Gimistory storytelling festival has a truly local flavour this year with a full line-up of Caymanian and resident storytellers at every event. Six shows are set to take place at parks and beaches across all districts of the Cayman Islands between Friday, 25 November and Friday, 2 December 2022. These family-friendly events are free and open to all.
Founded more than two decades ago, the Gimistory festival celebrates the ancient art of storytelling and revitalises a form of community entertainment that is part of Cayman’s heritage. Whether lighthearted or profound, the stories stimulate the imagination and shed new light on cultural mores.
Run by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation to celebrate a Caymanian tradition of oral storytelling, Gimistory introduces a new generation of storytellers to the stage this year after CNCF held open auditions last month.
First-time Gimistory performers Jevaughnie Ebanks, King Navassa, Cindi Welcome, Camille Angel, and Aimee McKenzie, will join veteran tellers such as Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, Rita Estevanovich, Matt Brown, Lesley-Ann Bernard-Ricketts, Martin Keely, and a host of other storytelling favorites. Their stories range from old-time fables and Caribbean classics to new and original stories, mixed with folk music and the perennially popular duppy stories.
The Fry Fish Competition evokes the spirit of sharing the bounty of land and sea, so endemic to Caymanian cultural heritage. It promotes a spirit of community, with volunteers from each district coming together to prepare the food and drink samples, using traditional methods. Audience members can enjoy watching district teams cook on the caboose and later - the highlight - to sample the delightful flavours. At the same time, judges are evaluating the cooks’ efforts (presentation, taste etc.). The results of the Competition are tallied on the final night of
Gimistory, Duppy Night at Smith’s Barcadere and the results are shared with sponsors, tellers, volunteers, and the public, which celebrates everyone’s efforts.
Natalie Urquhart, CEO of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, said, “The art of storytelling has not lost its relevance in today’s world of digitization and information overload. Storytelling engages and connects with audiences in any format but is especially powerful live and on stage. Gimistory appeals to audiences of all ages, whether hearing the stories for the first time or reminiscing about grandparents telling the same stories in days past. There is something for everyone.”
As part of the Gimistory festival, CNCF has also organised a series of storytelling visits at schools in the Cayman Islands. Several tellers will visit primary and secondary schools to share their voices and encourage students to find their own voices on stage. Additionally, both Northward and Fairbanks Prisons will be included as part of the storytelling festival tour.
The Gimistory schedule for public shows this year is laid out slightly different than past years. CNCF and The Cayman Brac Pirates Fest Committee has partnered for this year’s Gimistory. Gimistory tellers will be the highlight of the entertainment segment for the Cayman Brac Heritage Day as follows:
• Friday, 25 November – Spot Bay Community Park, Cayman Brac
Show times: 10:30-11:00am and 1:15-2:15pm
Grand Cayman will flow consistently for the week of 28 November to 2 December. Gates open at 7:00pm and showtime from 7:30-9:00pm
• Monday, 28 November – Jefferson Beach (We4st Bay Public Beach), West Bay
• Tuesday, 29 November – East End Public Beach, East End
• Wednesday, 30 November – Hutland Park, North Side
• Thursday, 1 December – Coe-Wood Beach, Bodden Town
• Friday, 2 December – Smith Barcadere, George Town
For more information, visit https://artscayman.org/gimistory .