With only a month until Christmas, it seems the festive season is in full swing. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, there will be a number of opportunities to pick up gifts made and/or designed by local and Australian makers and designers this weekend. The Design Canberra Festival, in its final weekend, is presenting the three-day Undercurrent Design Market at the Portrait Gallery and Meraki at Mocan this Sunday; and the Etsy Made local Canberra Market will be on at EPIC this Saturday. Possibly the wares at these markets will be too good to waste on the in-laws. If the spiritual rather than commercial side of Christmas is more your thing, the Canberra Choral Society is performing Handel’s Messiah at Llewellyn Hall this Saturday. Or if you’d prefer to bury your head in the sand and try to ignore Christmas, immerse yourself in the feel-good escapism of MAMMA MIA which opens at the Canberra Theatre this weekend.
Where: Canberra Theatre
When: Friday & Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 5:30 pm
The latest Australian production of the musical MAMMA MIA opens this Friday at the Canberra Theatre and will be playing there until December 17. Set on a Greek Island and featuring the songs of ABBA, MAMMA MIA tells the story of a young bride, Sophie, on the eve of her wedding wanting to work out who her father is so that she can be walked down the aisle by him. Sophie’s finds her mum’s diary from the year she was born and learns that her father could be one of three men. Without telling her mother, Sophie invites all three of these men to her wedding hoping it will be obvious to her which one is her father; it isn’t. This production stars Sarah Morrison as Sophie; Natalie O’Donnell as Sophie’s mother, Donna; Ian Stenlake, Phillip Lowe and Josef Ber as the three potential fathers; and Alicia Gardiner and Jayde Westaby as Donna’s friends.
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Friday 5 – 8 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Now in its eighth year, the Undercurrent Design Market will feature the work of over seventy designer makers from all over Australia. The market starts this Friday night with live music, drinks and nibbles and runs until Sunday afternoon.
Where: Banks of Lake Tuggeranong
When: 9 am – 2 pm
In keeping with its annual theme of animals, this Saturday the Tuggeranong Arts Centre is inviting all creatures to the banks of Lake Tuggeranong for a day of entertainment and fun. Hosted by comedian Kevin Kropinyer, Whatever Floats Your Horse will feature music, dance, art, food and plenty of activities. The day will get off to a running start at 8 am, with the Tuggeranong Parkrun encouraging runners to dress in an animal onesie and do a lap of the lake. Pets are invited to meet The Queen between 11 am – 1 pm; take part in a pet pageant looking for Canberra’s most eccentric pet, and get their photo taken in the pet photo booth. For kids, there will be rock painting, mask making, face painting, hip-hop dance classes, and a progressive story. And the climax of the day will be the unveiling of the Art Centre’s Horse Float of Ideas; a community art project that has transformed an old horse float into a relocatable, experimental art space.
Where: Various locations
When: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
To celebrate Renewable Energy Day, South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) is running two bus tours of renewable energy sites in the ACT and south-east NSW region this Saturday. The ACT tour will start and finish at the Canberra Theatre and will visit Mugga Lane Solar Park, Mt Stromlo Mini-Hydro, The Link at Ginninderry — where the tour will stop for lunch — the CIT Renewable Energy Skills Centre, the ITP Renewables Battery Test Centre, and the world’s largest solar thermal dish—the ANU Big Dish. The NSW tour will start and finish at Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, 257 Crawford Street and will visit the world’s largest waste-to-energy bioreactor landfill project—Woodlawn Bioreactor, Woodlawn Wind Farm, and Mt Majura Solar Farm. Lunch for this tour will be at Contentious Character Winery where there will also be an opportunity for wine tastings and a tour around the vineyard. Each tour costs $30 + bf, book here.
Where: Exhibition Park, Mitchell
When: 9 am – 3 pm
This market will be one of many held in towns across Australia this Saturday showcasing the makers, designers, and collectors that are part of the creative community that sell their wares on Etsy.com. Browse over 100 stalls, listen to live music or attend a crafty workshop. Entry by gold coin.
Where: Llewellyn Hall
When: 7:30 pm
With only a month until Christmas, get into the festive spirit with Handel’s Messiah. Performed by the Canberra Choral Society and orchestra, with soloists Greta Claringbould, Tobias Cole, Paul McMahon and Jeremy Tatchell. Conducted by Leonard Weiss.
Where: Rond Terrace, Parkes
When: 6 am – 1:30 pm
This annual triathlon is held in honour of the late Jackie Fairweather, a Canberra local who was a world champion triathlete, marathon runner and a coach at the Australian Institute of Sport. The event will include both Sprint and Super Sprint (Enticer) races. The Sprint races involve a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run, and the Super Sprint races involve a 200m swim, 10km bike ride and a 2km run. There will also be Miniman races for kids aged 7–11 years and junior races. Get more details and register here.
Where: Mocan and Green Gout
When: From 5 pm
Wind down on Sunday afternoon with wine, cheese and six local makers exhibiting their work. Mocan and Green Gout is hosting another of its Meraki nights, where meraki is a Greek word that refers to the spirit, or love that a maker puts into an object they create. This night will feature ceramic tableware, textiles and wooden objects.