12 February 2018

Ten things to do around Canberra this long weekend (29 Sept–2 Oct)

| Zoe Pleasants
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models and designers on runway. Image taken by Andrew Sikorski.

Fashfest takes Canberra to new fashionable heights. Photo courtesy of Andrew Sikorski.

There is plenty on this long weekend to distract you from the house and garden chores you promised yourself you would do. FASHFEST is taking over the National Convention Centre, Canberra is hosting its first wheelchair tennis tournament, Floriade continues, and there will be lots of good food and wine available at the Murrumbateman Moving Feast. The Living Green and Canberra Moon Festivals are on this Sunday, and there are a couple of shows to catch including Gudirr Gudirr at the Canberra Theatre and The Arrival at The Street Theatre. Don’t forget, the clocks go forward an hour this weekend as daylight saving starts.

All weekend


Where: National Convention Centre
When: Friday & Saturday, 7 pm & 9 pm
In its fifth year, FASHFEST is Canberra’s most glamours fashion event. Proudly homegrown, it is organic and edgy and seeks to cultivate Australia’s emerging fashion and design talent. Held over three nights, FASHFEST has two runway shows a night featuring some fabulous frocks, some pretty wild hair and makeup, live music and original short films. Just some of the designers and labels showcasing their work at FASHFEST this year are Charly Thorn; an exciting young designer from Cooma, Megan Cannings; a self-taught designer from Melbourne, Katherine based Magpie Goose; a fashion social enterprise founded by Maggie McGowan and Laura Egan that creates stunning fabrics, hand-printed in remote Aboriginal communities, Curate by Trelis Cooper;, a label that loves patterns on patterns, and one of my favourite Canberra labels: Zilpah Tart; founded by designer Yumi Morrissey, which turns unique Canberra fabrics into elegant dresses. Check out the full line-up of designers and labels showcasing their work here. Tickets start from $49, book here.

Man playing tennis in a wheelchair.

Come watch our Aussies making us proud at the 2017 Canberra Wheelchair Tennis Open.

2017 Canberra Wheelchair Tennis Open

Where: Canberra Tennis Centre, Lynham
When: Friday 10 am, Saturday & Sunday 9 am
Canberra is hosting its first Wheelchair Tennis tournament since 1990, and its first ever tournament on the UNIQLO International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis Tour. Twenty-two of Australia’s best players including two locals—Matthew Leggett and Ante Busic—will compete in Men’s Open, Women’s Open and Junior competitions. The tournament will be played over three days with the finals for the three competitions to be played on Sunday. The tournament is part of the ITF Futures Series and is one of seven such tournaments held in Australia. It is also the first of three wheelchair tennis tournaments to be hosted by Wheelchair Sports NSW, with the other two to be held in Sydney and Wollongong. What’s more, the tournament’s Junior competition will be the largest held to date at an Australia Wheelchair Tennis event! No need to book tickets, just head on down; it is all free for spectators. And if you are there on Sunday between 10 am–12 pm, you can try playing wheelchair tennis. The Canberra Tennis Centre is hosting a come-and-try session and will provide you with the opportunity to pit yourself against some tournament’s amazing players.

Floriade Nightfest

Where: Commonwealth Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8 – 11 pm
Nightfest wraps us this weekend. Comedians Ivan Aristeguieta, Nazeem Hussain, Laura Campbell, The Stevenson Experience and Bart Freebairn will provide the laughs; while musicians Bob Evans, the Mixxtapes, and local bands The Lowlands and Azim Zain and His Lovely Bones will provide the tunes. There will also be roaming performers, a great selection of food and drinks to sample, and a relaxed, long-weekend vibe to enjoy. Tickets are $32 for adults and $17 for concession. Book here.

Murrumbateman Moving Fest

Where: Various Venues
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm
Over two days, 18 participating wineries and speciality producers from the Murrumbateman region are offering a delicious menu of entree-sized savoury and sweet dishes, each matched with a glass of wine. Savoury dishes will be $25 and sweet dishes $20. Try the lamb cassoulet matched with a Petit Verdot, followed by French rum and vanilla cake matched with a Late Picked Reisling at Barton Estate, or Duck San Choy Bao matched with a Pinot Noir, followed by chocolate mousse matched with a Cabernet Sauvignon at Dionysus Winery, or a smoked duck and brown rice salad matched with a Sparkling Shiraz Viognier, followed by blood orange curd tartlet with braised rhubarb at Jeir Creek … you get the picture! Check out the full menu here and salivate ­– the hard part will be deciding what to miss out on!

