11 October 2018

Eight things to do around Canberra this weekend (12–14 October)

| Zoe Pleasants
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air guitar

Fancy yourself the next Hendrix, but without the guitar? Rock out to the airwaves at Finnish Crazy games, this Saturday. Photo: Embassy of Finland website.

Floriade is wrapping up this weekend for another year and it is finishing with its traditional Dogs Day Out on Sunday. Canberra dance institution, Canberra Dance Theatre is celebrating a rich 40-year history this weekend with a show at the Street Theatre while Blundells Cottage, another Canberra icon with a rich history is re-opening after being closed for repairs and conservation. Celebrate the cottage’s face-lift this Saturday. Also this Saturday, the National Library is having a family day celebrating the cultures of the First People of the Pacific and the Finnish Embassy is hosting the Finnish Crazy Games which includes the sports of wife-carrying and hobby horse racing and an air guitar competition!

All weekend


Where: Commonwealth Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9:30 am–5:30 pm
Floriade closes this Sunday so this weekend is your final chance to check the Pop Culture-inspired flowerbeds. And as is a Floriade tradition, Sunday is Dogs Day Out. There will be plenty of activities for you to enjoy with your dog including:

  • Doga (that’s Yoga with your dog!)
  • Breed group photos
  • A program of dog information and entertainment on Stage 88
  • A session on dogmanship featuring Dr Melissa Starling and Prof Paul McGreevy and hosted by Karen Viggers

Check out the Floriade Program here.

Bell Shakespeare: Julius Ceasar

Where: Canberra Theatre
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 2 pm & 7:30 pm, Sunday 4 pm
Bell Shakespeare’s latest production, Julius Ceasar opens at the Canberra Theatre this weekend and plays until Saturday 20 October. Directed by Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director James Evans, the show stars Kenneth Ransom as Ceasar. Loved by the people, Caesar’s power is growing and this is dangerous in a world driven by ego and idealism. Those that rise too fast must be dealt with for the good of the country and for the good of those who wish to be rulers themselves. Sound familiar? Tickets from $78.50 for adults, $68.50 for concession and $42.50 for under 18. Book here.

Happiness Is …

Where: The Street Theatre
When: Friday & Saturday 7 pm, Sunday 5 pm
Canberra Dance Theatre is celebrating 40 years of community dance this weekend with a show comprising new short works at the Street Theatre. Directed by Canberra Dance Theatre’s Artistic Coordinator, Jacqui Simmonds, the show will feature works by former Artistic Directors Stephanie Burridge (who also will be performing a solo work), Amalia Hordern, and Liz Lea, and renowned past Canberra Dance Theatre dancers Anca Frankenhaeuser, Patrick Harding-Irmer, and Amanda Tutalo as well as many others. Canberra Dance Theatre started in 1978 under the artistic leadership of Stephanie Burridge. Back then it was called the Canberra Dance Ensemble and it had grown out of the National University Dance Ensemble, which was started in 1970 by Dr Graham Farquhar as a creative outlet for himself while he studied science at ANU. In 1989 the Ensemble changed its name to Canberra Dance Theatre. Graham is still a patron of Canberra Dance Theatre and he has also gone on to be an acclaimed scientist. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2015, the Kyoto Prize for Biology in 2017, and was named Senior Australian of the Year earlier this year. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for concession and $18 for under 16s, book here.


Where: Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre
When: Friday 7:30 pm & Saturday 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm
October is Mental Health Month and this show explores the seasons of mental health using circus and physical theatre. Written and choreographed by UK producer Charlie Wan, the show uses classical clowning and movement and features an original score composed by New Zealand composer Teresa Wojcik. Tickets are $30 for adult, $23 for Health Care Care holders, $25 for full-time students and $22 for pensioners, book here.


Family Day: A Taste of the Pacific

Where: National Library of Australia
When: 10 am–3 pm
The National Library of Australia is celebrating the cultures of the First Nations peoples of the Pacific this Saturday with traditional music, dance, arts and crafts, story-telling, food stalls and tours of the Library’s exhibition Cook and the Pacific. There will be performances from The Pacific Island Showcase Association, the ACT Tongan Language and Cultural School and Tumanako Maori Cultural Group; and opportunities for the kids to learn the basics of Island dance and hula from local group Island Breeze. Enjoy an Island Watermelon drink or indulge in a traditional ‘Keke’ Island donut, ‘Palusumi’, Taro Chips or traditional curry.

Finnish Crazy Games

Where: Embassy of Finland
When: 10 am–6 pm
The Finnish Crazy Games are on again this Saturday—a celebration of all things Finnish. Not your usual sports, these games include wife-carrying, hobby horse racing, mobile throwing, n-oar-dic walking and air guitar. Check out the program of events here. As well as the games, you will be able to get toasty in a sauna, take a tour of the Embassy and visit Little Lapland which will include Santa’s mailbox and gorgeous Lapphund pups. There will also be Finnish food and beer available, coffee and CanTeen will be running a sausage sizzle.

Blundells Cottage Gala Day

Where: Blundells Cottage, Wendouree Drive
When: 10 am–2 pm
After being closed for repair and conservation work, Blundells Cottage will re-open this weekend and it will be showing off its face-lift! There will be live music, food and drink, lawn games, storytelling and the opportunity to make seed bombs and help create Canberra’s biggest paper chain. This tiny worker’s cottage was built in 1860 from stone taken from Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain to house Duntroon’s head ploughman, William Gin and his family. When built, it was surrounded by paddocks and overlooked the Molonglo River. Between 1874–1933 George Blundell, a Duntroon bullock driver and his family lived there. During this time, George and his wife had eight children. George added two rooms to the Cottage to create space for their large family. After the Blundells, Harry Oldfield and his wife Alice lived there. Harry died in 1942, after which Alice took in boarders and lived there until 1958. Alice’s last tenants left the cottage in 1961.


Retro Depot

Where: Old Bus Depot Markets
When: 10 am–2 pm
The Old Bus Depot Markets will be retro this Sunday featuring mid-century furniture, funky retro clothing and macrame. Deck out your retro wardrobe or make your home fashionably nostalgic with retro homewares and furniture.

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