HITTING the stage for its inaugural event from today until 15 October, Shine On Gimuy will be a display and celebration of North Queensland’s vast Indigenous culture and talent.
Including visual arts, JCU-hosted speaking events, concerts with headliners like Dan Sultan, light displays and so much more, the 10-day festival will kick off with a very special Calling Country Ceremony tonight.
The historic ceremony will take place on the Eastern Event Lawn of Cairns Esplanade beginning at 6:30pm.
To honour the protocol of the host nation, the Yidinydji, the welcome will incorporate language and story through the historic gathering of the families connected to the Yidinydji people through ancient storylines.
Not seen for generations, this ceremonial presentation engages the cultural practitioners of the Yidinydji, Gungganji, Djabuganydji, Yalanji and Mabuiag Island songmen, songwomen, community and artists.
This Calling Country will be a unique and vital opportunity to reinvigorate the age-old cultural systems of intergenerational knowledge transmissions of language, belief systems, costume, song, story and dance.
“We believe that by sharing our culture, we can help to foster a greater sense of unity and respect between all people,” songman Carl Fourmile said.
“Join us on a journey of discovery and connection with the land and people of this beautiful region.”
Beginning with a smoking procession along Gimuy Boulevard at sunset, audiences will gather to bear witness to the coming together of Yidinji, Gunggandji, Djabugayndji, Yalanji, and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Led by Gimuy Walabara Yidinji host nation, the ceremony reignites old customs and re-awakens the powerful stories of connecting First Nations peoples of Tropical North Queensland.
To embody the notion of coming togetherness that is the Calling Country Ceremony, the Minjil Dance Group will also perform.
Minjil is an indigenous cultural group connecting people from all backgrounds with country, culture and age-old traditions through dance, lore and education.
The group is about sharing the unique culture and heritage of the Gimuy/Cairns Yidinydji homelands in Far North Queensland, whose team of specialists are dedicated to providing authentic and meaningful experiences that promote understanding and appreciation of the traditional owners of the land.
Shine On Gimuy will also be offering an inclusive event, showcasing the wealth of Tropical North Queensland’s First Nations arts and culture.
The immersive blend of music, art instalments, light displays, workshops, and profound wisdom yarns will bring the Cairns Esplanade and Salt House to life, where four nights of musical festivities will take place – including headline performances from Dan Sultan, Jungaji, Emily Wurramara and Miiesha.
Tickets and information for Shine On Gimuy are available now.
Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Celebrate Oktoberfest at Hemingway’s this Saturday and Your Wardrobe Cairns raises funds for COUCH.