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Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2021 captures culture of First Nation Peoples

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2021 captures culture of First Nation Peoples
July 9, 2021

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair will be capturing the culture, talent and history of First Nation Peoples, country, place and sacred sites when it returns in 2021 with a vibrant new program from 17th to 22nd August.

This year, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is leveraging the successes of last year’s virtual festival by creating an exciting fusion festival combining live events with digital programming.

CIAF Artistic Director Janina Harding said support from the Queensland Government has been invaluable and added “In 2020 this support enabled us to soldier on and deliver a digital platform for cultural expression, along with economic opportunities for our artists.

"This year, continued support underpins our return to presenting both physical and online programming while addressing the ongoing issues associated with last year’s lockdown.

“Namely, through our Where's Your Permit? Exhibition, artists will share insights into restrictions on free movement for those based in remote communities, and how this harks back to the days of the protection era.

“Also, through our Art Fair and Fashion Performance CIAF will highlight ongoing concerns over the conservation, sustainability and threats to our sacred sites and places.”

Queensland Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Queensland Government has supported Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) since its inception, with annual funding of $600,000 through the Backing Indigenous Arts initiative, creating jobs for First Nations artists and arts workers.

Minister Enoch notes “CIAF 2021 offers an ethical art marketplace that will cultivate, exchange and share our state’s cultural stories as part of our important journey towards truth-telling.

“2020 was a time when the world stage was closed and CIAF pivoted to virtually share First Nations culture art and performance in Queensland with millions of people across the globe.

“CIAF’s opening night celebrations, workshop activities, art awards and art market find a new home in 2021 at the impressive surroundings of Cairns Convention Centre, following its extensive refurbishment.”

Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford advised “Artworks from the festival will create exciting cultural experiences attracting physical and virtual visitors to the 2021 event, further delivering on the festival’s strong track record in growing regional development, providing employment and economic recovery.

“Through its various art forms CIAF significantly contributes to telling the stories and starting the conversations on the path to Treaty.”

CIAF recently received additional Government funding of $200,000 under the Spaces and Places program, supported by the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package to produce large scale artworks inspired by Indigenous stories and experiences.

CIAF has 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 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2021 runs from 17th to 22nd August.

For more information on CIAF go to

Image: Through the Art Fair and Fashion Performance, CIAF will highlight ongoing concerns over the conservation, sustainability and threats to sacred sites and places. Courtesy of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Credit: Lovegreen Photography

Related Articles

20th July 2016 - Cairns Indigenous Art Fair draws record crowd

30th June 2021 - Queensland Government funds First Nations arts and cultural projects

22nd June 2021 - TarraWarra Museum of Art to stage major indigenous art exhibition

21st June 2021 - Australia’s largest Indigenous visual art event embraces hybrid delivery mode

7th October 2020 - Wonnarua Indigenous Cultural Hub and museum to be established in Hunter Valley

13th February 2020 - Indigenous tourism in Cairns to receive new funding

11th November 2019 - Queensland Government announces 2020 as the Year of Indigenous Tourism

20th October 2019 - Adelaide Indigenous Festival celebrates the work of more than 1000 artists

2nd May 2019 - Fremantle push to be the location for WA Indigenous Cultural Centre

13th August 2017 - 2018 Australia Council Awards and National Indigenous Arts Awards open for nominations

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