19 April 2018

Five things to do around Canberra this weekend (20–22 April)

| Zoe Pleasants
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Photo: Parliament of Australia.

Autumn Colours in the Courtyard. Photo: Parliament of Australia.

It is the middle weekend of the school holidays and if you are looking for things to do with the kids, the cultural institutions are always a good option. Questacon is extending its opening hours until 6 pm over the holidays, the Portrait Gallery is setting up an Art Cart in its foyer, the National Library is setting up Word Play; a place to read, write, illustrate and imagine in its Brindabella Room, and the National Gallery’s playspace—Indieguerillas—is open until the end of May. On Saturday, the Australian War Memorial offers family tours around it collection at 10:15 am, has a Hands on History event at 11 am, and free performances of Women in War at 11:40 am, 12:40 & 1:40 pm. Also on Saturday, the National Museum of Australia is showing Paddington 2 at 3 pm. For those of you thinking beyond providing entertainment for the kids, Friday night has a distinct fashion flavour this week with a Cartier lecture and tour at the National Gallery, and Autonomy—a night of fun and fashion—happening on Lonsdale Street. The Short & Sweet Theatre Festival starts this weekend while the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival continues. Check out Lachlan Roberts list of highlights for the Heritage Festival here, and the full program here.

All weekend

Short & Sweet Theatre Festival

Where: Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre
When: Friday, 7:30 pm & Saturday 2:30 & 7:30 pm
Canberra’s Short and Sweet Theatre Festival started on Tuesday night at the Courtyard Theatre and runs for the next two weeks, culminating in the Gala Finale on Saturday, 28 April. The festival showcases ten-minute plays written by local, Australian and international playwrights, directed and performed by mostly local directors and actors. Short and Sweet started in Sydney’s Newtown Theatre in 2002 and has since sprouted many local versions around Australia and even overseas, with Short and Sweet Theatre Festivals being held in Dubai and South India this year. Over the course of two weeks, the Festival Director’s top 20 plays are performed at 7:30 pm Tuesday to Friday. And then on the middle Saturday, the plays that gained a wildcard entry are performed twice at 2:30 and 7:30 pm. For a full list of the plays being performed, check the Festival’s Facebook page. Ten plays are then chosen from the Top 20 and wildcard entries to be included in the Gala Finale. This selection is a combination of judges’ and people’s choice. Tickets for a session are $30 for adults and $25 for concession, book here.

The Earth Festival

Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm
The Earth Festival promotes the benefits of living an environmentally sustainable, vegan lifestyle. It is a two-day event with market stalls, workshops and speakers, activities for kids, live tattooing and lots of vegan food. Each year the festival organisers donate the proceeds from the festival to an animal shelter – this year, the festival will be supporting the Lucky Stars Sanctuary located in Bywong, NSW. Tickets are $9.95 for one day, $17.95 for two days and $69.95 for VIP entry! Kids under 12 are free. Book here.


Cartier Lecture: Monsieur Xavier Gargat

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 6–8 pm
Xavier Gargat was formerly the Director of the Ateliers of High Jewellery for Cartier. He began his career as a jewellery maker when he was 16 and started managing the workshops at Cartier International in 2001. This Friday night, he will present an exclusive insight into Cartier’s high fashion pieces. Tickets are $40 for NGA members, $45 for adults and $42 for students and include entry into the exhibition and a glass of wine or champagne. Book here.


Where: Saloon, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
6–10 pm
Blow dry & beauty bar, Saloon and fashion boutique, Rebel Muse are joining forces this Friday night to present Autonomy—a night of fashion, fun and mischief! Rebel Muse will have a pop-up shop open, Saloon will be blow drying hair, providing the drinks and makeup touch-ups, DJs Hamish Lardi and Ruben will be spinning the tunes, and Pizza Artigiana will be providing the wood-fired pizzas. Then later in the evening, there be a fashion show on Lonsdale Street featuring autumn and winter fashion for 2018. Tickets are $59 and for that you get:

  • a complimentary drink between 6–7 pm;
  • $50 to spend at Rebel Muse;
  • a free makeup touch-up and 10% off other Saloon services; and
  • a gift bag.

Book here. Or arrive after 7 pm for free entry.


Autumn Colours in the Courtyard

Where: Parliament House
When: 11 am & 2 pm
Starting this weekend and continuing through until 6 May, is a rare opportunity to see the private courtyards of Parliament House in spectacular autumn colour. Take a one hour guided tour through the courtyards featuring gardens and outdoor art sculptures. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for concession and $50 for a family. Book here.

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