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13 - 15 July 2018

About the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair


The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is dedicated to supporting the careers of Queensland Indigenous artists by providing a platform for exposure and income generation.

CIAF is committed to strengthening and celebrating culture, creating professional development opportunities for artists, and cultural exchange between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and visitors.

CIAF is focused on offering an ethical art market place, attracting national and international collectors and curators, commissioning new work and providing pathways for emerging visual and performance artists.


To provide platforms for cultural exchange and economic opportunity for Queensland Indigenous artists.


Authenticity Create an ethical marketplace that will educate audiences through Indigenous knowledge and control and personal engagement with the artists.

Connection to Culture and Country critical for Indigenous artists and communities for cultural maintenance and the development of artistic practices for expressing culture through art form.

Economic opportunity acknowledged in the business model that enables financial return to artists and the viability of CIAF.

Vibrancy CIAF offers a world-class marketplace and opportunities for cultural exchange that inspire locally, nationally and internationally.

Equity CIAF is committed to the employment, training and professional development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Leverage existing markets and develop new markets for Queensland Indigenous art.

Grow audiences through immersive Indigenous arts and cultural experiences.

Build CIAF’s national and international profile.

Contribute to development pathways for Queensland Indigenous artists.

Ensure the relevancy and viability of CIAF.



Friday 15 - Sunday 17 July, 2016
Opening Night event Thursday 14 July, 2016

In its third year as a not-for-profit company, CIAF continued to flourish in 2016, as a platform for Queensland Indigenous artists, embracing inclusion, accessibility and cultural integrity. 

In 2016, from 15-17 July, CIAF delivered the seventh successful event, with visitation at a record high, with more than 51,000 visitors at CIAF and partner venues. Additionally, in 2016 revenue from artwork sales, ticketing, Art Market sales and merchandise exceeded $630,000

Further outcomes from this success are a number of future exhibitions and commissions and contacts and networks made that will have lasting effects on artists and Indigenous Art centres of Queensland.

In 2016 CIAF also hosted the strongest Collectors & Curators Program (CCP) yet, and given the significant number of sales and high level of interest and participation by collectors and curators, CIAF will continue to develop this program to influence interest and participation from commercial galleries and international curators.

Additions to the well-established event schedule with the Art Fair and Art Market at its core, included UMI Arts’ popular Saturday night Big Talk One Fire hosted on-site, Blak Release film festival, CIAF Conversations with visual and performing artists, Evening on the Green, Gimuy Fish Festival, Richard Bell’s Embassy installation and adult workshops in the art of weaving, jewellery making and lino-print.  

The 2016 CIAF Fashion Performance was themed Jana Jaral (Respect) proved another visual extravaganza, ever growing in reputation and popularity, providing possible avenues for future expansion. Due to the increasingly large audience numbers attending the Fashion Performances, CIAF presented two sessions of Jana Jaral this year to accommodate for such a great interest in attendance. 


    -  Opening Night Party                                        -  Art Fair and Curated exhibition

    -  Indigenous Fashion performance                  -  Art Market

    -  Premier Film screenings                                 -  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance

    -  Music concerts                                                 -  Conversations



CIAF is the quintessential celebration of the art of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Tropical Cairns is the setting for the three day annual display of visual art, music, performance and knowledge sharing in a combination of free and ticketed events.

CIAF is an art fair but it is also a place for the finest cultural exchange and a fair point of sale for the Indigenous artists of Queensland.  Each year, local schools participate in CIAF through the Education Queensland R.E.A.C.H (Regional Excellence in Arts and Culture Hubs) program, that assists school age children to increase their awareness and knowledge of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and cultural practice.


Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Ltd is a not-for-profit company with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) Status. All donations to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) are greatly appreciated and will contribute to CIAF operational costs. Your support assists CIAF in continuing to attract and nurture national and international recognition for the appreciation of the vital cultural contribution of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Donations are processed securely through PayPal. A PayPal account is not required to make a donation.

CIAF respectfully acknowledges the First Peoples’ and Custodians of the lands, waters and seas on which we work and live. We honour their Elders, past and present