Seven things to do around Canberra this weekend (15–17 February)

Zoe Pleasants 21 February 2019

Shakespeare by the Lake will debut this year’s performance at Lanyon Homestead this Friday. Photo: Esh Photography.

It’s Multicultural Festival weekend—head into the city for delicious food, live music and great entertainment. The opening concert is on Friday night, headlined by Christine Anu, Isaiah Firebrace is performing on Saturday and also on Saturday Mark Olive will be cooking up a storm. If you didn’t quite get your act together for Valentine’s Day or can’t get enough of it there are a couple of romantic options for Friday night. Shakespeare by the Lakes is performing Twelfth Night at Lanyon Estate; pack a picnic or pre-order a platter when you book your tickets. And the National Gallery is having a Love & Desire Valentine event with music, art, performance, poetry and dinner. The Brumbies start their 2019 season this Friday and the National Film and Sound Archive is celebrating the work of acclaimed Australian director, Bruce Beresford.

All weekend

Multicultural Festival

Where: Garema Place
When: Friday 12 pm–12 am, Saturday 10 am–12 am & Sunday 10 am–5 pm
Eat and dance your way around the world this weekend without leaving Canberra at the National Multicultural Festival, one of Australia’s biggest celebrations of cultural diversity. It opens this Friday night with a concert, starting at 5 pm headlined by Christine Anu (7:30–8:30 pm) and continues across the whole weekend with a packed program of entertainment. Other highlights include Isaiah Firebrace performing at 7:30 pm, Saturday on Stage 2 as part of the Indigenous Showcase and again at 8:30 pm on Stage 1, and celebrity chef Mark Olive cooking up a storm from 11 am, Saturday on Stage 1 and again at 1 pm. This year the showcases include Africa Village, India in the City, China Village, US Showcase featuring Michael Zaib, Celtic Tattoo, Latin Quarters, Greek Glendi, Pacific Islander Showcase and Belly Dance Showcase. Find details of these showcases in the program. There will also be a Children’s Sanctuary and, of course, a huge variety of food stalls to keep you nourished.

Bruce Beresford Season

Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 4 pm & 6:30 pm
The National Film and Sound Archive is presenting a season of the films of acclaimed Australian Director Bruce Beresford, best known for his films The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972), Don’s Party (1976), Breaker Morant (1980), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Mao’s Last Dancer (2009) and, most recently, Ladies in Black (2018). Bruce has had a long and productive career making over 30 films. The NFSA will present six of these films over the next two weekends. This weekend Bruce will be in Canberra and at the screening of Ladies in Black, 7:30 pm Friday along with Angourie Rice who plays Lisa in the film. And then on Saturday, the NFSA is screening a double feature of The Getting of Wisdom (4 pm) and Breaker Morant (6:30 pm). Following the screening of The Getting of Wisdom, there will be a Q&A session with costume designer, Anna Senior. Tickets are $10, book here.

Indoor Plant Sale

Where: Fitters Workshop, Kingston
When: Saturday & Sunday 8 am–4 pm
This weekend the Jungle Collective is hosting a huge indoor plant sale at the Fitters Workshop in Kingston. There will be hundreds of indoor plants to choose from, a rare plants corner, inspiration on how to incorporate plants into your home, horticulturalists available to discuss everything about indoor gardening and jungle-inspired tunes and vibes. You need to register to attend and choose a time slot—8–10 am, 10 am–12 pm, 12–2 pm and 2–4 pm. Register here.


Lakespeare at Lanyon—Twelfth Night

Where: Lanyon Homestead
When: 6:30–10:30 pm
Shakespeare by the Lakes is a theatre company that produces free public performances of Shakespeare’s plays. It started last year and is back for a second season with performances of Twelfth Night at various outdoor venues around Canberra during February. This Friday, Lakespeare will be premiering Twelfth Night at Lanyon Homestead ahead of its free season and for this performance, Lakespeare have adapted the show especially for Lanyon Estate. Tickets are $50 + bf for adults and $45 + bf for concession, including assigned seating, live music before the show, and a Q&A session with director Christopher Stollery after the show. A range of hot and cold food and drinks will be available. Platters can also be purchased in advance with your ticket. Book tickets here, check out menu options here.

Love & Desire: Valentine’s Dinner & Concert

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 6–10:30 pm
Enjoy the Gallery’s Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate exhibition this Friday evening along with dinner, performance, poetry and romance. Performances include singer Mikelangelo joined by Anushka Simic, local sound artist Happy Axe weaving a sonic dreamscape, and singer/songwriter Wendy Rule. Brave Botanics will set the scene with their botanical installations. Tickets are $165 for adults and $150 for Gallery members and concessions and include a drink on arrival, entry to the exhibition and dinner in Gandel Hall. A cash bar will be available. Book here.

Brumbies vs Rebels

Where: GIO Stadium
When: From 6 pm, kick-off at 7:45 pm
The Brumbies start their 2019 Super Rugby season this Friday night against the Melbourne Rebels. Tickets from $12.25, book here.


Mt Stromlo Sound Grazing

Where: Mt Stromlo, Cotter Road
When: 5:30 pm
Join three sound artists at Mt Stromlo this Sunday evening, pack a picnic, kick back and watch the sun set to a soundscape of ambient music. Sound artists are Sam King, experimental violinist, Alphamale, and Kota Yamauchi from Japan. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 for concession, book here.

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