12 February 2018

Six things to do around Canberra this weekend (31 March–2 April)

| Zoe Pleasants
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As the warm weather continues it is a great weekend to get out and enjoy Canberra’s natural environment. The Canberra Walking Festival is on and Tidbinbilla is putting on a great day for the family this Sunday. But if the indoors is more your thing, it is the last weekend of French Film Festival, Ladies in Black is playing at the Canberra Theatre, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre are hosting producer Harvey Sutherland and his band Bermuda for a night of improvised loops, modulation and beats on Friday, and local indie band Waterford is playing an early set at Smith’s Alternative this Saturday. Also on Saturday, the Raiders are playing the Eels (GIO Stadium, 5:30pm) and the ten day Canberra Wine Week kicks off with a launch at New Acton. The question now is, is how are you going to spend your extra hour?

All weekend
Canberra Walking Festival
Where: Blackall Street, Barton
When: Friday from 11am, Saturday from 7am and Sunday from 7:30am
Also known as the Canberra Two Day Walk, this event is part of an international series of walks and is about challenging yourself to a walk a distance between 5 and 44km on two consecutive days (you can also just walk on one day if you’d prefer). It’s not a race: running is not allowed! All walks start and finish on the corner of Kings Avenue and Blackall Street, Barton. On Friday you can enjoy the 11km Capital Walk that takes in Parliament House and Telopea Park, and/or the 5km Welcome Walk ahead of the opening ceremony and reception. Saturday’s walk is along the northern sections of the Canberra Centenary Trail. A bus will take you from the corner of Kings Avenue and Blackall Street to your starting point depending on how far you intend to walk (5km, 10km, 20km, 30 and 44km options available). For details about routes, start and bus times check out the program here. Then on Sunday walk around Lake Burley Griffin (6km, 10km, 15km, 21km and 28km options available). While the event is open to all ages, the 5km and 6km walks are designed for the over 75s and under 8s—a perfect grandparent/grandchild outing! Walkers from all around the world are coming to Canberra for this event—last year there were walkers from 17 countries—so there should be plenty of interesting people out there on the trails to walk with.

Canberra District Wine Week
Where: Various venues
When: Starts Friday
Canberra District Wine Week starts this weekend and goes for ten days (that must be the wine doing the organising). Celebrate the quality of our local wines with a festival program that includes wine tastings, food matchings, wine blending, grape stomping, winemakers dinners and long lunches. The week will officially launch this Saturday, 2–5pm at New Acton. Check out the program here.

Ladies in Black
Where: Canberra Theatre
When: Fri 7:30pm, Sat & Sun 2pm & 7:30pm
After Charlotte Harper’s rave review how could I not include this show in my list? Ladies in Black is a musical based on the Madeleine St John novel, The Women in Black. Tim Finn wrote the songs and music, Gabriela Tylesova (The Rabbits) designed the costumes and the show is directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical). It is a coming of age story set in 1950s Sydney about a “busy bookworm”, Lisa Miles, who takes a summer job at posh department store F.G. Goode’s. She wants to be a poet and longs to study at university, but her father is horrified at that idea and is arranging for her to do a secretarial course instead. At her job, Lisa befriends Magda, a glamorous and fierce “continental” and “refo” who invites her to a luncheon, and a New Year’s Eve party. Through this friendship, Lisa begins to develop a sense of style and self-assurance. Lisa’s other colleagues are also having dramas: Patty is married to a man who pays her little attention and is sad as she that she hasn’t had a child and Fay is single at 29 and desperately seeking Mr Right – preferably one who will forgive her for accidentally falling for a married man some years earlier


Harvey Sutherland + Bermuda
Where: Ainslie Arts Centre: Ainslie Main Hall
When: 8–11pm
Ainslie & Gorman Centre is having a huge Friday night. Starting with the already sold-out i’m me festival at Gorman House, Canberra Youth Theatre’s first production for the year designed for 7–12 year olds to celebrate “being me” through dance, comedy, poetry, music and drama. And then following up with Harvey Sutherland + Bermuda down the road at Ainslie Arts Centre. An all-ages improvised live dance party. Producer and keyboard player Harvey Sutherland will loop new phrases and modulations, pitch-bent solos and throws in the occasional Janet Jackson cover into a heavy four-to-floor throwdown. Sutherland is joined on stage by the band Bermuda—musicians Graeme Pogson on drums and Tamil Rogeon on electric strings—who interpret what Sutherland produces and add their own depth and flair.


Where: Smith’s Alternative
When: 7–9pm
Local indie band Waterford are launching their new single, Libra II (Who Must be Obeid), at Smith’s Alternative this Saturday night. It will be the band’s first release since their successful 2014 single All That Gold. They seem to be a band that likes to take their time, they are currently crafting an LP to follow-up on their 2012 record. They have culled two versions, whittled down over 50 songs to the final 10, and hopefully they will have a new album soon.


Tidbinbilla Open Day
Where: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Paddy’s River Road
When: 10am–3pm
Pack the kids and a picnic into the car this Sunday, and head down to Tidbinbilla. There will be much to enjoy. The theme of year’s open day is Celebrating Diversity and the aim of the day is to encourage visitors to celebrate Tidbinbilla’s diverse people, habitats, and heritage. Tidbinbilla rangers will be guiding activities, including feeding koalas and potoroos; Murumbung Rangers will be guiding Aboriginal cultural activities; Nature Play CBR will be setting up a mud kitchen and cubby town; Questacon is bringing their show Liquid Nitrogen and the Rockets #101; there will be face painting, reptile displays and talks; and a great Nature Scavenger Hunt. There will be food stalls, live music by the amazing Guyy & the Fox and a free bus service driving visitors around the park.

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