2 February 2020

Ten things to do around Canberra this weekend (5–7 October)

| Zoe Pleasants
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Parliament House Open Day is on this Saturday

Parliament House Open Day is on this Saturday. Image: Parliament of Australia website.

A busy weekend coming up. Both Parliament House and Government House are having open days this Saturday with a complimentary bus to ferry you between the two venues. The National Gallery is celebrating spring with its mini-festival, Flourish, over the weekend and Floriade continues. October is Mental Health Month and there is a party to launch the program of events in the city this Friday. Contour 556 is also on in October. It is a free public art event that will throw up random installations and performance art events on the shores of Lake Burely Griffin. This Friday the Belconnen Twilight Markets are on in Margaret Timpson Park and the Australian Women’s Cricket Team is playing New Zealand at Manuka Oval. Then on Sunday, the Living Green Festival is returning for another year to Albert Hall.

All weekend

Contour 556/18

Where: Lake Burley Griffith
When: 5–28 October
Contour 556 is a free public art event held every two years on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. This year there will be sculptures and performance events from 60 artists inspired by, or reflecting the cultural and physical landscape of Canberra. It is hoped that the event will reinforce the beauty of the designed landscape—Canberra is one of only three designed capital cities in the world—and present stories of Australia’s political, cultural and physical history.


Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: Saturday 10 am–5 pm & Sunday 10 am–2 pm
The National Gallery wants us to Flourish this weekend. On Saturday there will be behind-the-scene tours of Gallery’s conservation lab, kitchen and research library. Curate your own exhibition inside a model of the gallery, view archival materials up-close, prepare and enjoy a sugary treat under the direction of NGA’s award-winning head chef, listen to a panel of curators discuss the national collection, drop in to a weaving workshop in the Indigenous galleries and watch a free screening of the acclaimed movie The Square, a Swedish satirical drama about a museum curator. Later in the afternoon head outside to blend your own gin with the Archie Rose Distilling Co., draw in the garden under the stars, and enjoy local musicians performing in the Turrell Skyspace. Then on Sunday continue to Flourish in the Sculpture Garden with heaps of creative activities put on by the Gallery and neighouring cultural institutions, appearances from special guests Dirtgirl and Scrapboy, and plenty of performance art to surprise and delight. Bring a picnic or purchase food and drink onsite. However, the outdoor activities will be cancelled if it rains, so keep an eye out on their Twitter and Instagram for updates.


Where: Commonwealth Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9:30 am–5:30 pm
Floriade continues its celebration of Pop Culture this weekend with retro inspired flowerbeds, and flowerbeds containing emojis, superheroes and Where’s Wally. Check out the details about the flowerbeds here. Highlights this weekend include:

Check out the Floriade Program here.


Mental Health Month Launch Party

Where: Garema Place
When: 4:30–6:30 pm
October is Mental Health Month and the theme for the month this year is Identity & Growth. It is about knowing who you are, accepting the past and growing into your future—being okay with who you are. To launch Mental Health Month there will be party in Garema Place this Friday night. Enjoy circus performances, live music and food. Check out the program of events for the Mental Health Month here.

Belconnen Twilight Market

Where: 4:30–8:30 pm
When: Margaret Timpson Park
The Belconnen Twilight Market is on again this Friday in Margaret Timpson Park. The aim of the market is to promote local Belconnen businesses and community groups. Local designers selling their wares include graphic designer Emma Maja; ceramic artist Josephine Townsend who makes functional and sculptural items and jewellery; Paco’s Design which makes Latin American inspired birdhouses out of locally sourced recycled materials and Winter Yarn which makes art, home-wares and knitted goods. Fricken, Belconnen’s fried chicken van, the Lenton Bar, Pot Belly Bar and Chameleon Ice Creamery, a local Belconnen business that sells homemade ice cream, sorbet and gelati, will be serving food and drinks. The Pot Belly Bar will be serving Belconnen’s own Wignall Brewery beer. Larry Brandy will be telling stories about indigenous heritage and culture and community groups Evatt Bike Path Transition Group and GIVIT will have stalls.

T20 Cricket Women’s International Series: Australia vs New Zealand

Where: Manuka Oval
When: 6:50–10:15 pm
Australia’s Women’s cricket team will play New Zealand this Friday night at Manuka Oval in the third and final match of the Commonwealth Bank T20 trans-Tasman series. The game starts at 7:20 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for concession and free for kids under 16. Book here.


Parliament House Open Day

Where: Parliament House
When: 9 am–5 pm
It has been 30 years since Parliament House opened its doors. Celebrate this weekend with an open day for the whole family.

  • Help put Australian Federal Police through their paces;
  • See a Lego model of Parliament House;
  • Find Shawn the Prawn, on a new kid’s trail;
  • Have a go at being Serjeant at Arms in a parliamentary role-play;
  • Channel your inner-politician in the intense glare of the cameras; and
  • See the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers at close quarters.

There will also be a BBQ in the courtyards.

Government House Open Day

Where: Government House, Yarralumla
When: 10 am–2 pm
The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lady Lynne Cosgrove are opening the doors to Government House Open Day this Saturday. Bring a picnic lunch or buy food and drinks from onsite vans, and explore both the house and gardens. Because Government House and Parliament House are open at the same time there will be a complimentary shuttle bus between the two venues to help you visit both.

Justine Clarke—Silly Songs Tour 2018

Where: Canberra Theatre
When: 10 am & 12 pm
Actress, singer and kids’ entertainer extraordinaire, Justine Clarke is performing her favourite silly songs at the Canberra Theatre this Saturday. She will perform songs from her TV show and new album, The Justine Clarke Show! Tickets are $39.40, book here.


The Living Green Festival & Vegan Markets

Where: Albert Hall
When: 10 am–2 pm
The Living Green Festival is on again this Sunday. It is a festival that celebrates low-emission, locally made and cruelty-free food, products and services. Check out the stallholders here.

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