The Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival: “Gimistory”

Gimistory, the Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival, will take place from November 24 to December 1, 2012, with activities in every district and all three islands, bringing comedy, song, and tall tales to diverse populations. Activities include a wide array of performances, art shows, and culinary competitions. Here are excerpts of the festival’s highlights:

[. . .] Gimistory celebrates the art of communication, of talking and listening, of stories through song, and of conveying information, whether lighthearted or profound. The seven day festival brings together virtually every sector of Cayman’s multi-generational, multi-national community and has developed a following of visitors from abroad who return time and again. Audiences fill the picturesque venues— beaches, parks and backyards—to enjoy this annual festival, which has become the official start of Cayman’s Christmas season. During the day, storytellers will visit schools, making special presentations to students, and at night, they travel with their tales from district to district including Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

CNCF produces Gimistory as part of its mission to preserve the culture of the Cayman Islands and to stimulate artistic expression. This multi-faceted festival is seen as a revival of the storytelling tradition and has become increasingly popular among families in the Cayman Islands.

This year’s Gimistory will feature over a dozen performers from all over the world. Familiar faces such as David Bearaux [shown above], Blacksage and Amina Blackwood-Meeks are crowd favourites, always leaving audiences wanting more kaisos, extempo and stories. The festival welcomes four new tellers: Valeska Borden and Lady Rabia from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac respectively, the Mighty Gabby form Barbados and Roy Bookbinder from Tampa.

This year’s Gimistory will also feature a special Young At Arts night on November 30th in Gardenia Court, Camana Bay. The evening show will be hosted by students from CNCF’s youth theatre programme, Young At Arts, and there will be performances from the Montessori by the Sea school choir, YAA members, Nayil Arana on fiddle and many other talented young performers including Miss Teen Cayman Islands 2012/2013, NorDania Stewart.

Each evening of storytelling concludes with local cuisine from the Fry Fish culinary competition. Fry Fish, Frittas and Swanky (Cayman style ‘lemonade’ made with Seville oranges or limes and brown sugar) will be served to audience members who will not only enjoy the free samplings, but also have the opportunity to vote on their favourite! Each district will compete for the honours of Best Fry Fish, Best Swanky or Best Frittas. [. . .]

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