A brief history of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) was established by the Queensland Government as a strategic initiative of the Backing Indigenous Arts program in 2009. In order for CIAF to reach its full potential the event transitioned to independent status outside of the auspices of the Queensland Government. A task force was established and in 2013 CIAF became a corporate entity.
CIAF Ltd is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, governed by a Board of Directors. The membership of the skills-based Board continues to progress its focus on an increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation.
CIAF 2014 was the first Art Fair delivered by CIAF Ltd. CIAF has generated strong creative and economic outcomes, both locally and nationally, since its inception. Over the past seven years, more than 185,000 people have participated in or attended CIAF. An estimated 2000 Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have been represented, more than $5 million in Queensland Indigenous art has been sold, and approximately $19 million has been injected in to the Queensland economy.
CIAF Ltd continues to be supported by both Federal and State Government funding but is equally now seeking new sources of revenue through new revenue raising strategies, sponsorship and philanthropy.
The CIAF Collectors and Curators program, unique to CIAF, faciltiates program participants to meet artists and make aquisitons for private and public collections around the globe. Over the years representatives of many esteemed institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia, Australian National Maritime Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, University of Washington, National Gallery of Canada, Harvard University Art Museum, and Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia have made purchases from CIAF.
CIAF enjoys extremely high visitor satisfaction rates with 98 percent of visitors, artists and exhibitors rating the experience as and excellent or good, and 90 percent of participants agreeing that CIAF increased their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and cultures.