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CIAF 2024

CIAF's cultural feast in the city a hit with locals and visitors

25 Oct 2023

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Around 650 people converged in the Shields Street cultural precinct of Cairns CBD on Saturday evening for CIAF’s inaugural cultural immersion, Urban BLAKtivation.

According to CIAF’s Artistic Director Francoise Lane, the free, family-friendly event, initially postponed in July due to heavy rain, attracted a good mix of locals and tourists who enjoyed the dance and storytelling performances.

“It was also great to see retailers enjoying a boost in trade, and many were drawn from their shops to the footpath for a better view of the evening’s activities,” Ms Lane said. 

“Deaf Indigenous Dance Group (DIDG) were a big hit with their immersive dance performance, as were the traditional and contemporary dance performances from Gerib Sik Torres Strait Dancers and Miriki Performing Arts,” she said.

Ms Lane said a highlight was witnessing the strong audience participation for Meriam's ‘sit down dancing’ and seeing visitors try some of DIDG’s dance moves along with the timely, creative and culturally responsive poetry by Trinity Clarke, just one week after the Referendum.

“Urban BLAKtivation provided an engaging and interactive platform for intercultural learning between dance groups, and the audience, and the spectacle of young children dancing within the moving light projections of artworks by Brian Robinson, Wayne McGinness and Andrew Garrett – for me, this was particularly heartwarming.”

In 2024, Urban BLAKtivation will be held on Saturday, 13 July 2024, ahead of CIAF’s 15th anniversary program scheduled for 25 to 28 July 2024.


(Top) Singer Nicole Lampton
(Bottom gallery L to R) Crowd participation at Urban BLAKtivation; Deaf Indigenous Dance Group; crowd participation; Gerib Sik Torres Strait Dancers; Nicole Lampton.
Photos by Nathan Kelly.