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Entertainment

17 September, 2021

CIAF puts health first in full digital pivot

Australia’s premier Art Fair and Queensland’s quintessential celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is putting the health and safety of community first, announcing it will present a high-quality digital experience in November 2021.


In considering current border closures and the continuing COVID-19 crisis in Australia, the CIAF Board have decided this year’s event, postponed last month to November, will be exclusively presented online.

CIAF Chair, Tom Mosby said current outbreaks of COVID-19 and state border closures pose several challenges.

“While lockdowns and interstate travel restrictions prevent visitors and art buyers from attending the actual event, we have a responsibility to our artists and communities to protect their health and safety, at the same time, trying to overcome the economic implications. 

“We are fortunate, that as an organisation, we are creative and resourceful.  We also know what to expect in presenting our event online and have the benefit of experience in doing just that in 2020, and with great success. 

“We always intended that 2021 would signal the return of our physical program, albeit in tandem with a strong digital presence.  We are therefore disappointed but ready and able to redirect all our resources to digital technology - ensuring the program is colourful, engaging and reflects the joyful spirit of the CIAF we all know and love,” Mr Mosby said.

Notably, CIAF 2020’s evolution to deliver an online program, incorporating a combination of pre-recorded and live streamed performances, presentations, webinars and workshops, hit the mark and was accessed by more than 2.5 million devices in 85 countries.

Starting on Wednesday November 10, the digital program will launch with the presentation of this year’s Sacred themed Art Fair, then, for the next four days, online audiences will be treated to an engaging selection of recorded and live streamed arts and cultural content mirroring the physical program and modelled on 2020’s successful digital iteration.

“Between Wednesday November 10 and Friday November 19, artist talks, community spotlights, music and dance performances and the highly anticipated fashion presentation filmed on Country, will be delivered to the world to enjoy,” he said.

In advance of November’s digital presentation, CIAF has launched its e-commerce platform this week, inviting collectors and buyers to browse and purchase Queensland’s best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art online. 

Following CIAF’s 2021 exhibition Where’s Your Permit ? held at Tanks Arts Centre last month, the CIAF Shop is now live, featuring all 60 artworks to view and purchase at leisure and from the convenience of a personal device.  Art works from November’s Sacred themed Art Fair exhibition will also be added on Wednesday 10 November in line with the online program launch.

Details of CIAF’s digital programming will be released online and via CIAF socials in the coming months. 


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