It is a weekend for indulging your passions. Indulge your passion for reading and writing at the Canberra Writers Festival, into its second year this is a welcome addition to Canberra’s cultural calendar. Indulge your passion for swing music and dancing at Spring into Swing this Saturday night, or indulge your passion for mountain biking with Shimano Mountain Bike Grand Prix at Stromlo Forest Park. The National Film and Sound Archive is screening a doubleheader of John Duigan’s coming-of-age films, The Year My Voice Broke and Flirting, and the Southern Cross Club is recreating a Hot August Night with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Peter Byrne celebrating 45 years since the release of Neil Diamond’s epic live album. On Sunday, ignite your imagination at Throsby’s very own WINTER WONDERLAND!
Where: Various venues
When: Friday – Sunday
The Canberra Writers Festival returns this weekend for its second year and brings with it many local, national and international writers in workshops, panel sessions, keynote events, and in-conversation sessions. The theme of the festival is Power, Politics and Passion. There will be book launches at the National Library; a literary trivia night at Old Parliament House’s Hoi Polloi restaurant; a chance to binge on the Foxtel series, Secret City — set in Canberra and based on the books by Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis — and opportunities to combine good books with good food and drink at literary lunches and dinners. There will also be plenty of activities for kids with Professor Frankie Falconette’s Harry Potter events, Tracey Spicer reading her favourite children’s book and Josh Earl presenting his show, Oliver up a Tree. The Festival Bookshop will be at Old Parliament House where you can also indulge in some silent reading between events or just for the sake of it. Check out the full program here.
Where: The Street Theatre
When: Friday & Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 4 pm
The premise of Intimacy, a play presented by Melbourne’s Ranters Theatre, is that sometimes we can find being honest with a total stranger easier than being honest with someone we know. Written and directed by Adriano Cortese, the play is stripped back with little in the way of costume or set — Ranters call this everyday theatre — and was inspired by Adriano’s real-life conversations with strangers in a Melbourne street. Intimacy follows one person’s experience of the intimate lives of others and how this experience causes him to confront his own issues. Tickets are $39 for adults, $35 for concessions and $29 for students. Book here.
Where: Southern Cross Club
When: 8 – 11 pm
Warm up a cold August night with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Peter Byrne celebrating 45 years since the release of Neil Diamond’s epic live album Hot August Night. Either buy tickets for the show, or for dinner and the show and enjoy a two-course meal from 6 pm. More details, and book tickets here.
Where: Stromlo Forest Park
When: 9 am – 4 pm
The Shimano Mountain Bike Grand Prix is coming to Mt Stromlo this Saturday. Depending on how much time you have to spend on your bike, you could compete in the four-hour ‘fast’ race or the seven-hour ‘furious’ race. Compete as an individual or as part of a team. Registration details here.
Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: From 5:30 pm
Settle in for an evening of John Duigan’s iconic Australian coming-of-age films, the National Film and Sound Archive is showing The Year my Voice Broke (PG, 1987), and its sequel Flirting (M, 1991). Both films star Noah Taylor as Danny; The Year my Voice Broke also stars Ben Mendelsohn; and Flirting features young versions of Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman. The Year My Voice Broke will be screened at 5:30 pm and will be introduced by cinematographer Geoff Burton, who will also be available for a Q&A session afterwards. Flirting will be screened at 8 pm. Book here.
Where: John Lingard Hall, Canberra Grammar School (junior boys)
When: 5 – 9 pm
Canberra has thriving Big Band and swing dancing scenes, and they are joining forces this Saturday for Swing into Spring. The event will feature four of Canberra’s Big Bands — Connexion, In Full Swing, Blamey Street and Canberra City playing everything from Basie to Bublé. Big bands are typically made up of around 20 musicians — playing the saxophone, trumpets, trombones, and percussion — and vocalists, and they play music from the 1930s & 40s. Tickets from $20 for adults, $10 for child/concession and $50 for a family (2 adults and up to 3 kids). Book here.
Where: Rond Terrace
When: From 9:30 am
Take a leisurely walk in the park this Sunday morning and help raise money for Parkinson’s ACT. Starting at Rond Terrace, the 1.6km walk will take you through Commonwealth Park. There will be a sausage sizzle, coffee cart, face-painting, a warm-up conducted by Neurospace, a dance performance, and an opportunity to buy paintings from the Painting with Parkinson’s group. Registration is $20, or $50 for a family of two adults and two children.
Where: Cnr of Dragon St & Bettong Ave, Throsby
When: 11 am – 3 pm
Enjoy Throsby’s very own Winter Wonderland! Enjoy an outdoor ice rink complete with real snow, meet Olaf and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen or kick back with a hot coffee or some delicious treats from local food vans. There will also be live music and entertainment, and plenty of other activities to keep you and the family entertained. A gold coin donation upon entry will help support MS Get Involved and their great work.
If you’re looking for live music around Canberra check out The RiotACT Gig Guide (23-29 Aug).