Amidst all the confusion and chaos of COVID-19, one message has become increasingly clear: stay home.
Despite having to close their doors temporarily, the city’s cultural institutions, arts organisations, community groups and artists are gathering online to collaborate, share performances, and create meaningful experiences for their audiences.
Whether you’re looking to learn new skills, entertain the kids, or stay in touch with what’s happening in Canberra’s art world, we’ve collected 10 activities from around the internet to keep you engaged and entertained during isolation.
Where: Your neighbourhood
What started out as a simple idea to keep kids entertained has become something of a phenomenon in front windows around the city. If you’ve noticed stuffed animals keeping a watchful eye over suburban streets of late, then you’ve inadvertently stumbled upon this delightful community activity. Round up the kids (or adults) of your household and head out for a walk around your neighbourhood to see what you can see. Many suburbs including Forde, Florey, Bonner, Gungahlin and Weston Creek are known to be taking part. To see whether your suburb has a Bear Hunt currently in operation, check out your community’s Facebook groups. Even better, get the word out and start up a hunt yourself.
The doors of the National Gallery are temporarily shut. That means the national collection is coming to you. The NGA’s YouTube channel now sports virtual tours of the Hugh Ramsay and Matisse & Picasso exhibitions, as well as insightful documentaries about famous works, and the brilliant This Place artist series. Over on the gallery’s website you can listen to artist interviews from the archives and read up on what’s happening in the current exhibitions. All in all, the National Gallery of Australia is still an enticing place to explore, even if we can’t do so in person.
Where: Order from a whole range of kitchens via nobiggie.co
A host of Canberra’s favourite restaurants, cafes, and bars are signed up to deliver food straight to your door via the brand new platform, No Biggie. The Duxton, Monster, and Walt & Burley are just some of the outlets that have already registered. The thing that’s different about No Biggie is that the menu is consistent across all outlets. With most dietary requirements available and the option to freeze meals for later on, this is a food delivery service with a difference.
Where: Head to craftact.org.au
Terra Celestial is the new collaborative artists-in-residence exhibition from Craft ACT, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, and Mount Stromlo Observatory. Five artists present scultpure and installation works made in celebration of the moon landing during residencies at Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage in Namadgi National Park. You can take a virtual walk through the exhibition online and read accompanying essays and artists’ bios as you explore.
Where: For the full list, head to the RiotACT Gig Guide
When: Various times
Musicians and bands around the world are adapting to the new live stream reality. Everyone from Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard to singer Kate Ceberano are performing live on the internet in the coming days. For a huge, weekly dose of contemporary Australian music, follow the Isol-Aid Festival page where the likes of Courtney Barnett, Camp Cope, and Sarah Blasko have all performed. For something a little closer to home, head to Jack Biilmann’s Facebook page at 7:30 pm on Thursday 2 April for an intimate solo set.
Where: Streaming on YouTube
Remember when we could legally congregate in large groups to watch people kick balls around a field? Nearly 15 years on, the Socceroos’ penalty shootout victory against Uruguay to qualify for the 2006 world cup remains one of the greatest achievements in Australian men’s sporting history. Now that heading out to see a game in person anytime soon is well and truly off the table, the opportunity is there to dive back into one of the more joyous moments that sport has provided.
Gather up your family, your housemates, or even just yourself – whoever you’re stuck inside with – for this week’s iteration of Cyber Trivia. The inaugural contest saw more than 100 teams vying for top spot in this locally run trivia night. Contestants can log in to the stream via Facebook or Twitch, and answers are submitted via a Google form. It’s quirky, fun, and decidedly community-oriented. Most importantly, you can join in without leaving the house.
Where: Join the discussion thread online
When: Hit play on the movie at 7:00 pm
Over the past two weeks, 2DayFM has been running worldwide viewing sessions of the first films in the Harry Potter series. This week, follow the titular boy wizard as he complains about permission slips, aggressively retaliates against bullies, and generally comes into his own as the moody teenager we know and love. Follow along with Potterheads from around the world in the community discussion thread that accompanies each week’s viewing.
Where: Live stream on the Australian Dance Party Facebook page
When: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Australian Dance Party is pulling together a diverse group of local artists for this live art experiment. Tune in to the live stream on Monday afternoon to witness a cross-disciplinary artistic collaboration in the digital realm. Dancers, poets, musicians, and visual artists are all set to bring their own flavour to this improvised endeavour.