25 April 2019

Ten things to do around Canberra this ANZAC Day long weekend (25–28 April)

| Zoe Pleasants
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Commemorate ANZAC Day at the Australian War Memorial. Photo: Jack Mohr.

With ANZAC Day today, the weekend starts early and we’ve got you covered.

Commemorate ANZAC Day at the War Memorial with the moving Dawn Service at 5:30 am or the National Ceremony at 10:30 am. If you’re looking for something to do with the kids on ANZAC Day, the National Film and Sound Archive is screening Peter Rabbit at 11 am. The ACT Jam, a BMX event, will be at Belconnen Skatepark from 5 pm. On Friday catch the last session of the National Museum’s school holiday fun Recyclacine, the ACT Jam moves to the Tuggeranong Skatepark, and Canberra’s Short & Sweet Theatre festival kicks off at the Courtyard Studio. Then on Saturday the National Film and Sound Archive is taking you back to the 1950s with its Dressmaker Ball—part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival— the National Gallery is marking the end of its Love & Desire exhibition with a performance called Enter Ophelia and the final of the ACT Jam is at the BentSpoke Cannery in Mitchell from 12 pm. On Sunday celebrate Dutch food and culture at Albert Hall.

All weekend


Where: Various venues
When: Thursday & Friday 5 – 8 pm, Saturday 12 – 10 pm
ACT Jam is three days of epic BMX action across Canberra. In its seventh year, ACT Jam is excited to have BentSpoke Brewery on board as its major sponsor this year. The jam will be held at Belconnen Skatepark on Thursday 5 – 8 pm, Tuggeranong Skatepark on Friday 5 – 8 pm and Bentspoke Cannery in Mitchell on Saturday 12 – 10 pm for the grand finale. As well as rad BMX action there will be live music, food trucks and other entertainment at all events.

School Holidays Season—Animal Kingdom

Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: Thursday & Friday 11 am
These school holidays the NFSA is screening a program of animal-themed family films. Catch Peter Rabbit on Thursday at 11 am and NFSA’s restored print of the 1976 version of Storm Boy on Friday at 11 am.

Short & Sweet Theatre

Where: Courtyard Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre
When: Friday & Saturday 7:30 pm
Canberra’s Short and Sweet Theatre Festival starts this weekend at the Courtyard Theatre and runs until next Saturday. The festival showcases ten-minute plays written by local, Australian and international playwrights, which are directed and performed by mostly local directors and actors. Short and Sweet started in Sydney’s Newtown Theatre in 2002 and has since sprouted many local versions around Australia and even overseas. This year the festival features two All-Stars performances—which are on this Friday and Saturday—in which artists who have won accolades in previous festivals will be featured. The best plays from the All-Stars and Top 10 line ups will compete for glory in the Gala Final to be held next Saturday. Tickets for this weekend’s shows are $32 for adults and $25 for concession, book here.

Thursday—ANZAC Day

Dawn Service

Where: The Australian War Memorial
When: From 4:30 am. Service starts at 5:30 am
From 4:30 am on ANZAC Day, excerpts from the letters and diaries of Australians who experienced war firsthand will be read out by a representative from each of the armed forces. The Dawn Sevice starts at 5:30 am with Corporal Mark Donaldson giving the commemorative address.

ANZAC Day National Ceremony

Where: Australian War Memorial
When: 10:30 am–12:30 pm
This ANZAC Day marks the 104th anniversary of the landing of Anzac troops at Gallipoli. The National Ceremony includes a service with a commemorative address given by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, wreath laying, hymns, the sounding of the Last Post, one minute’s silence, and the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand. The National Ceremony will be followed by the Veterans March.

ANZAC Day at Olims Bar

Where: Olims Bar & Bistro, Mercure Canberra
When: From 6 am
Just down the road from the War Memorial, Olims bar and bistro at the Mercure Hotel is celebrating ANZAC Day. Starting with breakfast from 6 am, then two-up food stalls and entertainment from 12 pm and live music from 6 pm.



Where: National Museum of Australia
When: Thursday & Friday 10 am–3:30 pm
Help artist Tom Buckland make a herd of extinct and imaginary animals from found and recycled materials. Make a thylacine, a Muttaburrasaurus, a Diprotodon or something from your imagination, or decorate a calico bag. Cost is $10 for kids, $5 for kids who are members of the museum and adults are free. Book here.


Enter Ophelia

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 7 – 8 pm
To celebrate the last weekend of the Gallery’s Love and & Desire: Masterpieces from the Tate exhibition, the Gallery is hosting a performance of Enter Ophelia, a collaboration between Geelong’s Essential Theatre and Melbourne’s Three Birds Theatre. Directed by John Kachoyan, this show is a black comedy that takes Shakespeare’s Ophelia from the sidelines of Hamlet and places her centre-stage. No longer distracted or meek, Ophelia becomes a dominant character whose presence interrupts a plot of foul play between kings, fathers, sons and brothers. Tickets are $35 or $30 for members. Book here.

Dressmaker 1950s vintage Ball

Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: 7 – 11 pm
As part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival, the National Film and Sound Archive is celebrating the 1950s with a Vintage Ball. Come dressed in your finest vintage clothes, bring a prized piece along to discuss with an NFSA curator, see the NFSA’s Dressmaker Costume Exhibition after hours, swing dance with Savoy Dance and enjoy the music of five-piece swing band, the Dan McLean Big Band. There will also be a sample of European and Australian fashion films from the 1940s and 1950s playing in the Arc cinema and NFSA curators will be giving talks about the Dressmaker Costume Exhibition throughout the night. Tickets are $25 + bf, book here.


Dutch Food and Culture Festival

Where: Albert Hall
When: 10 am – 4 pm
Celebrate King’s Day, a Dutch National holiday, this Sunday at Albert Hall. There will be Dutch food, cultural activities, music and folk dancing. Check out the program here.

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