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31 March, 2021

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair set for another successful year

The Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair (CIAF) is set to reach new heights this year, thanks to a $200,000 funding boost from the Queensland Government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said events were an important part of the government’s economic recovery plan.

“The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is an iconic event - helping to showcase some of the Far North’s greatest experiences to thousands of tourists each year,” the Premier said.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Australia is home to the longest continuous living cultures in the world, and CIAF helps to showcase this every year through its program of arts and cultural activities.

“The arts sector was impacted by the pandemic, and the Palaszczuk Government is supporting the industry through the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package,” Minister Enoch said.

“Because of the pandemic, last year’s Fair moved entirely online, allowing Queensland’s First Nations artists, history and culture to be showcased on an international scale.

“This year’s festival is sure to be another hit. This funding will go towards creating new large scale, 3D works from First Nations artists, as well as a mentoring program to help boost artists’ skills, careers and networks.

“Last year I launched Creative Together 2020-2030: A 10-Year Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland, which includes key priorities to elevate First Nations arts and share our stories and celebrate our storytellers, and this investment will further assist CIAF to support those priorities.

CIAF General Manager Darrell Harris said CIAF’s underpinning aim for the Spaces and Places funding was to generate a body of work that will be on show at CIAF and for sale.  

“In a snapshot, the funds will support CIAF’s effort to create the 'wow' factor for the art fair each year, by providing Indigenous artists with professional development in artistic practice to lift the quality of the work through offering commissions,” Mr Harris said.

“CIAF is very excited to receive this support. It demonstrates a commitment to the longevity of the Fair and faith in our team, and will be crucial for our Artistic Director, Janina Harding, and our artistic team, to venture further into communities, where they can build rapport with artists, families and art centre staff, to encourage the production of exciting new works,” he said.

“CIAF looks forward to having a greater presence across Queensland, in the Indigenous communities whose art and culture we showcase.”

CIAF also successfully secured $64,000 through the First Nations Commissioning Fund to develop the LIVE IT UP performing arts and music program to be presented in 2021, and $20,000 from the Digital Adaptation Fund for video and camera equipment through the recovery package.

CIAF will be held from 17-22 August 2021, for more information visit:

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