QLD Reconciliation Awards
2 June 2017
CIAF and Ports North mix business with pleasure for Reconciliation Award
After hitting record highs with attendance figures and art sales for its seventh event in 2016, the success of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) and its partnership with Ports North has been recognised with a win at last night’s 2017 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
The Queensland Reconciliation Awards program recognises businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and partnerships taking positive steps towards reconciliation across Queensland.
CIAF General Manager, Vanessa Gillen and artistic director, Janina Harding were in attendance at last night’s ceremony in Cairns to accept the award.
Commenting on last night’s win, CIAF chairperson, Tom Mosby said, “We are thrilled to receive this very special, endorsement for CIAF and its partnership with Ports North, that from its waterfront setting at the heritage-listed Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, has evolved to offer a rich and valuable cultural experience to locals and visitors.
“This award is testament to what we are striving to do in providing an authentic and memorable cultural event that brings together and nurtures Queensland’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
“Most of Queensland’s Indigenous artists live and work in the remote and far reaching areas of Cape York and the Torres Strait and through our connections with some 13 art centres, we provide accessibility to people who would otherwise not be able to immerse themselves in the culture which is staged in Cairns over three, action-packed days, at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal and throughout the city,” Mr Mosby said.
In CIAF’s history to date, last year’s event was a watershed year attracting a record attendance of 51,000 people visiting the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal and other satellite venues while art sales and ticketed events amounted to more than $630,000.
Since its establishment in 2009, CIAF has welcomed 185,000 people to its various events, featured 1,300 artists and generated more than $5 million in sales of Queensland Indigenous art.
Ports North chairman Russell Beer said the partnership with CIAF has worked a particular magic among the Far North Queensland community.
“For us as a facilitator of regional economic growth we see CIAF as a major contributor to the local and regional economy that not only exhibits Australia’s premier Indigenous artwork, it also showcases our stunning waterfront facilities to a national and international audience.
“For the indigenous communities who take part we see cultural awareness and exchange flourishing at local, national and international levels. We see many great financial opportunities opening up, and we see cross cultural employment, training and professional development.
“Finally, and most importantly, we see reconciliation at its most effective – where a whole Cairns community takes pride in and supports the organisation of, and attendance and participation at, this signature event,” Mr Beer said.