See Canberra in a different light this weekend as the Enlighten Festival kicks off for another year. From 8 pm this Friday the cultural institutions in the Parliamentary Triangle will be lit up with stunning architectural projections, the Night Noodle Markets will also start from 5 pm and there will be roving performers and live music to enjoy. Both the Canberra Theatre and the Street Theatre have interesting shows on this weekend: A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is playing at the Canberra Theatre and the Street Theatre is premiering a local song cycle work, The Weight of Light. If you are wanting to inject an international flavour into your weekend, the Canberra Chinese Lantern Festival is on Saturday night, the colourful Hindu festival of Holi is being celebrated all day Saturday and the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is starting this weekend at Palace Electric.
Where: Parliamentary Triangle
When: Friday 5 pm–12 am, Saturday 4 pm– 12 am & Sunday 4–11 pm
Enlighten opens this weekend. See stunning architectural projections on Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House, the National Library and Questacon. Eat at the Night Noodle Markets and enjoy live music and roving performers. The projections will be switched on at 8 pm this Friday and will be on each night until Sunday 11 March. The Night Noodle Markets start at 5 pm on weekdays and 4 pm on weekends. Most of the cultural institutions will be matching the colour outside with fun inside on Friday and Saturday nights. The National Library is putting on a sixties-themed kids disco on Friday and live music on Saturday with Tessa Devine, Massive Sherlock and The Brass Knuckle Brass Band playing. The Portrait Gallery and Old Parliament House will be open late and there will be a neon circus at the National Gallery. For a full run-down of events check out the Enlighten program here.
Where: The Canberra Theatre
When: Friday 8 pm & Saturday 2 pm & 8 pm
Billed as light entertainment about a heavy subject, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is showing at the Canberra Theatre this weekend. It is a musical that tackles the battle metaphor that is so prevalent when talking about cancer. Bryony Kimmings developed the show in collaboration with Brian Lobel and Kirsty Housely by talking about cancer with cancer patients and their families. During these conversations, she heard less about battles, fights and survivors and more about pain, mundane treatment cycles, new found friendships, hairlessness, scars and death. So she wrote the show about these things. The original version of the show featured a larger cast which included some of the cancer patients Bryony spoke to. The version coming to the Canberra Theatre is scaled-down and features on stage Bryony and one of the original collaborators and cast members, Lara Veitch who has Li Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare inherited genetic predisposition towards cancer. The show is produced by Bryony and British theatre company Complicité, tickets from $69 for adults, $59 for concession, $49 for under 27s. Book here.
Where: The Street Theatre
When: Saturday 7:30 pm & Sunday 4 pm
An exciting new musical work is premiering at the Street Theatre this weekend. The Weight of Light is a locally written and produced song cycle that deals with the themes of masculinity, war, keeping secrets and rural life. A solider returns to his family’s farm in regional New South Wales after his latest tour of Afghanistan. He is looking forward to having a rest but instead, he is confronted by news which pushes him to reveal a dark secret and causes him to question what sort of man he is, what it means to be brave and what future awaits his family. This work was commissioned by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium and is a collaboration between librettist Nigel Featherstone and composer James Humberstone. It is directed by the Street’s Caroline Stacey and features baritone Michael Lampard as the soldier and pianist Alan Hicks. Tickets are $39 for adult, $35 for concession, $30 for under 30 and $25 for student. Book here.
Where: Lennox Gardens, Yarralumla
When: 6–8:15 pm
In Chinese culture, Lantern Festivals are held two weeks after Chinese New Year and mark the end of New Year celebrations. Canberra’s Lantern Festival will be held in the Beijing Garden of Lennox Gardens this Saturday and will feature a Lantern Parade along the lake, folk dancing, lion dancing and martial art demonstrations. Join in the parade with your own homemade lantern—there will be a competition for the best handmade lantern—or buy one at the festival. There will be snacks and drinks available to purchase, and in case of rain, the festival will move to Lancaster Hall, 20–22 National Circuit, Forrest.
Where: Thoroughbred Park, Lyneham
When: 11 am–6 pm
Holi is Hindu festival held at this time in the Indian subcontinent to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring festival and involves smearing people with coloured powder and spraying them with water. Join the Canberra version at Thoroughbred Park this Saturday and enjoy live music and dance performances, food, drink and getting drenched in colour.
When: From 6 pm
Where: Piallago Estate Lawns
When: 10 am–4 pm
Piallago Estate is hosting a Market Day on its main paddock this Sunday. There will be market stalls of gourmet food, wine and spirits, live music throughout the day, activities for the kids and a cook-off competition featuring some talented chefs aged 8–12 and 13–18. If it rains the markets may be rescheduled, check out Piallago Estate’s Facebook page for details.
Where: Lake Burley Griffin, Black Mountain Penisula
When:10 am – 2 pm
The Royal Life Saving Society is hosting a Day at the Lake this Sunday to teach us about all the things we can do to stay safe around inland waterways. This event is part of the national Respect the River campaign which was started to address the problem that most drowning deaths in Australia occur in rivers, lakes and dams. The Royal Life Saving Society believes we can all be lifesavers and they want to show us how. The day will include face painting, jumping castles, and a mega slide; water safety demonstrations; CPR training; live music and Canberra’s first Duck Derby! Buy your tickets for the Derby from:
- The Royal Life Saving Society office, Napier Close, Deakin;
- Manuka Pool;
- Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre, Belconnen;
- All Type Battery Solutions, 12–16 Sandford St, Mitchell.
First prize in the Derby is $500, second prize is $250 and third prize is $100. Ducks start racing at 12 pm.