12 February 2018

Eight things to do around Canberra this weekend (28–30 July)

| Zoe Pleasants
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This weekend is all about celebrating winter and drinking mulled wine. On Friday night, Ainslie Arts Centre is throwing a winter art party, and the Arboretum is celebrating mid-winter. On Sunday Queanbeyan is hosting Christmas in July markets and Santas in Speedos will be shuffling around Lake Burley Griffin to raise funds for cystic fibrosis. There is also some great theatre on with the last chance to see Constellations at The Street Theatre; and QL2’s annual Playhouse season, This Poisoned Sea, and a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 on at the Canberra Theatre. And finally, Live@thePolo is a new live music initiative starting up at the Polish Club this Saturday night featuring an amazing line-up of local bands.

All weekend

This Poisoned Sea
Where: Canberra Theatre
When: Thursday 7 pm, Friday 10:30 am & 7 pm, Saturday 2 pm & 7 pm
The annual Playhouse season of local youth contemporary dance company, QL2 is on this weekend. The company will present, in one program, three original dance works created by choreographers Claudia Alessi, Jack Ziesing and Eliza Sanders. The three works are inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner which tells of the troubles that befall a mariner who shoots an albatross with a cross bow after it has guided his ship out of icy waters. Rather than recreate the narrative of the poem, This Poisoned Sea is inspired by the poem’s environmental message and has been a way for the choreographers and dancers to explore their thoughts and feelings about this message. QL2’s Playhouse Season is always innovative, well executed and highly engaging and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Tickets are $32 for adults and $20 concession, book here.

Where: The Canberra Theatre
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Friday 1:30 pm & 7:30 pm
British playwrights Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan adapted George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 for the stage and productions of their play have been massively popular all over the world. An Australian production is coming to the Canberra Theatre this weekend. Set in a world where an invasive government watches its citizens — Big Brother is watching — 1984 is as relevant now as ever. Tickets from $65 for adults, $50 concession, book here.

Ultimate Women’s Weekend: Lifestyle and Wellbeing Expo
Where: Exhibition Park, Mitchell
When: 29 & 30 July, 10 am – 5 pm
The Ultimate Women’s Weekend is both a fun lifestyle and wellbeing expo aimed at women — but, of course, open to men as well — and a social enterprise focused on combating domestic violence through education and financial support. The enterprise travels across Australia putting on expos which feature between 40–100 stalls of small businesses and workshops, seminars, cooking classes and pampering opportunities. Stallholders are encouraged to offer an experience for visitors rather than just exhibit. All profits from the event will be donated to the local refuge, Beryl Women Inc. For more information and a run down of what will be happening at the expo, check out the website here. Sounds like a good excuse to get the girls together.


Canberra Obscura: Metropolis
Where: Ainslie Arts Centre
When: 7 – 11 pm
Ainslie Arts Centre is celebrating winter this Friday with a huge art party. Music will be provided by Moaning Lisa, Sebastian Field from Cracked Actor, and DJ Coolio Desgracias. Food will be provided by Mr Papa, Canberra Magic Kitchen and Bombolini, beer will be provided by Pact Beer Co and cocktails by Mint Garden Bar. There will also be performances by Australian Dance Party’s CO.LAB, Rosanna Stevens, and Penelope Asterisk—strong-woman extraordinaire; and projections by John Carolan Art. This is an all-ages, kid friendly event. Tickets from $20, kids under 12 are free. Ainslie Arts Centre is promising a night of enthralling performances, emphatic beats, experimentation and the unexpected.

Mid winter at the Arboretum
Where: National Arboretum
When: 4 – 9:30 pm
The Arboretum is also celebrating winter this Friday. It will be serving up hearty soups, mulled wine, outdoor adventures and live music. Rug up and join a guided sunset walk to the top of Dairy Farmers Hill, walk the labyrinth by candle light, or make a lantern and listen to stories told by the fire. Tickets include all activities and either soup and crusty bread or BBQ corn, and a cup of mulled wine (non-alcoholic options available). Or if you prefer something fancier, VIP tickets include a two-course meal at the Conservatory Restaurant. More details here, tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for kids aged 5-12 (kids under 5 are free) and $28 for concession. Book here.


Where: Polish White Eagle Club
When: From 8 pm
The main stage at the Polish Club has been given a makeover — there’s a new lighting rig, a reconfigured sound system, and some acoustic treatment—to make it better for bands to play on. What a great idea! To try it out a new concept called Live@thePolo is launching on Saturday night with an amazing line-up of all Canberra bands: Waterford, Oranges, Betty Alto, Slow Turismo and Mondecreen. The night will also be shot on video as Live@thePolo is keen to help bands get their music up on the internet by posting videos. Tickets are $20 and you can book here.
RiotACT has two tickets to give away! To win, hit us up in the comments section below and tell us either what you’re up to this weekend or who is your favourite Canberra band. Checkout Live@thePolo’s Facebook page to be kept in the loop about more events.


Queanbeyan Christmas in July Markets
Where: Queanbeyan Show Grounds
When: 10 am — 4 pm
Our neighbours are celebrating Christmas this weekend at the Queanbeyan Show Grounds. There will be Christmas food, gourmet treats, regional wines, handmade Christmas gifts (imagine how much more enjoyable December will be if you get your Christmas shopping finished this weekend), super-sized kites, Dachshund races, a dog sledge demonstration, Santa pet photos, local produce and a Christmas giving tree. And, of course, mulled wine.

6500 Santa Shuffle for Cystic Fibrosis
Where: Southern Cross Yacht Club, Yarralumla
When: 10 am – 3 pm
Celebrate Christmas in July this Sunday by running around the lake with Santa’s dressed in speedos! Join a bunch of brave Canberrans who are raising much-needed funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis sufferers in the region, by shuffling for 65 minutes in their speedos around Lake Burley Griffin. You can support them by participating in a 5km fun run. Register before Sunday, $35 for adults, and $15 for under 12s. And if you’re wondering what running has to do with Christmas, you can go the more traditional route and enjoy a Christmas lunch aboard the MV Southern Cross instead. For those of you who miss the boat, there will also be a Christmas in July themed festival at the Yacht Club to enjoy. For more details, to register for the fun run or book a place at the Captain’s table check out the Santa Shuffle website here.

If you’re looking for live music around Canberra check out The RiotACT Gig Guide (19 – 25 July).

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Hopefully I’m off for some yummy Polish Dumplings and a show at the Polo

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