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There are plenty of opportunities to do your Christmas shopping without hitting the mall this weekend. The Old Bus Depot Markets are open on Saturday and Sunday throughout December; the Canberra Environment Centre has its Eco Elves Night Market this Friday from 5 – 9 pm which will have local, handmade, eco-friendly, fair-trade and up-cycled wares; and Marymeade’s Christmas Garage and Plant Sale is on this Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm with plants, books, toys, clothing and bric-a-brac for sale. But if you have already finished your Christmas shopping or are not ready to start yet, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate your organisational skills or to procrastinate further. Catch the Canberra premiere of Blue World Order this Friday night, a film shot in Canberra; the Belconnen Arts Centre is celebrating artists with a disability at its festival Detonate all weekend; Live at the Polo is on again this Saturday night, and so is the Canberra Comedy Festival’s Christmas show. Street food is being served up in Commonwealth Park at the Commons Street Fest, and Canberra’s own Lucy Sugerman is performing her first headline show this Sunday at the Street theatre.
Where: Garema Place
When: Friday – Sunday, 12 pm until late
Canberra is turning Civic into a Christmas wonderland this weekend. There will be rides, including dodgem cars and a sideshow alley; food and drink, including burgers, wood-fired pizzas, crepes, gelato and beer from Bentspoke Brewing; Christmas carols; and, of course, Santa and his elves. More details here.
Where: Belconnen Arts Centre
When: Friday 6–7 pm, Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
This Sunday is International Day of People with a Disability and to celebrate, the Belconnen Arts Centre is hosting a three-day community arts festival featuring artists with a disability. Highlights include:
- a free Canberra Symphony Orchestra concert on Friday night;
- a performance by the Alchemy Chorus, a partnership between Dementia Australia and Musical Director Brian Tiglone, on Saturday at 12:30 pm;
- a performance by Wiradjuri man, Johnny Huckle on Saturday at 3:15 pm;
- an open dance class on Sunday morning;
- a picnic on the banks of Lake Ginninderra Sunday lunchtime;
- a performance of That Extra Some – a show created and performed by Katie Senior and Liz Lea on Sunday at 2:45 pm; and
- several screenings of short films throughout the weekend.
Find more details about Detonate, and a schedule of when all the events are on, here.
Where: Commonwealth Park
When: Friday & Saturday 5 – 11 pm, Sunday 5 – 9 pm
Over 20 food trucks from across Australia have driven to Canberra and are parked in Commonwealth Park for the next ten days. Together they form a mini-festival celebrating the joy of al fresco dining. The food available includes slow-cooked meats, Asian street food, wood-fired pizzas, burgers, fried chicken, arancini balls, and evil deserts. Drinks include craft beer, cocktails, and Pimms. The festival is open every day until Sunday 10 December.
For a list of personal food and drink favourites from one of our contributors, go here.
Where: Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm, Sunday 5:30 pm
The final work in the Ainslie and Gorman House Arts Centre’s Ralph Indie Season, Tristan: A song for a superior man, is on this weekend. It is a piece of physical theatre which asks the question “what does it mean, and what does it take to be a good man?” This show has an amazing creative team behind it—written and directed by Chenoeh Miller; choreographed by Alison Plevey; and performed by Chris Endrey, Nick Delatovic, Oliver Levi-Malouf, Erica Field and Raoul Craemer.
Where: National Film and Sound Archive & Palace Electric
When: 7 pm
Blue World Order is a post-apocalyptic film shot entirely in Canberra. Set in a world recovering from the outbreak of a fatal virus and governed by an authoritarian regime called The Order, the film tells the story of Jake Slater who is trying to find his estranged daughter, the only child to have survived the outbreak. Written by Ché Baker, directed by Ché and Dallas Bland and produced by local Sarah Mason, the film stars Billy Zane, Jack Thompson, Bruce Spence, Jake Ryan and a Delorean! It will be screened at Palace Electric and National Film and Sound Archive and, following the screening at Palace Electric, there will be a Q&A session with the cast and crew and an after-party. Tickets are $20, book here.
Where: White Eagle Polish Club, Turner
When: From 8:30 pm
Live at the Polo is on again this weekend and will feature local bands the String Elephants, Sally Chicane, The Postmasters and Dalmacia. Tickets are $10 at the door.
For details on more gigs on this week, check out the RiotACT gig guide.
Where: Llewellyn Hall
When: Doors open 7 pm, show starts 7:30 pm
As the busyness of Christmas ramps up, the Canberra Comedy Festival is providing some light relief—a show hosted by Dilruk Jayasinha and featuring Joel Creasey, Fiona O’Loughlin, James Smith, Maddy Weeks and Anthony Tomic. Tickets are $44.90 for adults and $41.90 for concession, book here.
Where: The Street Theatre
When: 6 pm onwards
Regional gem Lucy Sugerman – finalist on ‘The Voice Australia’ and two-time Australian National Busking Champion – will be returning to Canberra to perform her first headline show on Sunday. At only 16, Lucy proved what an indelible talent she was by making it to the top four in the hit reality series ‘The Voice Australia’, and was even described by Seal as “a real national treasure”. Her homecoming show will be supported by two of Canberra’s finest songstresses Amber Nichols and Sophie Edwards. Tickets are $35, $30 concession, and $25 for students, available here.