Eight things to do around Canberra this weekend (2–4 November)

Zoe Pleasants 1 November 2018
dog in rainbow pet parade

The Rainbow Pet Parade returns as part of CBR Fair day, this Saturday at Gorman House. Photo: SpringOUT website.

Halloween continues this weekend and Christmas starts. The National Film and Sound Archive is having a Halloween party this Friday night—HorrorFest— with ghost tours, cosplay and burlesque, and Canberra’s small businesses are getting together to have a Christmas market on Sunday in the Fitters Workshop next to the Old Bus Depot markets. The Apis Canberra International is concluding this weekend and the tournament is hosting a Kids Tennis Day on Saturday with free tennis racquets and an appearance by Nick Kyrogios. Canberra’s annual pride festival—SpringOUT—starts this weekend, as is CBR Fair Day at Gorman House this Saturday. The Veterans Film Festival is on at Event Cinemas in Manuka all weekend and the National Gallery is having an LA Cool evening Friday night with music, food and film.

All weekend

Apis Canberra International

Where: Canberra Tennis Centre
When: Friday 10 am–1 pm, Saturday 9 am–1 pm & Sunday 10:30 am–3 pm
The next generation of top tennis players are currently battling it out to win the Apis Canberra International. The tournament is an Australian Pro Tour event and comprises an ATP Challenger event for men and an ITF Women’s event. It started last weekend and concludes this Sunday. Players from the world’s top 200 and a crop of rising Australian tennis stars are competing. Entry to the tournament is free on Friday, costs either a gold coin on the weekend or there are a limited number of paid seats available for the finals on Sunday, book here. From 9 – 11 am this Saturday is Kids Tennis Day. Local tennis superstar Nick Kyrogios will be there handing out tennis racquets to the first 100 kids under 12 through the door. He will also be inspiring kids to be active and raising awareness for his NK Foundation which seeks to help disadvantaged and underprivileged kids through sport. The Australian Open trophies—the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup—will be on display, and the semifinals of Apis Canberra International will be played straight afterwards at 11 am.

SpringOUT Pride Festival

Where: Various venues
When: Friday & Saturday
Canberra’s pride festival, SpringOUT starts this weekend and runs until 25 November. The festival celebrates Canberra’s LGBTIQ community and Canberra as Australia’s most LGBTIQ-friendly city. New additions to the festival this year include SpringOut in the Vines, a weekend hosted by the Makers of Murrumbateman, an essay competition sponsored by the Equal Rights Coalition and Yes!Fest—a huge street party on Lonsdale Street to mark the one-year anniversary of the marriage equality vote. Events this weekend include:

  • The Dykeside, comedians Lori Bell and Bobby Macumber, are performing Friday 8 pm at The Civic Pub in Braddon;
  • the Frontrunners are meeting 9 am Saturday morning at the Campell shops for a walk or run up Mt Pleasant;
  • CBR Fair Day is on Sunday at Gorman House;
  • the National Film and Sound Archive is screening Brokeback Mountain 4 pm Saturday; and
  • patrons of the much-loved Canberra institution from the 80s and 90s, the Meridian Club are having a reunion on Saturday night.

Check out the full program of events here.

Veterans Film Festival

Where: Events Cinema, Manuka
When: Friday 6 pm, Saturday 1:15, 2, 4 & 6 pm
The Veterans Film Festival is an annual event that screens films about veterans, first responders, those who have experienced conflict and their families. It also provides a platform for veterans and filmmakers to meet as creative artists, and to engage with audiences. The festival presents a curated program of feature films, documentaries, short films and media art. The festival opens on Thursday night, 6 pm with Journey’s End, a film about World War I and continues of Friday and Saturday. Check out the program and book tickets here.


LA Cool

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 6 – 8 pm
The National Gallery is easing into summer with a night of music, food and Hollywood cinema to celebrate the West Coast’s eternal sunshine. Explore the underbelly of art produced in LA during the 1960s and 70s with curators Shaune, Anne and Sally. Eat, make art, take polaroids and enjoy the vibes of DJ Sista Feminista. Then ‘drive’ into a screening of Tales of the American at 8 pm. DJ Sista Feminista cut her tracks in a late night Blues club in Dublin ten years ago and has been DJing all over Europe ever since. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for concession and $25 for Gallery members. Tickets include light refreshments, book here.


Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: 8–11:30 pm
Halloween continues this weekend with a spooky party at the National Film and Sound Archive. HorrorFest will include mini ghost tours of the building every half an hour from 8:30 until 10:30 pm, burlesque performances at 9:30 & 10:30 pm, performances by Canberra’s Naked Girls Reading 8:30 – 9:30 pm, a Cosplay fashion parade at 9 pm, music, Dr Scar Face Painting and other activities through the night. And Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures will also be open for a special late night viewing. Dress up and join in the fun. Tickets are $25, book here. Note, this is an 18+ event.


CBR Fair Day

Where: Gorman House
When: 11 am–4 pm
CBR Fair Day kicks off the SpringOUT festival this Saturday. Hosted by Vanessa Wagner, it will be a fabulous day of music, performances, activities, delicious food and market stalls. This is a family-friendly and pet-friendly event with the Rainbow Pet Parade returning this year. Does your puppy have an uncanny resemblance to you? Or have the most adorable outfit? There are five categories to enter:

  • waggiest tail
  • pet & owner look-a-like
  • best trick
  • best in show by popular opinion
  • outrageous outfit

The parade starts at 11 am.

Diwali & Tihar Mela Canberra

Where: Glebe Park
When: 12 – 7:30 pm
Diwali or Tihar is the Hindu festival of lights. Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Celebrate this festival at Glebe Park on Saturday afternoon. There will be live music, dance performances, DJs, food stalls and fun for the kids.


Canberra Small Business Christmas Market

Where: Fitters Workshop, Kingston
When: 9:30 am – 3 pm
Get your Christmas shopping done early and support local businesses at the Canberra Small Business Christmas Market in the Fitters Workshop next to the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston this Sunday. There will be stalls selling fashion, beauty products, homewares, food, toys, men’s wares and more.

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