Eight things to do around Canberra this weekend (29 November–1 December)

Zoe Pleasants 28 November 2019 1
Manuka Pool

The renos are finished and Manuka Pool is celebrating with free entry and activities for the whole family this Saturday. Photo: Fabian Harding.

Surely the biggest happening this weekend is the opening of Frozen 2, but maybe that’s because I have a seven-year daughter! Limelight Cinema in Tuggeranong is celebrating with a family fun day on Saturday including free face painting at 1:00 pm. For those of you who won’t be rushing out to catch Anna and Elsa’s latest adventure, the National Gallery is launching a new exhibition this weekend – a retrospective of Australian portrait artist Hugh Ramsay. The Greek Film Festival is also on at Palace Electric and Sunset Cinema continues at the Botanic Gardens. This Saturday the Manuka Pool is opening for the summer with free entry all day and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra is performing its annual prom concert on the lawns of Government House in the evening. There is also comedy on this weekend, with a few tickets still left for the A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas gig at Canberra Theatre on Saturday night and Grapes of Mirth at Pialligo Estate on Sunday afternoon.

All weekend

Hugh Ramsay Exhibition

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Ahead of the launch in two weeks of its next blockbuster exhibition Matisse & Picasso, the Gallery is launching another exhibition this weekend – a major retrospective of Australian artist Hugh Ramsay – which will run alongside Matisse & Picasso until March 30. Hugh Ramsay was born in Scotland in 1877, his family moved to Australia a year later. He entered Melbourne’s National Gallery School when he was 16 and spent time painting in Paris. He was a gifted artist whose portrait paintings achieved success both here and in France. Sadly he died in 1906 at the age of 28. This retrospective brings together Ramay’s paintings, drawings, sketchbooks and letters from collections around the country. To celebrate the opening of the retrospective this weekend the Gallery is hosting a number of talks in the exhibition space. Between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm Hugh Ramsay’s great-niece and biographer Patricia Fullerton, artist Patrick Pound, conservator Michael Varcoe-Cocks, art historian Ian McLean and curator of the exhibition Deborah Hart will give presentations. Then in the afternoon between 2:oo pm and 3:30 pm, Deborah Hart will host a round table discussion about Hugh Ramsay’s legacy.

Sunset Cinema

Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 pm
The Sunset Cinema continues at the Botanic Gardens. This weekend catch INXS: Live Baby Live (INXS’s 1991 concert at Wembley Stadium) on Friday, Hustlers on Saturday, and Joker on Sunday. There will be snacks and more substantial food on-site to purchase or bring your own picnic, and there will be bean loungers, beanbags and lawn chairs available to rent or bring your own picnic rug, pillows, beanbags or camping chairs. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for concession and $13 for kids aged 3–12 years.

The Greek Film Festival

Where: Palace Electric
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
The Greek Film Festival is on in Canberra this weekend and features six films:

  • 1968 (2018)—a docudrama based on an epic basketball game between the underdog Greek team, AEK and Slavia of Prague.
  • Her Job (2019)—a drama about one woman’s empowerment through employment. Panayota is a 37-year-old mum who has never had a job but gains financial independence, friendships and renewed respect and appreciation from her family when she works as a cleaner in a local shopping mall. But she also faces a ruthless system of exploitation and competition.
  • Maria by Callas (2019)—a documentary which tells the life story of the legendary Greek-American opera singer Maria Callas in her own words.
  • The Bachelor 3 (2018)—the Greek version of The Hangover.
  • The Taverna (2019)—an Australian black comedy set in a Melbourne Greek restaurant. Kostas, the restaurant’s owner employs Jamila, a single mother going through a bitter custody battle, as a belly dancer to entertain customers. When Jamila’s ex-husband shows up at the restaurant with his new girlfriend for dinner Jamila refuses to dance, prompting quirky waitress Sally to take her place. During Sally’s performance, all hell breaks loose!
  • In this Land Nobody Knew How to Cry (2018)—a comedy set on an isolated Aegean island where the inhabitants have established their own alternative, moneyless lifestyle based on historical traditions.

Tickets for each movie are $20 for adults and $15 for concession. Check session times and book tickets here.


Festival of Ambitious Ideas: Beta Festival

Where: Brindabella Conference Centre, Canberra Airport
When: 5:30–9:00 pm
The Festival of Ambitious Ideas is an evening of inspiration and networking hosted by Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre. It features a line-up of speakers who are entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors working in a range of sectors including technology, social enterprise, creative industries and health. Each speaker will ‘ignite’ the audience by talking for 5 minutes about their passion project and plans for 2020. Tickets are $55 + bf for adults and $35 + bf for concession. Check out the line-up of speakers and book tickets here.

Woden Youth Centre’s 30th Birthday

Where: Woden Youth Centre, Phillip
When: From 4:00 pm
This Friday, the Woden Community Service is celebrating 30 years since the opening of Woden Youth Centre. WCS has used the Centre over the years to support at-risk young people and young people with disabilities by running drop-in services, holiday programs, support services, including providing free meals and a music program at the Centre. To celebrate the Centre’s rich history, WCS invites current and former volunteers, staff and people who have used the services to enjoy an evening of recollections and speeches, pictures and displays from the Centre’s archives and, of course, a line-up of local bands and musicians who have connections with the Centre. Register to attend here.


Manuka Pool Opening

Where: Manuka Pool
When: 8:00 am–7:00 pm
Over winter, the Manuka Pool has undergone extensive renovations which included retiling the entire pool. To retain the original aesthetic of the pool and meet modern health standards, the tiles used came from the Czech Republic and took some time to arrive. But the renos are finished now and Manuka Pool is celebrating this Saturday with free entry and activities for the whole family.

CSO’s Shell Prom

Where: Lawns of Government House
When: From 4:45 pm
It’s the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s annual prom concert on the lawns of Government House this Saturday. The orchestra will be playing hits from musical theatre and films—from My Fair Lady to Frozen. Conducted by Geoffrey Castle, the concert will feature guests vocalists Simon Gleeson and Genevieve Kingsford. Pack your own picnic or enjoy the Lions Club sausage sizzle. Bring your own drinks or purchase from the Lerida Estate Winery bar. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for concession and $29 for under-30s. Book here.


Grapes of Mirth

Where: Pialligo Estate
When: 12 noon–6:00 pm
Pialligo Estate is hosting an afternoon of stellar comedy this Sunday. Hosted by Merrick Watts, Grapes of Mirth features Tom Ballard, Nikki Britton, Nick Cody, Becky Lucas and Dave Thornton, as well as food, wine and music. Bring your own picnic rug or camping chair and enjoy Pialligo Estate’s fine food and wine. Tickets are $75 and include a reusable wine glass. Book here.

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One Response to Eight things to do around Canberra this weekend (29 November–1 December)
Piroska Kovacs Piroska Kovacs 8:59 pm 28 Nov 19

Check out what Woden Community Service is doing at the Youth Centre this Friday :-)

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