The Easter weekend has arrived and Canberrans are finding creative ways to keep themselves and their families engaged and entertained without leaving the house. And as the Autumn chill well and truly sets in, now’s the perfect time get rugged up at home.
Even though their doors are closed, the city’s cultural institutions are providing a wealth of activities, with the National Library and National Museum both hosting intriguing online events throughout the week.
Community organisations like Homegrown Sounds and Alliance Française Canberra are joining in too, adapting their regular activities to online spaces. Scroll down to discover ten things you can do from home this weekend.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Where: At home
When: All week
With the cancellation of the in-person version of the 2020 festival (and its Canberra counterpart), the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has moved online. Each day, the festival is sharing a favourite clip from past events on their website. They’re also maintaining an up-to-date guide that lists all the comedians who will be live-streaming performances or sharing coronavirus-related routines of their own. It all culminates in the Comedy Care Package, an evening of comedy with the likes of Becky Lucas, Denise Scott, Tom Gleeson and many more brought to you on the ABC from 8:30 pm this Sunday night.
Sydney Opera House Digital Program
When: Wednesday to Sunday
The iconic Sydney Opera House is opening up the archives and hosting a series of live streams as part of their online-only digital program. Tonight (9 April) Clementine Ford is in conversation with Flex Mami for the ‘Finding Your Voice’ discussion panel. Friday night features a live set from acclaimed producer and songwriter Panda Bear. On Saturday, tune in for an engrossing Auslan performance of Handel’s Messiah, brought to you by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
Learn French Online
Where: Courses are run by Alliance Française Canberra
When: Sign up now
Always wanted to learn a new language? Need to brush up on your French? Alliance Française Canberra is running online courses for adults who are interested in upskilling during this period of isolation. Participants are invited to take a placement test before commencing to make sure each student enters a course at the right level. Classes don’t kick off until later this month, but you’ll want to get in early to reserve your place.
Salsabor Online Dance Classes
Where: Classes take place via Zoom
When: Check the timetable for more information
Anyone who’s seen or heard dance classes upstairs along City Walk will be happy to learn that Salsabor has moved a number of their lessons online. A new four-week term kicks off this week, making this the perfect time to sign up for Salsa Beginners, Bellydance, Cha Cha Shines, or any of the other fantastic classes on offer from this local dance school. You can jump in for a single casual class ($15) or make a term of it for $50.
National Library Online
Though its doors may be shut to the public, the National Library of Australia hosts a wealth of information and activity on its website. Dive into the archives of any number of cultural institutions with Trove, or use the extensive online resources such as the Ask A Librarian program to unearth new knowledge or help the kids with their schoolwork. You can also sign up for online seminars, which span such subjects as Canberra Family History and Tracing the History of Your House.
Get Creative – Easter From Home
Where: You place
When: All weekend
We’re all gearing up for an Easter like no other, so why not make it extra special? There are so many ways you can brighten your Easter weekend while still social distancing. Have a crack at taking the traditional egg hunt online this year, and include relatives you might not be able to see in person via Zoom. While you’re at it, show your support for a local business by ordering spectacular food online from Siren Bar and Restaurant, or organise a delivery from your local pub.
Whether you and your family are board game fanatics or just casual players, you’re going to love this online library of tabletop games. Offering the chance to play locally or with anyone from around the world, Boardgame Arena sports a roster of 175 games to keep you occupied over the Easter weekend. Favourite strategy games like Carcassonne, 7 Wonders and Stone Age are all here, as well as a bounty of titles you might not have heard of but are just begging to be tried out.
The Plants and Produce of Country
Where: Virtual tour hosted by the National Museum of Australia
When: Tour begins at 12:30 pm
The National Museum’s new Forecourt Garden is brimming with native produce and plants, and Adam Shipp (Wiradjuri) of Yurbay will be on hand to take you on a virtual tour through the garden this Thursday. You can join the tour through the National Museum’s YouTube page – the link will be supplied here prior to the tour.
Close To Home – Live on Instagram
Where: Join the event on Facebook, and head to each artist’s Instagram pages individually
When: 6:00 pm start
Instagram has become homebase for the world’s independent musical artists as they acclimatise to their new gigless reality. Homegrown Sounds is this week hosting its own music festival, albeit via Instagram Live. Tune in to catch sets from ethereal alt-country singer-songwriter Cathy Diver, genre-defying beard enthusiast Jim Dusty, and honorary Canberran Buddy Dingo among others.
Budding Theatre Challenge
Where: buddingtheatre.com to sign up
When: Broadcast on Sunday night at 6:00 pm
Originally envisioned as a way for theatre students to keep in touch with their tutors during isolation, the Budding Theatre Challenge has morphed into a unique community activity. Theatre makers of all ages and abilities are able to enter these weekly challenges based around a particular theme. Head to buddingtheatre.com to sign up yourself, or tune in to the Budding Theatre Facebook page to see the video entries when they are broadcast on Sunday evening.