The Arrival

Where: The Street Theatre
When: Friday 10 am & 6 pm, Saturday 10 am & 2 pm
Spare Parts Theatre is bringing its production of The Arrival to The Street Theatre these school holidays. This show is based on Shaun Tan’s 2006 graphic novel and tells the story of ‘Aki’ leaving his home to make a new life for himself in a new country. It features a fantastical world of floating ships, mysterious lights, alien symbols and weird animals. The show combines Tan’s beautiful and surreal illustrations with puppetry and original music to tell the story, as it is told in the book, without words. The show explores the isolation experienced by many people arriving in a new place, or anyone who has ever felt out of place. Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for concession. Book here.

Monet’s Flower’s of War—The Last Shining of the Belle Epoque

Where: James O Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia
When: Friday 7:30 – 8:30 pm, Saturday 2 – 3 pm
The National Gallery is presenting a concert combining the music of French composers Jean Cras, Philippe Gaubert and Maurice Ravel, written during the First World War, with projections of Claude Monet’s paintings reflecting on the end of the Belle Epoque. Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for concession and NGA members. Book here.

Potterfest—Movie Marathon

Where: Palace Electric
When: Saturday 11 am – Sunday 10 am
Palace Electric is screening twenty-three hours of Harry Potter movies—all eight Potter films as well as its prequel; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be screened. Wear something comfy (pyjamas accepted), take a pillow and doona and settle in for a magical time. There will be ten-minute breaks between each movie and food and drinks will be available all night.


Gudirr Gudirr

Where: The Canberra Theatre
When: Saturday 8 pm
Broome-based contemporary dance company; Marrugeku, is bringing its production Gudirr Gudirr to Canberra this Saturday evening. Gudirr Gudirr is an intimate dance and video work developed, choreographed and performed by Dalisa Pigram; the Artistic Co-Director of Marrugeku. Dalisa developed this work in collaboration with Belgian choreographer Koen Augustijen and visual artist; Vernon Ah Kee. According to the dance company’s website, the performance “considers the legacy of Australia’s history on Aboriginal people living in northwest Australia today and asks: what does it take to decolonise Aboriginal people’s minds, unlock doors and face cultural change?” Gudirr Gudirr is the warning the guwayi bird calls when the tide is turning—to miss the call is to drown. This show brings attention to a community losing its traditional lands to industrialisation, losing its language, and dealing with major gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous well-being. Tickets are $55 for adults, $50 for concession and $45 for under 17s. Book here.


Living Green Festival

Where: Albert Hall
When: Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
Canberra’s annual festival promoting green and vegan living is on this weekend and it’s all about helping you to reduce your carbon footprint. The Living Green Festival will feature over 85 stalls, talks and demonstrations—where you can learn to make a three-course raw food meal, listen to a panel discussion on reducing household waste, and pick up tips and tricks to living dairy-free— a kids zone, and live entertainment. Entry is free!

Canberra Moon Festival

Where: Canberra Theatre Centre Forecourt
When: Sunday, 1 – 8 pm
After a successful debut event last year at the Old Bus Depot Markets, the Canberra Moon Festival is back and this year will be held in the Canberra Theatre Centre Forecourt. A moon festival is a traditional mid-autumn festival held in many countries across south-east Asia where families gather and celebrate the harvest with lanterns and mooncakes. At the Canberra Moon Festival there will be food stalls selling many versions of mooncakes (as well as more substantial meals), activities including lantern making and a puzzle-solving competition, dance performances including Thai, Korean pop, Bollywood, and Chinese traditional dancing, and live music including a performance by the talented singer/songwriter Lucy Sugarman; recent contestant on The Voice Australia. Entry is either by gold coin donation or by donation of non-perishable food item for Oz Harvest.

Which event will you attend this week? Let us know by commenting below!

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