12 February 2018

Nine things to do around Canberra this weekend (7-9 July)

| Zoe Pleasants
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It’s NAIDOC week and there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture around town. The Belconnen Arts Centre is hosting a family fun day on the shores of Lake Ginninderra this Saturday. The World Curry Festival is back for another year in the city, complete with its Chilli Eating Contest on both Saturday and Sunday – watch fully-grown adults cry! After its highly successful February Bookfair, Lifeline is hosting another one this weekend down in Tuggeranong, let’s see if we can make this one even bigger. It is the last weekend of the National Museum’s Freewheeling exhibition and the Museum is celebrating with a family festival on Sunday. There is also plenty of music on with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra putting on its Opera Gala and local singer, songwriter Shoeb Ahmad launching her new single “mask-ed”.

All weekend

Lifeline Southside Bookfair
Where: Tuggeranong Southern Cross Stadium, Pitman Street
When: Friday 9 am – 6 pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm & Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
Do you need a book to curl up with in front of a fire this winter? Head down to Lifeline’s Bookfair this weekend and there will be books, magazines, games, jigsaws, comics, maps, sheet music, records, CDs, DVDs and more for sale. These Bookfairs raise most of the funds Lifeline needs to run the local chapter of its crisis support and suicide prevention telephone service. February’s Bookfair was Lifeline’s biggest ever and I’m sure they’d love this one to be even bigger. It’s all happening at Tuggeranong Southern Cross Stadium, there will be parking at the venue and the Tuggeranong Hyperdome from Friday to Sunday, and at the Department of Human Services on the weekend. Saturday is Family Day with lots of activities for the kids. Admission is a gold coin.

World Curry Festival
Where: City Walk
When: Friday – Sunday, 11 am – 8 pm
Warm up on the inside with a curry this weekend. The World Curry Festival started in 2015 and this year will feature over 30 curry vendors from all over Canberra. There will be curries from India, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Phillippines and more. Entertainment includes dancing and music, cooking demonstrations by Andrew Barr and Gordon Ramsey — the MLA not the angry chef — and a Chilli Eating Contest on both Saturday and Sunday. For more details check out the schedule of entertainment.

Defying Empire
Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: Everyday (exhibition closes on 10 September 2017), 10 am – 5 pm
This year NAIDOC celebrations (2 – 9 July) coincide with ‘Defying Empire‘, the third National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia. This powerful exhibition commemorating a time when Australians are looking back 50 years to the 1967 referendum. For more details check out ‘Defying Empire’ in NAIDOC Week.


NAIDOC Week Talk: Matilda House
Where: Canberra Museum and Gallery
When: 1 – 2 pm
To celebrate NADIOC Week, Canberra Museum and Gallery has invited artist and Ngambri-Ngunnawal elder, Matilda House to talk about the stories represented in two of her works included in CMAG collection. These two works are the lithograph, Murrumbeja dooligah (1996), and a possum skin cloak, incised with designs depicting the Murrumbidgee River, the Brindabella Ranges, bush tucker, wedge-tailed eagles and brolgas. This cloak was worn at the Welcome to Country ceremony at the opening of Parliament in 2010.

The Salt Room
Where: Main Hall, Gorman Arts Centre
When: 7:30 – 10:30 pm
The Salt Room is a bi-monthly night of performance poetry and experimental music presented in partnership by Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres and BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! This month the event features writer and theatre-maker Emma Gibson, spoken word and slam poet Troy Wong, and local band the Okinawa Girls. And there will be mulled wine. Tickets $10 concession, $15 full are available online or at the door.


Image credit: Kate Ahmad

Shoeb Ahmad: “mask-ed” Single Launch
Where: Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre
When: Doors open 6:30 pm
Local musician, Shoeb Ahmad is launching her new single “mask-ed” at Gorman House this Saturday night with a six-piece band featuring members from local bands Cracked Actor, Pocket Fox and Helena Pop. “mask-ed” is the first single off Ahmad’s forthcoming album, “quiver” and her first solo release since 2012. It deals with the struggles around identity and gender expression. Ahmad’s music is soulful and features lush harmonies and slow grooves. There will also be sets from Wives and Naif, and a panel discussion moderated by Chiara Grassia (Girls Rock Canberra) about the role of personal identity in creative practice. This is an all ages event, tickets are $10 concession, $15 full and include a drink.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s Opera Gala
Where: Llewellyn Hall, ANU
When: 7:30 – 10 pm
Always one of the highlights of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s season, this Saturday the CSO is presenting its Opera Gala. Conducted by CSO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Nicholas Milton and with guest soloists from the State Opera House of Saarbrücken, Germany the evening will feature a programme of arias by Puccini, Wagner, Verdi, Rossini and Mozart. This concert has been made possible through an international cultural exchange initiative, supported by the governments of Australia and Germany.

NAIDOC by the Lake
Where: Belconnen Arts Centre, Emu Bank
When: 11 am – 3 pm
The Belconnen Arts Centre is putting on a free family festival this Saturday, on the shore of Lake Ginninderra, to celebrate NADIOC Week. There will be live music, dancing, food stalls, face painting and craft activities for all the family. Learn how to do traditional weaving or sit around the campfire and listen to a yarn.


Freewheeling family fun day
Where: National Museum of Australia
When: 10 am – 1 pm
It is the final weekend of the Museum’s Freewheeling exhibition, so get on your bike and ride down to the Museum to see it. On Sunday, the Museum is putting on a family fun day to celebrate the exhibition’s final day. Learn how to ride a unicycle, or watch Neil Dawson ride a Penny Farthing. There will be BMX demonstrations, a safety course for kids to ride and lots of crafty activities. Check out the museum’s website for a full rundown of events.

If you’re looking for live music around Canberra check out The RiotACT Gig Guide (5 – 11 July).

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