19 June 2020

Six things to do in Canberra this weekend (11 - 16 June)

| Hayden Fritzlaff
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National Gallery

The National Gallery of Australia is open to small groups of art lovers. Photo: Jack Mohr.

As we move through the depths of a Canberra winter, there is plenty going on around the city to keep you occupied.

The NGA and National Portrait Gallery are both open for individual or small group bookings, and The Basement and Canberra Theatre Centre have plenty on offer in terms of live music and theatre.

There are also a host of Canberrans coming up with innovative ways to enjoy life within social distancing’s new normal, including online German markets and plenty of live-streamed events.

All Weekend

XU ZHENs In Just a Blink of an Eye 2005-2014

XU ZHEN is one of China’s most significant artists and activists. Pictured: ‘In Just a Blink of an Eye’ 2005-2014. Photo: NGA.

Explore the NGA in person

Where: National Gallery of Australia, book online
When: All weekend, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

The National Gallery is open to the public once again. Book online to lock in your timed entry, during which you’ll be able to explore the gallery on your own or with a group. Galleries are limited to 20 persons at any one time, and you’ll be heading off on a set trajectory that’ll take you throughout the building including through the Belonging: Stories of Australian Art and International Art collection displays.

Check out XU ZHEN, one of China’s most significant artists and activists. His recent work centres on sculptural installations, video and performances that challenge cultural assumptions, question social taboos and comment on the idea of art as a commodity. The show includes the performance work In Just a Blink of an Eye 2005/2020, which features four performers impossibly ‘frozen’ in the act of falling over, as well as European Thousand-Armed Classical Sculpture 2014 and other monumental sculptures.

Live music at The Basement

Live music is back at The Basement. Photo: Supplied.

Live music at The Basement

Where: The Basement, Belconnen
When: Various times

Live music is back, with real life musicians making actual noises on a physical stage in front of an audience of actual humans. Twenty-person limits apply to shows taking place this weekend, with dinner and drink options built in to capture that intimate, loungey feel. Head to the venue’s Facebook page for the full rundown of events, which includes acoustic sets from Sean Smeaton and Sam Spurling, as well as an appearance from four-piece punk band Glitoris.


 Sunday Too Far Away poster

NFSA are screening Sunday Too Far Away this weekend. Image: NFSA.

NFSA Film Screening: Sunday Too Far Away

Where: Online event hosted by the National Film and Sound Archive. Bookings via Eventbrite
When: 6:00 pm start

A landmark film in the Australian New Wave movement, Sunday Too Far Away was restored by the NFSA in 2018. This weekend is your chance to catch the iconic film by tuning in to the free, online screening on Friday night. Following on from the stream, you’ll have the chance to ask questions of producer Matt Carroll and NFSA Chief Curator Gayle Lake in a post-film Q&A session.


German Markets

Harmonie German Club’ markets are heading online. Image: Harmonie German Club

Online German Markets

Where: Harmonie German Club
When: Pick up between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm

The ever-popular markets hosted by the Harmonie German Club are back, albeit in a slightly different form to the usual. German deli items and cakes will be available for pre-order and pick up, while attendees will be able to partake in a German sausage sizzle and take home delectable German wines, beer and schnapps. It’s an unconventional, but welcome way to get involved with the markets in a socially distanced environment.

Young Stars

Young Stars are hosting an online session for kids. Photo: Young Stars.

Alien Worlds and Their Atmospheres

Where: Online event, bookings via Eventbrite
When: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

This exciting learning sessions for ages 6-13 is a chance for budding astronomers to ask those burning questions about planets beyond our solar system. Alien atmospheres, the building blocks of life, and the techniques astronomers use to uncover the universe’s secrets will all be discussed in this one-hour Facebook Live session presented by Young Stars. The session will be led by Nataliea Lowson, a PhD student at the University of Southern Queensland.


Canberra Theatre

The Canberra Theatre have launched their online program, CTC@Home. Photo: File.

Canberra Theatre Centre at Home

Where: Streaming online
When: 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Canberra Theatre Centre is bringing the joy and excitement of their program home to you via a new series of events delivered online via Facebook. The mix of live and pre-recorded shows spans music, drama, literary readings, speakers and a variety show hosted by Canberra’s own Chris Endrey. It all kicks off on Monday, with a performance of the family-friendly Joe Boogie Show followed by a live reading of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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