There is plenty of culture to soak up in Canberra this weekend. The National Multicultural Festival is on, with Baker Boy and Leo Sayer headlining; there are free performances of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing in Glebe Park on Saturday and at Queen Elizabeth II park, Queanbeyan on Sunday; and there is opera at Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Sunday. It is your last chance to catch the National Gallery’s summer blockbuster exhibition Hyper Real, and the National Museum’s Midawarr | Harvest exhibition. Both exhibitions close this Sunday. And if you eat too much at the Multicultural Festival, burn it off on the Big Canberra Bike Ride this Sunday!
When: Friday 5:30 – 11 pm, Saturday 10:30 – 12 am & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Eat and dance your way around the world this weekend without leaving Canberra. The National Multicultural Festival is one of Australia’s biggest celebrations of cultural diversity. It opens this Friday night with a concert, starting at 5 pm headlined by Baker Boy; a young Indigenous rapper from north-east Arnhem Land who raps in both English and the Yolngu Matha language, and Leo Sayer, and continues across the whole weekend with a packed program of entertainment. There will be showcases and performances including an African village, a European village, India in the City, a Belly dance showcase, an Indigenous showcase, and a children’s sanctuary. And of course, there will be a huge variety of food stalls to keep you nourished too.
Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 10 am – 5 pm
This weekend is your last chance to see the weird and wonderful works in the National Gallery’s summer blockbuster exhibition, Hyper Real. The exhibition closes 5 pm Sunday. Hyperrealism is a form of sculpture that began in the 1960s and 70s paralleling photorealism in painting. Since that time, hyperrealism has expanded beyond realistic sculptures to digital simulations and virtual reality. Hyper Real charts this progress. The exhibition includes vivid, life-like representations of human and non-human figures which are realistic, highly imaginative, poignant and weird. The exhibition presents major works from early American hyperrealism pioneers George Segal, John De Andrea and Duane Hanson; celebrated Australian artists Patricia Piccinini (of Skywhale fame), Ron Mueck and Sam Jinks; and international masters Maurizio Cattelan (Italy), Berlinde de Bruyckere (Belgium), Evan Penny (Canada), Sun Yuan and Peng Yu (China). Tickets are $25 for adults, $22.50 for concession and kids under 16 are free when accompanying a paying adult. Book here.
Where: Glebe Park, Civic (Friday) and Queen Elizabeth II Park, Collett St, Queanbeyan (Saturday)
When: Friday & Saturday 6:30 – 8:45 pm
Lakespeare & Co is a new theatre company that came together last year with the aim of putting on free public performances of Shakespeare’s plays in Canberra. In December last year, the company raised over $7000 through a crowdfunding campaign and, with the additional support of local businesses, had enough money to gather creatives and a cast and start rehearsing. This weekend sees the culmination of their work with performances of Much Ado about Nothing in Glebe Park on Friday night and Queen Elizabeth Park II, Queanbeyan on Saturday night. Bring a blanket and a picnic or gather food and drinks from onsite vans—Pop Inn Wine Bar, Canberra Bagels, Shotclock Espresso, Bombolini Doughnuts and the Cannoli Bros will be there. No ticket needed, but if you want to support this fledgling company, you can do so here.
Where: Old Canberra Inn, 195 Mouat St, Lyneham
When: 6:30 – 10 pm
Canberra’s much loved musical comedy duo, Sparrow-Folk, has just hatched their third album and they are calling it No. Free! Be the first to hear their brand new material and get an early bird copy at their album launch this Friday at the Old Canberra Inn. Sparrow-Folk has performed their satire at the Melbourne and Sydney Comedy Festivals, and the Adelaide, Perth and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.
Where: Rond Terrace
When: 6 am – 2 pm
Canberra’s Big Bike Ride is on this Sunday. Held in support of the Amy Gillett Foundation, there are four different distances to ride—5, 20, 68 or 120km—so there is a ride that everyone can finish. Online registrations have now closed but you can register at the event village on Saturday and Sunday. Riders 5 years and older can participate.
Where: Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Road
When: 2:30 – 6:30 pm
Pialligo Estate is hosting an afternoon of fine food, drink and music. Liam Wright, a young up-and-coming folk and roots musician, and Tessa Devine, an indie folk, pop musician, will provide the tunes. Either bring a picnic or indulge in the wine, beer and nibbles available from Pialligo Estate.
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
When: 5 pm – 8 pm
This concert is a compilation of the juicy bits and big hits of Verdi’s popular opera La Traviata. Featuring vocalists Christopher Lincoln Bogg, Sarahlouise Owen and Colin Milner, accompanied by Collen Rae-Garrard on piano. Tickets from $20–35, book here.