64,000 through the First Nations Commissioning Fund to develop the LIVE IT UP performing arts and music program, and $20,000 from the Digital Adaptation Fund for video and camera equipment through the recovery package.

“The Queensland Government is committed to elevating First Nations arts through key actions in the delivery of Creative Together 2020-2030, a 10-year strategy to renew and transform Queensland through creativity.

“The arts are key to delivering our Government’s plan for economic recovery, each year contributing $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.

CIAF’s Artistic Director Janina Harding said the organisation is in a prime position to attract new audiences from across Australia and the globe through a composite event that offers Cairns and Queensland communities with a broad range of economic and social benefits.

“Underpinned by findings from a research study undertaken by one of Australia’s leading business consultancies that specialises in event and entertainment performance measurement, CIAF is unique in its ability to fulfil numerous objectives from driving tourism to promoting health and wellbeing, particularly in remote Indigenous communities.

“This year we will be presenting a really exciting and vibrant program that encapsulates the culture, talent and significance of Country, sacred sites and sense of place to Queensland First Peoples’ through visual arts, fashion, theatre, talks, music and dance,” Ms Harding said.

Along with a new festival hub CIAF 2021 festival goers can look forward to experiencing a fresh, feel-good vibe brought to life in a program bearing a number of firsts among the 20 plus events and activities, most of which are free to enjoy.

According to Ms Harding, music and cultural dance is much loved favourite of CIAF which will be truly celebrated with its own stage and event at Munro Martin Parklands on Saturday 21 August.

“After the success of last year’s inaugural Music in the Park held in December, we are pumped to once again bring this event to the people over an entire afternoon and evening. Headliners include Frank Yamma, Miiesha, and the winners of the 2021 Laura Festival,” she said.

Ms Harding said that she also welcomes curator and new manager of the Collectors and Curators program in 2021 in Teho Ropeyarn.

“Teho is an artist and curator from the community of Injinoo, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the then University of New South Wales – College of Fine Arts, Sydney in 2009. Passionate about his career as a curator and supporting emerging artists, Teho’s area of focus lies within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art community, culture and traditions of Far North Queensland.”

Janet Hamilton, General Manager Cairns Convention Centre is looking forward to welcoming CIAF to the Centre for the first time.

“CIAF is a well-known international art fair and we are very excited to be hosting the event at the Cairns Convention Centre for the first time. We hope the Centre becomes the home of CIAF for many years and we look forward to working with the team to help make this amazing event even better,” Ms Hamilton commented.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said the Cairns Indigenous art Fair was an iconic Far North Queensland cultural event.

“The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is a true celebration of our Indigenous culture and a perfect opportunity to connect with Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Queensland is the home to both of Australia’s Indigenous cultures and we know there is strong demand for these types of immersive cultural experiences.

“CIAF attracts more than 24,000 people every year, with close to half of all visitors from outside the region, which supports jobs and the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.”

Spanning six days between Tuesday 17 and Sunday 22 August 2021, the event will feature the work of approximately 300 visual artists and 150 performers across the multidimensional program of mostly free, family friendly events that foster an inclusive and ethical marketplace for aspiring and established art collectors, curators, and the public.