28 March 2019

Eight things to do around Canberra this weekend (29–31 March)

| Zoe Pleasants
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A fun-filled jam-packed weekend awaits you, starting with Spiegeltent! Photo: Supplied.

A fun-filled jam-packed weekend awaits you, starting with Spiegeltent! Photo: Supplied.

The Spiegeltent arrives in town this weekend and will camp outside the Canberra Theatre for the next three weeks. Headlined by the epic circus show Life: The Show, the tent’s program features dancers, musicians and comedians. The Jazz trio Elixir featuring Katie Noonan and Zac Hurren will be performing in the tent on Sunday afternoon and may be just what you’re after if you attended the Canberra Wine Week launch event at NewActon on Saturday afternoon followed by Brodburger’s 10th birthday celebrations at Kingston Foreshore on Saturday evening. For a smaller weekend, check out Bonsai Week events at the National Arboretum or visit the Canberra Model Railway Expo at the University of Canberra High.

All weekend


Where: Civic Square
When: Saturday 8:30 pm and Sunday 4 & 6 pm
The Spiegeltent is returning to Canberra this week for a three-week visit, headlining the program this season is Life: The Show. Directed by Scott Maidment, this epic production tells the story of two clowns—performed by Goos Meeuwsen and Helena Bittencourt who has performed with Cirque du Soleil—and includes live music, singing, dancing, circus acrobatics and what is called ‘attempted pryokinesis’ – the ability to create fire with the power of the mind. As well as the clowns, the show features vocalist Lee Taylor, musician Blaise Garza who currently tours with the Violent Femmes and spectacularly takes flight during the show while playing the saxophone, as well as Rechelle Mansour, Tim Kriegler and drummer Attis Clopton. Check out our story on the show here. Also appearing in the tent this weekend—Sunday 4 pm—is the jazz trio Elixir, featuring Zac Hurren and Katie Noonan. Tickets for Life: The Show from $69, book here, and tickets for Elixir are $49, book here.

Bonsai Week

Where: National Arboretum
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9 am–4 pm
This year the Arboretum’s Bonsai Week is celebrating Women in Bonsai with internationally renowned artists Heike van Gunst and Sandra Grlica from Germany hosting demonstrations, workshops and tours. On Friday between 1:30–3:30 pm, Heike and Sandra will be joined by Leigh Taafe, the curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia for a panel discussion about what motivates them, their personal journeys, what international trends influence them and the challenges of working in a male-dominated field. Tickets for this session are $10, book here. This discussion will be followed by the event Bonsai After Hours which again will feature Heike and Sandra, this time demonstrating their skills. There will be drinks and canapes and an opportunity to bid on trees and other items at auctions throughout the evening. Tickets are $65, book here. At 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday, Leigh Taffe will give a half hour tour of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection. These tours are free, meet at the entry of the collection. And all weekend view the exhibition, One, of contemporary Japanese calligraphy by Tairiku Teshima in the Arboretum’s village centre. This exhibition features 28 works specially created for the National Arboretum.

Canberra Model Railway Expo

Where: University of Canberra High School, Kaleen
When: Saturday 9 am–5 pm & Sunday 9 am–4 pm
The Canberra Model Railway Club’s 31st annual Model Railway Expo is on this weekend. View 30 model railway layouts, purchase model railway products and ride on a scale model steam train. The layouts will include a children’s U-Drive on which they can drive their own train, a layout made entirely of Lego and layouts featuring Australian, American, British and Japanese themes. There will be something for everyone. Entry is $10 for adults, $8 for concession, $5 for kids and $25 for a family.


Friday Night Drinks @ Pialligo Estate

Where: Pialligo Estate
When: 4 – 8:30 pm
As the weather gets cooler, this Friday will be the last in this series of Pialligo Estate’s Friday Night Drinks. Pair delectable charcuterie with a selection of wines including French Champagne and the Estate’s own Prosecco. Take a tour of the Estate’s vineyard with the resident Horticulturalist or Sommelier, or kick back with friends and listen to live music and play a lawn game. This week, bring a friend and get a bottle of wine and six pieces of charcuteries for $30.


Finska Fest

Where: La Trobe Park, Bedford Street, Deakin
When: 10 am – 4 pm
Finska is a Finnish throwing game that the Finns call mölkky. Suitable for ages 7 to 107, it is a game of skill, strategy and precision. Basically, the game involves 12 numbered wooden pins set up in a tight cluster. A player stands 3-4m back and throws a log – the Finska – at the cluster. If the player knocks one pin down, their score is the number on that pin. If the player knocks more than one pin down, their score is the number of pins they knocked down, not the sum of the numbers on the pins. The aim is to get to 50 but a player or team cannot go over 50, if they do their score gets knocked back to 25. And if the player or team misses three times in a row, they’re out. Check out the rules here. For this tournament, 32 teams of two will compete in a round-robin pool before a knock-0ut round. Register your team here.

Canberra Wine Week Launch Event

Where: NewActon
When: 2–6 pm
The Canberra District Wine Week will be on from Friday 5 April to Sunday 14 April, but get a taster this Saturday afternoon at the launch event to be held at NewActon. There will be more than 50 wines available to sample, and food for purchase to help soak up the wine. Collect your tasting glass and embark on a journey of liquid geography. Tickets are $25 presale or $30 on the door and include your tasting glass. Book here. Read about our pick of the top five events at Canberra Wine Week here.

Brodburger’s 10th Birthday

Where: Brodburger, Kingston
When: From 5 pm
Brodburger is celebrating its 10th Birthday this Saturday by giving away free burgers! Brodburger will be hosting an epic birthday party at its Kingston location with live music, DJs, lawn games, a photo booth, and a scavenger hunt with plenty of prizes. The scavenger hunt starts at 3 pm and finishes at 5 pm at the Glassworks. Celebrations start in Kingston at 5 pm, and the all-important three hours of free burgers start at 5:30 pm. Read more about it here.


Canberra Symphony Orchestra—Recital One

Where: Great Hall, University House
When: 2–3 pm
The Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s Recital Series is a relaxed, informal performance featuring a guest soloist in a one-hour concert that showcases the soloist’s instrument, their skill in playing it and their musical preferences. This concert will feature Diana Doherty on the oboe accompanied by Bernadette Harvey. Diana will play:

  • Tim Dargaville’s In the Spirit House (2009)for oboe and piano;
  • Clara Schumann’s 3 Romances for oboe (orig. violin) and piano, op. 22 (1853);
  • Marina Dranishnikova’s Poeme for oboe and piano (1953); and
  • Cesar Franck’s Sonata for oboe (orig violin) and piano (1886)
Tickets are $40 for adults and $29 if you are under 30, book here.

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