Cayfest, the annual national arts festival organized by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, will run from Feb. 27 to March 1.
Now in its 20th year, the festival includes a host of events that showcase Cayman’s arts and cultural heritage.
Arts and culture awards
The festival kicks off with the National Arts and Culture Awards at Papagallos restaurant. The awards ceremony, which is invitation only, recognizes those who attain a level of merit in their artistic discipline, contribute to the arts, culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands and support the work of the CNCF. Past recipients include Consuelo Ebanks, Aunt Julia Hydes, Radley Gourzong and Luelan Bodden.
This year, 16 people will receive awards, including the Heritage Cross Gold, Heritage Cross Silver and Heritage Cross Bronze. The Heritage Cross awards recognize consistent, active and quality engagement in the preservation and/or celebration of Caymanian cultural heritage.
Dress for Culture
On Feb. 28, residents will have the opportunity to highlight their cultural roots with the Dress for Culture Day.
“Apart from raising the awareness of the many nationalities that live, work and play in harmony in the Cayman Islands, the aim of Dress for Culture Day is to raise funds that go directly to support the Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s youth programming,” says Lorna Bush, CNCF programs officer.
“The dress up/dress down day fundraiser highlights the virtual kaleidoscope of cultures that coexist and work together in the Cayman Islands, and confirms the commonalities, which can be embraced and appreciated. Participants can show expressions of their culture by wearing their national colors, or an item that demonstrates something specific and special to their culture, such as sports pins, caps and other types of headdress, to name a few. …Dress for Culture Day is for everyone to indulge in,” Bush said, adding that “sharing culinary delights from near and far can also be a real treat and a fundraiser on Dress for Culture Day.”
Donations of $3 for students and $5 for adults are suggested amounts.
Red Sky at Night
On March 1, the Red Sky at Night festival takes place at the F.J. Harquail Cultural Centre, with dancers, actors, storytellers and an exhibition featuring works of more than 50 local artists. There will also be performances by local musicians and celebrated films from across the Caribbean. The festivities run from 4 p.m. to midnight.
“The Red Sky at Night event is the highlight of Cayfest,” Bush said. “Last year was the first Red Sky at Night event and it was a huge success with more than 2,000 people attending. This year we are expecting even higher attendance numbers.”
Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate, with discounts for seniors, youth and children 12 and under. Advance tickets are available from Foster’s Food Fair Airport, Funky Tangs on Shedden Road, or from the CNCF offices at the Harquail Theatre.