The stars were out and the sand was in between everyone’s toes, perfect for a night of stories.
Excited crowds gathered to watch the final night at Smith Baccadere for the Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s Gimistory, the International Storytelling Festival of the Cayman Islands.
Local storytellers were joined by tellers from overseas in a series of presentations that used music, dramatics and comedy to entertain under the night sky. The venues this year included back yards and beaches, along with free admission and refreshments, adding to the objective of taking audiences back to a much simpler time in Cayman’s history.
The night’s performances included local stalwarts such as Sookie & Zekiel, Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, The Powery Family, Steve & Mike McTaggart and introduced students from CNCF’s Young at Arts programme.
This year’s Gimistory saw the return of regulars like Ken Corsbie of Guyana, Amina Blackwood-Meeks from Jamaica, The Storycrafters (Barry, Jerri & Zach Marshall) from upstate New York, David Bereaux & Friends from Trinidad and Tobago as well as Philip Murray.
Philip Murray, known in the calypso world as Blacksage, wowed audiences with his ability to instantly put a story to music from subjects given to him by audience members. “Sage” has won the world ‘extempo’ crown three times from among the very best in his native Trinidad and the region.
The evening at George Town’s Gimistory was a multicultural experience continuing after the storytelling with fried fish, fritters and Cayman style lemonade-swanky.
The festival started in 1998 and just completed its 13th consecutive season with Saturday’s Smith Baccadere show.
Even in 2004, just eight short weeks after Hurricane Ivan devastated Cayman, CNCF, realizing the emotional relief that could be delivered to the community, managed to stage Gimistory to a record audience, according to CNCF’s Lorna Bush.
CNCF’S Gimistory is an event for all ages, taking people back to a time when people provided their own entertainment — a time when the imagination created images more colourful than any television screen and family and friends came together at dusk to share tall tales.
CNCF produces Gimistory as part of its mission to preserve the culture of Cayman. The festival is seen as a revival of the storytelling tradition and has become increasingly popular among families in Cayman.
This year’s Gimistory was staged from 30 November to 4 December, and touched down in every district, including Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Produced by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, Gimistory would not be possible without the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and various businesses and individuals in the community.
Caymanians, expats and tourists all left the beach with smiles on their faces and stories in their hearts.
Until next year…